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My Coolit Domino ALC blew up, wanna see pics?

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September 22, 2009 4:59:58 AM

Just warning people a few days ago my Coolit Domino ALC liquid cpu cooler went bad. I'd just bought Majesty 2 on steam, after playing for an hour or so I heard a load popping noise and the screen went purple. I turned off the machine as fast as I could and when I opened it up I found the Domino leaked all its coolant on my two gtx 285s, x-fi and psu.

After cleaning it, airing it for a day (with a big fan), and stripping it down the the bare essentials out I can boot to windows, but starting games causes serious issues (crashes or massive video corruption).

If you have one of these in your box I suggest turning it off right now, taking it out and shooting it. Then go get an air cooler.

Anyway here are some pictures,

The first is a shot of the whole system right after I unplugged it you can see some water on the psu:



Here's a close up of the psu:




Here's a shot of ground zero, if you have trouble seeing the fluid look at the edge of the card nearest the camera:



The last shot is the cooler after removal. The blue arrows show where fluid was flowing out:



Coolit has offered to replace the Domino. I said "no thanks".

Since then I've found a bunch of consumer reviews from people who had similar problems:
(27 of 77 reviews I've seen indicated failure, and most of those resulted in damage to other components)

The Amazon reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/CoolIT-DM-1000-Domino-L-C-Cooler/...

The Newegg reviews

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you happen to be a professional reviewer who's reviewed this product, please update your review and warn your readers.

a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 5:30:13 AM

That's a real shame.
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September 22, 2009 5:59:32 AM

Thanks, I've already cried over it, in my own not crying way (crying on the inside). It just makes me upset that the thing won so many awards. I really hope some reviewers go back and re-evaluate their reviews based on all the problems people have had with it.

Also I really wish Coolit would get back to me on whether or not the fluid is dangerous. It semlls liek it mihgt cuase mentel imparement.
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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 6:16:40 AM

Send them an official invoice for the cost of repairs.
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September 22, 2009 6:43:47 AM

I will, but honestly from all the things I've read they're just going to ignore it. With any big company they'll ignore you if it costs more to sue them then you would make on it. Plus they are in Canada.

I was thinking of sending them a free pizza party, but when they open the pizzas they'd all be triple green pepper.
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September 22, 2009 12:28:58 PM

Unfortunately when reviews are done on a product they are done with a new product for a short term. I have seldom seen a "long term use" review of any product. It would be interesting to see these types of reviews as they will give the true worthiness of a good review of a specific product. A kind of consumer reports of computer components. This will probably never happen as components are changing too fast for this kind of review to take place. Who would want to buy a component that has a good long term use review when a newer or better similar product is available? I feel your pain…. That bites.
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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 3:44:09 PM

Thank you for posting this. As pro WCers know pre built stuff are cr@p and hence why we recommend higher quality custom loops.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 3:49:35 PM

Piece of crap...
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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 3:50:03 PM

^Me posted it on OCF :D 

edit:
Conumdrum beat me to that post lol.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 3:57:39 PM

Sorry for your loos, hope it's just one GPU that went bad.
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September 22, 2009 7:47:00 PM

Here's an update on what's happened:

I posted the same info and pics on Coolit's forum. So far they've made no effort to remove or hide the post. Their RMA guy replied on the fourm and offered to replace or refund only the Domino unit itself. I emailed him and asked them to repair the unit and inform the public.

I googled "coolit domino review" and attempted to contact every reviewer from the first two pages with my story (a few in particular have been very helpful).

Coolit again contacted me with an offer to repair or replace only the Domino which I rejected.

I posted this issue to three major forums(besides the company website), updating it when needed.

In the meantime one reviewer, who has been very helpful, contacted Coolit. He found out there might be an issue with the particular one I have because it was an early unit, but I still don't have all the info on that.

Their sales guy wants to talk to me on the phone, we'll see what happens. I'll post whatever information I can, though I'm not going to do anything that would hurt their company unfairly. Keep in mind this happened on Friday right after work so there was a great deal of time where Coolit wasn't able to address this issue.
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September 22, 2009 8:17:44 PM

WOW that is nuts! I do not see how they won rewards on a product like that.I am glad you posted that.Cause that is the same thing I am installing.And having problem installing in to a NZXT Nemesis Elite case.Think If I send it back they give me my money back?
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September 22, 2009 8:48:25 PM

MagicPants said:
Here's an update on what's happened:

I posted the same info and pics on Coolit's forum. So far they've made no effort to remove or hide the post. Their RMA guy replied on the fourm and offered to replace or refund only the Domino unit itself. I emailed him and asked them to repair the unit and inform the public.

I googled "coolit domino review" and attempted to contact every reviewer from the first two pages with my story (a few in particular have been very helpful).

Coolit again contacted me with an offer to repair or replace only the Domino which I rejected.

I posted this issue to three major forums(besides the company website), updating it when needed.

In the meantime one reviewer, who has been very helpful, contacted Coolit. He found out there might be an issue with the particular one I have because it was an early unit, but I still don't have all the info on that.

Their sales guy wants to talk to me on the phone, we'll see what happens. I'll post whatever information I can, though I'm not going to do anything that would hurt their company unfairly. Keep in mind this happened on Friday right after work so there was a great deal of time where Coolit wasn't able to address this issue.


unfairly?

You bought that unit based on the 3 things that make a person go with a kit instead of custom.
Ease of use
Simple installation and maintenance
Reliability

Not only did the unit fail but you have been inconvenienced nbot only by damage to your system but time and effort as well.

When you talk to the individual on the phone , don't bend. calmly let them know that you are fair and any fair person would want a complete reimbursement for all damages and shipping because you are an informed individual that was counting on product reliability and customer service and since you are not receiving it to any fair persons standards you have plenty to post about in the multitude of forums and review sites.
it would also help to tape the conversation which is completely legal to do without their notification as long as its not used in court ( you want a record so you can quote their words exactly when making reviews of the product in the future).


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September 22, 2009 9:03:06 PM

Hey all, I've been in contact with Coolit. I can't go into details but I will say they are treating me fairly and to my satisfaction.

There is some indication that my case involved some isolated circumstances, but use your own best judgment.
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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 9:49:30 PM

Very professional and responsible of you to come back and make that post.

Very professional and responsible of Coolit to treat you such that you *could* make that post.

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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 10:04:24 PM

^ Unlike Apple :D . I respect what CoolIt is trying to do but I still think they can't come close to the quality of a custom built loop. Then again, that's not what the Domino is meant for is it?
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September 22, 2009 10:46:51 PM

Personally I don't think its professional of coolit.
they recognize that they created a problem and that if they don't make good they will get some huge hits in the form of bad reviews. OTHERWISE they would have made good the first time he posted about it on their website.

Their back is in a corner and they recognize it.
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a b K Overclocking
September 22, 2009 11:03:56 PM

Sometimes it takes time to say you're sorry. And make amends.

Hopefully, your own track record is at least as good as this response from Coolit.
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September 24, 2009 5:17:14 AM

At one time I really thought about going with a Dimino ALC cooler but decided against it. This is pretty much my worst nightmare. Sorry for your loss and hope Coolit makes it right.
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a b K Overclocking
September 24, 2009 9:51:48 AM

No, the vast majority of computer users do not use water. The majority may not even know it is possible to use water, unless they happen to have read an article somewhere about a specialized computer in a lab or an unusual environment that is cooled with "liquid."
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September 24, 2009 2:22:41 PM

I guess in my own personal view, it's pointless to go with water just because it's a useless overclock that would require it. I believe air can handle any necessary overclock which is why I won't do it, but to each his own :) 
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September 24, 2009 2:24:19 PM

Why do they use water...would it be better to use oil so if a failure happens it won't be an issue
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a b K Overclocking
September 24, 2009 2:26:20 PM

If i had the financial wherewithal to casually absorb expensive lost components (like say, a 285 video card for example :p ) then I would totally run water. BUT, since my rig has to stay running for some time yet with minimal investment, I'll stick with cooling products that don't risk the rest of my computer.
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a b K Overclocking
September 24, 2009 3:16:12 PM

Quote:
Everyone uses water. Its a lot better then air

Should probably read: "Every one SHOULD use QUALITY Water.
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a b K Overclocking
September 24, 2009 7:46:46 PM

guess you could call this a domino affect :D 
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September 25, 2009 1:00:47 PM

HAHAHHA obsidian
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September 25, 2009 1:09:09 PM

Quote:
That sucks, but I would never use a water cooler in my system, it's common sense people, water and electronics dont mix.


To each his or her own. Liquid cooling works very well, you just have to accept that there will eventually be leaks. Design your system as best you can, and build as many protections into your system (shroud expensive parts, desiccant packages, etc.) and monitor you fluid level closely, as well as observe your loop, and your chances of having a catastrophe are reduced geometrically.

The decision to water cool carries with it the implicit acceptance that there will be leaks. Don't do it unless you are willing to deal with the consequences of it happening. None of us appreciates having to "casually absorb [the cost of] expensive lost components" but you have to be willing to accept that there is no warranty when you water cool, and to be truthfully honest, the cooling manufacturer is not legally liable for anything more than the cost of their component, as the decision to put your expensive components in harm's way was yours, not theirs.
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September 26, 2009 12:36:29 AM

Houndsteeth said:

The decision to water cool carries with it the implicit acceptance that there will be leaks. Don't do it unless you are willing to deal with the consequences of it happening. None of us appreciates having to "casually absorb [the cost of] expensive lost components" but you have to be willing to accept that there is no warranty when you water cool, and to be truthfully honest, the cooling manufacturer is not legally liable for anything more than the cost of their component, as the decision to put your expensive components in harm's way was yours, not theirs.


I think this only applies to custom loops and rigs where the end user sets up the water-cooling. If you bought pre-built computer with water and it leaked you'd hold the builder accountable.

With a consumer level water cooler marketed with the line "This system of carefully designed and selected components will provide over 50,000 hours or worry free operation" they are saying I don't have to worry about my system breaking, not that I don't have to worry about the Domino breaking.

50,000 hours is five years. By my reckoning they've just said, "If it breaks in the first 5 years it's our fault and we assume responsibility"

Of course later they say "backed by an unprecedented 2 year manufacturer warranty. " since 50,000 hours is far greater then 2 years, I get the feeling they didn't think this through very well. But in this case we are talking about failure in the first 8 months.

What would happen if a cigarette company claimed that its product offered 500,000 hours of worry free enjoyment?

If your product can cause harm you need to put a warning label on it, not a worry free label.

What you've got is an industry that's used to dealing with people who understand water cooling suddenly trying to sell it to the mainstream. They can't expect the mainstream to change to fit them, they need to change to fit the mainstream.

A warranty isn't the final arbiter of what a company is responsible for. When car maker's put dangerous cars on the road they're held accountable by law, this is the reason automakers have so many recalls these days.

I think Coolit has realized this, they are currently working with me in good faith to solve my problem. I'll keep you posted as to how it turns out.
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a b K Overclocking
September 26, 2009 8:58:07 AM

Houndsteeth said:
. . . and to be truthfully honest, the cooling manufacturer is not legally liable for anything more than the cost of their component, as the decision to put your expensive components in harm's way was yours, not theirs.
Tell that to MacDonalds, after losing millions to a woman who somehow didn't know it wasn't wise to put a container of coffee between her legs while driving.

Seriously, the liability is in the decision to make a "sealed" liquid system to be put in a place where that specific liquid cannot be allowed free range.

This may mean the end of water as a coolant in such sealed systems.
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September 26, 2009 9:31:59 AM

whoa.. !
are ur babies fine ? [cards]
:o 
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September 26, 2009 4:32:14 PM

H2O in itself is not conductive btw. it the impurities that make it so.
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September 27, 2009 1:12:38 AM

thanks for sharing your story about the coolit domino alc blowing up. sorry to hear about your loss. i too read many glowing reviews about the cooling power of the alc.
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September 27, 2009 5:36:53 PM

seeing that leaks can and do happen, why don't people use non-conductive mineral oil? Is it just the extra cost? (I have no idea how expensive it is)
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September 28, 2009 10:50:28 PM

Pure mineral oil, by nature, is dielectric. They use it in transformers all the time as a thermally conductive substance. The problem is the viscosity of oil is higher than water, meaning that pumping the fluid through a cooling loop is that much more difficult, and any impingement on that flow rate becomes that much more work for the pump to overcome. To add to it, water has much better thermal properties for the standard range of computer operating temperatures. In this instance, it makes more sense to use deionized distilled water with additives to control biotic growth and prevent galvanic corrosion instead of mineral oil, which has been known to break down carbon-based plastics and rubbers.
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October 12, 2009 5:58:38 PM

Following up on my problem. Coolit systems did a great job resolving my problem. My machine is back up and running just like it was before the incident. I was playing the game “Risen” with it much of the weekend and had no problems at all.

The problem with the Domino in my machine was rare and the responsibility for explaining it rests with Coolit. The damage to my machine was much lighter than I expected.

My advice to anyone considering any sort of water cooling is to minimize where leaks could potentially go, provide an escape path for the fluid and put as few things under the reservoir as possible. The ideal setup for a water cooled CPU would be a case that mounts the motherboard inverted and top mounts the power supply.
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a b K Overclocking
October 12, 2009 6:21:10 PM

What are your CPU temps at load? Is there a specific reason you purchased the domino?
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October 12, 2009 7:33:42 PM

I don't overclock. I haven't checked the temps at load in a long time last time I did I think it was around 60.

There were two main reasons I went with the domino. First at the i7 launch air coolers were ridiculously over priced (they are still high). Second because the Domino doesn't take up as much space as an air cooler it allows more air to flow to the video cards which I consider a bigger cooling issue.

Setting up the domino is a lot easier than any of the air coolers I've setup in the past.
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a b K Overclocking
October 12, 2009 7:56:46 PM

Well I guess everyone has their own opinions....... Anyways just to let ya know, I have been using Air coolers for almost 20 years and I have NEVER had an issue with either the CPU or GPU overheating weather it was overclocked or not... I just never saw the need for a Domino when you can buy an air-cooler that will give you the same or better results... Just a thought....
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October 17, 2009 4:48:04 PM

when will people realise that liquid and electric components dont mix. xD hahaha
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a c 86 K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 5:16:21 PM

Thanks Victor, great input. There are many people who buy crap water systems or are just unable to handle the work involved. xD hahaha


If your informed and want something different, then yea it's viable.
http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=604016

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a b K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 7:24:12 PM

WOW, thats crazy! Did they re-imberse you for your system?
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a c 86 K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 9:54:46 PM

Did who? Nope, that's my system for daily use. BTW, I have two GTX 280's on it now.

It all started when a friend said he can get me an i7 965 DO stepping Engineering Sample for $500. Umm then I just bought stuff. The only thing from my old rig was the PA 120.3 rad and and some fans. Ohh yea, the XSPC rad too, I bought it when it was on sale at $100, was just siting in my closet.

You never saw my rig before? The sad thing is it's all stock speeds. I just don't need to overclock, but I do want to someday.

And really not that crazy if you see some of the rigs on Xtreme Forums.
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a b K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 10:23:05 PM

I was reffering to the op, conundrum.

Yeah, ive seen your rig before its pretty nice.

BTW who made that benching tray for you? Was that syrillian?
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a c 86 K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 10:58:57 PM

Ack, I'm embarassed, thought you did.

Na, thats a Banchetto, get it from Sidewinders.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
October 17, 2009 11:27:01 PM

He sure would. See em. Not my cup o' tea. Sometimes it's not about money. When you pay $500 for a chip and don't overclock it, it's more about umm excess?

It fits my two rads and has easy to access panels.
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October 23, 2009 12:47:55 AM

danf6975 said:
H2O in itself is not conductive btw. it the impurities that make it so.


actually water has a property called the auto ionization of water in which h20 molecules split into h+ and oh- at a concentration at 10^-7 molar making it slightly conductive

JUST JOKING (gotta use that school somewhere)

Glad it all worked out with Coolit, and conudrum I here you when it's about "excess", I always want excess then I have to step back and say "do i really need this."
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October 26, 2009 3:32:49 AM

Twoboxer said:
Tell that to MacDonalds, after losing millions to a woman who somehow didn't know it wasn't wise to put a container of coffee between her legs while driving.

Seriously, the liability is in the decision to make a "sealed" liquid system to be put in a place where that specific liquid cannot be allowed free range.

IIRC reading that an activist judge reduced the jury award. but yeah, mcdonalds "lost" millions to their own lawyers. (mcds enjoyed a lot of other hot coffee lawsuits in preceding, and likely following, years.)
"biased" finds:
http://www.google.com/search?q=mcdonalds+lawyers+hot+co...
http://www.lawslore.info/child_31.html

i wouldn't drink anything in a moving vehicle unless i want sticky junk all over the dashboard vents, floor, shifter, seats, etc. :-)
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!