Monsoon Season is no joke here in the desert southwest. There are frequent thunderstorms with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, dust storms called “haboobs” that produce a wall of dust miles long, and microbursts that are strong enough to take out entire fleets of small, multi-engine planes. This is the time of year when it’s important to make sure that your network and all of its devices are protected from any sudden power outages or surges. Your UPS systems – essentially the heart of your network’s safety net – should be your #1 priority in storm preparation and maintenance. We’ve asked our expert technicians for some easy steps to take in preparing and maintaining your UPS for any kind of storm that may come your way, and they’ve provided the following tips to ensure that your UPS will be there for you when you need it most.
First, start by simply visually inspecting the units. Ask yourself: Is there any leakage anywhere indicating battery seepage? How about that low battery light – is it flickering? Remember, the battery in your UPS is like any other battery, and it’s affected by heat and time. Factors such as how long the battery has been in the UPS, the amount of power being utilized by the unit, and even the temperature of the environment in which it sits all affect the longevity and affectivity of your UPS. It is recommended that your UPS is replaced – at minimum – every 18 months. While the life of some UPS battery systems can extend up to 3 years, if you’re utilizing it to supply continuous filtered power (Online UPS) to a number of a different devices then you can expect that lifespan to be significantly reduced. A Standby or Line-Interactive UPS unit will improve the battery’s longevity, but should still be tested every 6 to 12 months for effectiveness.
Next, check the connection to the power source: Is it plugged directly into the wall, or an extension cord? UPS systems operate best when plugged directly into the wall – we highly recommend against plugging it into any kind of extension cord of sorts. Also, be sure you’re not attempting to run more than one UPS on a single extension cord or power strip! Remember, UPS systems come with built in surge protectors, so it’s unnecessary to plug them into a separate power surge strip, and connecting units on a power strip like that will only work to comprise the unit in the event of a power spike or burnout.
While this post is meant to be a guide to help you along the path of UPS storm preparation and maintenance, our technicians are always on-hand to assist with your questions and concerns about the process. Remember, a second opinion on the status of your equipment is never a bad thing! We can test your UPS system batteries, conduct thermal scans on your electrical connections, or even help you assess if your UPS is at the required caliber for your business needs. Give us a call any time, from anywhere: 480-812-0489.