Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sad battery back-up story

So I bought an APC 550 UPS at the Peterborough Costco.  Maybe they hardly go through them, and they're years old.  This thing has a lead-acid battery, and those things have to be topped up once in a while.  This equipment should have a 'best before' date!

It didn't charge.  I couldn't get the voltage past 7 V.   I originally followed the instructions, and it lasted 2 days before the dreaded 'double beep'.  This is all over the Internet, and I followed the reset instructions and it didn't work.  I'm just taking it back to Costco, since the APC support doesn't sound good, and who wants to wait for a battery?  One guy on the Internet had successive failures on returns from the same store, so I guess a whole batch can go bad.  I'll try a different Costco.

Update:  I went back to Costco and got a new one way in the back with the new labelling.  The voltage was 12.7 V.  I ran apcupsd which is the Linux daemon to monitor it, and everything is perfect.  I ran some power tests and it works.  You've got to note that only one half of the plugs are battery backed up. (Duh!!)

The unit is one year old, so these things are good for at least a year.  I wish I could have tested the old one, probably years old.

So lessons:

Get one way in the back.  Kill yourself if you have to.  :)

Check the voltage on the battery right away.  If below 12V take it back.

Run a utility if you can.

Update2:  The official shelf life of these things is 9 months, so a year is pushing it.  If it has maintained a voltage above 12V it is probably not damaged.


Gus83 said...

What is the shelf life once you have it home and plugged in? I was looking to buy one myself but was sure it would be a regularly replaced part. Any idea if the DSL line is still live in a blackout or is only the voice part kept alive as part of the lifeline requirement?

Harold Asmis said...

I'm pretty sure the dsl has the same power as the landline. All those central stations have their own power for the cell phones. I just have the ups on my network and ip phone and it is good for 55 minutes. With the computer it is good for 10 min. Costco also has a bigger one.

Once the batter is topped it is as good as a car battery 5-7 years.

Gus83 said...

Was it the 650 or the 350 VAC from Costco???

I was looking for the same application. I would only power the dsl modem, the net talk adapter, and the portable phone. My inlaws are fed up with their $40/mth home plan because they've visited and used my $40/yr voip plan.

For my place it would be for saving and powering down the main system to switch to cable modem only. I would plug the phone adapter into the USB port on my laptop and probably be good to go for hours...

Harold Asmis said...

Ha, ha, spam again! Mine's the small model at the stores. The bigger one would be double those times. If you put the network on, then the phones and laptops would be good for an hour, or two hours if you could carry out the big one.