Use it or lose it applies to many things in life and is especially true when it comes to maintaining your UPS. Even if you rarely need to rely on your UPS, properly maintaining it is critical to ensuring that when you do need it, it will be working optimally, and as intended.
In this article we’re going to tell you everything you need to know on the importance of maintaining your UPS.
A UPS (or uninterruptible power supply), is a device that enables your computers to continue running in the event that your main power supply is interrupted (e.g., a power outage).
There are three main types of UPS system:
There are four main components in a UPS system:
Maintaining your UPS is fairly straightforward. We’ll begin with some preventative maintenance tips…
Besides vacuuming, you should never attempt to clean your UPSs subassemblies alone. Any accumulative dirt should be removed by a certified UPS cleaning professional. As for everything else, you can do the following:
A critical preventative maintenance task is to check that all connections are tightened and secure. This is because a minor ground can potentially induce transients on the logic power supply which will negatively impact the system control. Using an infrared scanner, check for any loose connections on the:
You should also regularly check your capacitor cans for any signs of swelling, leaking, or pressure-related pop out.
Even in the most favourable conditions, your battery capacity will deplete over time thus reducing the overall runtime your UPS will deliver in an emergency situation. As such, your batteries should be replaced every three to five years (the average lifespan of a sealed lead-acid battery).
It’s not just the UPS hardware itself that needs maintaining, but the relevant software as well…
Keeping your UPSs firmware up-to-date is paramount. Fortunately, it’s relatively straightforward. The Firmware Upgrade Wizard is a universal (and preferred) method that will guide you through the process from start to finish.
It’s also worth setting and configuring alarms and notifications for your UPS system. That way, you can receive email notifications in the event of a power failure – including various alarms that will trigger in certain situations (e.g., once the battery voltage has fallen below a certain level).
The configuration process may vary depending on the type of UPS you have installed.
Here’s a quick look at how you can troubleshoot some of the more common UPS issues:
Batteries are the major culprits of UPS power failure. As such, it’s important to act immediately with failed or weak batteries. Even if your batteries are new they should be monitored closely.
Additionally, regularly inspect your air filters. Dirty filters will invariably contribute to overheating and the weakening of your UPSs internal components.
When a load exceeds the UPS system's VA / Watt capacity, an overload LED notification will illuminate on your display and an alarm will likely go off. In this case, disconnect all non-essential equipment immediately – then double check to ensure that you are not connecting more devices than is recommended.
If the overload Led remains and the alarm continues, it’s likely a sustained surge or fault that will need to be rectified immediately (we’d recommend contacting your local UPS technical support team).
The overall lifespan of your battery will depend on the consumption of the UPS, including the environment in which it is stored in. If your system is not fully charged, then it could be a sign of a leak in the battery.
Any sign of battery fault must be addressed immediately (and replaced if necessary) as the discharge from batteries can cause irreparable damage to your UPS – not to mention causing instability in its performance.
And finally, here are some of the most frequently asked questions…
Ultimately, UPS maintenance is important to prolong the continued operation of your investment. The better maintained it is the more you will get out of it before invariably needing a costly replacement.
Every six to twelve months – with regular cleaning and inspections in between.
UPS stands for “uninterrupted power supply”.
Yes. A build-up of dust will invariably contribute to the overheating of your UPS system which can result in power failure and the premature deterioration of your UPSs internal components.