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Temperature Limits for an Ethernet Switch?

Last response: in Networking
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August 10, 2012 3:37:50 AM

Hello all!

I'm looking to install a 24-port unmanaged ethernet switch - straightforward. Except it has to go into the uninsulated attic of a building which is not temperature controlled. The specs on the switch list an operating range of 32 - 104 degrees F. My estimate is that it rarely gets below 32 degrees in the attic. Perhaps on the very coldest of days. However, it definitely gets >104 in the summer. I don't have any data, but I'm guessing it could get as hot as 130 or so on the worst days.

So...I know the temp is outside of the spec range. but how big of a deal do you think it is? I'm sure some racks of network equipment get quite hot too. Do you think it will be a definite problem? Or maybe shorten the lifespan of the switch (reasonably)? Or should it not really be an issue.

Thanks in advance!
August 10, 2012 4:58:26 AM

If it could operate safely and reliably at higher temps, I don't know why the manufacturer would state otherwise. Heat is always detrimental to electronics. If you’ve ever been in a large computer room for a major corporation, you can’t help but notice the rather chilly, air conditioned atmosphere. So I imagine it would at least shorten its useful life if exposed to extreme temps on a regular basis. It might also prove unreliable, perhaps the bigger concern. But it's hard to say whether the manufacturer is just being particularly conservative in those estimates, and perhaps you have a little more leeway.

I would at least consider adding fans and get the air moving up there, that might help. One or two directly on the switch itself wouldn’t hurt either.
August 13, 2012 1:45:44 AM

Thanks ei - I'm going to look for alternate locations to house the switch. If there is no other straightforward choice, I may stick it up there and hope for the best. If I have any conclusions, I'll update :) 
!