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UPS problem

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

UPS problem

I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas what is wrong with my UPS - APS SMART-UPS ES 550
I little while ago it started saying there was a problem with the battery - it wouldn't fully charge. Fair enough I've had it some years so I bought a replacement battery. Fitted it and according to the Powerchute software it is now taking the full charge and the estimated battery time is 45 minutes - I thought all was well again.
Today the house RCD tripped (I don't know why) and the PC died instantly.
I have tried testing the UPS with just a power strip with a neon indicator light, when power to the UPS is cut power to all the sockets on the UPS - it's just not providing backup power at all. The Power On light on the UPS stays on and it emits the 30 second interval annoying beeps to say it's in backup mode.
Any ideas?
Edit: I did confirm that the old battery was dead - I tried putting it on a standard 12V battery charger after I removed it - it wouldn't take any charge.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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23 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Re: UPS problem

The inverter is broken?

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Re: UPS problem

Measure the voltage across the battery while the UPS is operating. If it drops suddenly then it could just be another duff battery - it is not unknown for SLA batteries to be kept on a shelf for years before being sent to a customer.
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

Indeed you do get duff batteries. I ordered a replacement car battery online years ago and it turned up covered in what i thought was condensation. Fitted it to the car, 3 days later the thing was flat.
Others will go for years without so much as a hiccup.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

Quote from: picbits
Measure the voltage across the battery while the UPS is operating. If it drops suddenly then it could just be another duff battery - it is not unknown for SLA batteries to be kept on a shelf for years before being sent to a customer.

I've got a 12V cold box that plugs in to a cigarette lighter socket - I think I'll take the battery out and try that rather than mess about when the UPS is live.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Superuser
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Re: UPS problem

Jelv, We've a few Smart UPS's in the office and I've just had a chat to one of our hardware engineers. He said that you need to do a 'run time calibration' after changing the batteries. Apparently you need to put a load of approx 50% on and then initiate the calibration from PowerChute which switches to battery power automatically. I did ask how that's going to work if it won't power when you dropped the mains but apparently using the calibration procedure should force it to deliver power on battery.
Unless of course you do have another fauly set of batteries!
Let me know how that goes...
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

There's no option to do a run time calibration in the version of Powerchute that came with this UPS (it's using Powerchute Personal Edition 3.0.2). Cry
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Superuser
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Re: UPS problem

I'll see what we've got here...
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

I've just tried the on-line chat support from APC. Too complicated to do via chat so he rang me - from the Philippines!
It sounds like the unit is dead - but he's sending me a procedure to do a manual recalibrate.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Superuser
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Re: UPS problem

Yes, I've just found that
Quote
Follow these steps to do a proper manual calibration on your APC UPS:
1. Battery must be at 100% capacity when the Runtime Calibration is initiated/started. (charge the UPS for 24hours prior)
2. The UPS must have 30-34% load on it during the calibration (Constant load, try: lamps, computers, monitors. Measure load % by PowerChute)
3. Disconnect the serial/USB comm cable from the UPS (you don’t want PowerChute to shut down equipment)
4. The battery must be discharged completely  (unplug UPS from wall outlet, let the UPS to shut off completely due to a discharged battery).
5. Remove the attached load (ie – lights, computers)
6. Let the UPS charge for 8 hours while OFF (plug back into utility power, press OFF button when UPS turns ON)
7. Turn on UPS (run time should now be accurate)

Did you still have the serial cable connected ( to PowerChute ) when the power dropped ?
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

That's the same as he as sent me - but as it's not sending power to the sockets even for seconds it's not going to run the battery down.
I'm rapidly reaching the conclusion it's dead! Cry
Edit: I've just looked to see when I bought this unit - September 2006. The first battery did well to last this long!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Superuser
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Re: UPS problem

Quote
I'm rapidly reaching the conclusion it's dead!
Sounds like it might be Sad. I had hoped that it was PowerChute thinking the battery was dead and that disconnecting the serial would stop that. I'll ask another engineer on Monday when I'm back in the office, I know he's changed a few battery packs in APC SMart UPS's in his time.
Community Veteran
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Re: UPS problem

I've taken the new battery out and connected a computer case fan to it. It's drawing 0.24A. When I put it on at around 9PM last night the battery was reading 12.75V. It's now reading 12.53V.
How far do you think I should run it down before putting it back in the UPS and trying again to make sure the UPS is charging the battery?
Edit: Looking at http://www.mmbalmainauto.com.au/PDF/State_of_charge_12_volt_batteries.pdf I think I need to increase the load.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: UPS problem

A UPS which is operating at 75% efficiency and with a load of 400 watts will be drawing around 44 amps from a battery.
12v batteries also have something called "surface charge" which confuses readings unless they have been under a load for a certain amount of time.
A car headlight bulb is a good load - they should last around an hour on a fully charged 7ah battery although be warned, they get *very* hot.
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Re: UPS problem

Now got an electric cool box hooked up - drawing 3.2A. The battery is rated at 7.0AH
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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