Water damage in the server room and data center and the consequences

Security expert Roger Oeltjendiers explains the potential hazard and the consequences of flooding for business-critical infrastructures.

Mission critical Infrastructure such as server room, computer center, production or logistics should be protected against overheating, fire and ventilation failure.

Protect your mission-critical IT infrastructure from unwanted downtime and rely on our SNMP-enabled sensors and Alarm Server. Protect your mission-critical IT infrastructure from unwanted downtime and rely on our SNMP-enabled sensors and Alarm Server.

Worst case scenario flooded Data Center

Water leakage in the data center or server room is one of the biggest threats. A leakage / flooding of the IT infrastructure can be caused by many reasons.

  • leakage of air conditioning
  • Air conditioning is usually filled with water or ultrapure water. A ruptured water pipe or a leaking clamp of air conditioning systeme can quickly lead to flooding in data center.
  • leakage of the water-cooled server rack
  • Due to rising electricity prices, water-cooled server racks are an alternative. A leaking coolant could also damage the data center.
  • condensation from air conditioning units
  • Leaking condensation from air conditioning units is usually collected by special container. If these water tanks are not regularly serviced, there might be a risk of water leakage.
  • rupture of the water pipe / broken heating pipes / overflowing toilets / sprinkler damage
  • Structural defects, such as for example above the data center / server room located social rooms, kitchens or toilets can also lead to water damage. Think of a broken water pipe caused by frost or a clogged sewage pipe which could destroy your IT infrastructure within minutes.
  • In many larger IT infrastructures sprinklers are to be found, which automatically extinguish fire with water. An improper discharge of water from the sprinkler system, also known as sprinkler leakage, may also jeopardize the availability of your critical server systems. Please also think about the pump of your sprinkler systems and the sprinkler water reservoir which also could flood mission-critical IT infrastructures.
  • groundwater, weather damage
  • brook could become a raging river during a storm. Structural server room construction defects, such as server rooms equipped with windows, could even promote the entry of water.
  • water damage through vandalism as a result of burglary
  • Do not underestimate the danger of vandalism from burglary. Here is a clear trend, that burglars open existing building water valves. The amount of water damage is then often much higher than the damage caused by burglary.

Flooding of the server room and the consequences

Not every water damage in data-centre, server room, production or warehouse must have serious consequences. Often only a short-circuit is caused by water intrusion. For larger floods, the damage in computing centre is certainly considerable.

Especially enterprises with distributed High Availability Data Center can recover the availability of IT within a few hours. Small and medium size companies are faced with serious problems caused by water damage in the server room. Missing or faulty IT contingency plans and organizational deficiencies will reveal the full extent of damage. Then the recovery of the IT department may last from days to several weeks or months.

Other consequences

In our much-acclaimed German article "Responsibility of the CEO in case of total failure of IT" (currently available only in German language) addresses the IT-compliance. Due to requirements of SOX, EURO-SOX and Basel II, insurance companies and banks check the IT risk management of their customers.

Warning system for water leakage with sensors and alarm servers

With the help of water sensor or the new water-detection chain, occuring water leakage can be detected eary. The IT-staff is getting notified of accidents in computing center / server room / production area by the the sensorProbe2 or sensorProbe8 remote monitoring appliances via email, SMS (via gateway), or SNMP trap to Network Monitoring System.

The securityProbe premium alarm server may even allow the mapping of IT contingency plans, including integration of external service providers and fire departments. Protect your mission-critical IT infrastructure from unwanted downtime and rely on our SNMP-enabled sensors and Alarm Server.

Our data center security experts are available via tel +49 2501-971 63 55 or via email info[at]Didactum[dot]com.

AKCP spotWater Detector


The spot water detector is an advanced microprocessor based design capable of detecting distilled water. Standard water detectors are unable to detect distilled water and water with other impurities due to them using a resistance type circuit.


from 125,00 Euro*


AKCP locateWater Sensor


With the Rope Water Sensor you can protect your essential equipment from potentially harmful water damage. Designed and manufactured by AKCP it forms an integral part of your disaster prevention system.


from 331,55 Euro*