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Every UPS consists of components that need to be replaced over time. Below is a list of parts you should keep in mind and their associated lifespans.
Batteries are at the top of our checklist when conducting when it comes to maintaining a UPS. A good place to start is making sure the battery breaker is closed and verify that the UPS batteries are being charged. We then do a visual inspection of the UPS batteries to check for corrosion along the terminals, any possible leaking, or signs of batteries being shorted. Make sure to take note of the environment the batteries are stored in. Factors like temperature, cleanliness, ventilation, humidity, and load size dramatically affect the health of the UPS batteries. When testing UPS batteries, we check the voltage and resistance of the batteries, which are good indicators of battery health. We test our customers UPS batteries on a quarterly basis and visually inspect the batteries at the beginning of each month.
After batteries, the next UPS component that needs to be maintained are the UPS capacitors. The UPS capacitors are responsible for keeping the voltage clean and consistent, this is particularly important for conditioning the incoming utility power before reaching the load. The UPS consists of of AC and DC capacitors and over time, they all need to be replaced. Being proactive about replacing your UPS’s capacitors is necessary – don’t wait for them to go bad. The capacitors inside your UPS should be replaced every 5-7 years. Bad UPS capacitors can look bloated, almost as if they are going to explode. Unfortunately, the capacitors are usually tucked away inside the UPS system and might be difficult to inspect.
Another component we’re consistently replacing are the UPS fans. Just like the capacitors, the UPS fans give out on their own after some time. Most systems have an alarm or indicator to let you know that you have a faulty fan. Fans that aren’t working properly could result in the internal temperature of the UPS rising which could lead to further damage, diminished performance, and shorter life span of the system.
UPS’s usually have vents along their sides and on the other side of each vent there are usually one or two filters. These filters are used to catch and trap dirt and dust from entering the system. The filters are critical if your UPS is located in an environment that isn’t completed sealed off from the outdoors. We’ve seen UPS’s in sheds and other structures that weren’t originally built with the purpose of housing critical electrical equipment. If your UPS is located in such an environment, keep a close eye on the filters and make sure to change them when needed. Like the other components mentioned above, not replacing your filters could affect the performance of your UPS and lead to damage.