APC Smart-UPS 1400XL Won't Turn On

Posted on 2012-12-30
Last Modified: 2013-01-03

I have a UPS Smart-UPS 1400 XL with three add on battery packs.  A week ago I shut down the unit because I was going on vacation (yes, first mistake).  After turning the unit off, I noticed that its internal fan continued to spin for sometime.  In a moment of brain freeze I unplugged the unit.  All was fine until I returned today and tried to start it up.  I plugged the unit in and had a constant alarm with all the warning lights lit.  I tried pressing the reset and off buttons, to no avail.  Eventually I unplugged it again.  Now when I plug it in the alarm sounds for 5 seconds, then turns off.  The battery indicator on the right has one led on.  I wait a few minutes and try to turn it on and the alarm sounds.  

Can anyone tell me how to fix this?  I promise to never shut the unit off again!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I am borrowing a neighbor's laptop since with no power my server, internet and everything else is dark in my office.
Question by:MrChip2
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38731976

This could be for several reasons;

1) Make sure Input power is connecetd properly
2) on the back side of the UPS can you see any standb/pass button (in my UPS it was rare side top left)
3)once you give input power "without" switing on ups the fan works or not?

Author Comment

ID: 38731984
Hi Syed,

Thanks so much for helping me out.  I borrowed a desktop UPS and connected all of my networking gear to it, so I now have internet access on my desktop PC.  I cannot, however, turn on my server or NAS devices as they would overload this desktop UPS.

The Smart-UPS 1400XL does have a reset button.  I tried pressing it.  Then after I plugged in the UPS the alarm sounded continuously and all the red LEDs were lit.

I wanted to test the units battery with a voltmeter.  When I opened it up and disconnected the battery from the UPS, I could not slide out the UPS.  Looking at the battery, it appears as if it is swollen.  

Here is a link to the exact model that I have:
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38732032
Sorry for my late reply, i was checking with APC experts in my country....
you have three bateery packs, why dont you check without batteries pack.. plz also disconnect server/dektops power cables and try

Author Comment

ID: 38732110
Thank you so much.  Now it is I who needs to apologize for the slow response.  While trying to get a second computer hooked up to the internet, I lost internet access for a while.

First, I wanted to let you know that nothing is connected to the UPS at this time.

The UPS battery pack is disconnected.  I pulled the connector out using the white chord per the user manual.  I am having a hard time pulling the battery out so I can physically inspect it.  With the battery pack unplugged, as soon as I plug the UPS into the wall socket the alarm sounds continuously and all the red LEDs are lit.  Does this describe what you want me to do?

Author Comment

ID: 38732127
Additional information: The UPS is unplugged, all the front LED lights are off, and there is no alarm.  If I press the Test/On button, all the lights go on and the alarm sounds.  The alarm doesn't stop until I press the off button.
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Syed_M_Usman earned 400 total points
ID: 38732140

"The UPS is unplugged, all the front LED lights are off, and there is no alarm.  If I press the Test/On button"

Make sure Input power is connected....

(|)With the UPS plugged in, press and release the large upper on/test button to supply power to the loads. The loads are immediately powered while the UPS performs a self test

( ) Press and release the small, lower off button to turn off power to the loads. It may be convenient to use the UPS as a master on/off switch for the protected equipment. (refer to atatched)

please ready as i can see there is reset button to reduce UPS sensitivity.

BTW: i face similar issue with APC 10 KVA and after reset it was fine as i post this in my first post.

Author Comment

ID: 38732152
Thanks for your patience.  So I plugged a desk lamp into the back of the UPS to show me if power is working.  I checked to be sure the lamp was turned on.

I plugged the UPS into the wall outlet and immediately the alarm sounded.  I pressed and released the large upper button, nothing happened.  The light stayed off and the alarm kept sounding.  I pressed the small off button and nothing happened.  The only way to shut the unit off is to unplug it and then press the off button.

When I look at the installed battery pack (which is a genuine APC pack), I see that the sides of the pack seem to be bulging out a little and white powdered substance that looks like battery corrosion is visible.

One theory is that after shutting down my server, the UPS fan needed to run for a long time to cool off the unit.  When I unplugged the unit, I stopped this cooling.  Could the lack of cooling cause the battery to swell and fail?  If the battery was bad, would the unit behave like it has with a constant alarm?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38732238

you need to call APC enginner to look into the unit... as
"IF the built in battery pack having issue UPS will behave liek this" Heat, DUST, Water can damage UPS.

i am sorry could not help you much but i spoke to APC enginner in my country and he says" engineer should look the unit"...

Author Comment

ID: 38732261
I appreciate all of your effort.  I'm not sure if APC US support will speak with me, since the unit's warranty expired many years ago.  I will try to call them to see.  I can tell you that there is no chance of water damage.  In terms of dust, a month or two ago I took out the unit and cleaned its fans and used compressed air to blow out dust inside it.  I will keep this open for a day or so in case anyone else has some suggestions.
LVL 29

Assisted Solution

ScottCha earned 100 total points
ID: 38732477
As you said the batteries look swollen they are no longer good or safe.  In all likelyhood you need to replace the batteries and dispose of the old ones.

When handling swollen batteries be sure to wear rubber gloves, old clothes and MOST IMPORTATNLY eye protection.

Swollen batteries can explode and throw sulfuic acid everywhere.  Not something you want to get in your eyes.

Also, this will sound odd but keep a can/bottle of Coke nearby.  In the chemistry world Coke a Cola is a base and will neuralize acid leaks.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38741588
Thank you both.  I spoke with several companies and they think the unit itself has a problem as well as bad batteries.  I found a refurbished UPS with new 3rd party batteries for $250.  I went ahead and ordered it and will dispose of the old unit safely.

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