How to Test an APC Battery

By Stephen Benham

APC (American Power Conversion) has been producing AC- and DC-based back-up power products including surge suppressors, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and power conditioning equipment since the company was founded in 1981. The type of batteries APC uses in their equipment varies significantly from low voltage, low ampere batteries to more sophisticated high energy, high output batteries. Whatever type of battery is in your device, testing your APC battery is a simple task.

Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter OR
  • Voltmeter and ammeter
  • Pencil and paper

Step 1

Read the label located on your APC battery. The label is usually on the top of the battery. It tells you the chemical structure of the battery and gives the output voltage and amperes. The voltage is likely to be in the range of 6 to 24 volts, whereas the amperage will likely range between 10 and 30 amperes. Write the voltage and amperes on a sheet of paper.

Step 2

Set your voltmeter in the range of the volts the APC battery supplies. For example, if the battery produces 12 volts set your voltmeter between 5 and 15 volts. If you are using a multimeter that measures voltage and amperes, set the meter to measure volts.

Step 3

Attach the negative black wire from the voltmeter or multimeter to the negative terminal (labeled "-") of the APC battery using the spring clamp on the end of the wire. Connect the positive red wire from the voltmeter or multimeter to the positive terminal (labeled "+") of the battery using the spring clamp on the end of the wire.

Step 4

Check the readout. If this value is 15% or more lower than labeled voltage from Step 1, your battery needs charging. For example, a 12-volt battery yielding an output of 10 volts or less needs charging.

Step 5

Remove the voltmeter wire clamps from battery terminals.

Step 6

Set your ammeter in the range of amperes from Step 1. If you are using a multimeter, set it to measure amperes, and set the range. For example, if the battery is labeled 30 amperes, set your meter between 25 and 35 amperes.

Step 7

Attach the negative and positive wires from your ammeter to the corresponding terminals on your APC battery as described in Step 3.

Step 8

Read the output. If this reading is 15% or more lower than the amperage from Step 1, charge the battery and retest. Using the example of a 30-ampere battery, a reading of 25 amperes or less indicates that the battery needs recharging. If the amperes remain low sfter charging the battery needs maintenance or replacing.