Humidity inside the server room

Tiras25
Tiras25 used Ask the Experts™
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Does anyone know what's the regular humidity should be in the server room?  Server room in North California it goes up to 70-75%.  I had to bump it up otherwise getting slammed with alerts.

Does it have to do anything with temperature.  Temps keeps normal 68F.  Would it help with humidity if I lower the temperature?
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
In terms of humidity, you should probably aim for about 50%, but 40% - 60% is generally acceptable. Humidity and temperature are two very different things. However, high humidity can cause a room to feel hotter. Your best solution would actually be a dehumidifier..
"Would it help with humidity if I lower the temperature?"
If you lower the temperature without bringing in any outside air (or removing moisture), it will actually raise the humidity.  That's what causes clouds to form!
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Commented:
Having a higher humidity would cause concern for corrosion and/or anodization of components in the servers and systems in that room.

The cooling systems should be checked as they should be removing water from the air via the cooling system in the room. Something, such as a drain, is probably stopped up and the coils are staying relatively wet.

Check and see when the humidity alarms started. I suspect that's when the drain(s) became stopped up.

It's not atypical for mould to grow in the drain pipes especially in warmer and moist climates.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
Commented:
70% is rather high, imo; 75% is too high.

What equipment is complaining about the humidity?  If it's just one piece of equipment, reset its alarm limits.

I would prefer to see humidity down around 50%, which as masnrock says is around the middle of the range that humans prefer.

Better too dry than too humid.

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys.  Its just goes up and down all the time.  For example 72%, then in a min or two clears 66%, then up again.  

I have independent watchdog sensor installed on the racks.  So its not a specific piece of appliance.  

Maybe some geographical places is acceptable.  But not that high I would think.
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
humidity doesn't go up and down in seconds unless you have a rotating fan  that is blowing either humid or dry air into the sensors area
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Thanks guys.  Its just goes up and down all the time.  For example 72%, then in a min or two clears 66%, then up again.
Like David said, that's not something that would have that kind of fluctuations that are so fast. What is in the inside of your server room like in terms of air flow, etc.?
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
The humidity in the room would cycle with the cooling system. Again, check the cooling system setup to make sure that any drainage is working as expected.

EDIT: I've seen cooling systems spitting water into the room being cooled as a result of this.
Klaatu01Network Operations Center Analyst
Commented:
To test for your specific conditions, if you can install a couple of humidity indicators (portable, battery operated?) as follows, this might really tell more: (1.) Inside the Server room, as far away from the main entry door as possible, (2.) Inside the Server room, 3 or 5 feet from the main entry door, (3.) Outside the Server room, 3 or 5 feet from the main entry door, and finally (4.) Outside the Server room near your desk/cubicle/office - wherever as a baseline reference for the building's environment.  The idea is establishing whether an "issue" exists inside the Server room, or is it the exchange of a volume of air between INSIDE and OUTSIDE from repeated entries and exists which is raising the humidity up?  Especially if the Server room does not have an "Airlock" set of double doors going in to moderate the airflow.  Is anyone routinely propping these open in order to move equipment in or out?

Maybe there is a clogged drain line, maybe there isn't; that's your building Engineer's specialty to investigate (e.g. infrastructure).  Also, having these monitors in place would allow staff to take quarterly humidity readings, determine if there is a seasonal influence and if so, how dramatic is it?

I hope this helps.

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