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Replacing Your UPS Battery

December 7, 2012

Written by: Randy Walker

Do you know how to tell if your UPS battery needs to be replaced? How can you find the best new UPS battery replacement if you need one? What are the steps you should take to find the right battery for your power supply and replace the existing battery? Here are some tips to help you diagnose UPS battery problems as well as find the best deals on a new battery and replace your old one.

Understand Your UPS Configuration

Do you have a single UPS or more than one in tandem or a parallel configuration? Some large servers have more than one UPS backup just to be sure that the server will never risk a power loss. Check your configuration to be sure you know how to identify all UPS batteries connected to your system, and begin installing a UPS battery replacement

Identify the UPS Battery that Needs to be Replaced

You can check on your battery periodically by updating the calibrations on the UPS battery. This is a process that should be included with your UPS’s software. If you are unsure of how to recalibrate your UPS’s battery sensor, you can check with the battery’s manufacturer for instructions or software. The battery sensor will tell you when the UPS needs to be replaced, usually by flashing a light and making a sound While there is no standard battery that fits every UPS battery, most are gel-cells in formats such as 12.0 V and 7.2 amps. However, even if you know the voltage and amperage of your UPS battery you may also have to choose between a standard use, cycle-use, or high-current use battery. The one you choose dependents on the conditions under which you operate your UPS. Standard batteries are most often used to power minor low-energy backups such as alarms or emergency lights. UPS batteries that power servers or other important and constant-use systems may need a high-current battery. Be sure you know what type of UPS you are using before you purchase a replacement.

Locating the UPS Battery

Most UPS batteries are located on the bottom side of the unit. There should be a button you can push to release the battery and slide the replacement into place. If there are positive and negative wires to be connected, be sure that you have them on the right terminals to avoid damaging the unit or the battery.

Replacement and Disposal of the UPS Battery

Choose a time for replacement when there is little risk that your server or system will shut down. If your system shuts down while you are replacing your battery, it could cause damage. If you have more than one UPS backup, replace batteries one at a time. Be sure to check the replacement schedule for your battery. Most UPS batteries require replacement every two years for those supporting critical operations and every three to four years for non-critical backup systems. Batteries cannot be thrown away; they must be recycled. Contact your local recycling coordinator for instructions on disposing of these batteries.

Replacing a UPS battery can be very simple if you follow the manufacturer's directions and observe basic safety precautions.

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