Air conditioning WTF



  • Months, maybe years, ago the office I work at started having problems with the server room overheating. It had been working fine over the summer, when central air conditioning blasted into it, but during the winter the heater was turned on instead and suddenly the servers were overheating. Solution: small portable AC unit for the server room. We're located in what's basically a desert, so the AC unit's very small water trap wasn't a problem. We would just empty out the half-full trap every week or so.

    But recently, the trap's been filling faster and faster. Last night it reached the rate where it would fill up overnight, causing all the servers to crash and nothing to work when we got into work. I assumed it had somehow been kicked into dehumidify mode by accident, but it was still on "cool only". It was decided that the solution was to attach a "supplementary resovior":

    Unfortunately, the AC was not designed to operate without its built-in bucket installed. There was a small metal clip inside the unit that had to be depressed for the AC to turn on.

    Cardboard to the rescue:




  • It seems like more and more people try to make posts with pictures in them and fail.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    It seems like more and more people try to make posts with pictures in them and fail.

    [/quote] 

    Are the pictures not working? Here are the links directly:

    http://i35.tinypic.com/2guz253.jpg



  • @spamcourt said:

    Are the pictures not working? Here are the links directly:

    http://i34.tinypic.com/2v0bjnn.jpg

    http://i35.tinypic.com/2guz253.jpg

    They worked from the get-go for me.  Renan probably has a work filter blocking tinypic. 



  • They don't work for me with IE7, but are fine with Firefox.  I think that the problem is with the tags saying width="" and height=""



  • @Gerontius said:

    They don't work for me with IE7, but are fine with Firefox.  I think that the problem is with the tags saying width="" and height=""

     

    I think you're right.  I edited the HTML to remove those attributes, and just tested in IE7 -- works fine now. Seems like IE7 is interpreting values of "" for those attributes as "0", while firefox is interpreting them as missing or not specified.



  •  We had the same problem in our building. The condensate pan was abou a gallon. When it filled up, a sump pump would pump the water up into the drop ceiling, over the top of all of the server racks and down into a bathroom on the other side of the hall. A tube ran down the wall in the bathroom and into a sink. (Temporarily, for about 6 years)

     

    The problem: The pipe held about 3/4 gallon of water. So the pump would kick in, pump all of the water into the pipe, empty out the bucket, shut off, 3/4 gallon would come back into the bucket. About 20 minutes later the bucket would be full, kick in, pump, stop, flowback, etc. It worked, but it wasn't the best design in the world.



  • The pictures worked fine for me on IceWeasel.  But I thought the story was missing an exciting conclusion.

    Does the water reservoir sensor just detect the presence of a receptacle or does it also stop the air conditioner when the reservoir is full?  What happens when the bucket tender goes on vacation for a week and the bucket overflows?

    What happens when the cardboard box loses its fight with the metal clip and the AC refuses to run anymore?

    Is the AC actually set up to expel heat outside of the room it's cooling?

    Why didn't you go for the WTF gold medal and have the drip tube pour water onto a hot plate, thus evaporating the condensate and eliminating the need for a bucket?



  • @Jeff S said:

    I think you're right.  I edited the HTML to remove those attributes, and just tested in IE7 -- works fine now. Seems like IE7 is interpreting values of "" for those attributes as "0", while firefox is interpreting them as missing or not specified.
     

    I didn't fiddle with HTML at all, just clicked the tree icon at the top of the post editor.

    @AlpineR said:

    Does
    the water reservoir sensor just detect the presence of a receptacle or
    does it also stop the air conditioner when the reservoir is full?  What
    happens when the bucket tender goes on vacation for a week and the
    bucket overflows?

    Both. The builtin bucket is designed so that when it's full, it stops contacting the latch.

    @AlpineR said:

    What happens when the cardboard box loses its fight with the metal clip and the AC refuses to run anymore?

    Since writing the post, we've drilled a hole in the top of the original pan and stuck the hose through it. Now the cardboard box is no longer part of the design.

    @AlpineR said:

    Is the AC actually set up to expel heat outside of the room it's cooling?

    Yes, it has a conduit that reaches up to the crawlspace and vents hot air into the attic.

    @AlpineR said:

    Why
    didn't you go for the WTF gold medal and have the drip tube pour water
    onto a hot plate, thus evaporating the condensate and eliminating the
    need for a bucket?

    The server room is actually a broom closet located directly behind the main reception area. No hot plates, or receptionists will trip over them.


     



  • @AlpineR said:

    Why didn't you go for the WTF gold medal and have the drip tube pour water onto a hot plate, thus evaporating the condensate and eliminating the need for a bucket?
     

    I'd rather think that they should set up... I dunno, a potted palm tree or something like that, and feed the excess water directly to that. It would be very, very cool - I dunno if it qualifies as a WTF tho, since one might argue that it's actually clever.



  • @spamcourt said:

    But recently, the trap's been filling faster and faster. Last night it reached the rate where it would fill up overnight, causing all the servers to crash and nothing to work when we got into work. I assumed it had somehow been kicked into dehumidify mode by accident, but it was still on "cool only".

    The Real WTFTM is that you didn't go looking for the leaking pipe.



  • @spamcourt said:

    I didn't fiddle with HTML at all, just clicked the tree icon at the top of the post editor.
     

    Don't worry, I have no doubt the forum software is to blame.  It's a little, uh, quirky sometimes. 



  • @spamcourt said:

    The server room is actually a broom closet located directly behind the main reception area. No hot plates, or receptionists will trip over them.

    I think that alone classifies as a WTF! And it may give a hint about why the bucket's overflowing... broom closets aren't really low on humidity...



  • @spamcourt said:

    @Jeff S said:

    I think you're right.  I edited the HTML to remove those attributes, and just tested in IE7 -- works fine now. Seems like IE7 is interpreting values of "" for those attributes as "0", while firefox is interpreting them as missing or not specified.
     

    I didn't fiddle with HTML at all, just clicked the tree icon at the top of the post editor.

    Welcome to Community Server.  Get used to it.  This is one of the fun flaws of CS: if you enter an image into the rich text editor it first downloads the image to get the width and height.  If you click "save" or whatever on the "add an image" pop up before CS downloads the image, it will have blank attributes.  Fantastic, huh?  I always make sure after typing the URL of the image to tab to the next field and wait for the height and width to populate.  It should take but a second and it will update via Javascript automatically.  Then your image will post fine. 



  • Just duct tape the latch. No drilling and no big box to fall out.


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