Due to circumstance, our Data Centre build has some delays and it currently looks like we're going to have to perform a hydrostatic test of our sprinkler system with live computers in it.

As I have an education as a chemist, but haven't done any serious chemistry in >30 years I thought of using another liquid than water to charge the sprinkler pipes and am looking for the following characteristics:

  • Same order of magnitude of compressibility as good old H2O
  • Non-corrosive to materials used in a Data Centre (Metal, plastic, ...)
  • Non-flammable
  • Non-conductive to electricity
  • Non-HAZMAT
  • Cheap (No liquid gold please, or the VP is going to blow a fuse) ;-)

I tried googling a bit but could not find anything easily, so turning to the experts that deal with this on a daily basis as I've sent off the idea to the sprinkler installers already mentioning my preference for CHCl3 and C2H5OH as a joke, but if they ask me which liquid I would propose, what would be the ideal solution to the above problem?

A citation to a PubChem or similar source would be appreciated

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    $\begingroup$ No, no, no... It has to be water. You can protect comps any way you wish, but using other liquid in water using one for test is just plain bad idea. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 26 '19 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Could you elaborate why? $\endgroup$ – Fabby Sep 27 '19 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Chemists refer to water as "the unique solvent" for good reason. There is simply no other liquid with the range of properties you are looking for. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Sep 27 '19 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Water might be somewhat "unique", but it's just that the idea of testing if something works properly with improper liquid is bad. You might even break it. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 27 '19 at 20:43
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    $\begingroup$ Water is the only liquid I know of that is not toxic or is considered hazardous waste when dumped in large quantities in a building (or anywhere else for that matter). As for a CPU, there is no liquid including water that I would dump on it. $\endgroup$ – Karsten Theis Sep 28 '19 at 19:02