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Hardware Thread, Help - Server Is Causing Schools Power To Trip in Technical; The server at one of my schools is located in the staffroom and I have been getting complaints about how ...
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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Help - Server Is Causing Schools Power To Trip

    The server at one of my schools is located in the staffroom and I have been getting complaints about how loud it is and its driving people up the wall, so I thought I would look into the word of water cooling to see if I could reduce the noise.

    First I removed all the fans. The CPU, graphics card and case fans were easy enough but the ones in the hot swap PSUs were a little trickier to remove. The Hardest part was sealing all the vents with silicon. I also put silicon all around the joints on the server case. The smell of silicon was dreadful and have had a few members complain about the smell, but they soon held their noses when I told them how much quieter it would be.

    Seeing as I had completely sealed the case the only opening left top was the DAT drive. So I opened that and put the small tube I had purchased especially for the job into the drive as far as it would go. Then with nervous anticipation, I started the process of filling it with water. You wouldn't believe how long it takes to fill up a full length HP Server Tower. If you attempt this make sure the Server is in its final location. The site manager and I nearly gave ourselves hernias with our chuckle brothers to me, to you impression.

    After I had sealed up the DAT drive the staff started coming into the staffroom for lunch so I took the opportunity to bask in their amazement as I made to server silent. So I announced "prepare to hear nothing!" and flicked the switch on the socket on the wall. Before I could even press the power button to start the server there was an almighty bang and the whole school was plunged into darkness.

    I knew that it was only the circuit breaker so I told my audience not to panic and I ran out to find the site manager and got him to flip the switch on the trip. But no matter what he did it wouldn't stay on. After seven attempts I went back and unplugged the server and then tried again. This time the trip switch stayed on. My conclusion: the server must have in some way been causing the problem.

    After about 2 hours of failed attempts I finally decided to abandon my attempt of water cooling the server and emptied the water out of the server, re-attached all the fans and restarted the server. But itís still knocking out the schools power.

    Now this is the schools only server and staff are now complaining they canít access the shared area and that no one can log on. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get it up and running asap?

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    Definitely the wrong water used I'm afraid, mineral not tap.

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    No it was tap water. Schools budget wouldn't stretch to evian.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Water cooling a server is a difficult task (as I found at home) and if not done properly can seriously mess your system. Perhaps get someone in to do it for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    I also put silicon all around the joints on the server case. The smell of silicon was dreadful and have had a few members complain about the smell, but they soon held their noses when I told them how much quieter it would be.
    You know silicon sealant is a super-conductor, right? I read it on the interwebs somewhere so it must be a fact.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Some of the water molecules are probably still attached to components, causing a short when it's powered up. You will have to de-solder, dry every item thoroughly (perhaps use a hair dryer at close range) and then re-solder every item.

    If this still doesn't work, pad the server full of silica gel to absorb all the moisture.

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    SYSMAN_MK (1st April 2010)

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    I have asked around but no one has a hair dryer. Have borrowed the site managers heat gun that he uses to strip paint. Do you think with will dryout any remaining water?

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    round2it's Avatar
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    IS it april 1st?

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    Have borrowed the site managers heat gun that he uses to strip paint. Do you think with will dryout any remaining water?
    I don't see why not. Just keep it away from the cables as you might melt the outer insulation.

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    ricki's Avatar
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    hi

    I know this will be a silly statement but will this not get rid of your warranty. Also could you not put the server somewhere else.

    Richard

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    Wait, did you say hot-swap PSUs? They're called that because they have to swap voltages around and they only do this when hot. If you cool the server too much they can't function and trip the circuit for safety. Warm the server back up to 50 degrees and everything will be fine again.


    powdarrmonkey is amazed at the naivety still being displayed in this thread...

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    TheLibrarian
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    Hmm, maybe next time I'll read the enire post before adding a comment...

    Got me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricki View Post
    hi

    I know this will be a silly statement but will this not get rid of your warranty. Also could you not put the server somewhere else.

    Richard
    Doesn't matter where the server is located it still casues the power to trip.

    On HP live chat now.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    Doesn't matter where the server is located it still casues the power to trip.

    On HP live chat now.
    Have you tried charging a bunch of UPSs up and connecting them in serial and running it like that? At least until you find the problem. Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

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    SYSMAN_MK's Avatar
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    Right I have finished my chat with HP. According to the technician the cause of the issue is down to the fact the school is in a hard water area. Apparently because I didn’t use calgon tablets the warranty is invalid.

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