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Stay in the Game with Preventative UPS Maintenance

by | Apr 6, 2022 | blog | 0 comments

Here at CEG, we love everything about Spring – warmer temperatures, sunny skies. But best of all… Baseball is back! We admit we had our doubts because of the lockout. As soon as the strike ended, we jumped at the chance to enjoy spring training with our customers and vendors!!!

CEG spring training baseball
spring training spring UPS maintenance
spring UPS maintenance spring training

Just as the MLB prepares for the season with spring training, you should be getting your facility ready for the summer season. Blackouts and brownouts caused by severe storms or heatwaves are on the way! You’ve got an Uninterruptible Power Supply in place, but will it do its job when put to the test? UPSs that receive no preventative maintenance have a 400% greater chance of load loss. So, if your system hasn’t been serviced in a while, it’s time to add preventative maintenance to your spring to-do list. Here’s some tips to get you started.

Step 1 UPS maintenance

Start with some UPS Basics

Regular visual inspection of the equipment is the most important step in UPS maintenance. Keeping a close eye on your system should help identify issues quickly before they become a major problem. While trained experts should only perform physical maintenance or troubleshooting, there are basic, yet vital tasks you can do yourself. Consider the following tasks on a daily or weekly basis:

animals damage critical power systems
  • Examine the area for obstructions, loose connections, burned insulation or other signs of wear.
  • Check that no operating abnormalities or warnings have registered on the UPS panel, such as an overload or a battery near discharge.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation and cooling by checking that all fans are operational and room vents are working properly.
  • Open all doors, drawers and covers to inspect for foreign objects.
  • Visually inspect the batteries for signs of corrosion or other defects.
  • Always be listening for unusual rattling or other sounds coming from the UPS. Also pay attention to any abnormal smells.

In addition to visual inspections, staff should be able to change filters and take infrared temperature scans. But always play it safe. If there’s any uncertainty about how to maintain or repair your UPS system, call a professional.

step 2 ups maintenance

Schedule Professional UPS Maintenance – and Stick with It!

Unless you have someone in-house that’s professionally trained to perform UPS maintenance, rely on an outside expert to manage anything other than the tasks listed above. Generally, CEG recommends a maintenance program that includes two visits a year to inspect and service the UPS and its batteries.

 However, the type, size, and age of your setup should all be considered when developing a maintenance agreement.

There’s no question that preventative maintenance will extend the life of your UPS, but it won’t last forever. As many as 20% of UPSs in place have exceeded their service life and no amount of maintenance will prevent their eventual failure. They should be replaced or retrofitted. But, with regularly scheduled service, you’ll know when and why it’s time to replace a unit and have plenty of time to plan for it.

step 3 ups maintenance

Don’t Forget about the Batteries!

It doesn’t matter how much maintenance you do on the UPS, if the batteries don’t work, the system is useless. Lack of maintenance is the single largest contributor to battery failure, and this oversight usually happens because managers relied too much on UPS battery lifespan claims. In most cases, the life of the battery is three times shorter than what the manufacturer states.

While your in-house team can keep an eye out for corrosion, it’s best to leave battery testing, replacement, and disposal to the professionals, and should occur at least on an annual basis.

step 4 ups maintenance

Organize Your UPS Records

Managers and technicians come and go, and nobody’s memory is perfect, which is why keeping accurate records of UPS maintenance is just as critical as the work itself! CEG advises you to keep all the following in one location that’s easily accessible:

Equipment Records – all the basic information about the equipment itself – manufacturer’s identification, style, serial, size, location, etc., along with user manuals and warranty information. Also have at your fingertips who to call for routine maintenance and who to call for 24/7 emergency service (this may or may not be the same company).

Inspection Checklist – all the necessary and pertinent information on points to be checked by your team as well as your outside maintenance provider. It should also establish the recommended recurring dates when these checks should happen.

Periodic Maintenance Schedule – a complete listing of the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks that should be performed in-house and/or as part of your professional maintenance agreement. If possible, assign people to certain tasks. Who checks the equipment weekly? Who schedules annual maintenance? Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what when it comes to your UPS system.

Maintenance and Repair Records – all records for any type of service. This includes not only the inspection checklists, but also cleanings, repairs, replacements, and performance test records.

Keeping track of service and repair costs is also a good idea. Having these records will help demonstrate to the C-suite that a few dollars in maintenance costs beats losing thousands or millions due to downtime. It will also come in handy when planning and budgeting for equipment replacement.

Spring into Action Today to Prevent Downtime Tomorrow

Preventive maintenance is critical to all aspects of the data center, but the UPS system requires particular attention because it’s the short-term guarantor of a clean, steady flow of power to your IT equipment. Regular, scheduled maintenance can easily pay for itself by preventing unplanned downtime events due to a battery failure, clogged air filters, obstructions, corrosion, etc. Taking steps now to create a critical power plan that includes preventive maintenance can keep your UPS and your critical facility in the game during any severe weather season!


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