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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.