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How to figure out if Battery or charging unit on APC is failing

How to figure out if Battery or charging unit on APC is failing

How to figure out if Battery or charging unit on APC is failing


     One of my customer just had a power failure and the UPS kicked in as it supposed but it didn't last as long as expected.  We originally tested it a while back and it used to last a good 45 minutes but this time, after 20 minutes, it cut out.  I can't remember if the load was exactly the same.  What's weird is that, this is the second UPS to fail at this customer.  The first one wouldn't even hold the load for 5 minutes and I took it out of service.  Now this second one is also showing the same symptoms.  They are both APC SUA1000VA Tower models.  It might be a heat issue because it does get hot in the server room (they don't want to put an AC in there).  I'm pretty sure it's the battery but how can I be sure 100% without buying new batteries and discovering it's the UPS itself.  BTW, these UPSes are less than 2 years old.  I thought of swapping the batteries with the last functionning one but I'm afraid it will destroy the batteries on the working one.  I replaced the orignal one that failed with a 1500VA Rack mount version and it has worked fine.  Customer doesn't receive that many power issues other than the usually lower input power in the morning hours and after lunch (when people login and utility power is more used).
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RE: How to figure out if Battery or charging unit on APC is failing

It's almost universal, that the UPS will be undersized for what the customer wants. The batteries in a UPS are constantly deteriorating, that's the way things work, so you will always see less runtime next month than whay you saw last month. In the casse described, don't replace the batteries, replace the UPS with something about twice the size, then monitor it with the software that comes with it. So far as heat goes, does it fall within the opeating specs of the UPC?

Pepperzgm at gmail dotte comm

RE: How to figure out if Battery or charging unit on APC is failing

Well after swapping the batteries, same result so it wasn't a battery or ups charging unit problem.

As for heat, it's a little hot but yeah within operating specs.  It's around 26/27 celsius.  I prefer to have a server room at 18 to 20 celsius.

I always choose the max ups size that I can put on a standard 120v15A outlet which happens to be Smart-UPS 1500VA.  I never put more than 1 server on these UPSes.  Most of the servers that I build/order use up about 700VA so I put about 50% load.  I tend to also split the telcom (router, modem, firewall and switches) equally on each of the upses which they all typically draw 1A on 120V.  Most customers are satisfied with 30 minutes of uptime and we rarely have power failures.  However this customer wants to boost that to 1 hour or an 1:30.  I used APC's selector and now I'm getting quotes for another model of APCs with extra battery packs.  Only problem now is that we don't have enough space in the rack to accomodate 18U of UPS+batteries...  Still working on it.

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