How Often Should Replacement Battery Cartridge RBC Batteries Be Replaced In APC UPS Backup Systems

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For anyone working from a home computer, workstation, or network, you know how vital an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backup power supply can be in retaining your data.   In this article, we will determine how often to replace your replacement battery cartridge (RBC) batteries to ensure they never reach the end of their life-cycle when you need them the most.  We will also discuss the negative impact of waiting too long to replace your RBC battery.  An RBC battery can usually last longer than a year, however, as with any battery, you’ll never know exactly when its lifespan will run out.  When you rely on an RBC battery to provide you with backup power during an emergency situation, you’ll want to ensure your battery is at optimum performance.  For this reason, you should replace your APC RBC batteries before they expire, not after.

Optimal Temperature

By leaving a UPS Replacement Battery Cartridge RBC battery at a constant hot or cold temperature, its lifespan, run time and charge capacity reduces significantly.  Extreme temperatures will also degrade the overall power of a battery.  In order to keep your UPS batteries running at peak performance, make sure to always keep them at room temperature.

Determining When to Replace Your RBC Battery

The average lifespan of the sealed lead acid (SLA) battery is 3-5 years.  Certain APC UPS backup systems have an indicator light that will tell you exactly when you need to replace the battery.  However, this indicator light usually doesn’t go on until the 3-5 year mark.  By this point, the battery has most likely experienced leakage, swelling and/or corrosion. 

The best time to replace your RBC battery is when the warranty on your current battery runs out.  Warranties provide you with a guarantee as to how long a battery is expected to last.  Although a battery may outlive its warranty period, there are no promises that it actually will. As time goes on and as part of the normal aging process, capacity begins to weaken in all UPS batteries. The lower the capacity of a battery results in a shorter run time during a power outage, a time when you need it the most.  This is another reason why it’s so important to replace a battery at the end of its warranty period. 

The Importance of Replacing Your RBC Batteries

If you wait too long to replace your RBC battery, you’ll begin to notice several problems with your battery that can result in costly expenses.  The most common issue is battery leakage and swelling, caused by thermal runaway. Thermal runaway occurs when there is either a problem with a battery caused by weakening of age or the charger is electrically or mechanically damaged.  If either of these instances occurs, the charger will not be able to read a battery correctly, resulting in the battery becoming overcharged and overheated.  Once a battery gets hot, the charger can’t tell that the battery is full and will continue to throw more power into it.  The hotter the battery gets, the more power the charger thinks it needs.  The battery cannot take that power; so as a result, the power turns into heat.  The excess heat can lead to destructive results including leakage of electrolyte into a crack in the battery case, up through the terminals or bubbled up through the vents inside the battery.  If you leave the batteries in this condition for any length of time, you may need to replace the entire uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system.  Proper care and maintenance is needed in order to avoid these costly mistakes. Inspect your batteries periodically for signs of overheating and swelling, especially if you are using them past the warranty period.

Proper Disposal of Your Old RBC Batteries

Old UPS RBC batteries cannot be easily disposed of, because they contain acid and lead that can pose an environmental risk.  In many states, improper disposal would be considered an illegal offense that carries a fine.  The best battery retailers offer a safe battery disposal plan for your old replacement battery cartridge RBC batteries.  They should accept battery recycling donations at their store location for all manufacturers and brands. If you are not located near a battery retailer’s facility, they should be able to direct you to a local battery disposal facility.  Common UPS manufacturers include APC, AT&T, Belkin, Best Power, Compaq, CyberPower, Datashield, Deltec, Eaton, Emerson, Exide, Fenton, General Power, Hewlett Packard (HP), IBM, Liebert, Merich, Opti, Powerware, Sola, Tripp Lite, Toshiba, Unisys, Unison, and Upsonic Power.

In Summary       

Knowing when to replace your RBC battery is simple.  When your warranty runs out on your current UPS RBC battery, it’s time to get a new one.  You don’t want to experience any of the above mentioned problems.  It’s also always important to make sure you are shopping with a retailer that offers a safe battery disposal plan.  The best battery retailers will offer a safe disposal service for your old RBC batteries, a one-year warranty on their batteries, and have a friendly customer service department that is willing to assist you with any questions you have regarding product information, concerns or issues with your RBC batteries. Your RBC batteries in APC UPS backup systems are a huge investment, so make sure you care for them properly and follow the guidelines provided here.

For more questions or to find the best ups replacement batteries in your area, visit or call 877-469-4255.

By jennymwright

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