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Cloudy/Residual Water

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January 4, 2012 7:42:09 AM

I just started up my first water loop, and am currently leak testing. After a few hiccups, I appear to be leak free, but I'll do an 8-hour test to be sure.

However, the water is pretty cloudy, and leaves a ring of residue at the water surface level in the reservoir.

I was using distilled water and a silver killcoil, but I took the silver out because it could be causing a galvanic reaction--instead, I'll use PT nuke because it contains copper instead.

The fittings and radiators are brass (Airplex Revo).

The CPU block is copper (CPU-370 Koolance).

The GPU block is nickel (EK-FC6990).

I've filled and drained the loop about 3 times now. I took out the silver, washed the reservoir, refilled it, and this is what I get:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/338/imag0178a.jpg/

I know there are a lot of bubbles in the res, but I just refilled it and they seem to take several hours to disappear. They're aren't any in the loop and the pump sounds fine, so no worries there.

I think it's less cloudy than it was with the silver in it, but honestly I'm not sure. I should have taken more pictures.

So is this OK? An acceptable level? What is going on? What should I do?

More about : cloudy residual water

a c 190 K Overclocking
January 4, 2012 8:15:15 AM

That looks clear enough to me, You did rinse everything out before building the loop I assume?
crap from transit and manufacturing often gets left inside components
so its strip to bolts and wash in clean soapy water, rinse, drain, rinse in distilled, dry and rebuild, thats before you even build the loop,
the bubbles, it takes time to work bubbles out of a loop, rotate your pc with the loop running to work out any pockets, as the level drops
(because water replaces the air pockets) top up, tap the res to get those smaller bubbles up to the top, and relax :)  you don't have any leaks do you?
its just patience from here, although I'm pretty sure that nickel block is going to cause minor issues (Random brain nag, can't quite pin it as tired from nightshift :p )
P.S. Ide disk drive? :p 
Moto
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 4, 2012 1:16:48 PM

If your water is cloudy immediately, it is likely junk built up inside your radiator from the manufacturing process...this is very common. Hot water and some soap (dish or laundry will do, as both are good at breaking down oily substances)...just be sure to rinse very well with tap water, and a final rinse with distilled.

To help keep bubbles out, you'll want your res to be about 90%+ full...there shouldn't be much air in there...remember, high flow in a low water volume res will create turbulence and introduce air into the loop which can collect in rads. Don't worry about it overflowing- if you have it mostly full, as you work air out of your loop, it should displace into the reservoir and you'll see your res volume 'drop' a bit, which is what you want...it's a lot easier to top off a res than to keep chasing air pockets.
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January 6, 2012 4:27:02 PM

I did wash everything when it came with hot water and soap, rinsing first with tap and then distilled. As to "stripping down to the bolts"... not so much. The radiators can't be disassembled, and the GPU block warranty is void if it's opened...

I'll pull the rads out tonight and give them a more thorough wash to see if that changes anything. I'll post the results.

Anyhow, as to the bubbles--I've been following the prescribed method of filling the loop by topping off the res, powering the pump for a few brief seconds, and repeating. However, I'm not sure at what point I should stop filling and plug up the reservoir. It's strange--The last time I filled up, I didn't have nearly as many bubbles as I did this time. But as to the air in the rads--they are external and unmounted, so I can rotate them around to free up the air bubbles with ease.

I'm thinking tonight when I go to fill up again, I'll do a more careful job with the pump to make sure I don't let it run too long and suck in any air as the res empties ("whirlpool effect"). Then, when the loop is able to flow without interruption, I'll spin the rads and tip the tower a bit to try and lose any air pockets/bubbles. Once that is done, I'll stop the pump, fill up the reservoir to the top, and then plug it up and close the loop, power on the pump, and let the system work out the rest. Sound like a good plan?

Here's to hoping for a cleaner loop this time.

If things go well, I'll go ahead and do an 8-hour leak test. And then... there's something of a leap of faith required when you actually hit the power button, isn't there?

Thanks for the help.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 6, 2012 4:35:51 PM

Are you jumpering your PSU when you switch on/off?

If you have the ability to rotate your rads, you are probably good on air as this is the main place they settle (if they do). Once you've run the loop a few times during the fill, get your res like 90% full, and just switch it on and let it run a while, say 10-15 mins. Then, shut down for a few, then run for another 10-15, shut down. At this point during any downtimes, add water to the res as needed to keep it about 90% full. Then I'd start your 1-2 hour initial leak test...you should really know by the end of that how much more water you'll need and if you have any leaks. I know that people suggest 8-24 hr leak tests, but you'll usually know within 30 mins if you have leaks in most instances.
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January 18, 2012 7:40:16 PM

I cleaned out the radiators again and drained as much of the water from the loop/blocks as possible. When I refilled, the water was still a bit cloudy but much less than when I started this thread. The bubbles went away on their own overnight.

I've filled and drained my loop a second time since, and everything was pretty much the same. It seems like the water gets more clear over time. Not sure what's up with that.

As to jumpering my PSU, I just use a molex from another computer and instead of switching on/off I just plug/unplug the pump. There's a 3-second-or-so delay when I plug it in, but fortunately it stops immediately when unplugged so as to prevent emptying the reservoir and sucking in air.

However, there is one problem/inconvenience that occurs when I go to fill my loop. If you look at the pictures I posted, you'll notice I have a tube inside the reservoir that the inflow travels through. I did this to prevent a cyclone, which I was under the impression is bad. However, the tube empties close enough to the exit hole that when I'm working the air out of my loop, a portion of the bubbles get sucked down into the pump where they either travel back through the loop again or linger in the pump and slowly dissipate over several hours.

Can I take out the tube? This will cause a whirlpool effect. Is that bad? What should I do?

Thanks.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 18, 2012 8:02:03 PM

I have almost the same res. You need to fill it more...like 80-90% full.
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January 18, 2012 10:14:49 PM

No that picture is old, from when I first started. I keep it much more full now. I'm just wondering about the inside tube.
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January 19, 2012 7:14:56 PM

This is for reference for any future build.

Avoid using soap when you are cleaning your loop. You are much better rinsing thoroughly with distilled water. If you have to use anything to clean out the loop, use white distilled vinegar diluted at 5 to 1 (5 parts water per 1 part vinegar). Optionally, you can also use alcohol.

Soap is a great degreaser, but even with a thorough rinse, it will leave residue. Vinegar isn't as good a degreaser, but it has the advantage of rinsing out within about 2 or 3 flushes without leaving any residue.

As far as galvanic corrosion caused by silver/copper interaction, this really isn't a problem. Silver and copper are both very close to each other on the affinity scale, so the chances of them acting as anode/cathode is very low. You would have to run your loop for decades before you even noticed any kind of pitting at all. Aluminum and copper, though...that's a problem.

With most loops, I avoid using reservoirs in favor of T-lines, since it's a lot easier to bleed the air out of your loop that way.

The trick is to locate your pump at the lowest point in your loop and then feed your T-line in a straight line to your pump. Locate the return feed of your loop about 2-3 inches above your pump. This way, as you pour more water into you T-line, your pump will have fluid immediately and the air will eventually bleed to the top of the T-line. Just keep adding fluid until all the air has worked it's way out. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes at most.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 19, 2012 7:31:34 PM

I've used a tiny bit of dish detergent, rinsed and never had any problems. It's all about how well you rinse. I've also used vinegar (which is my rinse method of choice) along with several rinses.
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a c 190 K Overclocking
January 19, 2012 8:18:27 PM

I'll post a pic tomorrow of how I washed my loop :-)
Moto
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 19, 2012 9:05:10 PM

I'll laugh if it's a pic of a washing machine.
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a c 190 K Overclocking
January 19, 2012 11:00:20 PM



I set it up next to the washing machine if that counts? :-p
First hour with 5% white vinegar and distilled, then four hours with just distilled,
I have to clamp my loopover link to alter the flow path, but I designed it that way for easy flushing hehe
it needs redesigning though, I'm adding my cards and a 480 Rad as soon as I can appropriate funds :) 

Moto
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 20, 2012 12:33:02 PM

Yeah, if you can use a pump and push a mix of vinegar and water, you are going to get better results. Nice setup...I've thought about putting together a cleansing loop for folks, but I doubt people would want to ship me rads and have me rinse/clean them for a small fee, but you never know.
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a c 190 K Overclocking
January 21, 2012 1:52:26 PM

Hmm, not sure on it tbh, if folks are lazy enough to buy prebuilt/ prefitted watercooling then they may be lazy enough to pay to have it flushed, but I'm struggling with the idea of someone like you, 4ryan6, me or boiler paying some guy to take our pc away and wash it out for us lol
Might be a payer mate, you don't know if you don't try...
Moto
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January 21, 2012 2:38:29 PM

CKLayoka said:
I just started up my first water loop, and am currently leak testing. After a few hiccups, I appear to be leak free, but I'll do an 8-hour test to be sure.

However, the water is pretty cloudy, and leaves a ring of residue at the water surface level in the reservoir.

I was using distilled water and a silver killcoil, but I took the silver out because it could be causing a galvanic reaction--instead, I'll use PT nuke because it contains copper instead.

The fittings and radiators are brass (Airplex Revo).

The CPU block is copper (CPU-370 Koolance).

The GPU block is nickel (EK-FC6990).

I've filled and drained the loop about 3 times now. I took out the silver, washed the reservoir, refilled it, and this is what I get:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/338/imag0178a.jpg/

I know there are a lot of bubbles in the res, but I just refilled it and they seem to take several hours to disappear. They're aren't any in the loop and the pump sounds fine, so no worries there.

I think it's less cloudy than it was with the silver in it, but honestly I'm not sure. I should have taken more pictures.

So is this OK? An acceptable level? What is going on? What should I do?


Don't worry about it. It will go away. Give it several days to run & fill little bet of coolant. Leave the fill port open so the air bubbles evaporates.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 21, 2012 3:10:16 PM

Quote:
Might be a payer mate, you don't know if you don't try...


I'm thinking about it...going to test by using some common cleaning solutions on some extra components I have laying around to see what I get out of some of my old gear. If this works well, I might mention it as a service if someone wants it done. I'd only ask that they send me radiators or blocks...not an entire rig. Otherwise, that would be extra cost. Hell, I'd even be willing to do builds for people, but not sure how well return shipping would go...
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