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Six Questions to Ask When Replacing UPS Batteries

Did you know…

  • Battery failure is the number one cause of UPS load loss and system downtime.
  • The single most critical element of UPS performance is battery quality.
  • All it takes is one bad battery in a string to bring your systems down during a power outage or other interruption.

Battery performance varies greatly from one manufacturer to another. Making the wrong decision on batteries can have a serious impact on UPS uptime reliability, causing potentially devastating consequences from power interruptions

1. Is the UPS battery manufacturer qualified by the UPS manufacturers? All major UPS manufacturers have qualified battery manufacturers they use for their UPS systems. As a result, companies like Eaton/Powerware and Liebert/Emerson will only use those types of batteries in their equipment.

Below is a list of some major UPS Manufacturers and the related battery manufacturers they qualified:

  • Eaton/Powerware – C&D, Powerware, Deka
  • GE Digital Energy – C&D, Power Battery, GNB
  • Liebert/Emerson – C&D, Enersys, Yuasa, GNB
  • Toshiba – Power Battery

2. Are you getting a multi-year warranty on new battery purchases? Some suppliers or vendors will sell a lower cost battery with a one-year warranty. This is fine but be aware that inexpensive batteries with only a one-year warranty typically means a poorer quality battery. Be prepared to replace these batteries every 1 to 2 years. Batteries with a three-year warranty are going to be a superior battery with a longer lifespan, generally requiring a replacement only every 3 to 5 years.

3. Is the warranty from the battery manufacturer or the supplier/vendor? What happens if the warranty is backed by the supplier or vendor and not the manufacturer? You may have difficulties getting a prompt replacement in the event that a warranty battery goes bad.

4. Are the batteries U.L. listed/approved/compliant? U.L. stands for Underwriters Laboratory, which is the trusted resource across the globe for product safety certification and compliance solutions. From manufacturers and consumers to regulatory bodies and code officials, the U.L.have tested products for public safety for more than a century.

5. Are the batteries new or used/refurbished? New batteries should have a Date Code of less than six months from the date you receive them. Used or refurbished means you’re getting somebody else’s old, used batteries.

With a used battery you don’t know what the battery’s manufacturing date is or how it has been treated by previous owners. Was it run hot and/or frequently discharged? Used batteries will not provide you with reliable performance and their lifetime is not guaranteed.

6. Are the old batteries being disposed of properly by your battery supplier/vendor?  Most batteries are considered to be a hazardous waste because of the lead and acid within the battery. The Universal Waste regulations (March 11, 1995) affected batteries as a hazardous waste and are to be disposed of and recycled properly according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

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