How to best protect electrical equipment in a underground utility room?
January 14, 2008 11:26 AM   Subscribe

How to best protect electrical equipment in a underground utility room?

There is a small utility room underneath the house. It can get slightly damp, dusty and cold. Nothing too extreme.

I would like recommendations for protecting my electrical equipment in this area. I don't have much, just a small UPS, modem, 16port switch, and router. All equipment is on a shelf that is 4 feet off of the floor.

I'm thinking of a box or cover that is both antistatic and waterproof. Is this the right logic? I don't need industrial grade, just something basic. Links to stores online would be a big help!
posted by colecovizion to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I would not cover the equipment if the air is humid. I would just set them on a shelf and either run a dehumidifier, or just leave them. A slightly humid room is not going to hurt them.
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2008

If the environment is how you describe it I wouldn't even bother. Solid state boxes like those don't care much about damp or (some) dust. If you were really worried you could put some of those larger disposable tupperware boxes over the devices, maybe cut some notches for the cables.

I have all of those and a pair of servers in the laundry room which is pretty darn dusty and they've never suffered ill.
posted by Skorgu at 11:58 AM on January 14, 2008

If you enclose them in an airtight box make sure to put some desiccant (or even just a box of baking soda) in there with them. Search for desiccant or 'silica gel' on ebay, it's cheap.
posted by phearlez at 2:47 PM on January 14, 2008

Antitstatic bags and containers are really only needed for shipping electronic components. Complete systems are generally designed to look after themselves in that regard. Unless you get regular lightning strikes inside your underground utility room, I can't see how antistatic coverings are going to achieve much.

The fact that the environment is slightly damp is actually going to be pretty good antistatic protection on its own.

Always-on electronics will be a little warmer than the surrounding air, and the temperature inside an underground room is going to be pretty stable, so condensation inside your boxes is very unlikely.

Just take a look inside the casing of anything that has a fan, after it's been installed down there for a year or so. If the insides are full of mud, reconsider.
posted by flabdablet at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess I'm discovering that I'm going a little overboard!
posted by colecovizion at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2008

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