Solved

Why do I need to ground server racks?

Posted on 2013-11-01
5
800 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-01
Can someone give me a simple explanation on why I need to ground server racks?   I've had electricians say as long as the servers are plugged into a grounded outlet, it shouldn't matter.

I believe a short will always go to ground, but unless the racks are grounded, the short might go through me before it is goes to ground ??

My intial request was ignored, but recently a small AC unit leaked water onto the racks while I was pulling cables.

Thanks
0
Comment
Question by:jimmycher
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
5 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39616864
I would put on in anyways just in case.  Its not that much of an extra effort to be a little bit more redundant to avoid ESD and ground the rack.  I mean in a sense Yes, you do not have to ground the rack itself.  The reason I say this is because it all involves with metal bonding.  As long as all the metal is bonded (rack, servers, etc) they will go to ground.  Without proper grounding or bonding you could be vulnerable to yourself, fire, damage to equipment.  

I would ground the rack just to keep that from lingering in the back of your mind, if you know what I mean.
0
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:pony10us
pony10us earned 300 total points
ID: 39616879
Failing to create an electrical bond between the structural components of racks and cabinets can trap currents within sections of them, resulting in potential safety hazards, failure of ESD protection, and ungrounded equipment.

There are many sources of electricity that could be present. Patch panels are carrying electricity. Static buildup from someone working on/around the rack. Poor grounding in the building wiring, a wire breaking and making contact with the rack, etc.

TIA/EIA-942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers and National Electrical Code (NEC) both have guidelines/requirements.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jimmycher
ID: 39616969
Thanks Pony10us,

Can you give me a specific example of how I can get harmed; I'm fighting a bureaucracy to get this done.   Their butt isn't on the line, but mine is.

Regards,
0
 
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
pony10us earned 300 total points
ID: 39617169
Offering a specific example is difficult. It really depends on many other factors.

For example, I have a somewhat elevated ability to retain static (EMI?) so having everything grounded is rather important.

An example, I used to have to work on a printer in an office some 30 miles away from where I worked. When they would call for service I would have them unplug the printer, have several people touch the metal casing while standing on the anti-static mat. When I arrived everyone would stand around and watch as I reached toward the printer and a 1 inch spark would jump to my hand.

Not exactly what you are asking about however it does show that power is unpredictable.

In any case, the response that NRhode gave is pretty accurate. You could be opening up the posibility of anything from shock, fire or out right electrocution. Remember the saying taught in electronics:  "Voltage hurts, Current kills"
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:jimmycher
ID: 39617232
Good info.
0

Featured Post

Business Impact of IT Communications

What are the business impacts of how well businesses communicate during an IT incident? Targeting, speed, and transparency all matter. Find out more in this infographic.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

No single Antivirus application (despite claims by manufacturers) will catch or protect you from all Virus / Malware or Spyware threats. That doesn't stop you from further protecting yourself however - and this article is to show you how.
A hard and fast method for reducing Active Directory Administrators members.
With Secure Portal Encryption, the recipient is sent a link to their email address directing them to the email laundry delivery page. From there, the recipient will be required to enter a user name and password to enter the page. Once the recipient …
The Email Laundry PDF encryption service allows companies to send confidential encrypted  emails to anybody. The PDF document can also contain attachments that are embedded in the encrypted PDF. The password is randomly generated by The Email Laundr…

710 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question