The Definitive UPS Maintenance Guide

March 27, 2024
March 27, 2024 bclpower

Ensuring the seamless operation of your business isn’t just about day-to-day tasks—it’s about safeguarding against potential disasters, like power outages, that can bring operations to a grinding halt. Yet, despite these very real risks, many organisations need more plans to handle power failures effectively.

According to a report by Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is approximately £4,409 per minute, with potential losses skyrocketing into the millions per day for some businesses. These figures underscore the critical need for reliable power supply solutions. Your business’s lifeline? Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. These systems ensure business continuity by seamlessly transitioning power during outages, preventing costly disruptions. However, proper maintenance is essential to ensure UPS systems perform reliably when called upon.

We insure our homes, cars, and health, so why do businesses often overlook insurance for their critical power solutions? As highlighted by Gartner’s research, maintenance is a small price to pay compared to the potential millions lost during downtime. 

Read more as we share insights on the importance of UPS systems in business operations, the significance of maintenance, and the risks associated with neglecting it, compiling an everything you need to know guide in protecting your business’s lifeline: 

Why UPS Maintenance Matters

UPS systems are your business’s best friend during power outages, bridging the gap between mains power failure and backup generators. Beyond mere convenience, they are indispensable for maintaining business continuity and safeguarding critical operations. But, it’s important to remember these systems are not set-and-forget solutions. 

Regular maintenance is imperative to ensure they perform flawlessly when called upon. Just as traffic lights need regular maintenance to prevent malfunctions and keep traffic moving, UPS systems require upkeep to prevent disruptions and maintain operational flow.

The Risks of Neglecting UPS Maintenance

Neglecting UPS maintenance poses significant risks to businesses:

Equipment Failure: Components such as batteries, capacitors, and fans can degrade over time, increasing the likelihood of system failure during outages.

Reduced Battery Life: Without proper maintenance, battery health deteriorates, leading to shorter backup runtimes and potential failures when needed most.

Overheating and Fire Hazards: Dust accumulation and fan failure can cause UPS units to overheat, posing fire risks to facilities and occupants.

Data Loss: Inadequate maintenance can result in unexpected shutdowns, risking data corruption or loss, impacting business continuity and regulatory compliance.

Below, we’ve shared a useful maintenance checklist for you to keep on top of your USP systems, how they function and keep them up and running so your organisation stays protected in the event of an outage. 

Your UPS System Checklist:

Visual Inspection:

  • Check for physical damage, loose connections, and signs of overheating.
  • Ensure adequate airflow around UPS units to prevent overheating.

Battery Check:

  • Conduct regular inspections for battery warning lights.

Firmware Updates:

  • Keep UPS firmware up to date to ensure compatibility with newer equipment and address security vulnerabilities.

Environmental Monitoring:

  • Implement temperature and humidity monitoring to prevent environmental factors from impacting UPS performance.

Regular Servicing:

  • Schedule professional servicing and preventive maintenance by certified technicians to address complex issues and ensure compliance with manufacturer recommendations.

What to Do During a Power Outage:

  • Remain Calm: Panicking won’t solve the problem. Stay composed and focus on executing your contingency plan.
  • Notify Relevant Personnel: Inform your key stakeholders about the outage and its potential impact on operations.
  • Activate UPS Systems: Switch to UPS power to keep critical systems operational if not already running.
  • Prioritise Workloads: Allocate resources to essential tasks and temporarily suspend non-critical operations.
  • Monitor Battery Status: Keep an eye on UPS battery runtime and take appropriate action if backup power levels are low.
  • Communicate with Customers: Provide transparent updates regarding service disruptions and expected resolution times.

Download our Disaster Recover guide for a comprehensive Outage Disaster Recovery Plan, ensuring preparedness in the event of an outage.

Here at BCL Power, we understand the UPS systems’ critical role in maintaining business continuity, especially during power outages. Our team of trained engineers ensure your UPS systems receive the care and attention they deserve. Trust in the expertise of BCL Power to keep your operations running smoothly, come rain or shine.

To find out more about our solutions and to help you set up regular maintenance programmes, speak to our team today

Common FAQs:

Q: How often should UPS systems be serviced?

A: It’s generally recommended to schedule UPS maintenance at least once a year, the frequency may vary depending on factors such as usage patterns and environmental conditions. Your UPS provider will assess your specific needs and advise on a bespoke maintenance schedule tailored to your business requirements. This ensures that your UPS systems receive the attention they need to operate at their best and provide an uninterrupted power supply when you need it most.

Q: Can I perform UPS maintenance myself?

A: While basic visual inspections can be conducted by personnel, comprehensive UPS maintenance should be performed by certified technicians to ensure proper functioning and compliance. Here at BCL Power, all of our engineers are trained and skilled to carry out reliable servicing

Q: What are the signs that my UPS system needs maintenance?

A: Signs to look out for include unusual noises, visible damage, frequent alarms, or changes in performance. Regular monitoring and testing can help detect potential issues early.

Q: Is UPS maintenance expensive?

A: The cost of UPS maintenance varies depending on factors such as system size, complexity, and service provider. However, investing in regular maintenance is far cheaper than dealing with unexpected failures or downtime. The cost of maintenance can help a business reduce replacements and reputational costs in the long run. 

Q: Can UPS maintenance prevent all power-related issues?

A: While regular maintenance minimises the risk of power-related issues, it cannot guarantee complete immunity. However, it significantly improves system reliability and performance, reducing the likelihood of disruptions. In addition, engineers will be able to identify if a system needs to be replaced, or repaired preventing any future incidents and mitigating risk.

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