UPS battery maintenance basics

UPS Batteries perform a variety of duties when it comes to protecting your computer system. In the event of a serious outage, your UPS Battery will be your first line of defense to make sure you don’t have to face downtime. It also acts as a secondary power source and allows data and other information on your computer to be safely stored and maintained. Simply put – a UPS Battery can often be the thin line between a brief blip or interruption of service and a total IT catastrophe.

When things do go wrong, it’s usually not the fault of the system. UPS Systems malfunctions are, in fact – the batteries themselves. Regular maintenance of these batteries is paramount to insuring that your backup power is there for you when you need it the most.

Here are some of the things you can do to better maintain and monitor your UPS power supply. Let’s jump right in!

The environment

The most important thing for your battery system is the environment it’s living in. Temperature is a major concern here as sharp temperature increases or decreases can lead to severe malfunctions and can even lop off as much as half of a batteries’ lifespan and dramatically increases the risk of there being significant downtime in your data center.

Each battery is a little different, so make sure you have a handle on your battery’s specifications but don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it. In fact we have found that your average UPS battery lasts as little as three times less than whatever the advertised lifespan is claimed by manufacturers. What that means is you should plan for the worst and be consistently monitoring your system’s health. Don’t just assume what the manufacturer is saying is true.

Sticking with the basics

You’d be surprised that some of the answers to the most complicated questions can be – in fact – right under your nose! Your battery manufacturers specs should include instructions on charging and float voltage and also the correct float that you’ll need in order to charge the battery appropriately. Make sure these adjustments are being made in your system. It’s important to make sure you’re not leaving your battery undercharged as this can lead to issues with the battery’s lifespan.

The second thing you want to do is to make sure that you’re doing what you can to monitor your data room’s temperature. Like we mentioned above, temperature can have a significant impact on your battery’s lifespan – but it can also cause potential issues pertaining to fires if left unchecked in rooms where the temperatures are too high. There are several temperature monitoring solutions available and we highly recommend you invest in one. If a battery begins to overheat or malfunction, it can be easily detected and the problem can be addressed. It can do a lot to save you from the threat of downtime, someone getting hurt and more.

Do your due diligence

Make sure you perform your own visual inspection at least once a year. This includes keeping your eye out for any possible visual defects like corrosion or swelling. Check the battery blocks, cabinet and rack. And above all else- make sure there’s nothing leaking! Leaky batteries can cause more than just damage to your charging system – they can knock out your entire system! Worse yet, they could cause a hazard to your personnel.

If you’re experiencing issues with your UPS system and are finding that you’re having issues maintaining the right balance, give us a call and we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation. More often than not, it’s worth it to have someone who can come in and make sure everything’s maintained and in working order. Good luck!