ID this sound
October 4, 2016 11:08 AM   Subscribe

My wife is opening a new daycare in a building that was a daycare before it went out of business a couple of years ago. It's not open yet and she is there alone cleaning, organizing, etc. This sound (short phone video clip) happens 2 or 3 times a day. She said it seems to be coming from a closet with a lot of pipes in it. Any idea what this is? She isn't sure if she should be calling a plumber, the HVAC guy, or the fire suppression systems guy.
posted by COD to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: That sounds exactly like a compressor motor.
posted by trinity8-director at 11:11 AM on October 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Damn, nailed it in one. I asked my wife if there is anything else in that closet. She sent me a picture of an air compressor. Appears to be part of the fire suppression system.
posted by COD at 11:26 AM on October 4, 2016

If it is coming on a couple times a day there is probably a small leak someplace. Might be worth it to have the system serviced.
posted by Mitheral at 12:03 PM on October 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Probably part of the HVAC system. Lots of buildings use pneumatic controls instead of electrical. It's easy to check by adjusting the thermostat and listen for the air release. The air opens and closes the chill water or boiler lines in a fan coil unit that serves each room. They started being phased out in new construction in the mid 80's but they are still all over the place. Very common in schools and hotels.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 4:09 PM on October 4, 2016

Definitely let the property manager know if this is running often. Slow leaks eventually become middle of the night fire alarms. (Because a zone 1 general fire alarm never happens before 4pm.)
posted by vespabelle at 2:37 PM on October 5, 2016

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