Verizon FIOS Battery Backup System
By John Witmer, President, Tampa PC Users Group
I recently had a situation come up with my FIOS battery backup device, and I thought I would share the experience and information with our Group since I know many of you also have this same service. My system was installed in July 2007 by Verizon and has worked flawlessly since that time. The battery backup system is installed in the garage, close to my electrical panel and the exit door to the outside, so I couldn’t help but notice it when the red, replace battery light came on during this past Christmas holiday. After ignoring it for a few days, I was treated to an intermittent beeping alarm also calling my attention to the device and its red light notice to replace the battery.
Being somewhat naive, I thought perhaps this was something that Verizon would take care of, considering I pay them more than $200 a month, so I called Customer Service inquiring about the battery and the replacement warning I was getting. I learned it obviously was not their problem, and they suggested I go to Batteries Plus to obtain the replacement battery I needed. So on December 31st, during a day off from work, I removed the battery from the device and hauled it down to Batteries Plus for replacement. The employee behind the counter took my old battery and hooked it up to a test unit as the first step. To my surprise, he said the battery was in excellent condition and should last me another few years at least. He then let me know that this problem was common with the Verizon battery backup devices, and although he did not know for sure why the problem existed, he thought it had something to do with the Verizon backup box it was installed in. He said he has had the same experience at three different times so far with his FIOS system.
The solution to determine if the battery truly needs replacing (if you don’t want to remove it and have it tested as Batteries Plus would do) is to unplug the battery backup device from the electrical outlet it is plugged into, disconnect one of the wires going to one of the terminals (I chose the negative black connection) and leave it unplugged for ten minutes or so. Then reconnect the internal wire to the terminal and plug the device back into the electrical outlet. Chances are you will get a green light showing the System Status to be ok and no red light showing at all.
Interestingly enough, two more people showed up at Batteries Plus with Verizon backup batteries in hand while I was there. I know the elderly lady who was waited on next to me was told the same solution I was told. If by chance you do have to replace the battery, the cost with tax is about $35 at Batteries Plus, or someone said you can get them online for less money (I don’t know the web site). There is also the convenience of disposing of the old battery if you go the store route. By the way, my battery and backup system has worked just fine since then, and I have no replace battery warning light coming on at all. In case you wondered, Verizon Customer Service does not furnish this information as a solution, or even alert you to the possibility that the battery is OK. It might lead you to infer that they could have a defect of some sort in their piece of equipment, which would not be good considering the number of units installed in the market. u