5 Common Causes of UPS Failure

UPS batteries

UPS failure can result from many factors. When this happens, there is unfortunately no shortage of potential mishaps.

Whether you are operating aging infrastructure or looking to optimize the lifespan of a newer equipment, consider some of the most common UPS components that are susceptible to failure:

 

1. Batteries. As the heart of any UPS system, batteries require constant check up to ensure they remain fit to safeguard critical systems. Regardless of their age, batteries should be inspected semi-annually as part of a PM visit that includes testing for impedance or conductance, as well as assesses performance and evaluates any potential weaknesses.

2. Capacitors. A fairly simple device that stores and releases electrical energy, capacitors range in size and type, and generally need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. A typical UPS contains a dozen or more capacitors, which are responsible for smoothing out and filtering voltage fluctuations. However, because capacitors degrade over time, annual inspection helps to optimize their operation and extend their lifespan.

3. Fans. Some UPS fans may perform well for 10 years of continuous use, while others could run for just a short time before locking up or failing. Electrical or mechanical limitations and dried out ball bearings are common issues that can result in fan failures and subsequent UPS overheating.

4. Filters. UPS’s are also prone to overheating (and shutting down) when dust or other coatings block air filters. Because replacing filters is an inexpensive component of an effective UPS maintenance plan, they should be inspected on a monthly basis and changed as needed.

5. Connections. An annual PM visit gives a trained service technician the opportunity to inspect the UPS and battery cabinets for loose internal connections, which can result from machinery situated close to the unit or from building vibrations.

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