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Your data center’s first line defense against power fluctuations, such as spikes, dips, and so forth is the uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). You can’t wait for problems in your UPS system to occur before you take action. This is crucial to ensure uptime and protection of sensitive electronics.
Two-thirds (or more) of downtime events can be prevented. Insufficient maintenance is a major cause. While you cannot prevent malicious attacks, service provider failures and unforeseeable equipment failures from happening, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the likelihood of downtime.
Tips for Preventive UPS Maintenance
Safety should always come first. Money shouldn’t be the only thing that matters. You are always just one mistake away from serious injury and death when dealing with electricity. Safety is your top priority when working with UPS or any other electrical system in your data center. This includes following safety guidelines, paying attention and adhering to manufacturer recommendations. Call a professional if you are unsure about any aspect of your UPS system, or how to maintain it. Even if you know everything about your UPS system, it’s still a good idea to seek outside help.
Plan maintenance and stick to it. Avoid downtime by scheduling preventive maintenance. As with all data center systems, you should plan regular maintenance activities for your UPS. This includes maintaining a written record (electronic or paper) listing the upcoming maintenance activities as well as past maintenance.
Keep detailed notes. You should keep track of all maintenance tasks, including the type of work performed, such as cleaning or replacing certain components, and the condition of equipment during inspection. If you have to prove to the C-suite that just a few dollars in maintenance costs is better than thousands or millions of downtime costs, keeping track of these costs can be a great help. An orderly approach is maintained by a checklist that includes tasks such as checking for corrosion and looking for excessive torque on the connecting leads. This documentation is useful for planning equipment replacements or unscheduled repairs, and troubleshooting UPS. Keep records and keep them in a well-known, accessible place.
Conduct regular inspections. Many of the same principles can be applied to any data center, regardless of its location. Safety enforcement, maintenance scheduling and maintaining good records are excellent practices. However, for UPSs, staff should perform some tasks regularly (and should at least be familiar with the basics of UPS operation).
UPS components are susceptible to failure. It may seem obvious, but any component that has a finite chance of failing will eventually fail. Eaton points out that critical components of the UPS system, such as capacitors and batteries, wear out over time. Even if you have perfect power and your UPS room is maintained at the right temperature and is operating optimally, components can still fail. Maintenance is required for your (yes, you) UPS system.
Be aware of who to call if you have a problem or need unscheduled maintenance. Knowing who to call in these situations can help you save a lot stress. This means that you should identify reliable service providers who will be available at all hours of the day. You can choose to have the provider be the same provider as your regular provider, but it is important that you keep all numbers and information for maintenance and repairs in an easily accessible place. You will save time and money by having your maintenance records together.
Assign tasks. Who checks the equipment every week? Who calls the service provider to adjust or schedule annual maintenance? While the specific tasks might vary, it is important to know who is responsible when it comes UPS systems.
UPS maintenance is best left to professionals who are familiar with UPSs in general, and your UPS implementation in particular.
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