Tips for Preventative UPS Maintenance

With the unreliable provision of electrical power and need to supply uninterrupted, clean energy to critical systems, many people are investing in uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems for business. However, it’s important to perform regular maintenance to keep the UPS working at its optimum. 

What is a UPS?

Also referred to as a ‘battery backup’, a UPS is a backup power system that supplies regular power to your equipment, even if there’s a problem with the main power supply. This refers to voltage spikes or drops, and total blackouts. The UPS will allow for a safe shutdown of equipment to protect valuable data. 

Why do you need UPS maintenance?

The maintenance of any equipment is vital to ensure its always working at maximum capacity, and this is even more crucial with a UPS system. Performing routine maintenance on your UPS device is beneficial in a number of ways.

  • Check battery health

The UPS battery health is key to a well-functioning device, and regular UPS maintenance will check whether there is an impedance, AC ripple or other factors that could result in the battery string failing. You can then learn if you need to replace your batteries ahead of time. 

  • Check other components

Preventative maintenance will also check the performance of other critical components in your UPS such as the fans, air filters, capacitors and power supplies. If there is any impediment, it can be quickly identified and corrected. 

  • Check environmental factors

There are many other factors that could impact the function of your UPS device, many of which are environmental. This could be poor ventilation, dust or elevated temperatures that need to be quickly rectified. 

  • Sufficient support

Your power needs might change over time and it’s important to check that your UPS is properly sized and configured to provide the required support at all times. 

Because your UPS device is only required in emergency situations, it’s important to ensure it’s ready to go when that power cut occurs. Through preventative maintenance, you’re able to ensure you have maximum uptime whatever the situation. 

  • Prolong your UPS life

When your UPS components are not functioning at their best, or when there are environmental factors impacting function, your UPS will be working harder to perform, resulting in premature wear and tear that decreases UPS life. Preventative maintenance will sere to prolong the life of your UPS. 

Tips for preventative UPS maintenance

To get the most out of your UPS system, you need to establish a preventative maintenance schedule that covers all components. Here’s a look at the ways you can get started on UPS maintenance. 

  1. Keep checklists and records 

Although the manufacturer might state your UPS lifespan is around 10 to 13 years, the lifespan of the individual components within your UPS will not last that long, so you need to be checking their performance regularly. The best way to keep on top of your UPS maintenance, is to draw up a detailed checklist which covers all the components, as well as who is responsible for the maintenance and when. In addition to compiling the checklist, you need to make sure that thorough records are kept after each component is checked – what the performance was, whether it was replaced and when. This will help keep the guesswork out of your UPS maintenance. 

  1. Check the UPS environment

In addition to checking the UPS components, you need to keep checking the environmental factors that will impact the performance of your UPS device as well. Dirt and dust in the room can restrict the airflow; increased moisture from humidity can corrode your connections; poorly-installed wiring could decrease power transfer; and increased heat or poor ventilation could drastically reduce functionality. Through ongoing UPS environmental checks, you’re protecting the device for long-term use. 

  1. Perform battery inspections

This will form a vital part of your maintenance checklist, but it’s important to note that when a UPS system fails, the majority of the time it’s because something went wrong with a battery. There are many different types of UPS battery, all with differing lifespans, so you need to check what type of batteries are used for your maintenance checks. The environmental factors – such as overheating – will drastically impact battery performance. Other ways your battery life is diminished is through improper float voltage and repeated cycling use. Your maintenance needs voltage testing and thermal scans for optimum battery health. 

  1. Perform load bank testing

One of the key ways to ensure battery health is to perform load bank testing. This will simulate a power disruption by connecting the UPS device to an electrical load that emulates a real power outage. Through this, it’s easy to identify any problems in the UPS components and battery strings. 

Because preventative maintenance is so important to your UPS functionality, it’s worth getting industry experts such as JUP Solutions to perform scheduled maintenance. This takes the pressure off your team and gives you peace of mind that everything is working as it should. 

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