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Are You Making Assumptions About Your Critical Power Needs?

As a building manager or IT professional, you may think you have all your maintenance needs covered – contracts, regular inspections and testing. The client whose batteries are pictured here thought they did too.

After a couple of inspections by a service provider, this client learned that the lock on the battery cabinet was broken. They asked their maintenance technician about it, and were told everything was okay. The technician reported that he could test the output of the batteries, and besides, they had multiple strings and all the other ones were perfect. For two years, this client believed the batteries were good and that they had their required back-up time.

Recently, Faith Technologies was on-site at this location to upgrade equipment and move the batteries to a new location. The company had planned to have the old batteries moved into new racks and replace them the following year. When our Faith technician inspected the cabinet, he immediately noticed the odor of overheated batteries. The client said, “Don’t worry, our last technician told us it was normal for those types of batteries.”

Using an inspection scope, our technician saw things were not okay. The “broken lock” turned out to be a door that was fused together because of the heat the batteries produced. The string was useless, and the client had no back up in that cabinet at all. It took nearly two hours just to open the cabinet and get to the batteries so they could be made safe.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the facility had not suffered a long enough outage that the other strings couldn’t handle the load.

Lessons Learned:

  • Just because one string is good, doesn’t mean the others are.
  • Be sure all your maintenance and tests are being performed and documented. Thermal scans and battery tests should be done regularly; ideally every quarter, but at least once per year. If your operation depends on reliable power, you need to be sure.
  • Read and discuss your test results with the maintenance provider.
  • Perform battery monitoring regularly; cabinet temperature at a minimum, but individual battery monitoring is ideal.

Overall, make sure you are dealing with a company you can trust. Faith Technologies has a proven track record of supplying critical power services to clients all over the United States. Our team is made up of specialists who are well trained and keep current on all technologies to keep your vital services up and running. Battery life is based on trending data, and you need accurate information to know the state of your critical power loads. Our team never makes assumptions.