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Facility Maintenance Decisions

Top Tools for UPS Maintenance





To ensure safe and proper upkeep of UPS, in-house technicians require a range of equipment, both simple and sophisticated. Among the low-tech maintenance tools each facility should have are:

• Maintenance record book. Technicians should maintain a UPS maintenance record book on site. Essential information in this book includes manufacturer manuals, wiring diagrams, operating procedures, maintenance schedules and records. Additional information includes equipment settings and adjustments required for normal operation, meter readings taken on a regular, predetermined basis — some UPS software automatically logs this information — records of UPS issues or associated repairs, and a complete record of maintenance history.

• Personal protective equipment (PPE). Proper protective clothing and equipment is required for personnel performing the maintenance. PPE includes but is not limited to protective clothing, gloves and a face shield.

• Tools and supplies. Insulated hand tools, vacuums and maintenance supplies.

Essential high-tech maintenance equipment includes the following:

• Thermal-imaging unit. A thermal-imaging unit helps identify such problems as loose connections, corroded elements, short circuits and other potentially dangerous faults. The unit detects heat, which often is a sign of high resistance or current flow and an early indicator of electrical-system problems.

• Digital multimeter. Some companies have true-rms logging digital multimeters. These meters measure a variety of items, including voltage and current with real-time data technicians can graph. The meters can help track down intermittent or elusive problems associated with a facility’s UPS. Multimeter software allows the user to download the information to a laptop, overlay data from multiple sources and compare data relationships to pinpoint problems.

Without proper PM, a UPS eventually will deteriorate and expose the facility to an electrical malfunction or equipment failure. A scheduled preventive maintenance program for the UPS will ensure equipment reliability and benefit the organization’s bottom line.

Michael Newbury — mnewbury@sparling.com — is a principal at Sparling, an electrical engineering and technology consulting firm with offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Diego.

 


posted on 8/1/2008

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