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18 Month Old UPS Flashes Battery End of Life Warning | Smart-UPS & Symmetra LX / RM

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18 Month Old UPS Flashes Battery End of Life Warning

Discussion in Smart-UPS & Symmetra LX / RM started by Kevin , 6/10/2021 6:20 PM
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18 Month Old UPS Flashes Battery End of Life Warning

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  • Hello,

    We have two SMT750 UPSs that are flashing a "Warning: Battery End of Life" on their displays. I am new to my position so am unsure of the exact date the units were installed. The manufacture date is Feb 2020. Both units pass Self-Tests. I am unable to calibrate the batteries as they are connected to network hardware. 

    Is it possible these units are not actually in need of a battery replacement but were incorrectly configured upon installation (i.e. Time and Date settings). Do the units estimate battery EOL based on the install date configured upon initial setup or do they query the battery itself for its life status?

     

    The units are not sounding any alarms. In my experience, one knows a battery is truly EOL once the UPS begins to sound an alarm.

     

    Thank you for any clarification you can provide.

  • I would open the UPS and look at the battery. Each battery should have a time code somewhere. It´s usually one or more letters for the manufacturing week and the year. This does not tell you how long the batt has been in the UPS but it gives you a good int. Assume that batt has been in the storage for a year and then went into use. This gives some hint how long that batt may have been in operation.

    I face a similar problem, I replaced the battery in a ES 700 and did not note the day of change in the Powerchute software.... I now can only look at the time code on the battery to get some hint.

    BTW, when you change the battery, in Powerchute software somewhere is an option where you can set the date of change. Do not forget to do this when changing batteries. Later you can always go back and look in PowerChute for that date.

    Should you be a Linux user, you can do that there as well using the /usr/sbin/apctest command.

  • Really appreciate your help, Malte. I will be sure to note battery replacement dates in Powerchute moving forward. For now, I think I'm just in a holding pattern, and will just have to wait until the alarm starts to know when the batteries truly need to be replaced on these units. When that happens, then I'll implement your method and know when the system is throwing false flags.

     

    I thought I read that a new battery is supposed to last for 5 years under normal use. Does that sounds right to you?

  • When you decide to change the batteries just follow the "brain dead" procedure to reset the UPS itself and after you hook the new batteries the own UPS display will ask you if you are installing new batteries and then you can proceed to set  the present date.  This info will be the one PowerChute will query and show you. 

  • On 6/17/2021 6:03 PM, Kevin said:

    I thought I read that a new battery is supposed to last for 5 years under normal use. Does that sounds right to you?

    I´m anything but an expert regarding batteries in general ;-) but, yes 5 years is a period of time I read somewhere too. If power supply is generally unreliable and the UPS has to step in often, the batteries lifetime may be shorter. But I would never go beyond the 5 years.

     

  • On 6/17/2021 8:56 PM, Roberto said:

    When you decide to change the batteries just follow the "brain dead" procedure to reset the UPS itself and after you hook the new batteries the own UPS display will ask you if you are installing new batteries(...)

    Is this a hot swap procedure? Do you change batteries while the UPS is running or do you shut it down? Recently a Back Ups Pro 550 reported the battery is failing, I shut it down manually and changed the battery, the UPS display did not ask me. But I guess, this is model dependent. I´m not sure, if the more consumer grade UPS are hot swap capable/safe at all...

  • You can't do a brain dead reset as a hot swap procedure because you should shutdown the UPS, remove the battery, unplug the UPS and push the power button for 10 seconds if I recall as to clear any warning. All my UPS have a commercial grade  bypass service switch on a external case which select either the UPS or the utility and allow me to do a maintenance on the UPS without turning off the server or any other devices ( they are plugged instead on the bypass service switch provided sockets). I am a firm believer of Murphy's law LOL. 

  • Thank you for this excellent advice, Roberto.

    Just to confirm: To perform the "brain dead" procedure, I will just hold the power button for 10 seconds the next time I replace the battery. Doing so will present me a prompt asking if this a new battery and I will confirm, "Yes," to reset the system and set the proper countdown on the new battery?

  • On 18/6/2021 12:03 AM, Kevin said:

    I thought I read that a new battery is supposed to last for 5 years under normal use.

    The design life of these batteries is typically 5 years. The battery manufacturer defines design life as "retaining 80% of its original capacity".

    APC units tend to run them a bit harder, so 5 years is ideal and most seem to be thoroughly knackered by then (rather than down to 80%). In most environments we see 2-4 years typically before the UPS cries "enough!". When it's hot "a lot" (Summer ambients at 40C+, then a whisker over 12 months, but that's not really the fault of the UPS as such.

     

  • Great information.

    So my predecessor must have replaced the units or set them up without properly configuring the date settings. I guess I find myself in the mildly frustrating situation of having to wait 2-3 years for the batteries to run their course before I can perform the "brain dead" procedure proposed by Roberto. So in the meantime, I'll just have to look at the false flags telling me the UPSs need a new batteries, when, as a matter of course, they are just fine.

  • This discussion is marked as answered

    As I recall you will hold the power button with the UPS unplugged from the wall and without any battery connected, that should clear the memory. Install the new battery, plug the ups to the wall and turn on the power button, it should ask you if this is a new battery or go to the configuration menu and then select battery install and set the date. 

  • As I recall you will hold the power button with the UPS unplugged from the wall and without any battery connected, that should clear the memory. Install the new battery, plug the ups to the wall and turn on the power button, it should ask you if this is a new battery or go to the configuration menu and then select battery install and set the date.  keep in mind that it's possible yo have to set again other menu options like language , advanced or standard display etc

  • Awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

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