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  1. #1
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    Question Replace APC Battery or Buy New One?

    Would anyone have a recommendation for me regarding replacing a battery in an APC battery backup unit versus buying a whole new unit? It's the first such unit I've had so am not sure which decision makes better sense.

    The APC is about 4 years old. It indicated today that the battery is soon to go out.

    As far as price, it looks as if a new battery would be about $45 and a new unit, $90 (at newegg).

    Thanks for any advice,

    Linda

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Personally, I would replace the battery. It's normal for UPS batteries to deteriorate over time and 4 years is about average. The rest of the UPS doesn't deteriorate (or shouldn't, by comparison, unless there's a fault... in which case it's usually a sudden complete failure rather than a gradual decline in performance).

    The only time I've replaced a UPS instead was when a failing battery bulged so much that I couldn't extract it without damaging the rest of the unit.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-12-24 at 07:23.

  3. #3
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    If it were an older unit, then replacing it might be best. But at 4yrs, probably keep it. However.....

    Look carefully at what your actual needs are. You may need less than you did when you got the old unit and new models are less expensive and more efficient with newer features as well.

    Also check for sales this time of year. I just got a nice little unit to backup my cable modem and wifi on sale for $30.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I've successfully replaced the batteries in 2 APC units with non-APC batteries (much more cost effective). You can check out YouTube for videos on how to do it for your specific unit (mine were dual battery units so it was not a straight slide in / out procedure as you had to carefully take apart the batteries, they were wired together w/a frame, and put it back together. However, with the help of the YouTube video it was piece of cake.)

    Here's a link to the batteries I purchased.

    HTH
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    RG

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    Thanks so much, Rick, gsmith and my Lounge friend, Retired Geek. As always, I'm blown away by the helpfulness of your responses and the support you each provided.

    I think I'll go with a new battery as the unit has been well cared for and in a "clean" environment (a home office).

    One clarification:
    I've successfully replaced the batteries in 2 APC units with non-APC batteries (much more cost effective).
    I am always nervous about not using the manufacturer's items. Is it safe/sensible to go with a non-APC battery? I'm the kind of person who always uses HP ink in her HP printer (although I do use non-HP paper!!).

    Linda

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Personally I have 2 CyberPower PSU's and one had a battery die after about 5 years. I went to Amazon and found the exact CyberPower battery for a pretty good price. In other words, know the battery model # and you can probably find one pretty reasonable on Amazon.
    They aren't hard to change out.
    Good luck

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Linda,

    That's what the Amazon Reviews are for (of course you read them carefully and look for patterns) and often the YouTube videos will provide experiences with different battery suppliers. Like I said both of my large units 1500 & 1250 each using 2 batteries have been running smoothly on the off-brand batteries for over 2 years w/o problems. As always YMMV!

    [Rant ON] IMHO replacement parts are a rip-off! I once talked with a gentleman who worked in the Auto Industry his whole life. He asked me what business I thought the car manufactures were in. I said "selling cars". His reply was WRONG! They are in the Parts Business. Try building a car from replacement parts and you'll quickly see what he meant. The same goes for any electronics supplier that engineers their products to use non-standard parts. It's the old Gillette company's idea give them the razor sell them blades for ever! I often marvel at the lengths HP goes to to try to prevent you from using 3rd party cartridges, not to mention that their printers tell you the cartridges are empty before they are! (their excuse is that it affects print quality?). Just so you know back in the day I was a big HP supporter when the made the LaserJet II, it was built like a tank and printed forever on a cartridge. That hasn't been the case for over 20 years now! [/Rant OFF]

    HTH
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    RG

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    Replacement batteries won't be exactly the same thanks to improvements in technology. You now get more capacity in the same space, which is good, m'kay.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    I am always nervous about not using the manufacturer's items. Is it safe/sensible to go with a non-APC battery?
    It's highly doubtful that APC made the battery that goes with it's units. They are rebranded batteries from "reputable makers".

    There are a number of battery distributors that sell the same thing under the original name or under some other branded name. You can usually go by the ratings at places like Amazon. Also, be aware of add on shipping charges. Shipping and handling has become a profit center for many distributors so they will sell something at a discount and make it up with a shipping charge that's significantly higher than cost.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Would anyone have a recommendation for me regarding replacing a battery in an APC battery backup unit versus buying a whole new unit? It's the first such unit I've had so am not sure which decision makes better sense.

    The APC is about 4 years old. It indicated today that the battery is soon to go out. ...
    1. Download the manual for the APC unit and read the swap instructions (very easy but sometime not obvious).
    https://www.apc.com/prod_docs/result...e=8&value=none

    2. I usually buy from a local vendor (chain) BatteriesPlus. Buying from online vendors can induce high shipping prices due to the weight of the lead acid batteries.
    https://www.batteriesplus.com/batter...-conversion%29

    Another vendor may be in your area, or buy online if that is they only option. I have replaced my batteries in the UPS' I own, all from APS, for decades. My first UPS (shutdown app was written for OS/2 which is why I bought it; necessitated by a damaged power line voltage surge taking out my CPU) from the mid-80's finally died this year after seven battery replacements.

    All of my replacements have been 3rd party batteries. All have lasted 4-6 years. Several dozen batteries in all over the years, since most of my units now take 4 batteries. Never really had any I wished to stay away from or I thought were better than the others.

    You can either take the battery in with you or they will charge a "core fee" which they will refund when you bring the old battery in. APC batteries had two terminal types one wider than the other (one designated -F2); model dependent. Otherwise the only difference in the batteries is the number of amp hours (AH) they claim to support.

    3. As to which makes the most sense that is a good consideration. If you can't find the battery(s) for a better price then that is a very realistic question. The unit will degrade over the years from electrical hits (surges) it takes rather than your attached equipment. Eventually it may lose some protection ability. But usually they have pretty good self diagnostics. I have only had two UPS' fail on me over the years; one due to age and the other took a surge for the team. And I use my older units on equipment of lesser value (the aforementioned first UPS I ever owned died in my guest room protecting an old XP based PC I had for guest use). So replacing with a new unit on more valuable equipment makes good sense and should be weighted against the value of battery replacement.

    4. Sometimes those batteries get seriously distorted and swollen up from overheating when they near failure. They may require some effort to slide out.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-12-23 at 11:06.

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    These units are still Lead-Acid correct? I am leery of big Lithium batteries from some place... Those Hoover boards that are burning down houses come to mind. Cheap electronics and powerful chemistry are a bad mix...

    David

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  12. #12
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    I am truly overwhelmed...but in a wonderful way. Thank all of your for your detailed, thoughtful input. You've given me all I need and more to make a decision. Appreciate the shared experiences and the suggestions, too.

    Just so you know back in the day I was a big HP supporter when the made the LaserJet II, it was built like a tank and printed forever on a cartridge. That hasn't been the case for over 20 years now!
    That was our first laser printer, RG, and I loved it. It lasted forever, printed superbly...it was still running when I donated it (due to space reasons) a few years ago!

    Cheap electronics and powerful chemistry are a bad mix...
    Hear, hear!

    Will do more research and "suggestion digestion" and post back re. decision (the weird but positive thing is that the alarm did not go off when I turned on the unit this morning!).

    Many, many thanks to all of you...and best wishes for a very merry Christmas and holiday season!

    Linda

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    By way of update to all the great Loungers who helped...the issue went away right after my last post. I thought it had just been a technical blip. Well, that was until last week, when the red battery light (and its accompanying irritating beep) started up each time I turned on the APC. Looks as if the battery is truly in need of replacement.

    I'll reread all suggestions and post back with outcome. Ah well...at least I had a few days of hope in not having to do anything!

    Linda

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    Take care with the battery connectors - label them if it's not obvious. I've killed a UPS by connecting the battery the wrong way round.

    cheers, Paul

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    Great advice, Paul. Thanks.

    I've been getting this message lately (since the "new" beeping and flashing battery light started). Does this mean I will need a new unit or is it just APC trying to upsell?
    APC Message.JPG

    Linda

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