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Five Best Practices to Improving a UPS Battery Life

Just about every piece of equipment in your business requires reliable electrical power.  And the power quality of that power can mean the difference between business operating smoothly or not operating at all. As such, you’ve taken the prudent measure of installing a Powervar UPS to ensure a clean, reliable flow of power to your mission-critical equipment, keeping it operating at optimum performance at all times. But how do you keep the UPS running at optimum at all times? Although hidden from sight, a UPS’s battery will make or break your equipment’s performance. Therefore, the simplest and most cost-efficient way to ensure uptime is to regularly replace and maintain the health of the batteries in your UPS units.

Here are five (5) simple battery health best practices you can start performing today on your UPS’s battery:

1.     Have an Annual Preventative Maintenance Plan

Battery replacement should be part of a regular maintenance routine for your UPS to ensure peak performance. Not only are you proactively taking measures to protect valuable equipment with a UPS, you are also decreasing the need for unplanned downtime and service calls. But how do you know when to start your maintenance? Maintenance should be performed on an annual basis, based off both installation and manufacture date of a battery. Batteries in storage or in a UPS that is not in use, should be charged every 90 days to prevent degradation of capacity. Don’t let poor battery planning keep you and your UPS from doing their jobs.

2.     Replace Batteries Every Three (3) Years

It’s best practice to change a battery every three (3) years. Why? A UPS has a Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) battery. VRLA batteries have a three-to-five-year life cycle. A battery that hasn’t been replaced near the five-year mark creates a huge financial risk for a business. Old batteries have the potential to ruin the equipment that is using the UPS while simultaneously putting a heavy financial burden on a business to request service calls or worse, replace expensive equipment. It couldn’t be simpler, regularly replace your UPS’s battery.

3.     Review the Battery Date Code on Your UPS

This best practice ties in with having an annual preventative maintenance plan because in order to know when to start your maintenance, you need a date. Checking the battery date code is vital to maintaining the health of your UPS’s battery. All battery chemistries have a shelf life and a cycle life, and this aging process starts the day of manufacture. For critical environments, batteries that are over three (3) years old may be unreliable. The changes in value of the internal resistance of a battery is a strong predictor of battery failures over time. Always be cognizant of your UPS’s battery date, it will save you time and money.

4.     Have a Budget for Battery Replacement

UPS systems are sometimes forgotten; they are the type of product that is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. The truth about VRLA batteries is that older, weaker batteries in a UPS can fail and over-power the unit itself and the equipment using the UPS. This is why batteries absolutely need to be replaced. It’s best practice to have a budget for battery replacement so when the time comes to change a battery, there’s no financial shock. Even though replacing a battery has the least financial burden on uptime for equipment, it ensures that the UPS and the equipment on the UPS is healthy and operating at peak performance. Don’t get caught in a situation where you have to ask finance for unplanned spending. Be ahead of the financial curve and budget for UPS batteries.

5.     Make Sure Your UPS has a Service Contract

It’s better to be safe than sorry! Yes, having an annual preventative maintenance plan and replacing a battery are all healthy battery best practices but there are the rare occasions where something unplanned comes up. Thus is life! But having a service contract with your UPS gives you peace of mind that should anything unplanned arises, your UPS will be protected. Unplanned downtime is a situation no one wants to find themselves in but a contracted UPS with help relieve financial burden that comes with such equipment downtime.

At the end of the day, a VRLA battery in a Powervar UPS requires very little maintenance but by taking these proactive steps to prevent a battery degradation you will alleviate unexpected costs and avoid the consequences and frustration of unplanned downtime. Who would have thought that a battery, as small and large as they come, can determine the equipment performance and outcome produced? Do what’s best for your expensive equipment and for your company’s bottom line, regularly check your battery.

Contact Us or Visit our Online Store to order your batteries today!


 Author: JOEL GRUBBS, Global Service Manager


Joel Grubbs is AMETEK Powervar’s global service manager. He touts nearly four decades of experience, including over 20 years educating and helping customers with their power quality needs ranging from small kVA systems to Megawatt applications. Have a question for Joel? Connect with him on  

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