A UPS, in this context, is an uninterruptible power supply. These devices are designed to ensure that small interruptions to your main electrical supply go by unnoticed. As they can only provide power for a short amount of time, they are not an alternative to a generator in the case of a complete power outage.
Most people who own a UPS have it to protect their electronics from electrical interruptions and surges. In addition to protecting the machine itself, a UPS can also save you from losing files you are working on and other data. As such, if you use a computer or other electronics for work or just want to protect your investment, a UPS is a good item to have.
That said, all batteries’ performance will depreciate over time. While proper storage and maintenance will help to keep your UPS working well for as long as possible, it will eventually need to be replaced—usually around five years after it was made. However, there are factors that can cause your UPS to fail prematurely, which can be catastrophic for you. Let’s take a look at the top 5 causes of a shorter UPS battery life below.
#1: Poor Storage
If your UPS is vital to your work, chances are you will also have at least one backup on hand. While this is a good idea, if you fail to store them properly, you are setting yourself up for disappointment once you switch to those backup batteries. All batteries discharge energy even when not in use, which means that you need to charge them even while in storage, usually once every 3-4 months. Also, while in storage, they should be placed in a cool, dry space. 50 degrees or less is best.
#2: High Room Temperature
When in use, your battery does not need to be kept as cool as it does while in storage. However, you should not place it somewhere the temperature is likely to go above 77 degrees. This means controlling the temperature in your home or office and keeping the UPS out of the sun. Additionally, large fluctuations in temperature can also reduce the life of your UPS. Ensure that wherever you place it, it has proper ventilation so the UPS itself does not overheat.
UPS batteries are designed to recharge themselves after their battery power is used during power outages. As you would imagine, the more this happens, the less power capacity it will have. Once it has cycled too many times, it will fail. It is important to keep track of how many power outages have occurred during the life of the battery to help you have a better sense of when it’s going to fail.
#4: Improper Voltage
Your battery has a specific charging voltage it is designed to work with. If you use a different voltage to charge your UPS, it will be damaged. Out of all possible causes for failure, this is the one that will work the fastest, so it is vital you are careful about the voltage used. In general, you should know the voltage used in your home, but if not, you can purchase an inexpensive tool at your local hardware store that will measure it for you. As long as it matches up with what the battery says, you are good to go. If not, speak with your local battery provider to find a solution or work with an electrician on the voltage of your home.
#5: Using the Wrong Battery
Your UPS is designed to use a specific type of battery. While other types of batteries might be able to provide power at first, they are going to fail quickly. UPS batteries are specifically designed to offer high amounts of energy in 10-15-minute bursts. Other batteries cannot do this, which means that even if they work, they will not work for nearly as long or deliver the right amount of power.
Not Sure What Battery to Use? Turn to Powertron.
Here at Powertron, we have been providing local residents and businesses with all the batteries they need for over half a century. And when it comes to UPS batteries, we know it all. Whether you need us to check the power on your battery or provide you with a new one, we are here to help. Stop in at our store and protect the electronics in your home.