So,I’ve got this UPS that’s about 15 years old. It hasn’t worked for a while. Tonight, I came across an extra battery that exactly matched the specs for the original. I installed the battery, and lo, it actually turned on. I was excited.

Then the UPS failed its self-test and when I unplugged the UPS, the alarm went off and it switched to battery power. “Cool”, I thought – “this is how it’s supposed to work”. For a moment.

There was almost immediately a really loud bang, a bright flash, and more buzzing. I quickly yanked the wire from the battery, and surveyed the scenario. The circuit breaker on the UPS had tripped, and a semi-big disc capacitor had exploded.

So, I guess I’ll call to see if the lifetime equipment protection warranty covers this. Seems plausible, if unlikely…


Update: As it turns out, the BackUps VS450 has a two year warranty.  Because mine was manufactured in 1996, that warranty has long since expired. :)  Apparently it would’ve been covered if I had it plugged in and the damage came over the power line, but not if it damaged itself.  That’s peculiar, but I suppose acceptable.  Maybe I can solder a new capacitor in place, reset the breaker, and magically have things work again…  We’ll see.