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UPS battery life

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Andrew Rossmann, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. I have a battery I bought for an APC UPS about 4 years ago. I bought 2,
    and used one immediately. I kept the other on the side as I have several
    UPS's that use basically the same battery. Of course, over time, it has
    discharged itself. I measured about 4.3V instead of the normal 12-13V. I
    put it in a spare UPS, which immedialy complains if I try to turn it on.
    Luckily, the UPS charges even when it is off, but slowly. I measured
    about 15mA initially, and after about 36 hours, about 7.5mA. It is
    currently up to about 10.7V.

    How much damage do you think was done to the battery? I know it will
    lose some capacity.
     
  2. There's a reason alarm companies change the sealed lead
    acid batteries annually. Typical life on them is about
    2 years. 4 years on the shelf is well, not good.

    Keeping them charged up at all times is the only way to
    keep them (or any lead cell) happy and useful.

    Jeff
     
  3. PeterD

    PeterD Guest

    The battery is likely 'toast' now, I'd suggest replacing it. If you
    have a compatible desulfating charger you could try desulfating it,
    but I suspect there is little or no hope.
     
  4. >,
    says...
    The battery is physically in good condition. No bulging or anything like
    that. Given how low the charge rate is, it'll probably take another day
    or two to fully charge. I've seen this battery for about $14 at Amazon,
    so it's not that expensive (the shipping is almost as much!) If I can
    get it to the point where the UPS doesn't scream 'replace battery', I
    can then test it to see how well it works.

    I don't have any other real charging source, or at least something I'd
    consider safe. The only 12V source I have is an old Radio Shack
    regulated [email protected] supply, or some wall warts. The charging rate is low,
    but I assume it's probably safer and better for the battery than trying
    to charge it quickly?

    This all came to a head due to a power outage on Friday. The battery in
    one UPS (APC Back UPS 725 ES, 7 AH battery, probably 6+ years old) only
    lasted about 5 minutes powering a cable DVR, VCR, and an RF modulator. I
    wanted to replace it, but this battery was too weak. Another UPS (same
    as the other) running my modem and router ran for an hour before I
    decided to turn it off.
     
  5. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    You can also lower the specific gravity of the cells
    to prolong life. Of course, only applies to *wet* cells.
     
  6. There are betters uses of a sawzall.


    Jeff
     
  7. Per nesesu:
    This begs a question that's been bugging me for years: why
    doesn't somebody make a UPS that hooks up to a 12-v non-vented
    automobile battery?

    Automobile batteries are available at many different
    price/quality points, they're pretty much a universal standard,
    the capacity is there in spades, public knowledge about
    maintaining/replacing them is widespread, and push-comes-to-shove
    in an extended outage, the battery in somebody's car can be
    swapped in for a few more hours working time.

    I guess there has tb a reason... but what?
     
  8. Short term vs long term capacity.

    Automotive batteries really don't like being a long term
    power source. You're actually better off getting a Marine
    battery for that.

    And you probably do NOT want "joe Consumer" dicking about
    with a the current capacity (and capacity for impressive
    flames and smoke) when he hooks it up wrong or drops a
    wrench across the terminals.

    Jeff
     
  9. PeterD

    PeterD Guest

    Automotive batteries are not well suited to long, continous drains
    that the UPS would require. Using a deep cycle battery (such as a
    trolling battery, or an RV battery, would work, but not optimal.)
     
  10. Per PeterD:
    Is that to say with the first power outage and running the
    battery to near-exhaustion (assuming there is a means to control
    how far down it goes) that the battery would be damaged?
     
  11. In a word, possibly.

    The construction of the plates in automotive vs marine (RV)
    batteries are different. The Automotive battery is designed
    to deliver large amount so f current for short periods of
    time.

    The marine batteries are designed to for a long term steady
    and considerably lower) current draw.

    Jeff
     
  12. The battery I'm trying to recover is a PowerSonic PS1270. The UPS I want
    to put it in (the current battery lasted about 5 minutes) is a Back UPS
    ES 725. I'm trying to use an unused ES 350 to charge it for now. It was
    up to about 11.1V this morning. I may try the shake thing another poster
    mentioned, as a last resort.

    Problem is, I buy these things, but then completely forget about them
    until I need them!! It's not too big of a deal, as it's just a
    convenience to try and keep the Comcast DVR powered up as it can take a
    day or two for the program guide to fully reload.
     
  13. David

    David Guest

    I have been following this thread for awhile. Many have talked
    about sulfated cells and you initially said the charging current
    was less than 10 mA. Given the low battery terminal voltage, I
    doubt the problem is a sulfated battery since sulfation leads to
    a high impedance battery and high terminal voltage while
    charging. I would suspect a problem with the charging circuitry
    in the 'spare' UPS you are using for charging. The current should
    be closer to 1A until the voltage rises some more. At ~13.6 volts
    the current should drop off markedly.

    David

    "Andrew Rossmann" wrote in message

    The battery I'm trying to recover is a PowerSonic PS1270. The UPS
    I want
    to put it in (the current battery lasted about 5 minutes) is a
    Back UPS
    ES 725. I'm trying to use an unused ES 350 to charge it for now.
    It was
    up to about 11.1V this morning. I may try the shake thing another
    poster
    mentioned, as a last resort.

    Problem is, I buy these things, but then completely forget about
    them
    until I need them!! It's not too big of a deal, as it's just a
    convenience to try and keep the Comcast DVR powered up as it can
    take a
    day or two for the program guide to fully reload.

    --
    If there is a no_junk in my address, please REMOVE it before
    replying!
    All junk mail senders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of
    the
    law!!
    http://home.comcast.net/~andyross
     
  14. I put the ES 350's own battery back, also somewhat depleted after
    sitting awhile. It's a slightly smaller 3.2AH version. After sitting
    overnight, I was able to get it the UPS to stay in ON mode if I
    unplugged the UPS from power, then plugged it back in. I roughly
    measured nearly 100mA of charge. I tried swapping the other battery, and
    it was back to 5mA. I'm considering that battery toast.

    The battery in the one UPS that lasted only 5 minutes has been drained
    once or twice before, so has lost capacity from that. I'll get a pair of
    batteries to replace both of the ES 725's I have, as both are nearly the
    same age.

    Now to figure out where to safely recycle these. I have a pair of old
    12AH's from another UPS that have been sitting around in addition to the
    ones I'll be replacing.
     
  15. Ace Hardware and Home Depot _should_ have a battery
    recycling program since they sell batteries for tools
    and emergency lighting. (Both NiCad and gell cells.

    If not, look in the yellow pages for a recycling center.

    Jeff
     
  16. Just a note that on that dead battery, the manufacturer date code (how
    to read the code was on the PowerSonic web site) was from December 2002,
    and it had never been used. No wonder it was dead!

    I went and bought 2 replacement batteries. I should have done my
    homework first and looked at what was actually in the UPS's. The battery
    I found on-line was a PowerSonic PS-1270. This is a basic, 12V 7AH
    battery. They are dated from October and November of 2010. The battery I
    took out of the UPS, after removing the APC label, was a BB Batttery
    HR9-12. This is a 9AH HighRate. The PowerSonic equivalent would be the
    PSH-1280FR. The date code for the BB battery is DD021018. Haven't found
    how to read that, yet.

    Just how much life will I lose with these 7AH batteries, and do you
    think the HR rating will make a difference? The UPS is rated 725VA,
    although I only have a VCR and cable box plugged into it the backup
    section.

    Costwise, it wasn't too big a deal. The 2 batteries ($14 each) and
    shipping ($13 for the pair) were about the same as buying a single
    genuine APC battery. I bought them from PortablePower.com, via Amazon.
    They do have the PowerSonic 1280 for $20.50. Any suggestions for any
    other brand that you may trust more?
     
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