What’s The Difference Between A Warranty And A UPS Maintenance Plan?
In terms of a UPS system, a warranty provides ‘best endeavour’ protection against mechanical faults or failures for a set period of time, typically 1 or 2 years from initial purchase, while UPS maintenance contracts offer ongoing support with the additional peace of mind of guaranteed emergency response times for engineer call-outs.
Uninterruptible power supplies are complex devices containing parts that can fail and consumables, such as fans and capacitors, that need regularly replacing. Warranties and ongoing maintenance contracts both help to reduce unnecessary downtime caused by UPS failure.
Typically, UPS systems come with 1 or 2-year warranties, although Riello UPS offers a 5 year extended warranty as standard on all power supply systems up to and including 3 kVA.
In the main, warranties for smaller UPS (3 kVA and below) are on a ‘Return to Base’ basis where the faulty unit is sent to the supplier and then either repaired or swapped out. For larger, hardwired UPS systems an onsite warranty is more common, with most suppliers offering a next working-day response. However, even this can be an unacceptably long period without the protection of a UPS for many mission-critical 24/7/365 sites.
Warranties are valuable but can only ever offer ‘best endeavours’. Ongoing UPS maintenance plans provide more comprehensive cover including guaranteed emergency response times defined in either working or clock hours. These response times are clearly spelled out in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Most providers tend to offer a choice of 12 working, 8 working or 4 clock hours.
A typical maintenance plan can cover parts, labour and carriage costs. Most exclude battery replacement unless it is specifically requested, although some contracts will include battery labour.
Another key service provided in the majority of UPS maintenance plans is provision for an annual (or even biannual) Preventive Maintenance Visit (PMV), where a certified service engineer will undertake a detailed inspection and test of the UPS. This enables early detection of potential issues and gives the engineer the opportunity to install the latest software and firmware updates.
UPS maintenance plans can cover uninterruptible power supplies under or outside of warranty.