5 Common Causes of UPS Failure and Ways of Improving UPS Life Expectancy


Do you know that there are many causes of UPS’ (uninterruptable power supplies) failure? Do you know that by mitigating these causes, you can improve the life expectancy of your UPS? While today’s UPSs are designed in a way that makes them reliable and affordable to customers, they often fail.


Delta UPS sold and serviced by Inborn Energy.

There are several causes of UPS failure, but here are the five most common with recommendations for improving UPS’ life expectancy:



1. Batteries

The battery provides power when utility power is unavailable. A faulty battery is a common cause of UPS failure. The life expectancy of the UPS battery is between 3 and 5 years. The life expectancy of the battery can be improved by controlling factors such as the placement of the UPS, the ambient temperature, the frequency of cycling, the maintenance of the battery, the chemistry of the battery, and battery storage.


2. Fans

Fans: The function of the fans is to cool the UPS. Faulty fans are a common cause of UPS failure. The life expectancy of the fans is up to 10 years. The life expectancy of the fans can be improved by choosing a UPS unit that supports your load, keeping the ambient temperature within a given range, controlling how frequently the UPS is used, and also controlling how long the UPS is used.



3. Electrolytic Capacitors

The function of electrolytic capacitors is to smooth out and filter spikes in voltage. Spikes in voltage cause capacitor damage, which is a common cause of UPS failure. The life expectancy of electrolytic capacitors is up to 10 years. The factors that affect the life expectancy of electrolytic capacitors include the humidity and the ambient temperature. It is important to know that every 10°C (18°F) reduction in the ambient temperature doubles the life expectancy of the UPS. Monitoring the temperature and keeping it within a specified range is, thus, one of the ways of increasing UPS life expectancy.




4. Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs)

MOVs protect circuits against excessive transient voltages. Excessive transient voltages damage UPS, causing them to fail. The life expectancy of MOVs is variable and is affected by the number and severity of surge events. Monitoring the exposure of your UPS to extreme or frequent voltage spikes can help determine ways of increasing life expectancy of the UPS.



5. Relays

Relays help UPS transfer modes. The life expectancy of relays is also variable and is mostly affected by abnormal cycling. Failure of relays is rare, but overuse due to high cycling can lead to eventual failure. A malfunctioning or incorrect firmware setup can also lead to UPS failure.



It is important that you understand all the common causes of UPS failure so that you can proactively increase the life expectancy of your UPS. Whether you are a small business owner or an IT support professional in an organization, you should understand firmware settings and optimal UPS functioning to avoid UPS failures.


At Inborn Energy we are committed to ensuring that your UPS is in top notch condition when you need it. We offer preventive maintenance services that are customized for your system. We have expertise in a wide array of UPS backup systems.


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