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APC UPS battery replacement for Smart-UPS 1500 (SUA1500) and XL 3000 (SUA3000XLT): batteries RBC7 and RBC55

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/11/28

On the right and bottom how the APC SmartUPS 1500 looked before cleaning. Despite APC claims of being non-spillable, lead acid batteries do eventually leak. APC just doesn’t tell you when (they say there is some fine print about replacing them, but hey – if the UPS doesn’t complain about capacity loss…).

Like I mentioned in my first post about the leaking, I cleaned the inside with sodium bicarbonate (easily to get – even in The Netherlands – as “baking soda” or “zuiveringszout” in most grocery shops. “zuiveringszout” is the same but much cheaper).

So after cleaning, you need to assemble a new battery pack and reinstall it. The RBC7 stock battery packs from APC are very expensive and since warranty expired on the UPS and APC batteries leaks anyway, it is much cheaper to re-assemble your own battery pack from a pair of UB12180 batteries. The same holds for the RBC55 (which are just basically two pairs of assembled UB12180 batteries). The decoding of these battery numbers are fairly easy: 12V holding 18.0 Ah of charge. Different battery manufacturers use different battery size nomenclature usually with a similar structure.

Disassembling and re-assembling the packs is fairly easy. Be sure to do this carefully: replacement sets of the APC battery connector wiring harness and fuse will set you back another USD/EUR 15-20 excluding shipping.

The below youtube videos are much clearer on this than any picture series I could have made.

The RBC7 Battery Replacement for APC SmartUPS 1500 is easy: there is a single RBC7 battery in it. Just swap out the old RBC7 and put in the new one:

Similar for the APC Smart-UPS XL 3000VA 230V Tower/Rack Convertible (model SUA3000XLT) or the SUA48XLBP battery enclosure is similar to the 3000VA model:

Instead of the whole chain of batteries in the video, you get:

But: according to APC, these are leak free. In practice they aren’t, so why pay the APC premium price?

It’s much cheaper to remove the head and terminals, then use standard batteries. I was lucky enough that both the RBC55 and RBC7 internally use the same UB12180 battery packs: APC Generic Replacement Battery Cross Reference Lookup is an excellent reference on that.

In the Netherlands, these are links for the replacement batteries as sets:

You can also create your own sets of individual UB12180 batteries. Be sure to get the ones with T4 nut&bot terminals. Forget about the ones with M5 threaded terminals (that often are slightly cheaper). From the same Dutch seller: UB12180 Loodaccu 18Ah – ReplaceDirect.nl at about EUR 55 each.

For the RBC55, this is how to do the replacements:

And for the RBC7, it works in a similar way:

–jeroen

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