Where Do You Keep Your Data Center Vacuum?
Well maintained data centers rely on expert companies like Data Clean to clean and decontaminate their critical facilities on a regular basis. How do you handle small contamination issues between cleanings? Like downtime, there are two sources of contamination: planned and unplanned. Planned work in the data center like terminating cables, patching walls and even boring concrete create debris. At the same time, simple accidents can create a mess as well. Spills of all kinds—paper pieces, packing material, toner or even food can also cause a problem.
"Make a mess, clean it up!” True in Mom’s house and even more important in your data center. But how? The right answer is always a professional, commercial-grade vacuum like we use at Data Clean. Unfortunately, employees and contractors don’t always have access to the right tools. Sometimes, the broom and dustpan are used. This method has the effect of pushing larger debris into the underfloor and releasing smaller particles into the air, where they linger until ingested by your equipment and your employees. Of course, an even worse solution is the wet/dry vac.
A wet/dry vac is standard equipment in every contractor’s van. That is where it should stay—in the van. Wet/dry vacs usually use simple paper filters.
These filters typically trap particles in the 30 – 70 micron range. This would include the kind of debris visible to the naked eye: sawdust, hair, lint, etc. However, smaller particles are simply passed through the filter and back into the room. Smoke, drywall dust, cement dust and other contaminants are smaller than 10 microns in diameter. So, a standard vacuum can quickly turn a small mess into a large contamination.
A professional HEPA vacuum traps dust as small as 0.3 microns. At Data Clean we use the Nilfisk line of vacuums. Unlike basic consumer vacuums, these units are triple-filtered. This is important so that different size particles can be trapped at different points. A true HEPA filter is delicate and expensive, so it should be the last line of defense. It is also important that the vacuum have tight and efficient seals to prevent air from bypassing the filters. This can be an issue with standard vacuums that have a HEPA “upgrade” added in the field.
When the proper vacuum is used, you can be assured your critical gear is properly protected. Have a vacuum available and insist that it be used by all contractors and employees.
So, where do you keep your vacuum?