When the battery life expires, as established by the manufacturer, or after any activation of the beacon (even accidental, not in case of a real emergency) the battery must be replaced.
The battery replacement and consequent general service of the beacon, whether PLB or EPIRB, is always more convenient than the purchase of a new locator. Obviously this is true in case of PLB or EPIRB in good condition and technologically not obsolete. If you would like to service a particular obsolete beacon and replace its battery, it may be advisable to replace it completely with a new device of the latest generation.
To this end, just contact us for a consultation (free of charge and without obligation) to receive our technical opinion on the feasibility and convenience of servicing a beacon or replacing it in full with a new device.
The requirements regarding the replacement of batteries are those of the manufacturer in the case of PLB and SART, while in the case of EPIRB international or subjective regulations at national level may impose more restrictive limitations.
According to the IMO guidelines, the service of an EPIRB must necessarily be carried out at intervals not exceeding five years. This interval is therefore applied worldwide. Italy is an exception, having introduced a more restrictive interval of only four years.
Also according to the IMO provisions, the battery replacement of an EPIRB cannot be considered as an operation completely separated from a larger overall inspection which for all intents is considered a general service of the device, with thorough checks certifying the effectiveness and full operation of the beacon. At the time of battery expiry, therefore, an intervention must be carried out which is called SBM, acronym for Shore Based Maintenance, according to the requirements established by the IMO MSC/Circ. 1039. Only properly certified and recognized companies can carry out this intervention which involves the total disassembly of the EPIRB, the replacement of the battery, the replacement of parts such as gaskets, O-rings, antennas or full structure, then total reassembly and transmission tests (in Faraday's cage to prevent the propagation of the signal) and watertight seal check.
At the end of this complex work cycle, if the EPIRB passed all the various steps, it will be put back into service properly accompanied by a Shore Based Maintenance certificate that is delivered in its original form to the client.
Our company is certified to carry out SBM operations on any EPIRB manufactured by GME and ACR Electronics.