PacB Group // Keeping the Lights On: The Importance of UPS Maintenance


Keeping the Lights On: The Importance of UPS Maintenance

Uninterruptible power supply servicing, or UPS maintenance, is as important as maintaining other pieces of equipment that keep your lights on during tedious power outages. With load-shedding still rearing its head in various stages and for undetermined times nationally, South Africans have become reliant on different types of alternative energy to prevent downtime, especially at home or work where consistent power is imperative.


An Introduction to UPS Maintenance

The reason UPS maintenance is so important is that there are times when power completely drops between the utility grid going down and the alternate energy source kicking in or being manually switched on, which may cause the loss of important information. There may also be times when the reconnection of the utility service post load-shedding may cause a power surge that might damage appliances, tools, and equipment that are expensive to replace.

Through these interruptions in service delivery, your uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit is your lifeline for consistent, reliable energy. It bridges the gap or regulates electricity flow between no power, power reconnection, and power surges, ensuring that you never lose a paragraph, fridge, power tool, or photocopier.

But just like any other piece of equipment, these machines require proper care to function optimally. Today, the expert power providers at PacB Power Solutions will highlight the importance of UPS maintenance, exploring what these units are, the undeniable benefits of their preventative care, and why keeping your UPS in tip-top condition is so important.


Understanding the Powerhouse – What are UPS Units?

The UPS, also known as a battery backup unit, acts as a safety net for your critical equipment. It safeguards your devices from power disturbances like outages, surges, and sags. This is how they work:

  • Normal Power Supply: During normal operation, the UPS receives power from the country’s utility grid, storing power in its all-in-one battery power pack.
  • Power Fluctuation: If a power outage or fluctuation occurs, the UPS seamlessly switches to its internal battery bank, ensuring continuous power without an intermediary breakdown.
  • Battery Backup: The stored battery power takes over, supplying clean and consistent electricity to your connected devices. This allows for a smooth transition and protects them from potential damage caused by power irregularities.
  • Power Return: Once the utility grid power stabilises, the UPS automatically switches back, regulating any power differentiations, and begins recharging its batteries for the next bout of outages.

UPS units come in various sizes and configurations catering to different needs. Small UPS systems are ideal for protecting individual workstations or point-of-sale terminals, while larger models can safeguard entire server racks, critical infrastructure within data centres, and more.


4 Benefits of Preventative UPS Maintenance

Just like a car needs regular servicing to prevent roadside breakdowns, neglecting UPS maintenance can lead to costly downtime and potential losses. These are four advantages of having a proactive approach to UPS maintenance:

  1. Maximised Uptime: Regular maintenance and UPS repair help identify and address minor issues before they develop into irreparable failures. This proactive approach significantly reduces the risk of unexpected outages and ensures your critical equipment stays powered and operational.
  2. Extended UPS Lifespan: A well-maintained unit simply lasts longer. By catching potential problems early and performing a necessary UPS service timely, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your machine, saving you time and money on premature unit replacements.
  3. Enhanced Efficiency: Over time, dust buildup and ageing components can decrease these machines’ efficiency. Regular cleaning and component checks ensure optimal performance and energy savings.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing your UPS is in top condition provides invaluable peace of mind. You can rest assured that your critical operations are protected from unexpected power disturbances, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.


5 Examples of Why Proactive UPS Maintenance is Important

The importance of UPS maintenance cannot be overstated. Let’s take a closer look at why a well-defined maintenance schedule is vital:

  1. Early Detection of Issues: Regular inspections by qualified technicians can identify potential problems like loose connections, failing batteries, or overheating components. Addressing these issues promptly prevents them from escalating into more significant problems that could lead to costly repairs or even complete system failure.
  2. Battery Care is Key: Batteries are the heart of a UPS system, and their health directly impacts performance. Regular maintenance includes checking battery health, voltage levels, and electrolyte levels (in older models). Early detection of failing batteries allows for timely replacements, ensuring seamless power delivery when needed.
  3. Software Updates: Modern UPS systems rely on sophisticated software for optimal operation. Regular software updates ensure your UPS functions with the latest technology at optimum performance while addressing potential bugs and security vulnerabilities.
  4. Environmental Considerations: Temperature and humidity can significantly impact UPS performance. Maintenance includes checking proper ventilation around the unit and ensuring the operating environment meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
  5. Compliance and Safety: Regular maintenance helps ensure your system adheres to safety regulations and industry standards. This minimises the risk of electrical hazards and protects both personnel and equipment.


3 Considerations When Developing a UPS Maintenance Strategy

The ideal UPS service strategy should be customised to your specific needs and equipment. Consider these factors before implementing one:

  1. Frequency of Service: The frequency of maintenance depends on various factors like the size, importance, and usage of your UPS system, as well as your environment. Generally, quarterly visual inspections, biannual load bank testing, and annual comprehensive maintenance are recommended.
  2. Internal vs. Professional Service: For smaller, less critical applications, some basic maintenance tasks can be performed in-house by trained personnel. However, for larger or more complex uninterruptible power supply systems, it is highly recommended to utilise a qualified service provider with expertise in UPS maintenance and repair.
  3. Service Contracts: Many UPS manufacturers, installers, and service providers offer comprehensive maintenance contracts. These contracts typically include UPS monitoring, routine inspections, cleaning, battery replacement, and emergency support, offering a cost-effective and proactive approach to UPS care.


Where to Find Professional UPS Power Providers

For over a decade, we at PacB Power Solutions have been the leading alternative energy providers in South Africa. From diesel generators of all sizes to solar systems, UPS units, and more, we offer a bursting portfolio of superior-quality power products. While growing exponentially through the years, developing a footprint deep into Sub-Saharan Africa, we are still a humble, family owned, proudly South African business.

With new divisions diversifying our offerings frequently, like our PacB Electech division, which is responsible for installations, Service Level Agreements, repairs, and monitoring all of our products, we have your PacB UPS power unit covered. Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation.


Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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