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My FiOS battery backup just died!

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Old 01-29-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
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Default My FiOS battery backup just died!

I've had FiOS for just shy of two years and the battery just crapped out. Started manking an audible beep every few minutes, and none of our services are working. I called tech support (from work) and they did some remote test to make sure service was up and it was. When I get home from work she said I can try to plug something else into that outlet and make sure it works, but I seriously doubt that's the problem.

Here's my question: if the battery backup has practically never had to operate (we've only lost power a couple of times for a few minutes apeice), should it have died so soon? The tech told me they're only warranteed for 1 year, and after that it's the customer responsibility to get a new one, which costs $99 if you buy it through them but inly $35 at Radio Shack. I can't comment on whether they're both of the same quality, but I do know you'd have to wait a few days for Verizon to ship you one via UPS!

Just seems wierd that I don't recall this being mentioned at sign-up, and $99 every couple of years (if you go by the book and get it through Verizon) may not be a ton but is enough of a nuisance to be a pretty major ding on FiOS technology vs. cable, where you don't have to worry about such things. It's actually been a big problem today because my wife is working from home and needs online access all day. Don't get me wrong, I'll still take FiOS over anything else any day of the week, but still. Anyhoo.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by digs5446 View Post
I've had FiOS for just shy of two years and the battery just crapped out. Started manking an audible beep every few minutes, and none of our services are working. I called tech support (from work) and they did some remote test to make sure service was up and it was. When I get home from work she said I can try to plug something else into that outlet and make sure it works, but I seriously doubt that's the problem.

Here's my question: if the battery backup has practically never had to operate (we've only lost power a couple of times for a few minutes apeice), should it have died so soon? The tech told me they're only warranteed for 1 year, and after that it's the customer responsibility to get a new one, which costs $99 if you buy it through them but inly $35 at Radio Shack. I can't comment on whether they're both of the same quality, but I do know you'd have to wait a few days for Verizon to ship you one via UPS!

Just seems wierd that I don't recall this being mentioned at sign-up, and $99 every couple of years (if you go by the book and get it through Verizon) may not be a ton but is enough of a nuisance to be a pretty major ding on FiOS technology vs. cable, where you don't have to worry about such things. It's actually been a big problem today because my wife is working from home and needs online access all day. Don't get me wrong, I'll still take FiOS over anything else any day of the week, but still. Anyhoo.
Is it the battery backup unit or the power supply unit that died? If the backup died, it seems that it still should work with power from the power supply. Unless your installation is different than mine.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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Is it the battery backup unit or the power supply unit that died? If the backup died, it seems that it still should work with power from the power supply. Unless your installation is different than mine.
Will have to check when I get home around 7:30 EST. But if what you say is correct I'm wondering why the tech wouldn't have mentioned that. She more or less said if the battery is dead I'll need a new one before I can get anything working.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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may not be a ton but is enough of a nuisance to be a pretty major ding on FiOS technology vs. cable, where you don't have to worry about such things.
Which cable companies provide battery back up to their stuff? If battery back up is a concern, probably could find some other solutions that may increase the time and potentially be cheaper. Otherwise, juts bag the backup and use a cell phone during an outage.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:18 PM   #5
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It's all explained fully in the literature that was given to you at sign-up.

If the battery dies, it's the customer's responsibility to replace it.

I believe that the only function that the battery serves it to maintain phone service during a power outage.
So if you can live without that, just pull the dead battery (so it doesn't leak and muck up the works).
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:52 PM   #6
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I believe that the only function that the battery serves it to maintain phone service during a power outage.
None of my services are working - TV, phone, or internet. I told the tech and it didn't set off any alarms for her. Maybe I'll call back and see if I get a different explanation from a different tech...
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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I believe that the only function that the battery serves it to maintain phone service during a power outage.
Scott's right. The ONT runs off of your electricity. The battery backup is just a UPS that is able to last up to 8 hours I believe if the electricity goes out (less if you talk on the phone). If your battery died there is no reason your services shouldn't be working. There is more likely more to this than the tech realized. The tech could very well be new or just one of the bad techs out there. It could be a problem with the ONT if you are having trouble with all the services. We had our phone service go dead and it ended up being because the ONT went bad (it was and older model, model M I believe, that Verizon wasn't very happy with).

I would definitely call back and talk with a different tech.

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Old 01-29-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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I have a very stupid question (one that I should have asked myself when this happened to me). Is the circuit with the power supply tripped? That happened to us a couple years ago. My daughter tried to get on line, and couldn't. I called it in, then ran out to do some errands. When I came home my wife told me 'that verizon box in the laundry room started beeping... I was going to wait for you to get home to check it, but then I realized something else - it was getting really cold in the house, and it hit me - the circuit (both our furnace and the verizon power supply are on the same circuit) tripped.' She reset the circuit and everything was fine.

Everyone else here is right, though - if your battery dies, your services should work just fine. The battery is only there to supply power for your phone service if you lose power.

As for the battery dying - mine's been going for over 3 years, despite the fact that that little incident drained it to nothing... once it recharged it was fine. However, a coworker had to replace his after just a year. He initially got one at Radio Shack, but it was defective - it died after a couple days. He just ordered one on line and it came in after a couple days. From what I understand, it's a standard 7 - 8 AH battery with 1/4" terminals.

There are places on line where you can order them. But as others have said, if you're not getting any service, then it's not the battery.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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Also check if the plug got knocked out of the socket, or that the socket has not gone bad. That would explain the dead battery as well. When the ONT lost power, the battery drained. If you get power back to the ONT, the battery may charge up and not have to be replaced.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:05 AM   #10
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I have a very stupid question (one that I should have asked myself when this happened to me). Is the circuit with the power supply tripped?
Not a stupid question at all - that's the first thing the tech (different one this time) had me check when I got home last night. They had me unplug the power cord from the FiOS hardware and plug in something else (a fan in my case) to see if it worked, and it did so it's not a tripped circuit.

It turns out there's something wrong with the ONT but they can't figure out exactly what without sending out a tech. They ran a bunch of remote tests that were able to conclude with near certainty that the ONT is the problem. What I don't know is whether the busted ONT deferred to the backup battery until that died. I'll be pissed if I have to buy a new battery because of a problem with the ONT that was out of my control. And my wife and I have rigid work schedules and can't be home to meet the tech until NEXT Saturday (we're away this weekend). I asked the tech if I'd be able to get that lost time credited to my account and he said no, since they can be out there today or tomorrow even though I can't. I mean after all, who really needs to earn a living these days?

Sorry to vent but one more thing that irks me - they used to be able to offer a choice of two different time windows to schedule a service appointment - either from 8:00am to 12:00pm or 1:00pm to 5:00pm. But the tech last night said "unfortunately you live in a state (MA) that has stopped doing the 4-hour windows because they are so inundated with work in your area due to the high market penetration...they can't gaurantee anything other than a text to your cell 15 minutes before they arrive". Great. So at best I get to screw up the street to the convenience store for the day. Why is it that I can make an appointment down to the minute with my HVAC company but Verizon can't do better than a 9-hour window? And no service appts after 5:00pm??? It's not like this is a mom and pop company here, they should be able to afford having a couple evening techs on call.

Last edited by digs5446; 01-30-2009 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:21 PM   #11
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I asked the tech if I'd be able to get that lost time credited to my account and he said no, since they can be out there today or tomorrow even though I can't. I mean after all, who really needs to earn a living these days?
Hard to be so worked up when they are at least offering to come out today or tomorrow.

Believe me, that is the kind of attention that may have kept me at Comcast longer. The long time windows may be a pain, but at least they are responsive. Virtually every one of my "appointments" with Comcast resulted in no one showing up or even calling. My limited experience to date with Verizon has been positive when compared to the alternatives.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:36 PM   #12
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Hard to be so worked up when they are at least offering to come out today or tomorrow.

Believe me, that is the kind of attention that may have kept me at Comcast longer. The long time windows may be a pain, but at least they are responsive. Virtually every one of my "appointments" with Comcast resulted in no one showing up or even calling. My limited experience to date with Verizon has been positive when compared to the alternatives.
I know, you're right - I was just heated at the moment. Still very happy with Verizon's service.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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When the guy comes out to fix it, start sweet talking him. I am sure he has any number of batteries sitting in his truck. If the repair guy is the same as the installers, I am sure he will switch out the battery for you, especially when you explain the only reason it is dead is that the ONT went bad.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:39 PM   #14
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schvidah, Im fairly certain the technician will be doing the explaining.

As for this topic, the battery is not needed for FioS services. If someone doesnt want to replace the battery in the future, and can live without dialtone during a power outage, simply remove the battery and hit the silence alarm button on the BBU.

If dialtone is a concern in the event of a power outage, the battery needs to be replaced and it IS the responsibility of the customer.



I have never seen a bad battery cause a service outage, but i guess one can simply pull the battery outve the BBU and see if services come back online. Always make sure there is power to the electrical outlet.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #15
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We had our phone service go dead and it ended up being because the ONT went bad (it was and older model, model M I believe, that Verizon wasn't very happy with).
-Shark2k
How old would a "model M" be now ??

How would I go about finding out what model my ONT is out of curiousity ??
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