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Take a moment to check your office UPS - it could save a lot of hassle!

26 Aug 2016

A UPS is an important item of equipment which ensures constant availability of power to computers. Because UPS sit quietly performing their function without attention we often find our clients tend to forget them; until something goes wrong! To avoid this please take a moment to check a few things to avoid problems occurring.

Quick UPS reliability check list

How old is your UPS?

  • The reliable life of an office based UPS is about 10 years.
  • The standard commercial batteries fitted to the vast majority of these UPS have a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years.
  • Therefore, the batteries are usually replaced twice during the life of the UPS to ensure reliability.
  • Battery life is reduced by high average temperatures (above 20C)
  • Don’t rely too much on inbuilt UPS battery test circuits; these are often fairly rudimentary.

So, if your UPS is 4 or 5 years old it would be prudent to have the batteries replaced. They can be checked by an engineer (preferably from ABC) but for small UPS the cost of the visiting engineer is probably more than the cost of battery replacement. If the UPS is over 8 years old it may well be financially sensible to replace the UPS, not just the batteries. Check out the costs of both options.

Do you have a bypass switch?

A bypass switch is a useful device which is often not purchased to save initial financial outlay. However, this seems short sighted when the UPS eventually fails and no one knows how to get power back to the computers.

  • If you have a bypass switch does everyone know how and when to use it?
  • If there is no bypass switch do you have a simple failure procedure to reconnect power should the UPS fail? The UPS outputs are usually IEC connectors so cannot be easily transferred to UK 3 pin sockets without an adaptor.
  • Is the bypass powered from the same supply as the UPS? It is not unknown for a failure of the UPS input circuitry to operate the supply circuit breaker. If the bypass is fed from the same source there is then no power for the bypass circuit.
Do you have a spare UPS?

This may seem a strange question but it is surprising how many of our clients keep a UPS, which may have become redundant from some other use, as a spare.

This is fine – but please remember to keep the UPS powered up either permanently, or at least for a couple of days every two months to keep the batteries charged. If left uncharged for over a few months, the batteries will have to be changed before the UPS is of any use. In fact, if the UPS is switched on after a long period of non-use damage could occur within the UPS.

We hope this quick check has been reassuring but please give us a call with any query you may have:

Call on: 01672 522950 – we look forward to hearing from you!


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