20 year old UPS w/ new battery?

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by GotNoRice, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have two APC backup power supplies from the mid to late 90's. One is a Back-UPS 450, the other is a similar APC unit from the same model line but a slightly smaller unit (forget exact model)

    Both batteries have long since died. Replacement batteries go from $20-30 each from what I see.

    These would be used for devices that only consume small amounts of power. One would be used just for a Arris Cablemodem, the other would be used just for a Netgear WiFi access point.

    Any issues using a 20 year old UPS with a new battery?

    img1302_600.jpg
     
  2. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    My main home APC UPS was manufactured in 1998. Although it is a SmartUPS 1400XL server model. I have a few of similar models to the above. The single battery or 12V ones don't tend to last.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  3. Simplyfun

    Simplyfun [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, the main caps get shitty over time and considering the price point of this consumer grade gear I don't really advise investing in new batteries. I mean Costco usually has little fresh APC type UPS for low grade stuff like you are doing for quite cheap.

    375 W for 40 bucks https://www.costco.com/CyberPower-6...with-Surge-Protection-.product.100293160.html
    650 W with decent standby time for 120 https://www.costco.com/APC-1080VA-Power-Saving-Back-UPS-with-8-Outlets.product.100123292.html

    Tigerdirect carries 250W units for as little as 40 bucks with a five dollar ship... they generally have the best price on brand name UPS...
     
  4. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

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    You shouldn't have any issue with one of those in the pics. Those are pretty nice UPSs.

    I know some of the el cheapo ones from years back required being plugged into a computer via a cable (serial or usb) otherwise they just didn't work properly.
     
  5. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Limp Gawd

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    The problem with these UPSes is the filter capacitors on the control board have usually expired and need to be replaced. They also eat batteries because they tend to be poorly ventilated and run really hot.

    I have a similar UPS that was made in 1996 that I recently recapped and modified to add a fan because it gets really warm just being plugged in. Unless you want like repairing old equipment, I'd recommend just getting a new more efficient UPS.
     
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  6. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    You should also look at Craigslist. Also if your in a larger area, check for commercial auctions. I've found very high-end PC stuff going for dollars cause it ended up at some commercial auction sight and no one really cared.

    It's easy to get commercial glass door commercial beverage coolers for around $150 or less that cost around $1200 - 1800 new in my area.

    Lot of these businesses that go out of business have decent office equipment sometimes.

    I've seen tons of commercial UPS gear over the last few years. I never pay it no mind.

    This is another viable option for you.
     
  7. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Limp Gawd

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    UPSes are plentiful at second hand stores and if your local garbage dump has a store, you can often find them there too. I got a $450 APC UPS for something like $7 which just needed batteries.

    Lots of people throw away UPSes because they stop working and don't know that many UPSes will not even power on without a good battery installed.
     
  8. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Timely thread since the battery in my 20 or so year old server level Liebert UPS seems to be going on the fritz.
     
  9. Simplyfun

    Simplyfun [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's different, If it's something that expensive and it functions well in load tests then routine maintenance is all that's required. How big is it scaled at the moment?
     
  10. Orddie

    Orddie [H]ard|Gawd

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  11. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you can get replacement cartridges cheap, just keep using it until it stops working. Why throw it away prematurely?
     
  12. frankmansal

    frankmansal [H]Lite

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    I use a 12 year old APC at my work with new batteries of course, just check all the cables for burns or open wires. If all is good go for it.
     
  13. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was able to find a good price on a battery that fit, and decided to give the old Back-UPS 450 a shot. It seems to work great so far. I put the voltage meter on there and thought it was interesting that it drops down to 110v once it's on battery power (as opposed to 120v). I'd guess the newer units probably don't do that. In testing, it went over an hour on battery just powering the Cablemodem. I'm not sure how long it would have actually lasted, I just got tired of waiting.
     
  14. sybreeder

    sybreeder Limp Gawd

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    I have same UPS. It's bulletproof :) mine still works. Only battery needs to be changed.
     
  15. michalrz

    michalrz 2[H]4U

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    Old APC Upsen. To this day I grin when I remember how I literally FOUND one covered in dust stuffed under a desk.
    It was powering a small telephone exchange. It must have gone about 10 years without so much as a battery change.
    Also, APC tends to be nice enough to provide a neat little door on the bottom of the casing to allow for easier battery exchange.
    I love those things.
     
  16. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

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    I had an older one like that. It died on me so I replaced it with a used newer one that has an LCD. Nice part about LCD is it can give you an estimated run time.
     
  17. Jorona

    Jorona 2[H]4U

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    If you have a serial cable, you can do projected run time with the old ones too. Powerchute still works with ancient APC UPS.

    I have a unit like that too. New batteries and its good to go. Modding a fan onto it would help it out, but it's fine as is.
     
  18. Jorona

    Jorona 2[H]4U

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    I missed this post before. there are dip switches on the back of the UPS that can adjust the output voltage. You might be able to get it closer to 120v. I'm pretty sure mine is at 115v.
     
  19. Tesla1856

    Tesla1856 n00bie

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    It should be fine, but the circuits inside do take a beating over the years or caps go bad eventually. I keep all my APC units in a spreadsheet (usually around 10). I have them on everything including TVs and Home Theater.

    I used to replace their batteries indefinitely, but now-days I limit it to 2-3 exchanges (so each unit has a useful life of 8-15 years). I swear-by APC but I have seen very old APC units eventually die or even smoke. Also, some of these older units don't have useful features like "surge only" ports, or a way to completely disable speaker alarm.

    Since this thread has like-minded users, I was wondering if I could present some related questions for discussion:

    1. Does anyone believe that genuine APC "RBC" Replacement cells are any better than a properly manufactured and spec-ed (Volts, Amps, and size) generic gell-cell battery?

    2. Any recommended brands or manufacturers of generic cells, and where do you get them (for out-of-warranty APC UPS units)?

    3. Has anyone else noticed that all gell-cell batteries are getting extremely expensive? I had a BackUPS ES 550 (BE550G) from 2012 start complaining about battery health the other day. It's also been shutting down about once a month. So battery inside is 5 years old and worn out (normal). So, I jump on Amazon and RBC is $40 and while new BE550G is $60 with free ship. Catch a sale at local Staples or OfficeDepot might be $50 out-the-door. Something seems wrong here.

    4. Where do you get gell-cell batteries locally in your town? They used to be under $20 at local computer warehouse store, but not any more. I wonder here the alarm companies or big Server and IT maintenance companies get them ?(locally or including shipping)
     
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  20. michalrz

    michalrz 2[H]4U

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    1. For one thing, when you're buying a battery,bring your own voltmeter and check if it's not some old stock with just 8V on the terminals off the shelf. These last less in my experience. Should be like 12.5. Also,the actual maximum tolerable drain current can vary and that's hard to prove. At least you get peace of mind that APC won't complain if something happens. Better? Dunno.

    2. -

    3. Been at around 15$ for like 8 years where I live & buy.

    4. Local shop. No point in ordering due to the weight.
     
  21. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is the battery that I ended up buying:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055NWG3G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Everything has worked great, especially given the circumstances. The UPS is in an outdoor shack that is barely protected from the elements. During the last 2 months it has been mostly 100F+ during the day and 50-60F at night, with significant stretches of 110F+ during the day. In the outdoor shack which is exposed to the sun, it is probably 150F+ during the day at least. I'm actually pretty curious how long it will work like that but we are already past the worst heat of summer so things are looking good.
     
  22. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Limp Gawd

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    Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I had an APC BackUPS (either 1000 or 1500, don't remember which now) that worked well for about 3 years. Kept indoors at nominal indoor temperatures (68ºF - 80ºF). One day in the spring the Air Conditioner crapped out and the indoor temp got up to about 87ºF. Took a couple days for the A/C to get fixed but all seemed good afterward. About three months later the UPS started complaining about the battery. A little over three years is a bit short for the batteries but I ordered some new ones anyway. When the new batteries showed up I pulled the UPS to install the new batteries. When I opened the BackUPS I found that the batteries had swelled up so badly that I could not pull them out. I had to basically disassemble the entire unit in order to get the batteries out! The were a melted mess! Installed the new batteries and reassembled everything. About a year later the whole unit crapped out. Would only emit a continuous tone from the speaker. No power to the outlets, not even a power or fault LED on the front, just dead other than the speaker. Also had a couple of APC "power strip" style UPSs that basically died in the same way (minus the melted battery) so I switched to CyberPower and haven't looked back since.

    Point being that UPSs DO NOT like high temperatures. At all! In my experience APC seems to run hot anyway and when you put them in a hot environment they don't hold up very well. This is especially true when they run in inverter (battery) mode - they generate much more heat when running off battery. And heat kills batteries and internal components.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  23. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Limp Gawd

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    First, let me correct your terminology. These types of batteries are not "gell cell" but rather Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries, very similar to what you use to start your car. Secondly, these are not "cells" but batteries. A group of cells makes up a battery. These SLA batteries (as well as the battery in your car) is made up of six 2 volt cells to make a 12 volt battery. People generally call AA, AAA, C, and D cells batteries but they are actually cells. 6 volt lantern and 9 volt batteries are actually batteries since each one is made up of multiple cells - 4 "F" cells in the case of the 6 volt lantern battery and usually 6 "AAAA" cells in the 9v battery. Now with that out of the way...

    1. NO. APC batteries are not any better than a generic battery of the same specification.

    2. I did some research on brands several years ago but I lost the data due to file corruption. Last batteries I bought were from Battery Mart over 6 years ago. Bought a couple of these house brand batteries and they worked just fine.

    3. EVERYTHING is more expensive than it was 5 years ago! Do a little shopping. I did a Google search on "BackUPS ES 550 (BE550G)" and the very first thing that popped up was a battery at Walmart for $17.99. Here is a generic one at Amazon for $16.75 w free shipping. Here is one at Battery Sharks for $14.19. Here is one at Battery Mart for $12.95 or a higher capacity for $21.95.

    4. Locally, try Walmart or Interstate Batteries.

    Hope some of this helps you or other like minded users.
     
  24. Jorona

    Jorona 2[H]4U

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    I use Keyko AGM batteries when I rebuild my UPS's. I usually get 2-3 years out of plain old SLAs, but I have a Back Ups 650 that's been going strong for nearly 6 years on the Keykos. It's be relegated to my TV setup awhile ago, but it has been solid for quite some time.