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Battery Backup unit (Cyberpower CPS1500AVR) Battery Testing

Wayne Barron
Wayne Barron asked
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Last Modified: 2018-12-20
Hello All;

My backup unit keeps running the fans like it is running on Battery.
It does this about every 30 minutes or so.
It started doing this a few days ago.

I disconnected all equipment from it, except the following:

1 PC
1 Monitor
1 Modem
1 Router
1 Switch

Unplugged the Backup unit, and the above devices took the backup unit down in 8 minutes.
This used to take about 20-30+ minutes to take it down.

I took the battery tray out and tested the batteries, and these are the readings I received.

1 - 13.41
2 - 13.44
3 - 13.65
4 - 12.30

Any thoughts on these readings, on rather they are good or not?
Thanks, All;
Carrzkiss
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Principal Software Engineer
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Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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@Dr. Klahn
Super great information. Thank you!!!

OK, since these batteries lay on their sides.
I read that after filling with water, you need to drain the excess water from the batteries and then reassemble and insert into the side-down position of the unit.

Your advice on that?

Also.
The unit is warm, like it has always been.
never heated up to the point of needing to run the fans.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Don't overfill the cells above the level of the fiberglass matting.  Then there won't be any excess water to drain off.  Aside from that, the electrolyte is concentrated sulfuric acid and you don't want to be draining that out of the cells.

Once the plastic cell covers are back on the cell nipples and the battery top is back in place, the cell can be replaced in the original position.  If at all possible I think it would be prudent to place the unit so that the batteries are oriented cell top up.  Then outgassing can't cause expulsion of electrolyte.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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This is a video I did for the Manufacture of the UPS.
And you can see how the batteries fit in the case.
I positioned the video to show the batteries in place.
https://youtu.be/10WfTczIj5s?t=3m36s
So not sure if there is a better way to put the batteries to have them on one side.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Unfortunately Youtube is blocked on all systems here.  If you could post a picture instead ... ?
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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Commented:
Here is a screenshot from the video.
The batteries lay down in a tray.
And that tray is then pushed inside of the case.
The case lays on its side.
However, with the Standup (Of which I do not think I have any more)
It would stand it up on its side.
Of which would put the batteries.
One side up / one side down.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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The screenshot didn't come through, sorry about that.  Easiest way is to use the picture icon between the CODE and ? buttons at the top of the comment editing sub-window.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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Commented:
That was my fault.
I forgot to click the [Upload File] Hum, one of those days. :)

Batteries for UPS system.
Once I add water to the battery, can I put it back in the unit and let it take a charge that way?
OR
Should I take it somewhere to have a slow charge put on it?

I am thinking that it should be OK to put it back in the unit and let it charge it that way.

Also.
Is there some kind of glue or something that I can use to fasten the lid back into place?
Gerwin JansenTopic Advisor
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Those are Maintenance Free batteries - you should not open them - that's why they're called Maintenance Free... Can you find a date of manufacturing on the batteries? You just may have to replace them because they're end-of-life.

Can you post a close up of the text on the label?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Those look like the usual 12-7 or 12-9 battery. (Second number is deliverable amp-hours).  Mounting them sideways was a poor design decision by the manufacturer, as one side of the fiberglass web ends up out of the electrolyte.

In this case I'd want to charge them externally with a float charger, top up if necessary, charge again, and then re-seal and re-install them.  If there's a Harbor Freight nearby, a float charger is not expensive.  I hesitate to use an auto charger as they can deliver enough current to overheat cells and cause them to short or bulge.

If a battery charges back to normal, once the rubber nipples are back on the cells I use cyanoacrylate "super glue" to close up the cell covers again.

Last time this occurred on one of our larger UPS units I bought a much larger SLA battery for the same price as the two small ones, and extended the leads out of the UPS case to the battery.  Ugly but easier to access for maintenance and it runs twice as long.

Side note:  As Gerwin says, no matter how well a battery is maintained eventually it will reach end of life due to sulfation and substrate flaking.  For some organizations it's not worth the trouble of maintaining batteries, just use 'em and toss em.  If internal recharge time for a tech is $100/hour, it's probably cheaper to do that as it costs more than the battery is worth just to replace it.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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@Gerwin
Here is the batteries I purchased nearly 2 years ago.
http://www.replaceupsbattery.com/UPS-Batteries/CyberPower-CPS1500AVR-Batteries-Set-of-4/?utm_campaign=map&utm_medium=email&utm_source=yotpo&yotpo_token=f6f52e0fa7874faa8ee7e36f114ca55a49dd7f27

@Klahn.
I will check in on the float charger
The nearest location is about 45 minutes away to a Harbor Freight.
Cheaper just to pick one up at Walmart. Closer, less gas.
Gerwin JansenTopic Advisor
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Commented:
$60 for a set of 4 replacement batteries is not that expensive I think. Depending on the price of the charger, I'd maybe just replace them.
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12.3 Volts is a bit low for a fully charged 12 V lead acid battery.  It's time to replace it.

You might as well replace the whole set if it's more than 4 years old.  You basically won't have as much Amp-Hours left as they decrease over the years.  If they've been discharged below 80% capacity, you should subtract about 6-9 months from the life of the batteries.  The 4 year time is based on a maximum of 40% capacity on the UPS.  If you have an outage every quarter, the batteries need replacing after 2 years if you wanted the systems to have sufficient uptime to allow for graceful system shutdown.  Yes the batteries may last 5-6 years, but on those last years, their isn't sufficient Amp-Hour capacity and will power off before the systems shut down.

This also depends on the total current load your system places on the UPS.  If it's at 100% capacity, you probably need to replace them in about 2 years or 2-3 power outages, whichever comes first, because you won't have the capacity for a safe shutdown, which is the whole point of having a UPS.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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Commented:
Thanks, to everyone for their input on this issue.
I bought a charger from Walmart for under $10.00
I have the battery out, and the top off added water (distilled)
And have it on a trickle charger right now.

You know, if it works, it works.
If it does not work. Then I will purchase a single battery replacement.
Or, I will hold out until next month, and purchase a set.

@Klahn
You said that I could replace the 4 batteries with 2.
Could you provide a little more information on that, please?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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You really should purchase them in a set of 4, just to keep them consistent.  How old are they?
Gerwin JansenTopic Advisor
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2 years - read above ;)
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How many times has it been cycled below 80%?
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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@SerialBand
Cannot answer that question.

@Klahn
Thanks for the information.

I tried to go to the fleabay.net and it gives me this error.
(Accessing it through Google search)
Access Denied
You do not have permission to access the page on this server.

Seems they have an issue with new people going onto the site :)
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web Developer
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Commented:
OK.
The trickle charger ran on it for near about 24 hours.
I checked the levels every 6 hrs and added additional water to 3 of the cells.
In the end, the cell next to the Posi lead, would not charge up.
It stayed at a constant 1.5 - 1.9
While the others range from a 5.4 - 11.9
Overall, 12.6 v across the leads

It is gone.
I put it back in-line with the others until I can get either 2 big ones
OR 4 of the same size one.

Thank you, Klahn.
You provided me with a LOT of very useful information, and I thank you for that.
I learned a lot of the last few days messing with this.

Most people would just replace and not worry about it.
I love to learn how to do new things, and I cannot stand just replacing.
If there is the slightest of hope, that I can bring something back to life.
I will try it, and if fail. At least I can say that I gave it my best shot.
And in this case. I paid $10.00 for something that is going to come in very handy as the days go on.

Wayne
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