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Preventing UPS Inflicted Hardware Failure

Why UPS Maintenance Is Important

Steve Smith explains why proper maintenance of a Uninterruptible Power Supply may prevent catastrophic damage to your sensitive devices, including your computer.

Episode #4-41 released on July 3, 2014

Recently, at one of my many jobs, there was a minor failure fluctuation, which would normally not cause most devices to fail, but caused not one but two distinct systems to fail, both supposedly protected by a UPS. Today, I'll explain to you the value of a properly maintained UPS, and how to to protect it, plus any other devices connected to those UPS.

First, most people do not have a UPS, it stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply, and its primary functions include filtering your electrical outlets power if any strange distortions are present, and to keep the devices powered in case of a power loss, or under current or over voltage issue in the wall outlet.

Second, all UPS devices have their own battery backup system. No UPS comes fully charged out of the box, so it may take 24 hours for them to be useable. In these cases, it is suggested to charge them completely before placing them into situations that may have sensitive equipment. It is, also, important to understand that each UPS must be placed at their own dedicated outlet, and not to daisy chain any of them since they filter power and the harmonics of the power on the battery backup will cause it to instantly fall to battery mode the second the primary UPS where to switch to battery mode.

Third, most batteries in UPS' don't last more than 3 years. For this reason, the software they normally come with has both a last changed date, and a battery tester. Respect the expiration date, and take notice when thee software says the battery has issues. When this occurs, change the battery immediately, because the consequences can cause hardware failure.

Fourth, imminent failure symptoms include the device powering off for no reason, just turning off unexpectedly, shorter than specified battery backup when power goes out. If you see these symptoms, it may already be too late, powering off your device, and changing the UPS battery may help you if your sensitive devices haven't already been damaged.

Lastly, for those wondering, why doesn't a surge bar do the job that a UPS does?

Well, most damage will occur to a computer, or other sensitive device when the voltage and wattage fall below a threshold where simply converting it to useable DC will not generate enough wattage for the system. When this occurs, things like cooling fans tend to fail at their job, and the device may overheat and short out.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions