Computers and Home Electronics are expensive so it is important that you protect them. Although the minimum protection of a surge protector should make sure that no really high voltage gets into your computer and destroys the electronic parts they won’t help you when the power goes out.
A UPS Backup Power Supply will protect your computer from voltage spikes and when the power goes out it will kick in and give you enough backup power to cover short outages of a few minutes or allow you to save your files and shutdown before you lose your work.
Some UPS Systems include Serial or USB Connections and Software that can automate the shutdown process. This means if you are in the other room or out of the house you don’t have to run like a maniac back to the computer before the battery runs out.
Unfortunately the batteries inside your UPS won’t last forever and they will continually degrade over their life. At some point you will need to replace your batteries but the good thing is they are available for most systems and won’t cost you that much.
Picking the right Replacement Battery for your UPS Backup Power Supply
When you are looking for replacement batteries you probably won’t be able to get a manufacturers battery. They only provide them for a few years after the UPS is discontinued. However because many of the batteries inside UPS Systems are similar after market manufacturers build generic batteries that can be used.
Some aftermarket companies will list models of UPSs that a specific battery can be used in. Others will list a Generic Specification for the battery and you will need to make sure you select the correct one.
Batteries are rated in Voltage most are 12volts and Amp Hours this is how long the battery can last or its power level. You should always match both of these ratings to your current battery and it is always better to slightly exceed the Amp Hour level in the new battery rather than get a smaller one.
For instance I am replacing batteries in two of my UPS Backups. The first one is a 525 VA and the second is an older 400 VA backup. Both batteries are the exact same size and shape. The connectors are the same and the batteries will physically fit in the other UPS however the 525AH UPS takes a 9 Amp Hour battery and the 400 VA UPS takes a 7Amp Hour Battery.
If I could not get a 7AH battery for the smaller older UPS I could use a 9AH battery in it but I could not use a smaller battery in the larger UPS.
The larger battery in the smaller UPS most likely won’t increase its output voltage making it a larger UPS because these devices are very exact in their management of electricity but it will increase its run time while the computer is running on battery.
Replacing the UPS Batteries
Each UPS is different but if your batteries are replaceable you normally access the battery from the bottom of the UPS.
In our newer UPS you can see there are two clips that must be pressed down and then the cover is removed by sliding it. In the older UPS you need to remove two screws and the battery compartment cover hinges back to give you access to the battery.
When you remove the battery be careful. The wires that attach to the battery are long enough to allow you to remove the battery in one direction. This means you should take note of how the battery was remove and its position in the case before you detach the wires.
The wires are normally color coded as are the batteries. You want to make sure that you attach the Red to the Red and the Black to the Black. It is not difficult but you don’t want to cross the wires.
Connectors are normally pretty tight on the battery terminals but they pull off without tools.
Charging your new UPS Battery
Most batteries will come with a charge on them however they may not be fully charged. You should allow your UPS to charge the batteries for six to twelve hours before you can rely on it at full rating.
You can expect to pay from $15 to $25 for a single battery. Some UPS systems require more than one battery and if yours does you always replace them with the exact same size matching batteries and you always replace both batteries at the same time.
The whole process may take you about 20 minutes depending on how hard it is to access your UPS and its batteries.
This is a good time to reroute all of your system’s cables and evaluate other parts of your system.