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UPS battery backup questions
Old 05-20-2018, 08:26 PM   #1
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UPS battery backup questions

OK... I have a UPS that I use for my TV/DVR system just in case we have a short term power failure so that it does not loose all my info and will keep recording if it is short... it has helped out a number of times...


Well tonight we had another power blip during a thunderstorm... but the backup did not work... and now it will not turn on at all...


Just took out the battery and the 12V batter is measuring a whopping .47V... that is correct... I checked out a regular battery just to check and got 1.47 so it is reading correctly...

So, I do not think this battery had been there that long... maybe a couple of years as I think I replaced it, but cannot find where I bought the battery... the system itself is a good many years... maybe 5 to 7 years old...


My question is how long will one of these last? IOW, is there a life expectancy for them?


Would it not turn on if there is no or low battery? I do not want to buy a new battery and then find that the backup itself is DOA...


OK.... did a bit of youtube searching and it will not turn on if the battery is low... so I at least have that.... so how long should you use the unit itself?
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:07 PM   #2
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OK... I have a UPS that I use for my TV/DVR system just in case we have a short term power failure so that it does not loose all my info and will keep recording if it is short... it has helped out a number of times...


Well tonight we had another power blip during a thunderstorm... but the backup did not work... and now it will not turn on at all...


Just took out the battery and the 12V batter is measuring a whopping .47V... that is correct... I checked out a regular battery just to check and got 1.47 so it is reading correctly...

So, I do not think this battery had been there that long... maybe a couple of years as I think I replaced it, but cannot find where I bought the battery... the system itself is a good many years... maybe 5 to 7 years old...


My question is how long will one of these last? IOW, is there a life expectancy for them?


Would it not turn on if there is no or low battery? I do not want to buy a new battery and then find that the backup itself is DOA...


OK.... did a bit of youtube searching and it will not turn on if the battery is low... so I at least have that.... so how long should you use the unit itself?

Of course within limits you can increase the size of the battery in the ups (an external battery for example connected to it). A lot of UPSs come with small capacity batteries meaning a short span before they run out of power. Of course one has to be concerned if the UPS has strong enough cooling to run a long time.

If you want a long time you can essentially build a ups yourself. Buy an inverter charger with sufficient capacity to run what you want and a battery of sufficient size to run the stuff for the period you want. (Essentially you adopt tech that is used in RVs and boats to enable folks to go without running the generator.
The inverter charger plugs into the 120 v line, charges the battery and switches to the inverter in 20 ms if the power fails. Amazon sells all this stuff. An alternative to more directly mimic the high end ups is to buy a separate inverter and charger (with the charger big enough to handle the load plus charging) and you have an even more stable power situation.

Youtube has videos on home built upss.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:27 PM   #3
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I have had SLA (sealed lead-acid) batteries in the UPS going dead after a few years, even though the UPS was plugged in and power was never lost and it was never activated.

Meierlde was right that the internal UPS batteries are sized so that they run out of juice at the rated load after perhaps 10-15 minutes. The electronic circuit does not have sufficient cooling (no fan!) to be able to run continuously at the rated output. Hence, it is hazardous to add a larger external battery to extend the run time.

About doing what some RV'ers do, I don't think a homeowner cares to have anything larger than a compact UPS the size of a toaster sitting by his computer or DVR. It's hard to make it aesthetically pleasing for the home. I have been spending a lot of time to rearrange and mount my large 100Ah lithium batteries, the 2kW inverter, and my other homebrew electronics in my class C and to have them concealed inside the kitchen cabinet, yet also accessible for maintenance and monitoring.

Back on the UPS, you can buy replacement batteries but sometimes it is easier and cheaper to buy a whole new one when it is on sale.

Reminds me that I have 3 UPS without batteries sitting in the garage.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:54 PM   #4
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OK... I have a UPS that I use for my TV/DVR system... My question is how long will one of these last?

I bought a Cyberpower CP1500PFCLCD UPS for my computer system back in 2010. The original batteries quit holding a charge about five years later. I tried to save a few bucks and bought generic aftermarket replacement batteries. Unfortunately, they lasted less than year before they needed to be replaced again. The second time around I bought genuine replacement batteries and am now two years in and they still hold a full charge.


Anyway, I'm still on the original UPS I bought back in 2010, but am on my third set of batteries. I'm guessing the batteries will need replacing every five years or so, but have no idea how long the UPS itself will last.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:34 PM   #5
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I bought a Cyberpower CP1500PFCLCD UPS for my computer system back in 2010. The original batteries quit holding a charge about five years later. I tried to save a few bucks and bought generic aftermarket replacement batteries. Unfortunately, they lasted less than year before they needed to be replaced again. The second time around I bought genuine replacement batteries and am now two years in and they still hold a full charge.


Anyway, I'm still on the original UPS I bought back in 2010, but am on my third set of batteries. I'm guessing the batteries will need replacing every five years or so, but have no idea how long the UPS itself will last.
I have an APC of similar size and age. I've been getting an average of 3 years for a set of batteries before the UPS starts giving me warnings. IT folks at my former MegaCorp told me at one time that this is a typical lifetime for batteries in these kind of units. I'd say you were doing great getting 5 years.

I've noticed with a couple of smaller UPS units at home that batteries tend to last longer than the bigger ones. Not sure why.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:27 AM   #6
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Yeah - I think there is a life expectancy. We usually replace batteries every few years.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:47 AM   #7
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5 years is a long time for ups battery to last. Should have been a warning but maybe that feature was left out for cost.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:47 AM   #8
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Think of these like car batteries, they go bad over time even if they don't get used heavily. Cheap batteries are just that, cheap. If you run the battery real low and it's not a deep cycle battery, it won't last that long. Make sure you have surge protection on the battery back up so surges don't kill the unit. And remember to size it for the time you want the backup to keep devices operating.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:42 AM   #9
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5 years is a long time for ups battery to last. Should have been a warning but maybe that feature was left out for cost.

I don't remember ever seeing a warning from my UPS. I only discovered the batteries were dying when we had a power outage. I can usually run about 70 minutes on battery power, so when my run time was only 5-10 minutes I knew it was time to get new batteries. So they were probably dying long before I discovered it.



My CP1500PFCLCD does have a self-test option in the control program, but I have to run it manually. That translates into I never do it.


The cheap aftermarket batteries I first bought only gave me about 30 minutes of run time from the day I installed them. That should have been my first hint that the batteries weren't very good quality.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:54 AM   #10
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I agree that the batteries will not last, but what about the unit?


IOW, should you replace the unit on some kind of schedule as the protections it gives diminish over time since it also is there for surges?


I am looking at putting in a bit larger battery.... from what I have seen on youtube the chassis is the same... the 550 and the 750 Belkin... so I would not be as worried....


BTW, I have it so my DVR does not lose all the programming info.... if you get a blip then it has to restart and download everything... I am not trying to watch TV when the electricity is out.... when it does go out I turn off everything I can so it uses as little as possible... it will last for hours so not overheating....
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:58 AM   #11
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I have two APS UPS's. (700 series) One is for my entertainment center (big flat screen, DVD player and DirecTV receiver.) It will hold for ~15 mins which is more than enough time to get the generator up and running to pick up the load. Which happens 6 to 8 times a year around here. (Yes the storms here in central and east Texas were pretty bad yesterday but we needed the rain) The other is for my Internet "stuff". Because of the light load, it will hold for a couple of hours before needing generator backup. I've been using these things for 20+ years and it seems that I replace them about every 5 years. Cheap insurance, that I use/need frequently.


BTW, I don't bother with just replacing the batteries in these smaller UPS, they are cheap enough just to buy new units. IMO...


Another thought. I seem to recall that (once upon a time) the units would start to beep and/or an indicator light would come on when the unit needed to be replaced or repaired. I remember that happened once. Now I just replace them every ~5 years.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:20 AM   #12
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should you replace the unit on some kind of schedule as the protections it gives diminish over time since it also is there for surges?

The APC web site recommends replacing the UPS if you've owned it more than five years. But I got five years on my first batteries, so that seems a little premature to me.


Obviously, if you have a major power surge you might want to think about replacing the UPS. Otherwise, I would probably just replace batteries two or three times before replacing the UPS. Mine is almost 8 years old and still works great, though I have no way of knowing if the surge protectors are still intact. No smoke or pops so that's probably a good sign.


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I have it so my DVR does not lose all the programming info

In addition to regular computing tasks, I record TV shows on my computer, and my computer controls lighting and other devices around our house also. So I keep my computer on 24/7 and the UPS covers most short power outages. Thankfully, I don't lose any of my TV programming info if the computer does shut down with long outages.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:35 AM   #13
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Texas - what is the cost of the replacement battery? What is the rating of the UPS you have (or what is it you need to keep that DVR alive )?

You might want to consider a new one with Lithium, I'm assuming a good quality Lion will last longer than the SLA (Sealed Lead Acid)? New ones also have USB ports, which might be handy in a power outage.

Here is one that will supply 100 watts for 23 minutes (their spec), for ~ $55:

https://www.amazon.com/APC-Protector...ywords=BE600M1

I see replacement batteries for that device for ~ $33, those prices may come down a little by the time you need a replacement.

And there is a next-size smaller unit (~ 70% the capacity) for $43.

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Old 05-21-2018, 08:40 AM   #14
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We have an APC XS1300 UPS that we have had for years. I replaced the (2) 12 volt batteries at about the 5 year mark. The only way to know that the batteries had declined greatly in capacity was to pull the AC plug, with loads attached and operating, and step through the display to see the Estimated Run Time In Minutes. It had decreased quite a bit from new.

The batteries pulled out as a unit, which I could then unwrap the tape from, unplugged the battery wires in the module, then separated the two batteries from the carrier. Added new batteries, plugged in the wires, and taped in up. Did this rather than buying a whole new plug-in battery module as a replacement from APC, which would have been $$$.

For rechargeable batteries of this type, I usually use Power Sonic, or Yuasa. Both have been in the rechargeable battery business for a long time. I designed some products in the late 1970s-early '80s that used Power Sonic batteries, and later Yuasa was a source. Both are quality companies.

I looked up what I used for the APC, a two-pack with the F2 type terminals I needed. The price has gone up $2 since two years ago, the link has the current price. A single battery can be bought for ~60% of the cost of two. I needed two. I would not recommend buying an extra rechargeable battery to have it lie around 5 years till it may be needed

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:23 PM   #15
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1-3 years is average, IMHO. But it depend on whether you're home when the power goes out. If not, and the battery drains all the way (you don't turn the UPS off), then it will not live long. BTW, if there is a massive power surge, then the UPS circuits may be fried, and it may be time for a new one. This is based mostly on APC UPS experiences over the past 2 decades.
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