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Six Million Litres of Water Pumped from BT Paddington Exchange Yesterday

A BT employee has reported through our tech support grapevine that apparently the London Fire Brigade pumped 6 million litres of water from the flooded (and burnt) Burne House Exchange in Paddington yesterday.

Sounds like a self extinguishing fire system to me.

We had a quite a few customers affected by the incident with some still offline at the time of writing.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

5 replies on “Six Million Litres of Water Pumped from BT Paddington Exchange Yesterday”

6ML H2O – hmmm, what’s the volume ?

Since 1KL = 1M3 vol., then 6ML = 10M * 10M * 60M .

So the body of water would be six thousand cubic meters (6KM3) if liquid and roughly 6.54 KM3 if frozen. And it would mass 6KT (std. temp. assumed). The volume is more than double that of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

A raised floor and a deep elevator sump might have been a good thing to have in this instance. I hope Trefor that you have something similar to Halon in your machine rooms.

Expansion percentage (~9%) per Argonne Nat’l. Lab.
Halon Fire Extinguishing at Wikipedia
Olympic-size Swimming Pool at Wikipedia

P.S. My ‘sub’ and ‘sup’ tags got stripped by your posting software :
H2O = H[sub]2[/sub]O
M3 = M[sup]3[/sup]
. I was NOT referring to one of your highways.

You are absolutely right of course Ted. In this case I can only plead that all I have done is repeated what the BT guy said 🙂 I’ll get the feedback passed on to BT. I’m sure that this is something they will want to take onboard when considering anecdotal comments in the future 🙂

No need. I suspect that their premises are an old exchange building that morphed into the digital age with the cabinets being stuffed into any available corner. That process is murder on equipment protection and power provisioning. I’ve been involved in some installs that were tricky due to old walls (try running conduit through a couple feet of brick), stuffed conduits, or false ceilings that had barriers in odd places.

My comment was aimed more at someone setting up a new server room where having a raised floor would give you a place for ventilation and the power cables (with water-tight couplings). The data cables would be run in trays or conduits above the cabinets / racks for obvious reasons.

I also suspect somebody is raising hell over the lack of a gaseous (Halon or CO2) fire extinguishing system. Pity, though – if someone had been on the ball they could have floated a duck decoy followed by several rubber duckies and then taken pictures. Why ? To trigger the usual, sarcastic comment (“Now, that is just …”).

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