Why Does APC UPS Battery Backup Only Last 10 Minutes Or So?

An APC UPS battery backup often goes unnoticed until there’s a power outage and you need it to supply power to your devices. An ideal UPS will provide backup power for extended periods. However, lasting only 10 minutes or so means that there’s a problem.

When your APC UPS battery backup only lasts 10 minutes or so, it’s likely because too many devices are plugged into the unit, or the battery wasn’t fully charged. Besides that, the same thing will happen if you leave it in storage for too long, if the battery is old or faulty, or if the surrounding temperatures are too high.

Troubleshooting an APC UPS battery backup that only lasts 10 minutes is very straightforward. This article will walk you through the troubleshooting process and show you how to prevent problems from happening.

Why Does APC UPS Battery Backup Only Last 10 Minutes Or So?

During a power outage, an APC UPS battery backup will take over and continue supplying your devices with power. The total time the battery will continue doing that will depend on the battery’s full capacity.

However, if it lasts only 10 minutes or so, the battery is draining too quickly.

Here are why that’s happening and how you can fix or prevent it from happening again.

#1 Too Many Devices Plugged Into The UPS

What’s happening: The first reason your APC UPS battery backup is draining too quickly is that too many devices are plugged into it at once.

Each UPS will have several sockets that you can plug devices into. However, all those sockets will have to share the UPS’ limited battery capacity.

When you plug too many things into those sockets, especially if they’re power-hungry devices, they’ll drain the battery capacity much faster than usual.

How to fix or prevent it: Firstly, you should only plug critical devices into a UPS. You can consider a device to be ‘critical’ if it requires uninterrupted backup power should there ever be a power supply disruption.

You can plug non-critical devices into other wall sockets, saving backup power for critical devices.

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Suppose you have too many critical devices which might require backup power. In that case, you should consider investing in a second UPS or one that has a higher battery capacity.

Read: How To Troubleshoot UPS Battery?

#2 Battery Wasn’t Fully-Charged

What’s happening: Another reason your APC UPS battery backup only lasts 10 minutes is that it wasn’t fully charged.

When the backup battery isn’t fully charged, it won’t have enough power to discharge for extended periods. As a result, your devices will drain the battery much sooner than they should.

How to fix or prevent it: You can avoid this by keeping your APC UPS plugged in. That way, the battery will charge continuously and maintain its maximum capacity, ready to be discharged.

As a rule of thumb, the total charging time will be 10 times the UPS’ maximum discharge time.

Read: Why Ups (Battery Backup) Is Beeping Continuously?

#3 Battery Left In Storage For Too Long

What’s happening: An APC UPS battery backup will only last approximately 10 minutes or less if you leave the unit in storage for too long.

A UPS that’s disconnected and kept in storage will continuously discharge its stored power naturally. On top of that, being disconnected means the battery will not be constantly recharged to maintain its maximum capacity.

Suppose you leave a UPS battery in storage for too long. In that case, the battery will eventually discharge until it has no power left.

How to fix or prevent it: Ideally, your APC UPS should be kept plugged in at all times, even if you’re not using it. That way, the UPS will keep itself recharged despite how the battery might slowly discharge over an extended period.

Read: How To Check UPS Battery Health?

#4 Battery Is Old Or Faulty

What’s happening: Assuming you’ve let the UPS battery charge continuously. Yet, it still only lasts about 10 minutes, the battery itself is likely old or faulty.

An old battery will gradually lose its ability to hold an electrical charge. So, it’ll drain quickly no matter how long you let it charge.

The same will also happen if the battery is faulty. A faulty UPS battery can’t charge or discharge electrical power correctly.

Whether a battery is old or faulty, it will not last very long despite being charged for the correct amount of time.

How to fix or prevent it: Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix or prevent a UPS battery from age or faults. Therefore, the only solution is to replace the affected UPS battery with a new one.

When you buy a replacement battery, choose one of high quality so that it lasts longer and has a lower chance of being faulty.

Remember: a standard UPS battery will last anywhere from 3-5 years. But unfortunately, that battery will gradually lose its ability to function correctly as it approaches the end of that useful lifespan.

Read: What Happens When UPS Battery Fails?

#5 Surrounding Temperatures Are Too High

What’s happening: When dealing with a UPS that only lasts 10 minutes, you must also consider the unit’s placement. For example, your APC UPS battery backup is likely in a location where the surrounding temperatures are too high.

The UPS unit can quickly overheat when ambient temperatures are too high. That will lead to premature battery failure that causes the unit to run for only 10 minutes, even though it’s supposed to run for much longer.

How to fix or prevent it: Firstly, you can avoid this from happening by reading the user manual. APC would have included instructions regarding the safe operating temperatures for your particular UPS model.

Once you understand the temperature needs of your UPS model, you must then ensure the room temperature is ideal. In some cases, that might mean increasing the air conditioning in that room to prevent the UPS from overheating.

At the same time, you might also find it helpful to increase the ventilation in your room and around the UPS unit. Ventilation will help to carry heat away from the UPS, allowing it to cool down naturally.

Read: Why APC Battery Backup Not Charging? – Troubleshooting Guide

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check out these frequently asked questions to help you understand your APC UPS better:

How Long Does It Take To Drain A UPS?

The total time it takes to drain a UPS will depend on several factors. Firstly, it depends on the battery capacity. A higher capacity means the battery can store more power which will take longer to discharge. Besides that, total discharge time also depends on what you plug into the UPS. More power-hungry devices will drain the UPS battery faster.

What Do I Do If My UPS Battery Is Worn Out?

When you find that your UPS battery is worn out, the only solution is to replace it with a new one as soon as possible. Firstly, a worn-out battery is risky because it will discharge too soon if you experience a power outage. Besides that, there’s no way to repair a worn-out battery. So, a replacement is the only option.

Is It Safe To Put A UPS In Storage?

Yes, it’s safe to put your UPS in storage. However, you must remember that a disconnected UPS battery will continue to discharge naturally. That means the stored battery power will continuously drain while you keep the UPS unit in storage. As a result, the UPS will require more time to charge when you take it out of storage and reconnect it to a wall socket.

How Can I Maximize My UPS Battery Life?

The best way to maximize your UPS battery life is to keep it plugged and charged continuously. Besides that, you’ll also maximize the battery life by only discharging it during emergencies. The more times you discharge and recharge the UPS, the quicker it’ll wear out.

What Are Signs Of UPS Battery Failure?

One sign of UPS battery failure is when the unit doesn’t last as long as it should. Besides that, there are other signs like battery overheating and burning smells from the unit.

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