#Blackout: Is Your Uninterruptible Power Supply Well-maintained?

Martin Connor
Nov 26, 2018 · 3 min read

ABS-CBN’s news article made it clear last week on November 11 that there would be power interruptions all over Luzon until November 18. Last week there were multiple areas that were affected by this such as Makati City (East Rembo), Quezon City, San Juan City, Taguig City (BGC), and more.

This event is what you call rolling blackouts. It’s a series of controlled blackouts or a pre-planned interruption of service in specific areas that comes with an advanced warning.

This is important to note for uninterruptible power supply users in the Philippines just in case another one would be announced in the near future. You might never know when your UPS will kick the bucket even if you think it’s ready for anything so it’s best to perform a maintenance check.

An Uninterruptible Power Supply

To effectively perform a maintenance check on your own, you have to identify an uninterruptible power supply and understand how it works. You’ll frequently see one in data centers or in IT departments in various companies in the Philippines. It works like an automatic voltage regulator but it also stores electricity in its backup battery while plugged in. Then, it automatically switches to backup power when it’s disconnected from a power source via power interruption or accidental unplugging.

Maintenance

If you’ve owned an uninterruptible power supply for a year or two, you might need to perform a maintenance check on it right away since its backup battery has a limited lifespan and some components experience wear and tear to the point that it’ll need a part replacement.

A visual inspection is the easiest form of maintenance check. Before you proceed with it, follow safety guidelines and never hesitate to ask professional assistance if needed.

Here’s how you do a simple maintenance check for your uninterruptible power supply:

Important Note:

The process may vary depending on the model as this guide is for the basic uninterruptible power supply. Some features available on smart uninterruptible power supplies may or may not appear here. Consult with your unit’s product manual for accuracy.

1. Inspect the area around the uninterruptible power supply for obstructions and defects that can impede proper cooling. Check the air filters for dust buildup and the fan if it’s still working. These components prevent your batteries from overheating.

2. Check for visual and audible warnings on the uninterruptible power supply such as an overload or battery drain warning. In some models, a self-test function is included which will trigger warnings to tell you what’s wrong with it.

3. Check the power switch and test switch. These experience wear and tear as you use them daily.

4. Check the batteries for corrosion and other defects. This will require removal of the case in order to see the batteries. Should they be defective or dead, it’ll need immediate replacement.

Some maintenance procedures like checking the internal connections and capacitors would require specialized equipment such as a multimeter to precisely identify any problems. It’s best to leave it to a professional if you aren’t suited for the task.

As for fixes and replacements, there are some companies in the Philippines that offer uninterruptible power supply parts, battery replacement, small unit repairs, and on-site support like Clixlogic.

You have this option if you can’t afford to buy another unit just yet.

Preparedness for Blackouts

To be fully prepared for sudden blackouts and rolling blackouts, always have your uninterruptible power supply running in top performance by scheduling a maintenance, keeping performance records, and knowing where and from whom you should seek assistance when you need service.

You’ll never have an uninterruptible power supply fail on you during a blackout or rolling blackout with these tips.

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