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Preventing corrosion?

Hey guys,

I'm new to water cooling and am trying to learn all I can before jumping in. I've read pretty much all the CLC vs water cooling threads, and I think I'm gonna order the XSPC 750 RS240 kit for my 3770k in a Corsair C70 case.

Here's what I haven't found yet: I read the bit about how water is the best cooling solution, but 2 worries are corrosion and bacteria/algae. I know about killcoils or dead-water for killing growth, but I don't remember seeing how you fight corrosion when using water in one of these kits. So here are my questions:

1) How do you stop corrosion in a system like the XSPC when using water only?
2) Should I just use a pre-mix and forget about water?
3) How much of a temp difference will h2o make over pre-mix?
4) If I use pre-mix, do I still need a killcoil and/or corrosion inhibitor?
5) What pre-mix is regarded as the best?
6) Are there any upgrades I should opt in for with the kit I mentioned?

Thanks in advance for being understanding of a newbie and his (probably stupid) questions.

Also, total side thought for the future: Does anybody know if its possible to buy the "Sub-Zero Cryo-tec" system that Digital Storm uses in their systems (or a product similar). I read through the "Exploring below-ambient cooling" thread and was quite intrigued, but there's no way I'm going that extreme if I need a whole separate "tub" or other cooling box for my desktop. BUT, if I could have a fully internal system that could give me a few extra degrees below ambient with fairly low maintenance, I may consider it for a future build, assuming it's cost effective.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about preventing corrosion
  1. Best answer
    From this article:

    Water Cooling Liquid
    A final yet important consideration to make is liquid coolant type. Theoretically, you could fill your water cooling system with anything, but some fluids work much better than others. First of all, do not use tap water. Tap water has minerals, bacteria, and algae in it which will corrode and cloud your water cooling system, possibly causing a catastrophic failure. Another alternative is de-ionized water. De-ionized or non-conductive water may seem desirable initially, because it is a poor electrical conductor, and therefore will not cause much damage if a leak occurs. However, water is an excellent solvent, and so if de-ionized water is put into a water cooling system, it will corrode the water blocks to get its ions back. Therefore, de-ionized water is not something we recommend, either.
    A good choice is distilled water, because it is relatively cheap yet pure enough to use in a water cooling system. Distilled water will not deposit harmful minerals in your system, nor will it cause algal blooms because there are no living organisms present. It will not, however, corrode your water blocks because it is not de-ionized. There are various additives which may be added to the coolant in your system. Water wetter is great for increasing the cooling capacity of your system by altering the properties of water and making it even more thermally capacitive. Water wetter will also help reduce corrosion in your water cooling system. Other additives, such as UV-reactive dyes, may be added for aesthetic reasons.
  2. 1. You don't need to worry about corrosion if you have similar metals in a loop like all copper for example, if you had an aluminium radiator or EK Nickel block then galvanic corrosion becomes a real problem.
    2.No, Premixes don't cool as well as water and cost way more
    3. I couldn't honestly put a number on it but pure water has a higher thermal transference capability than a mix basically
    4. no, you shouldn't need anything added to a premix should you choose to use one
    5. I couldn't say, I don't research them beyond horror stories concerning particularly bad mixes, like Feser one for example
    6.nope, the kits are pretty much all you need to get going in W/c, if a killcoil isn't included then grab one or a bottle of PT Nuke/Deadwater
    And Ryan, Lutfij and myself are working on making a cooling solution that is all in one box :)
    **Edit, just to clarify on one of Hubbardt's points, any liquid that is in a loop and travelling near/through the pump gets ionised in a very short time so the corrosion he mentions isn't applicable, a lot of premixes state they are non-conductive but due to the ionisation effect, they don't stay non-conductive for very long which is another reason to avoid paying top dollar for a gimmick
    it just takes time hehe
  3. Thanks guys, thats a huge help. I think I meant distilled water in my OP, but for some reason it didn't sound right.

    Just to be sure I understand correctly, if I use distilled water, I should add some dead water or equivalent. And lastly, has anyone on here used Water Wetter? Is it worth adding to an entry level kit? I dont mind spending a few extra bucks, but if its really just a waste of money than I won't bother.

    Edit: I forgot to mention: I remember reading somewhere on a water cooling or overclocking forum (here or elsewhere) about someone buying some tablet at home depot or something that they added to their water and it helped fight corrosion or something? Any idea what I'm talking about? I cant find the post.
  4. **if I use distilled water, I should add some dead water or equivalent**
    Its preferable yes, although UV cathodes are also suitable
    Toolmaker uses WW I believe and likes it
    and Ryan uses/used some tablets in his initial experiments, Pan AC or something? its listed in the Subambient thread, first page I think
    **Quote from his page1**
    Critter control by AC Pan Tabs, 2 tabs per gallon have worked nicely, no critters growing in the solution, no corrosive metal or plastic damage, these AC Pan Tabs are stocked at Home Depot or can be ordered online. Add the tablets 2 at a time allowing complete dissolving between additions until you've completed adding all you'll be using. Do not add all the tablets at one time! I also run 1 Silver killcoil inside the pump intake tubing, located as far away from the pump as possible**
    Toolmakers thread,
  5. wow, your a boss! Thanks.

    I was just reading up on WW and I think I'll skip it, but thanks for all the help. Cant wait to meh parts and start assembly. I feel like a school girl.

    ...a school girl that desperately want to make love to his gaming rig.
  6. Best answer selected by kiD_DarknessssS.
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