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Warning About Some APC UPS and Old Batteries

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 13 years and 288 days ago. Viewed 9,508 times. #4
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APC Batteries Can Smoke Or Catch Fire

(August 2010)

Received this from a client who has some APC Smart-UPS units of the -1500, -3000, and -6000 variety.

I wanted to share this with you guys…

I had another UPS battery melt inside the unit so I contacted APC to find out what the deal was with the melting batteries. After a LONG back and forth, the short answer is: “please note as these batteries; as they get older, they discharge quickly and as it discharge, the ups tries to keep it at 100% charge causing it to expand.”

During my correspondence with the APC support tech, I was advised that APC recommends 2U of empty space above and below each UPS. When I pressed further for the documentation that states this, the guy retracted his statement. I was also asked if I saw smoke or fire at any time. Huh? Is that possible? Yikes!!

Net, net, APC doesn’t have the built in smarts to shutdown a UPS that’s overheating, so melting batteries, smoke, and/or fire are expected end results.

The good news….APC confirmed I can reuse the unit if I replace the battery….but I have to keep a more watchful eye on the replace battery LED (even though they are falsely triggered when current coming from wall drops below 110V). I may look into additional monitoring…later.

My client clarified that they had only personally had problems with the 1500, although people they'd talked to had seen melting and smoke in the 3000.

The bottom line is to replace your batteries when they get old, before they start causing problems.

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