A look back at Water Leak Detection in Device & Server Rooms
Detection of water leakage happened in the late 70’s when computer rooms were in infancy there. Computer rooms, as they do today, have air conditioning that includes humidifier water and occasionally cold water for cooling. Due to the large amount of power cables, data cables and water pipes required in the space, a raised floor was used to cover all facilities, and is still used. Unfortunately, any water leakage would not be found under this elevated floor until power / data links were submerged in water and the machine stopped working. Checkout Mt. View Locating Services LLC. – Buckley Water Leak Detections.
Water was observed with spot probe sensors until the mid-80’s. These devices will either consist of an engraved PCB, or two metal electrodes. Water sensing was performed using a DC voltage in one sensor when finding a return signal in another. Providing the return sensor did not see a return signal, no water was present. The problem with using this form of device was sensor degradation due to electrolysis, and the small area of water detection, water could flow away from the sensors and not be detected until too late.
Water detection cable established in the mid 80’s. This method of sensing has the advantage that water is sensed along the whole length of the cable. This allowed surrounding areas or equipment containing water to ensure that no matter what way the water flowed, leaks were detected.
From the mid-eighties until today, developments have been mostly with warning panels and water leak news. You can receive a phone call, record it on a building management device today, or just have the basic buzzer and light.
My participation in water survey
While working as for Vikingshaw Products Ltd, I was first asked to develop a water detection device in the late 70s. Our mother company Vikingshaw Ltd developed computer rooms around the world at that time and Vinkshaw Products equipped them with Power Distribution Systems, etc. The first systems were easy in developing DC based on PCBS with an easy buzzer and lamp for sensors and control units. Unfortunately it wasn’t long until I realised that DC wasn’t the best way to detect water because if left in water for a few hours our sensor copper tracks will vanish. It was from this point that I used the sensors with an AC signal to stop them from eroding away. I went into partnership in the early 80’s and started a business called Wayscale Ltd.