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When compared to a larger three-phase UPS system, a single-phase UPS can be pinned as a low-cost, minimal maintenance machine. While the cost to purchase is in fact much cheaper, not investing in the maintenance and care for a single-phase UPSs can lead to higher costs down the road; such as unplanned UPS replacements, UPS component failure, and costly downtime. Consider the following points as it relates to owning and maintaining single-phase UPSs:

  1. Keep an eye on the batteries. The most common cause of UPS failure, batteries require regular check-ups and replacement. In a single-phase UPS, we recommend battery replacement every 3-5 years. Regular preventive maintenance visits will help to identify bad batteries and test for conditions which may lead to battery failure.
  2. Environment is key. Without the proper environment, a UPS can be vulnerable to component failure, such as thermal runaway in its batteries, and a shorter lifespan. Especially in facilities with multiple single-phase UPSs, it can be easy to “set it and forget it.” Be sure to test the environment(s) where each of your UPS resides; this includes setting the proper temperature and humidity for good UPS operation. Consider adding a network card with environmental monitoring capabilities.
  3. Establish a preventive maintenance schedule. To maintain the health and longevity of your single-phase UPS’s, it is recommended to schedule regular check-ups. A minimum of one preventive maintenance visit per year for the UPS is suggested. Additionally, consider scheduling battery replacements in advance, around the 4-year mark, in preparation for the 5th year. This will help to ensure that budgeting for replacement is squared away before an issue arises.
  4. Identify the end-of-useful life of your UPSs. Every UPS has a manufacturer recommendation for useful life. Additionally, preventive maintenance visits can help indicate signs when your single-phase UPS is close to reaching the end of its useful life. At this point, start considering replacement of the UPS and/or an entire UPS audit.
  5. Audit your facility’s fleet of single-phase UPSs. In many facilities, the dispersal of single-phase UPSs throughout a building can require an audit to ensure that all equipment stays up to date with service and useful life. We recommend a site audit to take an inventory of each UPS, their age, and the age of their components. This can be done alongside a preventative maintenance visit.
  6. Planning for future purchases. As your single-phase UPSs reach the end of useful life, a helpful practice is to build out a plan to replace units as necessary. At the point of purchase, you can also determine whether a full replacement of your fleet of UPSs is in order, as this may be a more cost-effective decision. However, keeping your UPSs the same age will not impact a competent UPS maintenance company’s ability to service your equipment.
  7. Consider a spare parts inventory. Component failure cannot be predicted or prevented. A good preparedness strategy includes keeping critical spare parts on hand or at a nearby supplier warehouse. SEPS carries an extensive inventory of parts and batteries and can assist with this strategy. If a battery failure or other component issue arises, the problem can then be swiftly resolved.

With more than 35 years of field experience and leadership in power protection, SEPS is well qualified to perform UPS preventive maintenance. SEPS offers a full suite of UPS services and all technicians are trained and certified to manufacturer standards, assuring a thorough job.  For more information, please contact us, or speak with one of our Power Protection experts at 630-283-2399 or dmayo@seps-inc.com.

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