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What is going on in my blocks?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
For reference, this is my first watercooled rig, and I am using the following parts. I have been running the PC for 2 weeks:

Alphacool UT60 radiators - full copper, all flushed with distilled water in a closed loop through a 5um filter for 24hrs.
EKWB Waterblocks - Clear plexi and Nickle
EKWB Pump/res combo
EKWB Nickle fittings
Primochill white tubing
25cm long 99.9% pure silver ribbon as my biocide. It is placed in tube linking GPU outlet to pump.

Loop goes: Pump -> Rads -> CPU -> GPU -> Pump.


I looked at my pc a few days ago and noticed that my CPU waterblock had started to get an orange/brown tinge to it. It was then that I realised that my freshly filled PC had been facing a window, and that I should have put my silver inside my vat of distilled water for a week to 'pretreat' the water before filling my loop. Whoops.


Anyway, today, I drained the system and started removed the mobo and graphics card. I was a bit sad to see that my blocks had gone a rather copper looking colour. At first, I thought the nickle plating had come off, but on closer inspection, I have what almost looks like a fine orange powder forming on the nickle. Is this algae that grew and has since died from the silver?

The discolouration was also visible on the outlet fitting of the CPU block, and both fittings of the GPU block. There was slight discolouration on the pump inlet fitting, and nothing on the pump outlet fitting. None of the tubing looks discoloured on the inside, and nothing rubbed off onto a Q-tip either.

CPU


GPU - White is condensation


CPU outlet fitting



I pulled apart the CPU block, and noticed some goop in the jet plate that appears to be a small amount of lint and a a few hairs. That must have gotten in there when I was assembling the loop. Come to think of it, my housemate ran the dryer the night I was building the PC...

The reddish stuff can be seen on the Qtip. Most of it rubs of easily, but leaves a slight staining to the nickle. There is nothing stuck to the plexi top





I guess my dilemma boils down to the following:

- Am i experiencing galvanic corrosion or algal bloom?

- What is the best course of action now?

- Should I totally strip the loop and flush/clean each piece, or have I caught it early enough that I should just flush through a closed loop + filter? Again, I cant see anything on the tubing, and there was nothing visible on the CPU inlet fitting.

- Should I replace my tubing?

- Am I forgetting anything else?


For now, I'm off to buy a toothbrush so that I can get the crap out from the crevices on the waterblocks.
post #2 of 32
I think it is first step of galvanized corrosion. At the first glance I thought you were using the cooper block. I would take everything apart you should check your radiator to check whether it comes from the radiator or not. I would hold off on cleaning them till you figure out what is the source of the problem. Is it the glazing of the red stuff on the cpu or the nickel plating start fading??
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, I grabbed a toothbrush, and cleaned the CPU block with warm soapy water. The block looks nearly new again, with nice shiny Nickel. The red stuff came off pretty easily. There is just 1 spot that looks like it has slight water staining, for lack of a better description.

I thought it was galvanic corrosion too, but that would mean the Nickel would be what's coming off right?

EDIT: When I flushed the rads before assembly, it was only ever with cold distilled water in the closed loop. I did some benching a week ago where the outlet water temp reached 51 degrees celcius. Maybe that caused more flux to dissolve, and settle onto the CPU block? With the goop on the inlet jet, maybe that could have slowed down flow enough for a sedimentary style deposit? I'm pretty sure around that time I changed the D5 pump from 5 to 3 as well.

EDIT 2: Upon closer inspection, more of my fittings have a slight deposit of the reddish stuff. It almost looks as if its Iron oxide rust, it's got that kind of pigment. Interestingly, my angled adapters have nothing on them, but the compression fittings do. Also of note, the compression fittings are rather coarse inside [they were before I even put them in the computer]
Edited by Apoca1ypse - 11/7/14 at 2:42am
post #4 of 32
Seems to be growth of some kind. Just clean everything and start again. The silver ribbon doesn't appear to be doing anything so maybe try a chemical corrosion inhibitor.

Personally, I am not a fan of adding more metals. Some swear by it, but if it works properly it stops anything growing in the water but does nothing for long term corrosion protection of all the other metals in the loop. A corrosion inhibitor however has a side effect of also stopping growth.
Edited by Jakusonfire - 11/7/14 at 6:08am
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post #5 of 32
I would assume its the silver reacting with the nickel. rolleyes.gif
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post #6 of 32
prolly some weird reaction with the metal. just clean it and start over it will go away eventually imo
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well exploring the rads with a Qtip revealed no red stuff was in them, so I will assume that it's a growth of some kind, though it's the first time I've seen it be reddish brown.

I did notice that the discolouration on the fittings was only on the compression fittings, which had a rather rough finish on the inside. The angled adapters are super smooth and have no red crap on them at all. I'll have to dig a bit into the depths of the PC an see if more of those fittings have any red stuff stuck to it. Really dont want to have to disassemble the basement of my 900D :/


I currently have my silver coil sitting in my tub of distilled water so that the water gets a good amount of silver ions in it before filling the PC up in a few days time. I need to find some more thermal paste because it turns out that I'm all out and will need more to reapply my GPU block.

I'll try again with just treated distilled water and my silver kill coil and see how it goes. If it happens again, I'll strip it down entirely and do a 24hr flush with a 5um filter, and then run EK Pastel white dye or something.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoca1ypse View Post

Well exploring the rads with a Qtip revealed no red stuff was in them, so I will assume that it's a growth of some kind, though it's the first time I've seen it be reddish brown.

I did notice that the discolouration on the fittings was only on the compression fittings, which had a rather rough finish on the inside. The angled adapters are super smooth and have no red crap on them at all. I'll have to dig a bit into the depths of the PC an see if more of those fittings have any red stuff stuck to it. Really dont want to have to disassemble the basement of my 900D :/


I currently have my silver coil sitting in my tub of distilled water so that the water gets a good amount of silver ions in it before filling the PC up in a few days time. I need to find some more thermal paste because it turns out that I'm all out and will need more to reapply my GPU block.

I'll try again with just treated distilled water and my silver kill coil and see how it goes. If it happens again, I'll strip it down entirely and do a 24hr flush with a 5um filter, and then run EK Pastel white dye or something.

its the silver that's causing the problem. so why put it back in rolleyes.gif
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post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by korruptedkaos View Post

its the silver that's causing the problem. so why put it back in rolleyes.gif

+1000

All brands advise against silver with nickel. E.g.:
- Koolance in each and every block: "Do not use silver with nickel in the same system."
- EK: "Refrain from using strips of Silver (Ag), also known as "Kill Coil" with distilled water alone in your water cooling loop. Besides introducing another metal in the already mixed-metal loop with no corrosion protection, the concentration of Silver ions may not be enough to prevent or to suppress biological growth in the liquid cooling loop."

I'd assume turning distilled water into a high conductive liquid due to those silver ions is warranty for corrosion. wink.gif
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
By my understanding of galvanic corrosion, it would be the Nickel plating being stripped off the block, not something depositing onto the Nickel plating. I am getting the latter.

Am I getting it the wrong way for galvanic corrosion?
Edited by Apoca1ypse - 11/7/14 at 7:51am
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