Battery Backup Beeps Annoyingly, What to Do!

Battery Backup Beeps? A member asks…

The last time the power went out, I was reminded of a major annoyance with UPS units, of which I have a half-dozen or so.  They beep incessantly, and there is no switch or setting that I’m aware of that can turn them off.  To me, that’s just plain stupid for a power outage that may run for a couple of hours.  I tried to take one apart to find the speaker, but lacked the correct screw driver and didn’t bother to continue (although I may try again–there are how-to’s all over the place). So my question is: do you know any UPS devices that can operate in silence.  I’m happy with one beep to tell me the power just went out, but that’s it.

apc_backups_esMany of the smaller battery backup units (aka Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS) do not have any way to configure or adjust internal settings. These low-cost items, like the APC Back-UPS ES pictured here, are a simple battery added to what is otherwise a surge protector, although it also has automatic voltage regulation, which helps in the case of brownouts (these can be just as damaging to sensitive electronic equipment as blackouts).

upsIf your UPS has a control panel of some sort, you may be able to turn off the beeps using the controls. Some UPS have a touch-panel, some have buttons around the display.

But if neither of the above fit your situation, fear not – for all is not lost! Here’s what you can do to stop the annoying beeps that keep you up during an extended power outage.

USB Printer CableFortunately, the major UPS manufacturers offer software along with their hardware. Generally, you plug a USB cable (often included with the UPS) to the UPS and your computer, then install their software (usually on a CD that came in the UPS box). Then you can use the software to configure the system to shut off beeps.

I should warn you that the software is generally for Windows PCs, the big manufacturers don’t make Mac versions. If you want to use your UPS with a Mac, then you first need to connect it to a PC, run the software and configure the beeps to be off. Then you can move the UPS to your Mac. Of course, you Mac users would need to have a PC nearby you can do that with – try your neighbors!

Here are the major UPS manufacturers and links to the control software for their units. You’ll probably want to know the exact model number of your particular UPS so you can match it, but for the most part, the same software is used on all of the models.

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PowerChuteFirst up, APC is a leader in UPS sales to consumers. Along with your UPS unit, you probably also got a CD with APC’s PowerChute software. Connect your computer to the UPS with a USB cable, and your computer will shut itself down in case of a power outage. An added benefit for PC users (sorry Mac!) is that the PowerChute software can set the UPS to silent mode so no beeps will sound. If you have an APC UPS and can’t find the installation CD, get the free PowerChute Software at http://www.apc.com/site/support/ – click the tab “Software & Firmware” and choose your product family and model to get a link to download PowerChute Personal Edition (here’s a direct link to to the software which may or may not work).

CyberPowerIf your UPS brand is CyberPower, then the same advice applies, their software is PowerPanel (Personal Edition for free), and you can download it from http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/management-software/pppe.html. A direct link is here. CyberPower is popular among consumers, often on sale at computer supply stores. The PowerPanel software has a Configure option where you can uncheck boxes to turn off all sounds.

trippliteIf your brand is Tripp-Lite, then PowerAlert Local is their software product, get it here: http://www.tripplite.com/support/power-alert-downloads/ a direct download link is here.

If your particular brand of UPS isn’t one of the above, please tell me the brand and model number in the comments below and I’ll find the software link for you, if one exists.

29 Comments

  1. I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence! If you’d like to post a new article here, feel free to submit something via email to Support@PosiTek.net for me to look over. I will certainly entertain requests for guest posts! I’m also happy if you use the comments section to elaborate on any posts where you wish to do so.

  2. Power went out…have s geek squad battery which goes back on, but continues to beep. The volts from 120 v goes to 0. Not able to turn back on without the beeping.

    • If the backup battery continues to beep after the power is restored, then most likely the battery has reached the end of its service life. It’s time to replace either the battery or the whole backup battery system. For just the battery, you can look up your backup system’s model number to get a replacement battery at https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/ups/geek-squad. A replacement battery might run you about $40. Alternatively, you can just go to Best Buy with your backup battery system and they’ll take it for recycling and sell you a new one, possibly with a discount for a trade-in. I’m not sure, Best Buy seems to change their policies often.

  3. Mallipudi Ratna Raju

    Good Evening sir,
    I am Ratna Raju From India.
    I have small doubt our ups supply connected with printer. today it will beeping continueouly can i know whai is the problem

    hoping foryours kind response
    Thanks with warm regards
    M.Ratna Raju

    • Hello Ratna, the constant beeping is the indicator that your UPS battery is no longer able to hold a charge and the battery needs to be replaced. It might be a matter of finding the manufacturer’s website and ordering a replacement battery, but you also might find replacing the entire UPS device itself to be more economical. Until you either replace the battery or replace the UPS itself, your best bet is to remove the UPS from service and plug the printer directly into electrical power.

      • Jalapeño

        The printer may draw too much current (overload). This would probably be the case if it’s a laser printer. Not sure about inkjet, though in general, printers are more power hungry than say modems, routers, and even small disk drives. Do you get the same behavior with only smaller peripherals plugged in?

        In a home environment, at least for us, printer is not so essential as to require backup power, and I suspect that this is a common judgment even in many commercial settings.

        • Thanks Jalapeno, yes, most small UPS devices can’t supply enough current (when printing) to power anything other than a very small, personal printer. The check is to look at the printer specifications for peak current draw (usually expressed as amps), and compare that to your UPS specifications, making sure to buy a big enough UPS to handle the current draw. Most UPS that cost less than $200 US wouldn’t be able to handle the current draw of a larger printer or multi-function device. But the beeping would only happen while the printer is printing. If the beeping is happening all the time, that’s the indication the battery life is exhausted.

  4. Jo Thompson

    Hello Chris,
    I was looking for a way to turn off the beeps on a small battery backup that I wanted to use on location to power a small couple AC to dc converters (yes, I know I could just use a battery if I could find or make one that has the right voltage) A small UPS with a shortened power cord would be overkill but would look much more profession than a Mickey Mouse small battery pack or the huge 28 lb. Duracell I’ve got. Just wanted to thank you for the info. on UPS noise.
    Also, I have a question / comment on your response to Ratna and his printer problem. I was told or read long ago not to connect laser printers to a UPS. If I remember correctly, a laser printer draws too much power at times and trips the UPS’s overload warnings. Could this be Ratna’s problem ? Is his printer a laser printer ?

    • Hi Jo, thanks for your question! You may want to take a look at my most recent article about small battery backup systems, at https://positek.net/backup-beeps/ (published July 11th). Basically, the small/cheap battery backups don’t have a way to turn off the beeps, but somewhat larger one’s do (using software and a one-time connection to a computer). If your “on location” needs are for silent power, then the only way to make a small, computer battery backup silent is to take the unit apart and cut the leads to the speaker. For on location use, 28lbs isn’t that huge, systems like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-802-1500-XPower-Portable-Powerpack/dp/B00005RHQQ are over 50 lbs, but do come in a wheeled case to make it easier to get on location.

      And yes, most small UPS devices can’t deliver the current needed to run anything larger than a small personal printer. But that large power draw is only happening when the printer is actually printing something, and it sounds like Ratna’s continuous beeping only started recently and is going on even when the printer is sitting idle. Continuous beeping indicates an exhausted battery that needs to be replaced.

      I have a pretty large (for a small business) multi-function color laser printer (the HP Color Laserjet 475) that draws up to 465 watts when printing but only 18 watts at idle. That printer is connected to a CyberPower 1500 system (https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups/intelligent-lcd/cp1500avrlcd) that provides up to 900 watts of power, and I’ve had no problems with overload. That UPS model might be good for your needs, but weighs nearly as much as the Duracell you have. The beeps can be disabled with the software application, and there’s even a button you can hold down to disable the beeps without a computer.

  5. hi chris. I have an apc ups and today, it keeps on beeping every 30 seconds or more. In fact, there are 4 beeps every 30 seconds. But it’s plugged in. is it still the battery? thanks a lot

    • Thanks for your comment Jee, if you give me the exact model number of your APC Back-UPS, I can give you more information, but in general, if the warning beeps are going off every 30 seconds it means the battery is no longer able to hold a charge. Your options are to replace the battery (APC has an exchange service), or just buy a new UPS. I’ve found that for most of the lower-cost UPS models, it’s nearly as cheap, and certainly easier to buy a new UPS rather than buy a new battery and go through the hassle of replacing the battery and sending the old one back for recycling. But in the interests of being ‘green’ the latter is certainly the better way to go.

      • hi chris. thank you so much for reply. apc ups model is bx650li-ms. thanks again.

        • Hi Jee, the manual for your backup system is at http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/AHUG-9RPCMP/AHUG-9RPCMP_R0_EN.pdf?sdirect=true

          The LED is lit on the unit and the 4 beeps every 30 seconds means that there’s no electrical power coming from the outlet, or the backup is unplugged. The LED goes out when the unit is not beeping.

          So the problem is likely with the outlet the backup unit is plugged into. You can try plugging a lamp into that plug. If the light works, try bending the backup unit plug prongs a little wider to see if you get a better plug connection. If the light doesn’t light up, check the circuit breaker panel in your house, there’s probably a tripped breaker. You can reset breakers by flipping the breaker switch all the way off and then all the way on.

          Hope this solves your beeping!

  6. Hi Chris. I have a sua750rm2u that beeps/chirps every 2 seconds. Searching for a reason gives me results for beeps every four seconds… but not every two.

    • Hi Alan, thanks for your comment! I found an online manual for your APC SUA750RM2U at http://www2.schneider-electric.com/resources/sites/SCHNEIDER_ELECTRIC/content/live/FAQS/252000/FA252795/ko_KR/13%20Smart%20UPS%20750(SUA750I).pdf and it says that a beep every 2 seconds indicates the battery is disconnected. See page 9 of the referenced manual.

      Your best bet is to check that the tethered plug on the back of the unit is fully inserted. With the UPS unplugged from electrical power and turned off, unplug the tethered, 2-prong plug (picture on page 1 of the manual), then plug it back in fully. Plug in the UPS and turn it on.

      If you still get the 2 beeps, did you by chance replace the battery? If you replaced it with a cheap battery (not a factory replacement from APC), that might explain why the unit doesn’t work. Also, check that you fully inserted the replacement battery and connected the plug on top of the battery (see page 7 diagram 4), that the front bezel (which you removed to replace the battery) is fully attached and the two plungers are pushed in (they lock the bezel in place).

      I hope one of the above helps you solve those annoying beeps!

  7. Seems like the link for cyber power is no longer valid. Any ideas for an alternative link?

  8. Hi,

    so on the ups unit of cyberpower If you are using it for your television only you can not turn off the beeping noise feature manually by touch screen? I have a touchscreen ups. Would I still need to have the usb plug to a computer install the software then turn it off that way as well?

    • Hi Sean, thanks for your question. Without the model number of your UPS I can only guess. The touchscreen may or may not have the control to turn off the beeps, With an attached computer you can turn off the beeps using the software.

  9. Wally Klinck

    I have an APC 750G Back-Ups and had trouble with clicking. Schneider sent another battery on warranty. I am using an iMac desktop about four years old. The unit seems now to work when I am working actively on the computer but when I take a break and the dark screen comes up the Back-Ups not only starts clicking but constantly turns on and off all devices attached by USB to the computer! (e.g., USB Hub and External Back-p Drive) If I mouse click to bring the screen display back up the clicking stops and things work apparently OK.

    • Hi Wally, thanks for your question. Your BackUPS online manual is at http://www.apcguard.com/datasheets/BE750G.pdf. It shows that your model of battery backup has a master plug, and some plugs that are controlled by that master. I’m guessing you have your iMac plugged into the master. By design, when your iMac goes to sleep, it also cycles down power on those controlled plugs as well.

      I have three solutions for you. First, you could simply not use the master plug, plug your iMac into one of the other battery backup plugs. Second, you can press and hold the Master Enable button for 1 second to disable this automatic switching (make sure the Master Enabled LED is not lit). Third, you can change the threshold to Low (it’s set by default at Medium) and see if that resolves the situation. See the first page of the manual at #2 Connect Equipment to find the 4-step procedure to change the threshold setting.

  10. I only tried this on commercial-quality UPS systems like the Smart-UPS. Unlike el cheapo systems that expect to run only a few minutes as your PC shuts down, these have fans that can keep the UPS cool indefinitely.

  11. Alina @ APC Smart UPS

    The Smart-UPS is APC’s business line and should be “smart” no matter where it is installed. It’s perfectly valid for a prosumer to buy a business-class device because s/he needs business-class performance.

    • The OP simply needs an UPS that has the ability to turn off the beeps. IMO, that’s not a business-class performance level. But you’re correct that APC’s Smart-UPS line does support the Powerchute software to allow you to turn off the beeps. So does the cheaper Back-UPS line, except for the lowest end of the models.

  12. When I rebuilt my PC, I brought APC UPS 600VA with battery backup and surge protector. I am giving a review on the experience and the best parts of this very UPS.

    • Nice review (at technologish.com) Frank, I’m happy to link to your site. I agree that most folks who have computers and other sensitive electronics (upon which they depend) should have a battery backup. Power surges, brownouts and blackouts all have the potential to damage your equipment and an UPS will prevent such damage.

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