It seems like it was only a year or two ago that I got my APC 1500 UPS battery backup
. Wait, it was just the other year! Christmas of 2012 to be exact. It's only been 2 years and 3 months and already this battery is as dead as a doornail. I looked up the lifespan of the battery and it was supposed to be good for 3 to 5 years. So I feel like I got a little short-changed.
Rather than drop another $200 bucks on a new UPS, I decided to do a search online for a replacement battery. Luckily, APC sells them separately. I ordered one from Office Depot since it was cheaper and had free shipping. However, right after my order I received an email that said batteries needed special clearance for shipping and that the order needed to be verified. That took 2 weeks. Once I got the email that it was ready for shipment, I had it 2 days later. A ridiculous process.
In any case, the battery shipped in a generic looking "won't find this at retail" box and arrived safe and sound.
I had already pulled out the old battery 2 weeks ago when I ordered this one. It was really starting to smell weird. It's always put off a chemically-bleachy smell that was sometimes really nauseating. I can't describe the smell other than "hot electronics". Anyone who's smelt hot PCB knows what I'm talking about.
At first, I just thought it was that "new electronics smell", and that it would subside or time. It never did. I wonder if this battery was defective all along. When I powered the unit down, unplugged everything, and opened it up to take the battery out, I was really surprised to find that the battery was red hot. That's never a good sign. If you remember the old unit that I had, in which this one replaced, it actually started to smolder and stunk up the whole house for days.
I wonder if it was only a matter of time before this battery started to cook. I hope it was the battery and not the unit. I'd hate to have just wasted $70 bucks on this battery.
I plugged everything back in and powered it up. It gives me a half an hour of runtime. That's plenty. Before replacing the battery, I had zero. I get enough blips on the line that the computer drops out at least once a month. It's really annoying. When I'm in the middle of rendering a 3D image
or something, I can't have the computer just shutting off.
I had my fingers crossed that once the battery reached a full charge, it wouldn't have the same electronic-stinky-smell that the other one had. I let it sit for a day and all was good. Now I was really convinced that there was something wrong with that original battery, because honestly, it smelt bad from day 1. I contacted APC and told them my story. I'd hate to think I just dropped $70 bucks on something that's potentially some kind of warranty failure. Not only did I receive a timely response from APC, but they said what I described is covered under warranty! Who would have known! Well, I guess I would have if I bothered to dig the box out of the attic or look for the paperwork. I would have known I had a 3 year warranty!
APC issued me an RMA number for the old unit, emailed me a pre-paid UPS shipping label to send it back, and shipped out a new unit. Within 48 hours, I had a brand new unit!
It's like Christmas all over again!
Brand new unit, brand new battery. I get a solid 30 minutes of runtime with this one. That's more than enough time to save my work and shutdown. Best of all, it doesn't smell! Not to mention, I now have an extra battery that I can rotate every few months.
I boxed up the old unit, attached the pre-paid UPS shipping label and dropped it off at The UPS Store. Job well done.