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Something to protect Tower against Water?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Al_Ciao, Jan 27, 2020.

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  1. Al_Ciao

    Al_Ciao Thread Starter

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    I moved into a new apartment a few months ago, and it has sprinklers positioned to cover every inch of the apartment. Safe against fire, sure, but I worry that if there's ever some false alarm it'd wind up ruining my computer for no reason.

    Is there any sort of good waterproof cover or apparatus I can use to shield my tower from a sprinkler without doing something adverse like overheating the tower? I keep the tower on the floor btw, don't have enough room on the table.

    I don't know if maybe I could just find some kind of, I dunno, plastic shield maybe, to stand in front of it, or what, I have no idea where to start.

    Any ideas, please? Thanks.
     
  2. tomg35

    tomg35

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    As you say, a cover may well cause overheating. How about regular backups to a drive that you can remove, between backups, to somewhere less risky? Maybe do regular images as well
     
  3. plodr

    plodr

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    Two quick ideas for when you leave the apartment. Make sure the computer is off. Electric and water don't mix well.
    1. Put an open umbrella over the tower. At least any water would drip down to the floor.
    2. Remove the lid from a styrofoam cooler and place the cooler upside down over the tower.
     
  4. AmyToo

    AmyToo

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    Backup data off site, and have renter's insurance.

    My advice is the same whether or not a house or apartment has a sprinkler system.

    I disagree with affixing an umbrella over your computer. Sounds interesting. But wouldn't help.
     
  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    My understanding of sprinkler systems is that they all won't go off at once if there is an event. Nor will the sprinklers go off due to a "false alarm". The sprinklers which were installed in a town home I owned were all point type systems. If one sprinkler went off, it won't cause the others to go off in the system. Nor would an adjacent home's sprinkler(s) going off cause another home's sprinklers to go off. So the fear of a false alarm situation is a non issue.

    With regards to the other statements, back up of data and good insurance are the other things one should have. There are water resistant cabinets but they're expensive and not practical for a home user. They're only used in business/data center type applications and cost and arm and a leg.
     
  6. Johnny b

    Johnny b

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    Ah, IF Games.

    Turning the computer off is a good idea.
    I'd go an extra step and use a master switch to cut all power to the motherboard since it's still hot even when turned off at the start button.

    There is a reality to consider.
    If a fire breaks out without sprinklers, you've lost that computer and likely everything saved on the hard drive.
    Backups are always a good thing.
    You should already be doing at least one. Or more.

    Do another backup to a flash drive of your most important data, like taxes, finances and general record keeping. Encrypt the data using Veracrypt or something similar. Keep it outside your apartment, like in a locked car, so that it's handy to do additional backups. I do this.

    IMO, anything you use to cover that computer when unattended is better than nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  7. Al_Ciao

    Al_Ciao Thread Starter

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    Thank you for all the answers, everyone!

    Yes, I have data backups, I'm more concerned about the hardware, which would be expensive to replace.

    An umbrella and Styrofoam lid are interesting ideas. The Styrofoam lid wouldn't cause overheating? I have no idea how heat-permeable it is.

    I'm looking into renter's insurance, but my budget is so tight I'm uncertain it's practical for me to afford.

    I do very much appreciate the words on how unlikely a false-alarm sprinkler shower is though! :)
     
  8. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If the tower is flat on the floor, you should place it on a stand to raise it a few inches off the floor.
    If the floor becomes covered with water from the sprinklers and then water seeps inside the tower, everything else you do to keep it dry is all for nothing.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
     
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  9. plodr

    plodr

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    That is why I stated to Make sure the computer is turned off. No heat from a computer that is not running. I'd never suggest you put this on while you are at home and using the computer.
    Of course styrofoan stores both heat and cold. That why people put carriers made of styrofoam in cars with either heat packs or ice packs to keep food at a certain temperature.
     
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  10. Al_Ciao

    Al_Ciao Thread Starter

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    Oh, I hadn't even thought of this, thank you for pointing it out!

    But are there no good ways to protect (the front and sides of) my computer from mishap while it's turned on? I'm basically on the computer all day long, so if the only ways to protect it are while it's turned off, that only protects it at night while I'm asleep.
     
  11. plodr

    plodr

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    Well if you are actively using the computer all day, surely you'll notice if the sprinkler system turns on and can shut down the computer.

    If you are that worried, buy a computer desk with a compartment for the tower and put it in there.
    desk.jpg
     
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  12. Al_Ciao

    Al_Ciao Thread Starter

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    Would shutting down the computer mean that the water wouldn't ruin it?
     
  13. plodr

    plodr

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    You shut down the computer and use something to protect it from the sprinkler system.

    No a computer that is off, is not protected from water.
     
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  14. Al_Ciao

    Al_Ciao Thread Starter

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    But what, exactly, could I even use to protect it? Particularly fast enough to actually save it?
     
  15. AmyToo

    AmyToo

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    There's nothing you can do to prevent damage to your computer from fire, flood, sprinklers, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis. Backup data locally and off-site, and have insurance.
     
    plodr and zebanovich like this.
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