How to Replace an APC RBC Battery Pack

Every year, many UPS units are thrown out due to dead batteries.

The average life span of a UPS battery is about 2 years, and replacing batteries does not require an engineering degree. Battery replacement is economical if you assemble your own battery pack. With a bit of work, you can replace the battery pack for 1/3 the cost of buying a battery replacement from APC.  Gruber offers a complete set of RBC battery packs.

Gruber Power Services offers a FREE Auto-Notify service and by registering your UPS, we will track battery replacement schedules for you and notify you by email when the UPS needs service or battery replacement.

The instructions are for assembling an RBC7 battery pack, but the basics apply to any of the RBC style battery packs in APC Uninterruptible Power Supply.

APC Warranty Considerations
Warranty is not even a matter of consideration because APC covers the entire unit, including the battery for two years and after that, the warranty is void, so there's no warranty complication from using a self-assembled battery.

Tools Required: Screwdriver
Battery replacement is a safe procedure, isolated from electrical hazards.  You may leave the UPS and loads on for the following procedure. Caution: To avoid personal injury due to energy hazard, remove wrist watches and jewelry such as rings when replacing the batteries.  Use tools with insulated handles.

Replacement Steps

To remove the dead battery pack from the unit.

  • Grasp the top of the front cover and tilt it out and down.

Tip: Raise the front of the UPS before removing the front cover by either bringing the UPS at the edge of a table or by putting a pencil underneath the front bezel of the UPS.

Unhook the bottom of the cover from the chassis and lift it upward to expose the battery door. Be careful not to strain the ribbon cable.

Do not touch the exposed printed circuit board.

Fold the front cover on top of the UPS. Use a flat-blade screwdriver or a coin to remove the two battery door screws and open the door.

Grasp the tab and gently pull the battery out of the UPS and straight towards you.

You may have to use both hands to pull the tab if necessary.

Disconnect the battery leads.

  • For the 450, 700, and 1000 VA models, loosen the connectors by gently wiggling them while pulling straight back from the battery connector.

  • For the 1400 VA model, separate the two gray couplers apart to disconnect the battery. (Picture shown is Smart-UPS 1400)

Carefully remove the two plastic covers on two ends. Remove the plastic block(100A fuse) joining the two halves together, then remove the cable.

Removal of fuse and cable from dead pack  -
Remove fuse first, cable second.

Installation of fuse and cable to newly-assembled pack  -
Cable first, fuse second.

Save the removed parts!!

Squeeze about 1/4 the content of the Plastic Weld® or Silicone Caulk and prepare the adhesive per packaging.

Evenly apply adhesive to one battery as pictured.

  • Stand up the batteries on a flat surface and join the two batteries together with terminal side facing each other. Let it cure for 30 minutes.

  • Install the cable, then the fuse, as pictured.  Do not install the fuse first as doing so increase the chance of shorting out the battery while installing the cable.

  • Use double sided tape or packaging tape to attach the terminal covers.

Connect the battery leads to the new battery.

Note: Small sparks at the battery connectors are normal during battery connection.

  • For the 450, 700 and 1000 VA models, connect the red wire to the positive (+) terminal and the black wire to the negative (-) terminal.

  • For the 1400 VA model, reconnect the gray battery coupler to the UPS's coupler.

Slide the battery into the UPS, close the battery door, replace the battery compartment screws, and replace the front cover.

  • Put the UPS back together following the instructions from step 1.

  • Turn on the UPS, pull the plug and make sure it runs on battery power.

  • Let the new batteries charge overnight.

  • Now, you need to calibrate it, so the runtime and capacity indicator reads accurately. The UPS should be loaded to 30-50% of the rated watt capacity. For 1000VA/~650W and 1500/~950W model, 300W halogen floor lamp works well.

  • Connect a 30-50% non-varying load to the UPS and pull the plug. Let it run until it shuts off completely. Ignore all beeping. It should take about 45minutes to an hour.

  • Immediately start charging. Let it charge overnight. The UPS is now ready to be put into service.

Feel free to change around steps as you feel necessary, but always follow these sequences to avoid a battery short.

This type of battery is mostly made of lead. It is unlawful to dispose of them in the trash. Gruber Power Services offers battery disposal services.  Click here for details.