It was Benjamin Franklin who warned, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” More than 200 years later, this wise creed continues to apply across many facets of life — including uninterruptible power system (UPS) maintenance.  Just as professional athletes thoroughly assess the competition and strategize play calls prior to games, your uptime success is highly linked to proper planning.

While the importance of performing regular UPS system maintenance is now widely recognized, assembling the proper game plan can be confusing. If you aren’t sure exactly what UPS maintenance service needs to be done and when to do it, you’re not alone. Yet it’s vital to understand that a UPS is not a device you can simply stash in a closet or under a desk and forget about; the ongoing reliability of your equipment depends on an effective maintenance strategy.

In addition to targeting components within the actual unit, UPS battery maintenance is also essential. The type of batteries generally determines the level and frequency of service. For example, sealed batteries found in most smaller UPSs require less maintenance than the flooded-cell versions used in larger units. Something as simple as loose or dirty connections can cause a buildup of heat at the battery terminals, which decreases system capacity, reduces battery life and can even lead to potential fire hazards.

Although an in-house staff member may be able to complete the most basic maintenance tasks, the majority of service should be undertaken by professional uninterruptible power supply maintenance companies to ensure personnel safety and necessary expertise.

 

To help you implement a winning game plan with your UPS service, refer to this handy Maintenance Checklist:

 

Monthly: On a monthly basis, assign an internal employee to:

• Visually inspect the UPS, ensuring the environment is clean and free of dust and debris

• Inspect batteries for electrolyte levels and any sign of leakage

• If a battery monitoring system is in place, review the results

• Measure the ambient temperature

• Measure the battery float charging current

• Test the room’s ventilation system

• If a generator feeds the UPS, test it

Quarterly: Every quarter, engage with a professional service technician who will:

• Inspect equipment for loose connections, burned insulation or other signs of wear

• Measure the ambient temperature and negative-post temperature of battery cells

• Measure the voltage of each cell or battery block

Semi-annually: During this important mid-year inspection, a trained technician will:

• Inspect and repair battery connections as needed

• Check for liquid contamination from batteries and capacitors

• Clean and vacuum UPS equipment enclosures

• Test the UPS’s overall operation

Annually: Every UPS needs a thorough yearly checkup, where you can expect a service technician to:

• Take the system offline and inspect its components for any evidence of corrosion or heat damage

• Conduct thermal scans on electrical connections using a diagnostic tool that identifies hot spots invisible to the human eye

• Load-test the battery bank to determine capacity (optional if customer desires)

• Remove dirt and dust from UPS components

• Measure and check the torque of all connections, re-torqueing any power connections as needed

• Test overall system operation, including a monitored battery-rundown test to determine if any battery strings or cells are near the end of their useful lives

• Flooded-cell batteries should have terminals inspected for signs of corrosion and accumulation of dirt; voltage and current measured for the entire bank; voltage measured for each cell; electrolytes tested; and all measurements properly recorded to track ongoing battery performance

Above all else, remember that proper planning is the key to continued success — and in the case of your power protection solution, continued uptime!

For more information on maintenance schedules, contact the professionals at Intelligent Power Solutions today!

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