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Batteries just don’t last forever. You know this – the batteries in your wireless mouse and keyboard have to be replaced periodically, batteries in toys. It’s the same for a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), which is a battery for your server so that if power fails the server doesn’t crash and die, but can be automatically shut down properly.
Yesterday I changed the UPS battery on an APC SmartUPS 1500 XLM (part number RBC24) and, as you’ll see, it’s pretty easy.



When Did You Last Check Your UPS Battery?

If you have an APC (American Power Conversion apc.com) and it’s connected to the server by serial, USB, or network then it should tell you via the PowerChute software.
Or, look at the front panel of the UPS for red lights, specifically one that shows a bad battery icon, which looks like this:
1500xlm changing battery

Step By Step

Changing a battery on a UPS is actually pretty easy.
1. Pull the front panel off and unscrew the four screws that hold the battery tray in place.
The tray actually holds four batteries and it’s a little heavy so be careful.
When you pull the battery tray out it will automatically disconnect the battery power connection to the UPS. It’s no problem, power will continue to be fed to the attached devices. The battery tray looks like this (standing on its side), notice the big yellow power connector. This is the RPC24 battery tray.
apc 1500xlm battery tray
2. Replace the old tray with the new one, push it all the way in, and then connect the battery power connector.
3. Screw the battery tray in place, replace the front panel and you’re done!

Here’s a picture of the old UPS battery tray I replaced, pulled out half way. This is with the cover pulled off. Notice the red indicator showing the battery is dead. This UPS is rack mounted at the bottom of the rack.
apc 1500xlm battery

The new UPS battery tray might not be fully charged so it may take a while for the UPS to show a good battery.
Also, make sure you dispose of the old battery tray properly. In Canada we can recycle it but this may not be available everywhere.

A UPS battery should last at least a year or so, depending on how much use it gets, so put a date in your calendar for the next time to check.

How did your UPS battery replacement go?