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It's that time of decade again, when I have to replace the battery in my SmartUPS 750. So here’s my question... who do I buy from? APC is quite pricey and uses generic batteries anyway, as far as I can tell. BatterySpec and RefurbUPS have been recommended to me, and BatteryGuy claims Underwriters Laboratories certification. Then there’s Batteries Plus, which has the advantage of physical locations for battery swaps. How to choose, and who to choose? Does anyone have any thoughts?
 


I have swapped the battery in several APC Backups 650 UPS's using my local Batteries Plus. Their price is close enough to internet pricing, and the convenience of not having to pay to ship heavy batteries is worth it to me. Also, they give a credit for trade-in of the old battery, without the hassle of return shipping.
 


Prices vary from $24 each (refurbups.com, plus $11 shipping for two) to $40 each, plus environmental fee (Batteries Plus) to $99 plus shipping (APC itself, which hides the battery store from the home page).
 


I have at least a half a dozen UPSs in my home. I purchase the least expensive batteries off of eBay and have done so for at least 15 years. Free delivery right to my front door.
 


Ars Technica said:
New electrolyte recipe keeps lithium-ion batteries from catching fire
Exploding lithium-ion batteries can wreak havoc on airline flights or in waste facilities after people toss their old electronics into the trash. Now, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have come up with a new chemical recipe that could combat the problem.
...
Technically, it's a shear-thickening fluid of the sort used in prototype bullet-proof vests or the "smart armor" first worn by Canadian skiers in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Veith realized that this property could be invaluable in an electrolyte solution, which would solidify in response to impact and prevent the two electrodes from touching.
 


It's that time of decade again, when I have to replace the battery in my SmartUPS 750. So here’s my question... who do I buy from?...
In the end, I went with RefurbUPS, another company that was recommended long ago. They were the only company to let me order by UPS model, rather than battery model, so that if it doesn't fit, it's their fault; their price was good, and delivery by UPS was overnight, because their warehouse is close by. Batteries Plus was attractive for being able to swap, but lots of places take in old batteries.

I've used generic replacement batteries in my house alarm, other APC UPS devices, and Verizon FIOS setup, without problems, but sometimes MacInTouch readers have definite opinions on such things, so I thought it was prudent to check.

Fixing the safety of lithium-ion batteries is a major step forward; the next step will be moving to something without lithium. There are many different paths battery research is taking these days; solve that problem, and a lot of people will be happier.
 


Prices vary from $24 each (refurbups.com, plus $11 shipping for two) to $40 each, plus environmental fee (Batteries Plus) to $99 plus shipping (APC itself, which hides the battery store from the home page).
I recently replaced the two lead-acid batteries in my APS Back-UPS Pro 1000VA with two new ones from my local Batteries + Bulbs store. Cost: $50 each; no core charge as long as I brought in the old cores; also got a 10% discount; plus tax. Good not to have to hassle with shipping the old cores.
 


In the end, I went with RefurbUPS, another company that was recommended long ago. They were the only company to let me order by UPS model, rather than battery model, so that if it doesn't fit, it's their fault; their price was good, and delivery by UPS was overnight, because their warehouse is close by. Batteries Plus was attractive for being able to swap, but lots of places take in old batteries.
I've used generic replacement batteries in my house alarm, other APC UPS devices, and Verizon FIOS setup, without problems, but sometimes MacInTouch readers have definite opinions on such things, so I thought it was prudent to check.
I have been using new replacement gel cell batteries for my various UPS for a long time. My local battery store is somewhat less costly than Batteries Plus. Our local Ace hardware store has some types of gel cells at a somewhat higher price. The Ace hardware store hours can be very convenient. I simply remove the old battery(s) out of the UPS and take them to the local battery store. They compare battery size and also the terminal connector size, so that the UPS cables will plug into the new battery terminals. Most of the APC UPS, especially the larger sizes, are reasonably easy to open up to change the batteries.
 


I've used my local Batteries+ many times over the years, both for UPS batteries as well as things like older cell phones' battery packs, rechargable ANSI cells, etc. I've never had a problem with any of their products. It is nice to be able to bring the battery in and verify that you're getting the correct replacement unit.
 


Most UPS take a 12-volt, 7.2-7.5-amp or 12-volt, 9-amp battery. If larger UPS, they will have a pair in series (usually taped together or doublestick padd). RBC51 is a common part number for some.

I just replaced a set in a Tripplite Smart1500LCD and another in a Verizon ONT (that is a single 12-volt, 7.2-amp-hour). The ONT battery was $14. Verizon wants $40.

I ordered some Cyberpower 650VA UPS for some clients (nice little UPS for their modem/router/gateway).

BTW, I found that some Cyberpower models have a battery door but have a security torx screw.
 


We've recently bought APC replacement batteries from Amazon. Issue: getting the exact replacement. Amazon's search will surface faux items, usually from third parties, or genuine OEM items that aren't quite right. I called in to complain once and was told Amazon search is designed to show things you might want, not necessarily to show exactly what you do want.

Our local Metro Recycle center accepts used batteries.
 



It's that time of decade again, when I have to replace the battery in my SmartUPS 750.
Last time I replaced the batteries on an APC SmartUPS 1000, I got them through Newegg from a company called American Battery Company. Seemed fine to me although the UPS crapped out about two years later.
 


I've been lucky with my APC UPS devices over the years. I haven't had any fail other than their batteries. I had two Cyberpowers; one failed three weeks after I bought it. I spent three hours (literally) on the phone, got a new one, and it failed after three weeks. Hence my current SmartUPS (SmartUPS is nice because of the higher efficiency).

My APC batteries lasted four years. My Tempest batteries from batteryspec.com
lasted four years. I didn't remember replacing them, or I wouldn't have bothered all of you with my questions!

I'll probably take these and swap them out for some old standby batteries in the house that are lower capacity.
 


It's that time of decade again, when I have to replace the battery in my SmartUPS 750. So here’s my question... who do I buy from? APC is quite pricey and uses generic batteries anyway, as far as I can tell. BatterySpec and RefurbUPS have been recommended to me, and BatteryGuy claims Underwriters Laboratories certification. Then there’s Batteries Plus, which has the advantage of physical locations for battery swaps. How to choose, and who to choose? Does anyone have any thoughts?
David,

I purchase batteries from Battery Sharks. Good pricing, reasonably fair shipping charges, and, you can order by UPS model (e.g. SUA750) or RBC number.

I’ve ordered lots of batteries from them and have always received prompt service.

Cheers,
Jon
 


We've recently bought APC replacement batteries from Amazon. Issue: getting the exact replacement. Amazon's search will surface faux items, usually from third parties, or genuine OEM items that aren't quite right. I called in to complain once and was told Amazon search is designed to show things you might want, not necessarily to show exactly what you do want.
You need to be very careful with searching Amazon or eBay for specific replacement parts or products, because listings are prone to errors. Be sure you check for details, and ask sellers for details if you have any doubts about whether or not the replacement part will fit. eBay third-party sellers usually are good in responding to questions; I haven't tried those on Amazon. As George says, Amazon's search can be problematic. For example, it fails to differentiate among editions of my books. Clicking on a search for hardcover copies of a fifth edition linked to a page showing a photo of the third edition, which was six or seven years older. So check carefully that the actual listing matches the category you searched for.
 


Local battery places are always worth checking out. Lead-acid batteries are commodity items. Shipping on heavy batteries can keep pricing high on heavy batteries, and supporting the local economy is always nice. Many battery places that used to mostly deal with automobile batteries as their main product now do battery pack repairs, and solar storage for RVs, cottages, etc.
 


Many thanks for all these alternative sources. I'd been ordering replacement batteries from Amazon for a number of years, but can't say I was ever very confident about what I might end up with.
 


Another thing to remember when shopping on Amazon for items that are sold by both third parties and Amazon itself is that Amazon commingles inventory in its warehouses.* In other words, even if Amazon is the listed seller on a purchase, the warehouse may ship you stock that was provided by a third party seller.

With products like CDs or books, of course, this isn't a big deal. But if, say, you want to make sure you're buying a genuine OEM APC battery or a real Apple power brick, it is very easy to end up with a knockoff or counterfeit... even if you scrupulously avoid buying from third party sellers.

[*related links:]
 


Not to dredge up an old thread, but:

How can I test these old 12V and 6V backup batteries?

For car batteries I have a load tester. For these old UPS batteries, I'd like to see which are still OK for lighter duty, after they do their four years in an APC box. I don't have the electrical engineering background to figure out the best way to do a load test — perhaps someone’s been down that road before?
 


How can I test these old 12V and 6V backup batteries? For car batteries I have a load tester. For these old UPS batteries, I'd like to see which are still OK for lighter duty, after they do their four years in an APC box. I don't have the electrical engineering background to figure out the best way to do a load test — perhaps someone’s been down that road before?
Hook up a high-wattage light bulb (or bulbs) to the UPS, then pull the wall plug. Time how long it takes for the battery to run down.
 


In this case it would be much easier to test the batteries out of the UPS, but that’s actually a pretty good idea. For that matter all I need to do is leave the UPS on — just powering the inverter uses more power, I suspect, than most things I'd plug into it.

I had not thought of actually putting them into the UPS!
 


Hook up a high-wattage light bulb (or bulbs) to the UPS, then pull the wall plug. Time how long it takes for the battery to run down.
If you're going to do this, make sure you plug in a really dumb lamp! Years ago I wanted to test a UPS and plugged in a nice desk lamp that had a built-in dimmer. The nasty pseudo-square-wave output of the UPS blew up the dimmer (though my Mac was quite happy with it).
 


I used a [Compact Fluorescent Light] for this, since I don't care if I blow a CFL. For the record, it was fine.

My results were, for the batteries I have four to ten years old, from varying manufacturers:

1) All three Tempest (from BatterySpec) batteries were bad. Two of these were just four years old. The other one was, I think, six or seven years old. These would not keep the UPS powered for more than three seconds.

2) The other three batteries kept the UPS and light going for 17 minutes, at which time I took them out of the UPS to check voltage. The best, from a 2012 Genesis battery (that's six years), was still good for 12.8 volts. The second best was good for 12.6 volts. The worst was 12.5 volts. That's pretty close, really, and the difference can be attributed to their use.

One was used as a battery backup for an alarm system, and while it did end up being used, it was taken out of service around four years ago and left on a shelf; this one was the ten-year-old. The others were used in UPS systems, one of which was left off most of the time and recharged before major storms, another in an active-use UPS that hasn't seen any major power failures.

I just thought I should check back and report in. Also, FWIW, since my steam boiler can run on minimal power, I have a marine battery on a float charger just for that — when the power goes out in winter, I have a good inverter I can hook up and keep the heat on for a few hours.
 


I used a [Compact Fluorescent Light] for this, since I don't care if I blow a CFL. For the record, it was fine.
I suppose a CFL will give you results regarding battery longevity that can be used to make decisions, but a CFL can't be putting much of a load on the UPS. Have any 100 or 200 watt incandescent? :-)
 


I suppose a CFL will give you results regarding battery longevity that can be used to make decisions, but a CFL can't be putting much of a load on the UPS. Have any 100 or 200 watt incandescent? :-)
The load is ideal in this case, since the batteries will be supporting relatively small loads. A 100-watt heat-bulb would certainly have been faster. I was actually pretty surprised at the life in those little old batteries.

My suspicion is that, when running on battery backup through a UPS, the inverter is responsible for a good deal of battery usage. My test UPS is one of those ancient metal APC units, rated at 250 watts but using the same battery as my somewhat newer 500-watt model (which I retired from active computer duty in 2009 or so, when I got a Mac Pro, which supposedly required a 750-watt capacity and uses the same battery, but two of them, in tandem).

I wonder now if anyone's tested the batteries labelled "7 amp," "7.5 amp," and "9 amp" in the same size. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that some makers just change the label and give you the same battery. I think it's interesting that the APC 250- and 500-watt UPS seemed to use the same battery — at least, they have the same replacement battery spec.
 


If you're going to do this, make sure you plug in a really dumb lamp! Years ago I wanted to test a UPS and plugged in a nice desk lamp that had a built-in dimmer. The nasty pseudo-square-wave output of the UPS blew up the dimmer (though my Mac was quite happy with it).
This will, of course, depend on your UPS.

Some (especially cheaper ones) produce simulated sine-wave output. The quality of that simulation can vary greatly from model to model. It also tends to degrade (becoming more square-wave-like) as the load on the inverter increases.

Other UPSs (e.g. the APC SmartUPS series I like to use) feature true sine-wave output. These shouldn't create problems for sensitive electronics (like that dimmer you were using).
The load is ideal in this case, since the batteries will be supporting relatively small loads. A 100-watt heat-bulb would certainly have been faster. I was actually pretty surprised at the life in those little old batteries.
Clearly, this will depend on what you're attaching to it. My setup (Mac Mini, 24" LCD panel, a few hard drives and cable modem) consumes about 120-150W when loaded and about 85W when idle and asleep. So one or two 100W bulbs is a reasonable test.
 


It’s probably also worth noting that UPS’s vary greatly in their ability to compensate for poor input power and the quality of the power they produce. The cheapest UPS systems produce a square-wave output on battery, rather than the sine wave of line power, which is rough on some types of power supplies. I’d avoid these. Some systems pass line power through unchanged until the point at which the voltage drops enough to switch to battery power.
I have heard people talk about UPS's that put out an actual square wave, but I've never actually seen one. More commonly, inexpensive UPS's generate a stepped sine wave. That is, a sampled sine wave. This is good enough for many purposes, but the high frequency components of such a wave may create problems for some devices. The resolution of the wave (the number of steps per cycle) can vary from model to model and some units will degrade to lower-resolution waves when under heavy load.

Fortunately, there are plenty of models that generate true sine wave output these days, so there is no reason to settle for stepped sine wave output. I've been very happy using APC's SmartUPS series, but they are definitely not the only company making good quality units.

Most UPSs that you are likely to buy for yourself or for a small business will be either of the standby type (where devices operate off of the mains until an outage occurs, then switches to battery/inverter) or the line interactive type (where devices always operate off of the battery/inverter and mains current is only used to charge the battery).

You might find this article, about different UPS technologies of interest: APC: The Different Types of UPS Systems. In addition to the two I mentioned above, it also describes technologies used in very large UPS systems (3 kVA and up).
 


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