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Anyone Seen This Before (Coolant Contaminant)

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This is from when I added a MO-RA3 to my otherwise pristine loop. I never use anything other than distilled water and mayhems biocide+ inhibitor+. I flushed the rad briefly as I heard MO-RA3's usually come clean and aren't made the same way other radiators are made, so I just flushed with distilled at room temp.

Once I hooked everything up to my rig, after a couple of days the water started getting a yellowish tinge, tubes started yellowing, and it got progressively worse.

The pics are from when I partially drained the loop to begin cleaning. All of a sudden, there was all this crap (you can see the little yellow/gold balls).

Clearly there was something in either the MO-RA3, the EPDM tubing I bought, or the Heatkiller reservoir and pumps. Those were all I added to my loop. Looks like its too much crap to be "flux". What could this be? The GPU block is usually pristine. I have since tore this all down and scrubbed everything and put it back together. It's a lot better now, but damnit I want to know what happened!

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H₂O Aficionado
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Could you take a photo of your entire system? Like a wide angle shot so we get the full context.

I run distilled water without any inhibitors (similar metals) and I never had my loop go green, even after it sitting for a year or two.

Something else happened here.

Also - for them mayhems products you’ve used, is there a manufacturing date labeled on the bottles?
 

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Assume everything you haven't personally cleaned is not clean. Cheap rads are full of flux and corrosion. Better ones almost all still have at least a layer of oil.

I would have expected any copper/brass metal dust to have turned green or black by now, but it's possible they put an inhibitor in the rad to keep it from corroding before sale.
 
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Wow, that looks pretty ugly. I'd run some Keurig Descaler, even after all that cleaning, just to really get it done up. I used it and it worked great. There's a good thread where multiple people have documented some excellent before/after results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Could you take a photo of your entire system? Like a wide angle shot so we get the full context.

I run distilled water without any inhibitors (similar metals) and I never had my loop go green, even after it sitting for a year or two.

Something else happened here.

Also - for them mayhems products you’ve used, is there a manufacturing date labeled on the bottles?
This was more yellow/gold than green. I already tore it down and cleaned everything as much as possible. Got 99.5% of it out. BUT, here are some additional pics I took before the issue occurred that should give somewhat of an idea. No date on the bottles that I can see -- it's the little 15ml inhibitor + and hades + they sell.

Pictures
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For cleaning this out of the MO-RA3, I soaked it in vinegar (did not dilute beyond what it comes as - 5% acid) and flushed with an aquarium pump for hours. Used Mayhems blitz pt 1 on the internal rads, and ran Blitz 2 through the internal loop after. After the cleaning, I set the MO-RA3 up as standalone and and ran it for a few days to see if the problem would come back. It did not, so then I introduced a 10ft strip of EPDM tubing into the MO-RA3 loop. The next morning, the clear tubing that was part of the MO-RA3 loop began to turn yellow. Everything in my internal PC case loop was fine during this time.

So really, this all happened when I introduced the following items to my loop:
1) The MORA
2) 20 feet of EPDM tubing (13/10 by Watercool)
3) A Heatkiller Tube 150 reservoir
4) HK Dual Pump top module for the MO-RA3.
5) 2x D5 PWM (Watercool brand)
6) A couple pairs of Alphacool Quick Release (the POM versions with screw collars)

It all started to show up less than 24 hours after adding this to my PC loop (as an external) and running some stress tests to get the water temp up and bleed the loop.

Even after a total teardown and cleaning every component and fitting, I still got a little residue on one of the reservoir inlet pipes, so there is still a trace of whatever it is in there. This is what I'm talking about, although the picture makes it look worse than it is now, its still noticeable:

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Assume everything you haven't personally cleaned is not clean. Cheap rads are full of flux and corrosion. Better ones almost all still have at least a layer of oil.

I would have expected any copper/brass metal dust to have turned green or black by now, but it's possible they put an inhibitor in the rad to keep it from corroding before sale.
If that is true, it would make sense. Watercool specifically tells customers they dont need to clean the MO-RA3 and that its clean from the factory, barely recommending even a light flush. Do companies really put an inhibitor in the to keep the copper from oxidizing or something? At first I thought it coul dbe flux, but flux doesn't seem to behave that way in water, is not the exact color of flux, and there was just too much of this crap in there. It coated every component in my loop, right down to my flow sensor and stuck to every fitting, etc.

There is both an oily and sedimentary quality to whatever was in my loop. My suspicions were that it had to do with either the EPDM or the MO-RA3, potentially both.
 

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That’s why I asked for the photo. Thanks for providing.

Looks like part of the issue could be your clear tubing is leeching. Could be from coolant + PVC tubing.

I ran into a similar issue where all my tubing and loop got discoloured. Photo of my system below from ~2015. However! The big difference is that I don’t believe my fluid change colour, just my tubing.

I isolated the cause in my instance to: Dazmode protector (ethylene glycol) + PVC tubing = green gunk (plasticizer). I’ve also read that a warm loop temp can promote or accelerate the leeching process.

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Try getting rid of the new tubing in addition to the other recos here and you should be fine. It’s very weird it’s the EPDM but for all I know, that could be the issue but my experience would tell me it’s the clear PVC tubing.

I want to be clear (no pun intended) that I don’t believe this is the sole issue. It’s odd to me how your tubing and fluid is discoloured too. I hope this helps narrow down the issue(s).

Photo of my old tubing (leeched) vs unused piece.
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Edit: Grammer / additional context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That’s why I asked for the photo. Thanks for providing.

Looks like part of the issue could be your clear tubing is leeching. Could be from coolant + PVC tubing.

I ran into a similar issue where all my tubing and loop got discoloured. Photo of my system below from ~2015. However! The big difference is that I don’t believe my fluid change colour, just my tubing.

I isolated the cause in my instance to: Dazmode protector (ethylene glycol) + PVC tubing = green gunk (plasticizer). I’ve also read that a warm loop temp can promote or accelerate the leeching process.

View attachment 2574203

Try getting rid of the new tubing in addition to the other recos here and you should be fine. It’s very weird it’s the EPDM but for all I know, that could be the issue but my experience would tell me it’s the clear PVC tubing.

I want to be clear (no pun intended) that I don’t believe this is the sole issue. It’s odd to me how your tubing and fluid is discoloured too. I hope this helps narrow down the issue(s).

Photo of my old tubing (leeched) vs unused piece.
View attachment 2574205


Edit: Grammer / additional context.
Yeah, yours is likely leaching and sounds like you had used it longer.

I don't thinking leaching was my issue due to these reasons:

1) Tubing was only 1-3 days old, and it was plasticizer free (allegedly) by Mayhem's UltraClear and then again it happened (I replaced a section) with XSPC FLX clear tubing.
2) I used these in the system before, and they stayed relatively clear for months and months.
3) Leaching wouldn't explain the amount of contaminate -- when this happened I had roughly 2 feet of clear tubing in my loop versus the 20-25 feet of EPDM. The 2 feet of clear was totally fine prior to adding in the external rad components.
4) The tubing I use (XSPC and Mayhem's) have always been pretty good, with the worst I've seen being some mild clouding. I've also seen it run crystal clear for more than 4-6 months. I believe the slight discoloration might be due to the inhibitor loosening up oxide or detritus in the copper radiators.
 

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For cleaning this out of the MO-RA3, I soaked it in vinegar (did not dilute beyond what it comes as - 5% acid) and flushed with an aquarium pump for hours. Used Mayhems blitz pt 1 on the internal rads, and ran Blitz 2 through the internal loop after. After the cleaning, I set the MO-RA3 up as standalone and and ran it for a few days to see if the problem would come back. It did not, so then I introduced a 10ft strip of EPDM tubing into the MO-RA3 loop. The next morning, the clear tubing that was part of the MO-RA3 loop began to turn yellow. Everything in my internal PC case loop was fine during this time.

So really, this all happened when I introduced the following items to my loop:
1) The MORA
2) 20 feet of EPDM tubing (13/10 by Watercool)
3) A Heatkiller Tube 150 reservoir
4) HK Dual Pump top module for the MO-RA3.
5) 2x D5 PWM (Watercool brand)
6) A couple pairs of Alphacool Quick Release (the POM versions with screw collars)

It all started to show up less than 24 hours after adding this to my PC loop (as an external) and running some stress tests to get the water temp up and bleed the loop.

Even after a total teardown and cleaning every component and fitting, I still got a little residue on one of the reservoir inlet pipes, so there is still a trace of whatever it is in there. This is what I'm talking about, although the picture makes it look worse than it is now, its still noticeable:

View attachment 2574108
Be carefull with vinegar, i think these MO-RA rads using a similar design as the Aquacomputer AMS 840 rads i am using NO FLUX just round tubes however they are sealed with RUBBER O RINGS around the tubes thats a lot of o rings...this is why i wont use agressive cleaning agents in my AMS rads it might have a negative impact on the rubber sealings inside i might be wrong about the MO-RA but do a search. Check this link and scroll a bit down to see pics of the AMS rads inside notice the o rings? Since Watercool uses a similar design ROUND tubes which may or may not be soldered or use o rings as well.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Be carefull with vinegar, i think these MO-RA rads using a similar design as the Aquacomputer AMS 840 rads i am using NO FLUX just round tubes however they are sealed with RUBBER O RINGS around the tubes thats a lot of o rings...this is why i wont use agressive cleaning agents in my AMS rads it might have a negative impact on the rubber sealings inside i might be wrong about the MO-RA but do a search. Check this link and scroll a bit down to see pics of the AMS rads inside notice the o rings? Since Watercool uses a similar design ROUND tubes which may or may not be soldered or use o rings as well.

Good info, I will email Watercool and ask if there's rubber o-rings or anything in the construction that would make using vinegar or an acid a no-no.
 

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Yeah, yours is likely leaching and sounds like you had used it longer.

I don't thinking leaching was my issue due to these reasons:

1) Tubing was only 1-3 days old, and it was plasticizer free (allegedly) by Mayhem's UltraClear and then again it happened (I replaced a section) with XSPC FLX clear tubing.
2) I used these in the system before, and they stayed relatively clear for months and months.
3) Leaching wouldn't explain the amount of contaminate -- when this happened I had roughly 2 feet of clear tubing in my loop versus the 20-25 feet of EPDM. The 2 feet of clear was totally fine prior to adding in the external rad components.
4) The tubing I use (XSPC and Mayhem's) have always been pretty good, with the worst I've seen being some mild clouding. I've also seen it run crystal clear for more than 4-6 months. I believe the slight discoloration might be due to the inhibitor loosening up oxide or detritus in the copper radiators.
Whilst you’re probably correct about most of those things, it was XSPC clear tubing in my situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whilst you’re probably correct about most of those things, it was XSPC clear tubing in my situation.
Yeah, its not perfect and starts to become opaque, but I never confirmed whether it was plasticizer (which should come off the inside of the tube almost like a powder).

In the case of this MO-RA3 debacle...the tubes were clear prior to introducing the external rad, then a couple of days later they are piss yellow, there;s all this gunk/detritus in my loop and there's a yellow/brown coating on every last millimeter of component. In one of the pics above, you can see my 2 D5 pumps off to the side (I think the pic showing the reservoir inlet tube) -- you can see the crap that collected along/around the impeller bearing....luckily I have an ultrasonic cleaner which made cleaning all the fittings easy enough.
 

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ps if you want to clean these types of rads like MO-RA and AMS rads. Get a cheap submergeable pump then a water filter with a 0.5 micron filter (the filter will weed out all crap like gunk, flux, delrin and other impurities HIGHLY recommended) A big new clean bucket place pump attach tubing on pump and waterfilter and rad.

Pour in hot distilled water not boiling distilled water but hot. Let it run for 3 hours or so. Inbetween add again hot distilled water. If you heat up distilled water make sure the pan is new and only clean it with distilled water before use. This is how i clean my AMS rads and after hours i could see black delrin pieces in my filter. The hot distilled water makes anything stuck get loose. If i have time il send a videos regarding cleaning rads with filter and submergeable pump. (im on phone now). If you try conventional means to clean rads like shaking like mad it wont work because of the tube design. Believe me this is the best way cleaning your MO-RA rad. Video:



 

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You can shake the rad if its a normal rad but the MO-RA and AMS rads are not normal rads i tried with the conventional means you know pouring HOT DW in rad for around 75% then shake like mad pour in bowl check if you see impurities and repeat the process till spotless clean. But the conventional means DO NOT work on the MO-RA or AMS rads due to the tube design i tried believe me. However the videos above WILL work do use HOT distilled water. The big PRO is you are re using the same distilled water in this cleaning setup so no need to keep pouring DW.

Furthermore all your equipment need to be CLEAN before usage!!! DO not use regular tap water! Yes i know people will say rinse with distilled water after using tap water etc. I done that before not recommended tap water can have impurities and biological residue even with distilled rinse it wont go away 100%. Always use distilled water for cleaning and flushing. After use high quality Coolant for corrosion and biological growth protection. You already spent money on a MO-RA mighty as well spend a little extra on a submergeable pump aka aquarium pump (15 to 35 bucks) and a water filter with 0.5 micron filter (30 to 55 bucks make sure its see through) then you won't have doubts or stress "did i clean it good enough?"

TIP: after some time REVERSE the flow of water to get an even better result!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can shake the rad if its a normal rad but the MO-RA and AMS rads are not normal rads i tried with the conventional means you know pouring HOT DW in rad for around 75% then shake like mad pour in bowl check if you see impurities and repeat the process till spotless clean. But the conventional means DO NOT work on the MO-RA or AMS rads due to the tube design i tried believe me. However the videos above WILL work do use HOT distilled water. The big PRO is you are re using the same distilled water in this cleaning setup so no need to keep pouring DW.

Furthermore all your equipment need to be CLEAN before usage!!! DO not use regular tap water! Yes i know people will say rinse with distilled water after using tap water etc. I done that before not recommended tap water can have impurities and biological residue even with distilled rinse it wont go away 100%. Always use distilled water for cleaning and flushing. After use high quality Coolant for corrosion and biological growth protection. You already spent money on a MO-RA mighty as well spend a little extra on a submergeable pump aka aquarium pump (15 to 35 bucks) and a water filter with 0.5 micron filter (30 to 55 bucks make sure its see through) then you won't have doubts or stress "did i clean it good enough?"

TIP: after some time REVERSE the flow of water to get an even better result!
Thank you. I have seen this method before, looks great. I already have a submersible aquarium pump that is pretty good, the downside is the tubing for it is not the same size as my PC watercooling tubing (smallest it takes is 1/2 in ID), so I need to get the right fitting to connect it from the pump to a rad or filter. I do not have the micron filter, but I could get one -- how pricey are they?

Also -- I have one of those electric water heating elements that I could use to keep the water hot as it circulates. Those things are cool, just can't leave them unattended for long.

Is this method only recommended for "first time" cleanings or would you use it for regular maintenance?

Since you told me to look out for o-rings and vinegar/acid, I am skeptical as to what is the best way to clean these radiators with something harsh enough to kill any growth or remove oxide.
 
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