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Cloudy Loop Water - Ideas???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

My wife's NLE video editing system has been up on water for about 3 months now (since late Dec), and all was going well until last week when she started complaining about occasional, unexplained reboots & hangs (no error codes). When I went to check things out & opened the case, I noticed the water in the res had turned to a cloudy, brownish, polluted-looking color. My first thought is algae by the look of the water, but now I'm not quite so sure & I wanted to throw it out here before I broke the loop down.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or ideas on the problem, as well as recommendations to clean up the loop and prevent a repeat.

Here's a bit of info that may help narrow things down
  • The loop was built with Tygon Silver Anitmicrobial tubing and filled with DI water treated with PT Nuke (8 drops/gal).
  • I added four drops of PT Nuke three days ago and it has cleared up a bit, but is still very cloudy (pics below).
  • The system runs about 15 hrs/day, room temp ~72° F. The AC is bumped up to 78° F after shut down.
  • [Added Item] Water in the loop was clear for the first month or so. I haven't opened the case since early Feb, so I'm not 100% sure when the problem started.
  • I also have about a quart of treated water left over from the build which has been stored in the garage. It is still crystal clear.
  • Other system components are in sig
And here's a few pics to give you a visual:



Any thoughts or ideas are welcome.

Regards,
HateTheSnow

Edit: Added more background info
Edited by HateTheSnow - 3/23/11 at 8:28pm
     
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post #2 of 10
Did you put PTNuke in when you built it or was that the first time you used it?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I treated the gallon of DI water with 8 drops of PT Nuke before filling the system back in late December. After I noticed the color of the water on Sunday, I put four more drops in to see if it would clear up any.

I knew I wouldn't have time to tear it down until this weekend, so I thought I would give it a try and see if anything happened. It cleared up some, but not much.
     
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post #4 of 10
I may be wrong, but I think i read someone else with similar issues when combining pt nuke AND antimicrobial tubing .. could be coincidence...i will look for it
post #5 of 10
Did you clean the rads before you installed them? It could be flux from the rad. The fact that the water left in the garage is still clear makes it less likely to be algae or bacteria, but it is still possible.

What is happening to the temps of the system? It is possible that the hangs / crashes are not temperature related, but coincidental. Try running something like CoreTemp and run the logging, then after a crash check the log and see what was going on.

As for cleaning, strip it down, open the blocks, clean with an old toothbrush (not your wife's current one, big mistake) and vinegar.

The tubing might be a write off, depending on how bad it is and how long you are willing to spend cleaning it.

The rad will need to be rinsed with hot water and vinegar in a rough 1:10 mix a few times until the liquid coming out is clear.

Flush the res and pump with warm water.

Remember to give everything, especially the rad, a few rinses with distilled before re-assembling it.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard Line View Post
I may be wrong, but I think i read someone else with similar issues when combining pt nuke AND antimicrobial tubing .. could be coincidence...i will look for it
I asked John at Sidewinder about that when we were specing the parts out & he didn't feel there would be any issues. Still, I'd be interested in anything you come across about issues when using PT Nuke with silver tubing. I haven't seen anything in the research I have done up to this point, but I also don't see many folks using the silver tubing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post
Did you clean the rads before you installed them? It could be flux from the rad. The fact that the water left in the garage is still clear makes it less likely to be algae or bacteria, but it is still possible.

What is happening to the temps of the system? It is possible that the hangs / crashes are not temperature related, but coincidental. Try running something like CoreTemp and run the logging, then after a crash check the log and see what was going on.

As for cleaning, strip it down, open the blocks, clean with an old toothbrush (not your wife's current one, big mistake) and vinegar.

The tubing might be a write off, depending on how bad it is and how long you are willing to spend cleaning it.

The rad will need to be rinsed with hot water and vinegar in a rough 1:10 mix a few times until the liquid coming out is clear.

Flush the res and pump with warm water.

Remember to give everything, especially the rad, a few rinses with distilled before re-assembling it.
Yes, I did clean the rad according to the ThermoChill instructions. Beyond that, I know the water was clear for the first few weeks since I was doing periodic tweaks to the system, and I would think any left over flux would have come out in solution within the first few days.

I haven't had time to take a hard look at the temps on the mobo sensors, but the temps on the remote sensors all still look pretty good...not that it means there's adequate heat transfer at the hot plates. I'll set Everest up tomorrow AM to log the temps and see if it catches anything in the event she crashes again tomorrow.

Thanks for the cleaning tips, and yeah, I'm going to toss the tubing. It'll be an extra $40 or so, but to me it's the safest bet to eliminate as many variables as possible. I'll scrub the parts I can & flush everything else as best I can, paying particular attention to the rad.
     
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post #7 of 10
i would ditch that tubing and use pvc tubing such as primochill or masterkleer. i would also ditch the ptnuke and use a silver coil instead as ptnuke voids warranty on certain components.
post #8 of 10
+1 for Primochill tubing and silver coil

This is the stuff you want, it's excellent
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. The PrimoFlex Pro LRT tubing looks real promising.

The tubing and silver coils are on order. Going to give the new loop a spin with DI water only this time.
     
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post #10 of 10
I'd personally recommend Thermochill EC6 coolant (if its still available), its non-conductive, anti-foam, and goes straight in out of the bottle with no mixing or complications.

So glad I never went with PT Nuke, seems like it can be a lot of trouble for some people.
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