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UPS battery pointers

2 Oct 2012 7:00 PM -

APC supplies replacement battery packs, identified as RBC2, RBC4, etc., complete with wires, fuses and connectors as required depending on the UPS configuration and requirements. On the larger models, more than one RBC may be required.

In order to maintain your warranty you must use genuine APC battery packs but there is no reason not to "roll your own" battery pack on out of warranty units.

Regardless of brand most UPS's use one of three common sizes of 12-Volt SLA batteries: 7, 12 and 17Ah. The most common and most economical UPS battery is the 12Volt 7Amp-hour (12V 7Ah) size because it is produced in large quantities by the manufacturers, is widely distributed, is readily available and is relatively inexpensive. 

If buying your own batteries then you need to be careful of what terminal style you have - small spade, large spade or bolt.

The smaller UPS's (under 1500VA) use batteries with "quick-disconnect" spade terminals, which are sold with either 3/16in (4.35mm) and 1/4in (6.35mm) terminals. Electronic wholesalers tend to only carry the small terminal batteries. Specialist battery stores will carry a better choice. All the APC SmartUPS and BackUPS models use 1/4in. terminals.

The larger UPS's use batteries with large terminals with holes for bolts. The position of these terminals on the top of the battery is not always the same. Manufacturers may produce the same basic battery with different bolt-terminal locations. Depending on the type of fuse you are attempting to re-use, your new battery might not work because the terminals are in different locations than on the original batteries. You will need to find out which battery model your fuse is designed for.

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15 Dec 2012,10:03 AM - Shaun Clarke
With APC and EATON 7Ah battery packs, if the UPS is out of warranty you can re-use the old tray with it's cabling and just swap out the batteries.

APC units tend to use a rather strong double-sided adhesive though, presumably to discourage this.

Just be careful if you do this - double check your wiring and make sure you reconnect the batteries correctly and don't short circuit or reverse the polarity to any battery!