Effects of low temps on a system

Posted on 2003-12-09
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I am moving into a new house soon, and the only place for my rack mount cabinet for my servers, routers, switches, etc.  is in a non-temperature-controlled basement.  I understand the effects of not bringing a system that has been out in the cold into a warm room and then immediatly powering it on, because the condensation will kill the hard drive, etc.  

My question is this....What do you guys think the effects would be on constantly running systems, that are run in a cool/cold environment.  

Best guess is that temps could swing from 70 degrees down to 10 degrees or so.  I am located in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, so I will be getting pretty cold temps, but with the heater running (in the same room) and dryer, water heater,etc, I think temps won't drop beow freezing.  There is no way that I can regulate the temperature to a normal range.  

Will I be doing a great disservice to my equipment, or will the fact that the drives will be constantly powered make the point moot?  I am not running anything too esoteric, as this is a home setup.  My router runs off a floppy disk, and the server is just a 2GB boot drive, and three drives for data storage.  No CD Roms are in any of these machines.

Your help is greatly appreciated

Question by:eprimetime
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 75 total points
ID: 9906490
At below freezing temperatures, I would worry about lubrication seizing up, which would be your hard drive and all fans.  Everything else can survive the cold, as long as the temperature doesn't swing too much.  But without a hard drive, what can it do?

Accepted Solution

buckeyes33 earned 50 total points
ID: 9907222
Being in a basement I would be more worried about the mosture problems that any basement has.  You know how your basement is with moisture. You might want to consider a dehumidifier that you would run from spring till fall.  As for the cold I would think that if you did not shut the system of that the lubercation would not harden up with the cold, but if you had a lengthy power outage with tempetures down near 5-10 C.  I could see it as very hard for you to get your system to boot due to the fact that your HD s might just not be able to spin.
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 75 total points
ID: 9907563

I think he means 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit!  However, as you say, if the machine is running 24/7, it probably won't be too bad, and he has other heat sources down there, too.  If 70F is the maximum, I wouldn't worry about humidity, since it can't get too high at that level.

Author Comment

ID: 9909370
Yes, I meant 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was thinking along the lines that f I did not shut the systems down, that everything would be alright.  And as for a power outage, everything that is essential is on UPSes, anyway, with approximately a 5 hour backup time.  Collandor, sorry if my explanation confused you.  The router runs off a floppy drive, and my server has a total of 4 hard drives in it, abut 120 gigs of storage total.  

Thanks for the tips, and hopefully you all are right.  I do not plan on shutting these systems down, so hopefully lubrication freezing will not be a problem.

I am splitting the points all three ways, as all had valid ideas.

Expert Comment

ID: 9909399
>UPSes, anyway, with approximately a 5 hour backup time
man those are powerful UPS  

your welcome :)

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