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The importance of regular maintenance
As with most electrical equipment, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, Backup Generators and Data Centre Cooling systems need regular preventative maintenance to achieve the maximum level of reliability and availability.
Remember that your UPS system and back generator are designed to protect your critical IT equipment and ensure the maximum availability of your critical systems. Therefore, failure induced downtime that can easily be avoided is totally unacceptable for any organisation.
Your standby power system is only as strong as its weakest link. No matter how well designed and built your equipment may be, the internal parts and components will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear and will need to be replaced.
A backup generator can fail because of a degraded starter battery, a loose wire connection, or a lack of fuel. In an uninterruptible power supply most users are aware that the batteries will eventually need replacement but often overlook the need to replace capacitors, fans and filters before the end of their expected service life.
Regular preventative maintenance visits are the only way to spot early signs of degradation to vital components before they fail and to plan replacements before they cause downtime.
So how do you decide what level of cover you need?
Planned Preventative Maintenance Visits (PPMV)
Every service and maintenance plan should include a number of planned / scheduled preventative maintenance visits. Usually these planned visits will be carried out during normal working hours but out of hours upgrades are also an option.
As a guide the minimum number of recommended PPMV’s per annum are :
Uninterruptible Power Supply 1 visit
Backup Generator 1 Major & 1 Minor visit
Cooling System 1 Major & 1 Minor visit
The above are just guidelines and additional visits can be added to your contract if you prefer quarterly or even monthly PPMV’s.
Telephone Technical Support
Most service and maintenance contracts will include some form of telephone technical support. This can be used as the first port of call if a problem occurs. Some minor faults and alarms can be rectified with some quick advice over the phone but most major faults are likely to require a site visit.
On Site Emergency Response
If a major fault occurs and an engineer needs to attend site to investigate the problem, there are usually a number of options to choose from. The speed of the response to site will impact the cost of the contract, the faster the response time, the higher the cost. So, it is important to determine what is an acceptable response time for your business. Usually a standard contract will include a next day on site response time, but often same day, 8 hour and even 4 hour upgrades in some regions are available.
Depending on the contract type, labour and parts required for any emergency call out works or repairs may or may not be included. Basic contracts usually don’t include cover for call out costs or parts, so these costs could be chargeable extra’s when needed. Other contract types may include labour charges and some contracts may include the cost of parts and labour. Again, this is something you need to decide upon before committing to a service contract. If your budget doesn’t really allow for unexpected costs that may crop up during the contract term a more inclusive contract may be the best option.
With advances in communication, particularly from UPS systems and Cooling equipment, it is now often possible for your maintenance provider to offer a remote monitoring service for your equipment. Remote monitoring is usually achieved through the addition of a web based network attached management interface card (SNMP) or sometimes a GSM modem.
Once configured for remote monitoring the SNMP card / modem can send alarms and alerts to the maintenance provider so they are made aware of any problems often before the user themselves knows anything about it. Remote monitoring enables faster response times to site and shorter mean time to repair. Remote monitoring usually requires an additional device which has a one-off cost and an annually renewable subscription to the remote monitoring service.
There are a number of choices when it comes to selecting a service and maintenance contract for your UPS, Generator or Cooling system, and the level of cover can be tailor made to suit the requirements of your organisation. If you would like to discuss your requirements for service and maintenance contact one of our team today.
Call: 01252692559 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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