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Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

APC UPS for Home and Office Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our APC offers including Home Office UPS, Surge Protectors, UTS, software and services and associated products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/10/2013


Hi All....

.

I've looked high and low everywhere I can think of to find a specific cause to my problem, and I've found nothing specific to my situation.  Here's a summary of what I'm dealing with:

.

1.  When I power the unit on, the yellow light comes on solid, and remains on for the duration, 24/7.  I never get a green or red indication....ever!

2.  Shortly after powering on, the unit will start "clicking" (not beeping) anywhere between 30-200+ times per hour, 24/7.

3.  Between each "pair" of clicks, the unit hums, as if it's switching between power and battery modes.

4.  There is no set duration between clicks.  Sometimes it's as quick a one per second, sometimes it's less than one per minute. 

5.  It exhibits the same problem even when nothing is plugged into the unit (i.e. zero load).

6.  It never beeps while it's plugged into the wall outlet, only the 4 beeps/30 seconds when it's in battery mode.

7.  If I unplug the unit from the wall outlet to simulate a power failure, the yellow light remains solid, and the unit beeps 4 times every 30 seconds as designed.

8.  It does not click while it's unplugged (i.e. battery mode).

9.  The built-in circuilt breaker has never tripped.

10. The unit was working fine until approximately a month ago, and it's been clicking ever since.

.

Anybody?  According to APC's limited documentation, a solid yellow indicates either battery mode is powering one or more devices (not possible as I have unplugged everything to troubleshoot), or it's in self test mode.  If the latter, why does it never exit?  The humming sound I hear between each pair of clicks tells me it's continually switching between power and battery mode (it's the same hum I hear when it's unplugged/in battery mode), but why is it doing that, and again, why is it never showing a solid green during those times it's not humming or clicking?  Seems odd, and again, I've not been able to find any explanation of my specific situation. 

.

Anyway...any advice or help would be much appreciated.


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fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/17/2013


Ok, I finally managed to get the unit plugged into a couple different locations for at least a couple of hours at each location.  At the first location the unit indicated there was a wiring fault, and it went solid yellow.  What it didn't do, however, was click.  At least not much at all.  At the second location it acted pretty much like it does here at my home location.  Solidy yellow, lots of clicking.

See Answer In Context

8 Replies 8
BillP
Administrator Administrator
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Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 4/10/2013


can you share with us what led up to this? did it ever work properly?

please provide the model of the UPS from the back or bottom - we have several Back UPS ES 350 models. I'd also like at least the first several characters from the serial number too please so we can tell the age. that way, we can verify what unit we're talking about here and correspond them to the symptoms you describe.

fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/10/2013


The model number is BE350R, the partial serial number is 3B0723X...

The unit never previously exhibited the aforementioned symptoms, and so far as I know, there was no event, action, or circumstance which instigated and/or caused the behavior I am now observing (I'm a network engineer with 20 years of experience, including large/enterprise APC solutions, so I'm inclinded to believe my latter observation is qualified).  I should also add the "replace battery" light has never been observed turning on at any time before or since the symptoms described, so accordingly I assume the battery is in good condition.  I'll also add there is a second APC UPS plugged into the same circuit (not outlet), and while it does on a rare occasion "click," it otherwise operates perfectly as do all other devices plugged into that circuit (i.e. the circuit isn't conditioned, but I've not observed any discernible power fluctuations on that circuit from other devices, lights, etc.).  Additionally, there are a couple more UPS backups plugged into other circuits within this structure (it's a home), and they're behaving as expected, so while there plausibly could be an issue with the circuit into which this "faulty" UPS is plugged, it doesn't appear to be system-wide.  In any event, the symptoms I'm observing don't fit into any of the troubleshooting guides that I've come across which APC provides.  Given the other UPS on that circuit only rarely clicks, and all other devices, including lights rarely if ever exhibit signs of brownout/low voltage indications, I'm inclined to believe the unit's circuitry has degraded, and no longer tolerates any fluctuation in voltage; however, is that something which would be indicated with a solid yellow?  Hopefully you can enlighten me, or we can otherwise arrive at some conclusion.  smile

Thanks again...

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
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Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 4/11/2013


SecretSquirrel - can you help shed any light on these symptoms for fletcher969 and myself at all?

my own comments - the battery is six years old if it is the original so i am not sure if this is somehow a non-typical sign of a bad battery and I am not sure if a unit reset is worth it even though I don't think it'd hurt (turn UPS off and unplug it and disconnect the battery for a few minutes).

fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/11/2013


Hi Angela...

I can accept a 6 year old battery might be an issue, but I wish my usual luck would step aside for once, and let something fail normally.  smile

I have done as you suggest on several occasions.  In fact, I unplugged it for over a day about 2 weeks ago, and it didn't make any difference.  I have previously unplugged the unit and drained it down considerably, then plugged it back in, but that made no difference either. 

For shi&$ and giggles, I decided to see what indication I would get if I removed the battery altogether.  I just hit the 3 hour mark with it removed, and the yellow light has remained solid; however, it didn't click at all until just a few minutes ago while a storm was passing through, and the lights were flickering.  It's been about 5 minutes since, and it's not clicked again. 

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 4/11/2013


Hopefully SecretSquirrel will shed some light. Sometimes with these Back UPS I feel like they are so simple that they make it seem more complicated than it really is.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This reply was originally posted by Secret on APC forums on 4/11/2013


From the description, it sounds as if the UPS is not accepting the quality of the utility power being fed to it. I may recommend taking the unit to another location for testing purposes, as to help confirm the unit's operation.

fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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248

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/12/2013


I was out of town today, but I'll try it at a different location tomorrow, and let you know the results.  I did try it on a different circuit this morning, and it acted the same.

fletcher969_apc
Crewman
Crewman
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0
249

Re: Back-UPS ES 350: incessant clicking, 24/7 solid yellow

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/17/2013


Ok, I finally managed to get the unit plugged into a couple different locations for at least a couple of hours at each location.  At the first location the unit indicated there was a wiring fault, and it went solid yellow.  What it didn't do, however, was click.  At least not much at all.  At the second location it acted pretty much like it does here at my home location.  Solidy yellow, lots of clicking.