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APC UPS life expectancy

Discussion in Back-UPS & Surge Protectors started by Andrew , 5/17/2007 1:40 PM
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  • andrew6123
    Andrew
    New Member
    New Member
    Andrew 5/17/2007 1:40 PM

    I have a number of BK650MC where the batteries need to be replaced. These units are about 3 to 4 years old. When should I consider purchasing a new unit instead of buying a battery? The units appear to be in good condtion. I am look for the life expectancy of a workstation UPS.

  • dirtfoot
    Douglas
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Douglas 5/17/2007 6:15 PM (in response to Andrew)

    Under normal use, a UPS battery will typically last around 3 - 5 years, but the life of the UPS itself might vary depending on the environment it's used in. Like everything else, the harder a UPS is worked (the more surges and power outages it works through), the less overall life you might get out of it. Your UPS was originally warrantied for 2 years, so you should expect atleast that much from it. Maybe you'll get an additional 2 years out of it, maybe 10. Its hard to say for sure.

    Something else to consider - for the smaller UPSs, it may cost about the same to trade the UPS in towards a new one as it would to buy a new battery.

    http://buy.apc.com/commerce/storefronts/tradeups/tradein.aspx?storefrontcode=apcetu&countrycode=US&tradeups_id=

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 7/16/2007 1:46 PM (in response to Andrew)

    When you say a number, how many do you have?

    If you have a substantial number, I'd say get new batteries. What you need is a 12v 12Ah SLA with F1 terminals, aka RBC3. Since it's a one battery unit, this one's an easy change. I'm sure you can get a great deal from a local battery distributor. What you need I pay $16 USD + $10 S&H for that particular battery, but I'm sure a better deal can be had in quantity, especially on S&H per unit.


    The runtime should be around 20 minutes on your unit with a new battery. Randomly pick a two units then connect two 75W light bulbs. If you get substantially less runtime than 20 minutes from both units before it loses power, it's time for a mass battery replacement for similarly aged UPS in your department, control, etc that haven't had the batteries changed.

  • InRowRCena
    Oscar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Oscar 7/18/2007 3:02 PM (in response to Andrew)

    I would strongly recommend buying batteries directly from APC, or with an APC partnumber, through an APC certified reseller. We do not support third party batteries. Also, with a new APC battery you will be guaranteed techsupport and a 1 year warranty.

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 7/19/2007 3:42 AM (in response to Oscar)

    APC Mods: I understand this is Peer-to-Peer support group rather than APC-to-end user so it's my understanding I can offer advise as I see fit, but if it's against the board policies to discuss non-OEM replacements, feel free to delete this post.

    I have changed batteries on many APC units and all the units I've dealt with used industry standard size batteries made by CSB Batteries. I use Universal Power Group brand purchased through a battery wholesaler and the UPSs perform just as well as they did on day one. My supplier provides one year warranty on their batteries and there are some suppliers that offer two years. A single battery configuration like the RBC4 is no different from OEM in installation process, but multi-battery packs like RBC6 and RBC7 takes a little extra work unless you buy a pre-assembled one.

    If you're replacing just one, buying from buy.apc.com is a great idea, but If you have many units and cost is important, I personally recommend using batteries obtained from a wholesaler. For example, RBC7 for SUA1500, SU1400NET, BP1400 and such is $140 (currently $126 shipped on promotion) from APC and ready to install out of the box. Even though you have to do a bit of work in putting it together and use the existing hardware, it's around $65 shipped from a wholesaler and perhaps even less if you buy an entire pallet(Order only what you need. Don't stock up on batteries since they degrade in storage)

    When your car needs a new set of brake pads, you have a choice of having it replaced by the dealer with an OEM set at dealer price or use a third party service shop like Sears Auto Center at more competitive price. The dealer always recommend having it serviced through them with OEM parts, but third party parts aren't always bad.

  • eberbs
    Erik
    Novice
    Novice
    Erik 7/20/2007 1:35 AM (in response to KVar)

    h

    Message was edited by: eberbs

  • techengineer
    Gordon
    New Member
    New Member
    Gordon 7/28/2007 2:26 PM (in response to Andrew)

    It is important that if you decide to replace the battery on your UPS instead of doing a Trade Up or buying a new one, you should use APC batteries only.

    Even if your unit is no longer covered by the 2 year warranty, you still may be covered by APC's Equipment Protection Policy (EPP) for the lifetime of the UPS, which covers the cost of equipment damaged when the unit fails to protect it from power issues.

    If you use OEM, Third party batteries in your UPS, this voids your warranty (if you are still covered) and it voids the Equipment Protection Policy. Using OEM batteries is considered a modification to the unit. Also, you are not eligible for technical support if you are modifying the unit in any way.

    Message was edited by: techengineer

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 7/29/2007 12:46 AM (in response to Gordon)

    If the batteries go bad in your APC UPS during the warranty, one should do nothing other than contact APC, because the battery is covered under warranty and APC will cover the repair at no cost.

    My understanding of the Magnuson Foss warranty act is that they can't void the warranty on your window regulator for installing a turbocharger or deny warranty repair on your transmission for using a third party engine oil filter. The warranty provider does not have to warrant the third party component and can only void warranty on other parts only if they could reasonably demonstrate that the third party component was the cause of the failure. Also, the warranty provider can not employ tie-in sales provision with a requisite of using OEM parts to keep the warranty valid.

    I'm not certain about the waiver of right to make a claim under protected equipment protection by using aftermarket replacement parts. This is perhaps an issue the insurance company for the facility and EPP coverage provider will battle out when the damage actually happens.

  • NetMax
    Corey
    Novice
    Novice
    Corey 8/1/2007 4:18 PM (in response to Andrew)

    I rather buy APC brand batteries rather than utilize third party batts. Through my experience the life of third party batteries suck!! I rather go with APC and get the support needed rather than dealing with a third company, plus, I've dealt with their support and is not nearly as great as that of APC.

    I'm sorry KVAr, but no!

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 8/1/2007 5:36 PM (in response to Corey)

    Care to share what third party battery you used? I'm not a battery dealer, so I'm not biased towards any specific brand.

    Even with quality battery packs, just like perishable food goods, mishandling in supply chain spoils them. If you buy from a small supplier with a slow movement, you might end up getting one that's sat around for years in a warehouse.

    One of the test units here have a generic equivalent of APC RBC6 installed in 2003 and 50% load runtime test showed runtime is still very close to the runtime specified in the manual. Of course, it was not mistreated in anyway. UPSs less than 5 years old with completely dead batteries are usually a result of mistreatment. If a UPS is taken out of service and left unused, it's not unusual to find the battery ruined after six months.

  • jkh
    Jeffery
    New Member
    New Member
    Jeffery 8/1/2007 5:47 PM (in response to KVar)

    I just installed a APC replacement battery in my CS350
    The Battery is a GP 1272 F2 (general purpose) , 12 V , 7.2Ah made by CSB battery Co LTD in Taiwan.
    APC just put some stickers with its name over the actual battery Markings.
    http://www.csb-battery.com/english/01_product/00_overview.php
    Spec sheet can be viewed here: http://www.csb-battery.com/upfiles/dow01185759588.pdf
    APC is using a 3RD party battery manufacture and I would have no problem doing the same if the cost
    savings made sense to do so.

    Message was edited by: jkh

  • Sgt._Slaughter
    Jeremy
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Jeremy 8/1/2007 6:21 PM (in response to Jeffery)

    Hello,

    APC does use some 3rd party manufacturers for our batteries. For more info on which brands and MSDS sheets, you can use the following link:

    http://nam-en.apc.com/cgi-bin/nam_en.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=564

    Thanks.

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 8/1/2007 7:55 PM (in response to Jeffery)

    We use Universal Battery brand. The battery is warranted through the distributor for a year.

  • It_Guy
    Bill
    New Member
    New Member
    Bill 9/6/2007 8:26 PM (in response to KVar)

    I was buying APC brand but the cost was extravagant for the same quality.

    I buy from http://www.batteryspec.com they also have longer run time batteries for some applications.

  • Sharing1
    Terry
    New Member
    New Member
    Terry 10/3/2007 6:52 PM (in response to Andrew)

    Any one that wants a personal answer to there questions, please get a hold of Herman.
    24/7 365
    866-574-1555

  • Aartie
    Stacey
    New Member
    New Member
    Stacey 10/17/2007 5:41 PM (in response to Andrew)

    There are several companies out there that will actually replace the batteries for you and clean out your UPS. I use a lot at my company, so that's usually what we do.

  • TheNotoriousK.M.P.
    Kevin
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Kevin 10/17/2007 6:21 PM (in response to Andrew)

    I have come across a few threads in here which discuss the pricing of the APC batteries as opposed to the OEM batteries. Please keep a few things in mind when going through an OEM distributor for a battery purchase. First, the OEM distributor will most likely have something similar to the battery installed within your UPS, however, APC cannot be 100% sure of that, therefore, will state that it is unsupported. Secondly, installing a non-APC battery may have an adverse affect on your UPS functionality, and therefore, is still unsupported. In response to the price of the batteries; nothing is stated that the batteries must be purchased from APC directly. APC is a channel friendly company and APC condones purchasing through the channel. Channel partners are more likely to provide a lower cost to their customers as part of being an APC reseller or distributor. To be absolutely sure that you are not doing anything wrong, or voiding any existing warranties or EPP policies, just purchase through the reseller chain. That way you will know that the product you are receiving is intended for your UPS, and you have saved some money instead of purchasing through APC direct. And as previously stated, you would be given a 1-year warranty on the battery (or a 2-year if purchasing a CURK which you cannot purchase OEM), and that way if anything occurs because of the battery, the turnaround time on a solution is faster.

  • SecretSquirrel
    Secret Squirrel
    =S= Representative
    Secret Squirrel 10/17/2007 6:58 PM (in response to Andrew)

    It is important to note that a UPS's specifications, such as runtime, recharge time and battery life expectancy are related to the specific battery cartridges and battery manufacturers approved for use by the UPS manufacturer. These battery manufacturers have been approved following extensive DVT testing of the UPS.

    Use of batteries manufactured by unapproved battery manufacturers, will result in sku'd runtimes, recharge times, as well as possible battery damage. Using a certified APC replacement RBC will ensure the UPS will operate as designed. Due to the many potential issues for customers using unapproved battery manufacturers, APC considers such situations to be unsupported.

    * In addition, you will find that the use of a transmission shift kit and the modification of your automobiles exhaust will void most Automotive Manufacturers warranties, as these modifications effect the cars performance.

  • KVAr
    KVar
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    KVar 10/22/2007 6:26 AM (in response to Secret Squirrel)

    The Notorious K.M.P. wrote:
    I have come across a few threads in here which discuss the pricing of the APC batteries as opposed to the OEM batteries. Please keep a few things in mind when going through an OEM distributor for a battery purchase. First, the OEM distributor will most likely have something similar to the battery installed within your UPS, however, APC cannot be 100% sure of that, therefore, will state that it is unsupported. Secondly, installing a non-APC battery may have an adverse affect on your UPS functionality, and therefore, is still unsupported. In response to the price of the batteries; nothing is stated that the batteries must be purchased from APC directly. APC is a channel friendly company and APC condones purchasing through the channel. Channel partners are more likely to provide a lower cost to their customers as part of being an APC reseller or distributor. To be absolutely sure that you are not doing anything wrong, or voiding any existing warranties or EPP policies, just purchase through the reseller chain. That way you will know that the product you are receiving is intended for your UPS, and you have saved some money instead of purchasing through APC direct. And as previously stated, you would be given a 1-year warranty on the battery (or a 2-year if purchasing a CURK which you cannot purchase OEM), and that way if anything occurs because of the battery, the turnaround time on a solution is faster.
    When I worked on APC UPSs, I used Universal Group batteries. They perform to public specs. We'll load the UPS with generic batteries, charge them up, load it with a known load and compare the runtime against published data.

    Stale batteries fail this test, but this is not something unique to generic batteries. APC batteries too fail the test if they've been stored too long and allowed to sulfate. Most battery suppliers offer some warranty. The CURK is more or less the battery + extended warranty and extended warranty hardly pays off in a statistically significant way. (25 units w/o extended warranty and one or two failing early cost less than extended warranty on all 25 units).

    If you have existing warranty on your UPS, it's foolish to mess with aftermarket batteries, because, APC will replace your battery, free of charge, under pre-existing warranty.
    Secret Squirrel wrote:
    It is important to note that a UPS's specifications, such as runtime, recharge time and battery life expectancy are related to the specific battery cartridges and battery manufacturers approved for use by the UPS manufacturer. These battery manufacturers have been approved following extensive DVT testing of the UPS.

    Use of batteries manufactured by unapproved battery manufacturers, will result in sku'd runtimes, recharge times, as well as possible battery damage. Using a certified APC replacement RBC will ensure the UPS will operate as designed. Due to the many potential issues for customers using unapproved battery manufacturers, APC considers such situations to be unsupported.

    * In addition, you will find that the use of a transmission shift kit and the modification of your automobiles exhaust will void most Automotive Manufacturers warranties, as these modifications effect the cars performance.
    Dealerships like to say this, but the burden is on the warranty provider to prove that the unauthorized parts/modifications directly caused the failure. they can't void the warranty on your transmission because of your use of after market exhaust system, or void the warranty on air conditioner for using generic brake parts.

    Message was edited by: KVAr

  • Tooncesmom
    Suzanne
    New Member
    New Member
    Suzanne 12/10/2010 4:17 AM (in response to Andrew)

    I recently acquired a BK650M, used, out of box with no instructions. I downloaded the installation guide for set-up. It appears to be charged (plugged in over 11 hours, light green). Was in use until a month ago.

    I don't know how old this unit is: serial number is: PB0007120298.

    Everything plugged in correctly, using all four main battery plugs for computer (Dell Dimension 5150), monitor, all-in-one printer and Comcast modem.

    When I try the self test, everything shuts down, which tells me the battery isn't working (I think), and when I power up the printer, the system reboots.

    I've never used a backup before, only a surge protector. I'm thinking I should give this one back to the person who gave it to me.

    Any answers?

  • clarkson
    Rob
    =S= Representative
    Rob 12/10/2010 2:14 PM (in response to Suzanne)

    The printer may be overloading it. Try with a small test load, such as a lamp. Plug in the lamp, turn on the unit, see what happens. If all looks well, pull the UPS power cord from the wall to simulate a black-out and see if the lamp stays up. If it doesn't it could just be the battery. You're going to end up putting some money into this some how and its already 10 years old. You may just want to trade it in via APC's Trade-UPS program.

  • Tooncesmom
    Suzanne
    New Member
    New Member
    Suzanne 12/10/2010 3:59 PM (in response to Rob)

    Thank you for responding. I wondered if the printer was causing the problem, so I rerouted it and the modem back to the surge protector and now have only the computer and monitor attached.

    I'll try the lamp test, also pulling from the wall socket rather than testing with the "test" button.

    I assumed this unit might be that old, but the price (free) was good.

  • Tech_Data_APCSE
    Deron
    New Member
    New Member
    Deron 12/12/2010 9:11 PM (in response to Suzanne)

    Tooncesmom,

    Nice thing is thanks to this free UPS you may replace it with a new one through the Trade UPS program, as was mentioned, and save a few bucks. It is definitely a good idea to use a UPS if you are dealing with any data you wouldn't want to get corrupted if you have a power failure. Just make sure that the equipment you have on the UPS will not draw more watts than the UPS can support.

    You can do this through APC's Trade UPS link. If you have a reseller you work with they can help you do the Trade UPS also.
    Link: [http://buy.apc.com/commerce/storefronts/tradeups/tradein.aspx?storefrontcode=apcetu&countrycode=us&tradeups_id=]

    In looking at the serial number you can tell when this unit was manufactured.
    PB*0007*120298
    The third and fourth digits, "00", designate the year the unit was made.
    The fifth and sixth digits, "07", designate the week of that year.

    The Replacement battery for the BK650MC (APC does not show a BK650M) is the RBC4. This battery retails for $69.99
    A brand new BE650G would retail @ $79.99 The Trade UPS cost will be slightly less.
    Link: [http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BE650G]
    There are definite advantages to the new models. Refer to this link for the features...It is well worth it...
    Link: [http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/DFAH-84QQXR_R1_EN.pdf]

    Hope this helps. Happy Holidays.

    Peace,
    Deron Braun
    Systems Engineer supporting APC
    I do not work for APC but am a presales support engineer helping resellers for a major distributor.

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