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1500 caught fire

Discussion in Back-UPS & Surge Protectors started by Peter , 9/16/2017 3:25 PM
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  • pahlroos
    Peter
    Novice Novice
    Peter 9/16/2017 3:25 PM

    Hi

    we have (had) three Back-UPS Pro 1500 units, they're used twice a year during national examination and keeps two low-end desktop pc:s running. These are 18 months old, every period they are used five times, 6 hours per occasion. One of these units showed the error code F02 for a short while, restarted the unit and then it started as it should. After five minutes smoke appeared, and then fire. Not that much but fire alarm started, fire department came but we had put out it. Luckily we didn't have 50 pupils sitting there.

    My question is: is it dangerous to use the two other we have? We don't have the burned unit anymore, fire department took care of it.

  • RandyH
    Randy
    Apprentice Apprentice
    Randy 9/16/2017 10:10 PM (in response to Peter)

    Peter,

    Sorry to hear about your issue.

    Battery backup fires are quite uncommon to the best of my knowledge.  They have circuitry built in to help ensure that they are safe.

    It is most likely that the cause of the fire you experienced was a BATTERY FAILURE rather than the battery backup unit itself.

    If the batteries are not maintained or changed, they can eventually dry out, overload and go into thermal overload which can result in a fire.

    The best way to avoid this is have a maintenance schedule and replace the batteries before they fail and on a pre-set schedule.  Purchasing batteries directly from APC is further assurance of quality.    I am not in any way paid, compensated or given ANY consideration whatsoever by APC.   I buy my batteries and backup units just like the next person.   But I do have a number of them, quite a bit of experience with batteries and charging and lead acid battery maintenance.

    Hope this helps

    If you had been able to retain the unit, a qualified electrical inspection could have been performed.

  • UnexpectedBill
    William
    Apprentice Apprentice
    William 9/17/2017 5:34 AM (in response to Peter)

    As another poster suggested on another thread, I'd see about getting the burned unit back from the fire department and contacting APC support by telephone. APC and Schneider Electric may be very interested in seeing why it failed.

    I'd view this as a highly isolated occurrence, but just to be safe, someone ought to keep an eye on the remaining two units.

    The fault code indicates that a short circuit was present on the output at some point. The smoke and later fire were probably from electronic parts burning out, and I seriously doubt the batteries were directly responsible (other than by supplying a large quantity of electrical current to the faulty parts and thus causing extreme heat buildup). Even in the case of failed batteries, the charging circuit cannot provide anything like enough current to start a fire.

  • wpasquil
    Bill
    =S= Representative
    Bill 9/18/2017 3:02 PM (in response to Peter)

    Hi,

    You should contact local support immediately for assistance. http://www.apc.com/fi/en/support/contact-us/index.jsp

  • Samlun
    Sam
    New Member New Member
    Sam 1/1/2018 6:01 PM (in response to Peter)

    I had the same issue, I didn't have the 1500 but had another model. We had 2 different units catch fire in 2 different offices within the same building. An employee called my office stating his battery back up is on fire, I ran over there and contained the smoke (no actual fire was seen but heavy smoke coming out of the unit). 5 minutes later, I get back to my office only to see my office wall was on fire from my battery back up. I was able to contain the fire by quickly unplugging and grabbing the unit out of the office but not before it left some damage to the wall and the office had horrible smell for days. We still have the burnt unit. At the same time, we have upgraded and increased the power strength in the building. We were told that due to the increase of power use (heaters) in the building, the power was weak and it busted a few APC battery backups and surge protectors.

  • pahlroos
    Peter
    Novice Novice
    Peter 1/1/2018 6:50 PM (in response to Sam)
    On , said:

    I had the same issue, I didn't have the 1500 but had another model. We had 2 different units catch fire in 2 different offices within the same building. An employee called my office stating his battery back up is on fire, I ran over there and contained the smoke (no actual fire was seen but heavy smoke coming out of the unit). 5 minutes later, I get back to my office only to see my office wall was on fire from my battery back up. I was able to contain the fire by quickly unplugging and grabbing the unit out of the office but not before it left some damage to the wall and the office had horrible smell for days. We still have the burnt unit. At the same time, we have upgraded and increased the power strength in the building. We were told that due to the increase of power use (heaters) in the building, the power was weak and it busted a few APC battery backups and surge protectors.

    We got our units picked up and replaced without questions, but I wouldn't buy that explanation you got about weak(?) power, whatever they mean by that. If that would be the case, why doesn't computers and other stuff break? "Surge protector" means variations in power will be justified, and surely no warning that "weak power" usage causes fire...

  • wpasquil
    Bill
    =S= Representative
    Bill 1/8/2018 1:11 PM (in response to Sam)

    Hi,

    Sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact local Schneider Electric technical support at 1-800-890-4272 and they will work with you to get the unit replaced. 

  • alternety
    Hal
    Novice Novice
    Hal 1/13/2018 1:11 AM (in response to Bill)

    Randy's response seems completely wrong. Generally, lead acid batteries, pretty much never, catch fire. Particularly gell cells (no significant Hydrogen emissions). Hence it is a problem

    Sending it back to APC is not a solution. We (owners) need to know what is happening and what mitigation needs to be applied. APC providing a replacement is not addressing the problem of someone having their house burn down. Bet APC won't cover that without an extended legal battle.

  • RandyH
    Randy
    Apprentice Apprentice
    Randy 1/13/2018 2:47 AM (in response to Hal)
    On 1/12/2018 10:11 PM, Hal said:

    Randy's response seems completely wrong. Generally, lead acid batteries, pretty much never, catch fire.

    Thanks for completely discounting my reply as "completely wrong".  You cannot know this for certain so that is an erroneous statement.

    IF......a lead acid battery is allowed to dry out and/or has hydrogen in it, then adding current to that mixture has been known to result in a fire and or explosion..

    I stated that IN THIS PARTICULAR case, it seems that was possible....not absolutely the cause.

    Here's some information on Lead Acid Batteries and the "potential" for fire.   Yes, it happens occasionally.

    https://www.concordia.ca/content/dam/.../EHS-DOC-146_LeadAcidBatteries.pdf

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