View Full Version : water cooling coolant question

10-02-2009, 01:31 PM
I don't think I have seen this in ths sticky, so here goes.

I am curious about the fluid used. Does distilled water have to be used or is there a product I can get without using water?

Such as PC Ice. How good is it?
This (http://www.petrastechshop.com/peg11coadb4o.html) is what I use now. I still have a mixed solution in the distilled wtaer jug & it's pretty blue still.

The reason I am asking is I am wanting to drain the system, clean it & re-fill it as it no longer is blue in color. Kind of an off blue now. LOL
Thoughts ideas?

Also, without really removing the system, what would be the best & safest way to drain it? I have a Swiftech res & could remove the lower hose fitting & run the system till empty.

10-02-2009, 02:29 PM
Buying pre-mixed solutions is just fine, but they are generally much more expensive than the do-it-yourself distilled water and biocide mix you can make yourself. I still have a jug and a half of PCIce and really need to clean my system out again.

Regarding draining your system, it all depends on what is easiest that will allow you to prevent water spills on your components. I use a t-line that is long enough for me to disconnect it from the t-line fill cap and drain the fluid into a container. Maybe post a picture to show us what you have for a setup?

10-02-2009, 02:43 PM
Same setup that is in the sticky. Nothing has changed since then.


Not the best pics but gives an idea.

I want to do this with the least about of taking it apart being done.

10-02-2009, 03:40 PM
I think I would unscrew the pump from the case, sit it in a pan outside the case, disconnect the intake hose to the pump and let it drain into the pan.

10-02-2009, 03:48 PM
The coolant def is not that blue anymore. It's almost clear now.

Would it need to be cleaned out after draining?

Fuzz Bucket
10-02-2009, 04:28 PM
You just want a solution with a high specific heat

10-03-2009, 07:12 AM
The way you worded that sounds like I need hot water. LOL

What I think I may do is use the wash basin in the next room. I have a board I can lay across the tub, stand the case on it & hang the pump below it with the intake hose off & drain it that way. All the fluid will fall into the basin.
I wouldn't have to clean the loop again would I?

10-03-2009, 08:30 AM
There are alot of "snake oils" sold. The only real fluid that is any better than Pure Disyilled costs about 1000 bucks a fill for your loop. Barring that, none of them will cool your system any better than pure distilled water that costs 89 cents a gallon at a Walmart. The only thing else I add to my loop is 2 drops of Petra's PT Nuke which is a Biocide rto keep out Algae growth.

BTW, there are also alot of fluids sold that will gum up your blocks, and passageways with crap that precipitates out of solution and will clog up stuff like you wouldn;t believe. Mnay of these products have dyes in them.

You don't need any fancy dyes, you don;t ned any antifereeze unless you're going subzero.

One thing to note though. If you have Aluminum in your loop, diregard the above. I won;t even discuss the use of Aluminum, because it is a material that should've never been intrduced to watercooling. Mixed metal loops cause Galvanic Corrosion and have no place in watercooling. Aluminum performs poorly, and most of the Aluminum parts outt here are complete junk. To avoid trouble stick with copper and brass parts. Copper and Aluminum do not mix. Aw, and antifreeze does not stop Galvanic Corosion either...nothing does.

BTW, while you're in there, do yourself a favor and put a drain in the bottom of the loop. Get a good one. I can;t remember brands right off the top of my head, but you have to be very careful about junk that will leak. There are good ones that won't leak. If you wanan do that, ask the guys at XtremeSystems what they use. They won't tell to sell you any junk, and you won;t find company shills there...they don't put up with it. Make sure the drain is palced in the very lowest place you can get it...preferably right on the bottom floor of thr case or just above it enough to get a hose over it to make it easy to drain.

10-03-2009, 09:46 AM
What I think I may do is use the wash basin in the next room. I have a board I can lay across the tub, stand the case on it & hang the pump below it with the intake hose off & drain it that way. All the fluid will fall into the basin.
I wouldn't have to clean the loop again would I?

That sounds like a good plan to me for draining the system.

Regarding cleaning the loop, that all depends on how far you want to go. If you don't really care about looking at the inside of the water blocks, then you don't really need to take them apart to inspect the copper surfaces for corrosion or build ups. If you are only interested in doing a general flush of the system, just fill it up with distilled water and drain it a few times. Let the loop circulate the water to see if you're dragging any crap out of the radiator and water blocks. If your tubing has some crap built up, then you may want to flush it even more or even take the entire loop apart and run a brush through the tubing. If you don't care that much about it, just fill it up again and let it rip after you drain it.

10-03-2009, 11:23 AM
T_flight, I can't put a drain in the bottom of my loop, not unless I added a t-line or whatever. But then that would make it more crammed inside the case.
I am using PT Nuke btw, maybe a bit more than what they suggest, but it looks clean. It's just a lot more cleaer than when I started.

rotN, I don't see any build up in the tubing, so not worried about that. Would it be safe to flush with hot water or no?

BTW, I am not having any cooling issues as my quad's temps are 23 to 27 right now.

10-03-2009, 11:30 AM
When I clean my loop. I tear it all out and run a mix of white vinegar and water (10 parts water to 1 part vinegar). I run it through the rad, and blocks. I tear the blocks apart to make sure they are clean and continue running the solution through the rad to make sure it's clean, if anything comes out the fist time. Then flush the complete system with distilled water and put it back together.

10-03-2009, 11:41 AM
I'm not into tearing it apart as I don't see a reason to. It doesn't seem to be having any flow issues nor cooling issues.
The tubes don't appear to have any grime in them. It's just that the fluid is not blue like it was when I first mixed the batch last year.

10-03-2009, 11:49 AM
If it's a year old there is junk in it, it's just in the block or rad. Don't ask me how I know, :eek: and yes I use PT Nuke as well. However, if you don't want to take it apart completely, just drain and run distilled through it a couple of times should work well to clean.

10-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Would it hurt anything to flush hot water through the system?
Or maybe hot vinegar?

10-03-2009, 03:31 PM
I always get worried about the pump. Although, with a 10 to 1 ratio it should be okay as the acid content is pretty low.

10-03-2009, 06:28 PM
If it's a year old there is junk in it, it's just in the block or rad. Don't ask me how I know, :eek: and yes I use PT Nuke as well. However, if you don't want to take it apart completely, just drain and run distilled through it a couple of times should work well to clean.

I'll tell you how I know. I saw the pictures of the snot (literally looks like snot and I kid you not), and the white crap, and the black junk that gets caught up in the pins and passageways of those blocks. I havemn;t caught any in mine yet, and hope I don't, but I still inspect them anyway. One thing to note though. If you take that block apart be SURE you put it back together exactly like it came apart!!! Don;t rotate the block top from the way it was setting on the base, put the same screws in the same holes they came out of, and obviously you shouldn;t have any parts leftover. Aw, and on some blocks be careful not to pinch the O-ring and be certain it's seated.

Try to flush things. DO NOT brush on pin arrays inside a block. Some of the micro pins are so fine you will destroy them. This really is some high tech stuff and most of the good stuff has been ultra refined. You would not believe the level that these guys have gone to to refine them. To some a single degree C is everything.

If you need to clean lines you can use the coathanger with a piece of sponge or foam rubber on the end to scrube them out. Some tubing has a habit of turning whitish over time. It has to do with plastimers leaching out of the plastic. Some tubing does it worse than others.

I wouldn't pump anything acidic through a loop. Hot water works very well to clean them, Boiling distilled water flushed through will really clean them up.

It's kinda cool this came up, becasue I;m getting ready to do mine again. I check mine every 6 months. I've done it once already, and am gonna do it again before the winter sets in. I've hasd my loop a year now and this will be the second cleaning. The first time the inside was like brand new. I hope it still looks that way. I've seen some that have started to tarnish. I don;t want any buildup in there.

Aw, BTW, do not use more PT Nuke than is called for. More is not better. In fact, more can cause discoloration of stuff. That stuff is muildly acidic. Not enough to hurt anything when used properly, and in fact, that is what makes it work, but if you go putting too much might cause issues. The only time one would need anymore than one or two drops of that stuff is with vaery large loops or multiple rad loops or multiple loops. It's one or tweo drops per liter of water.

Edited: IMPORTANT!!! Do not flush boiling water through using the pump. I forgot about that. That would be bad. I kinda pour stuff in with a spare piece of tube, a funnel, and then pour in the boiling distilled and plug the hose and shake the parts real good after I get it put back together, but I tear my loops down and clean the parts separate. I would not run boiling water through a pump. I wanted to make sure I was clear about that boiling water stuff. You do have to be careful.

10-03-2009, 06:48 PM
I didn't mean to use boiled water. LOL
Just hot to break up anything.

As for the PT Nuke, I got a few drops extra in after a year, so it shouldn't hurt anything.

10-03-2009, 08:24 PM
Yep, either way. I use boiling. i bopil it in the microwave. hehe You just can't use the pump to do that. You have to pour in and let stand for a couple seconds and then shake. You can't do that with any of the clear plastics though. Only Delring and metal parts like the rad and your block if it has a Delrin top.

It's really jhard to get that stuff flushed out inside the computer. That's why I tear mine down. I'm also worried that worjking around that water I might slip up and get a drop on the motherboard or grpahics card or somwething.

When I take the stuff loose I just remove the entire loop sealed and all. Don't know whether you can do that though. AFter I get the entire loop out, then I pop stuff loose and start cleaning everything. It's just one of the things I have to do with watercooling.

Aw, and another thing I do Is take the fans off ther rad and hose the outside off of the rad off and that washes all of the dust out. I stand it up out in the Sun, and then the next day start putting everything back together again. I spend the evening getting everything ready to be put back together.

Last time I cut the ends of the hoses back a bit so that they;d have fresh unexpanded tubing there and would make a good seal again. When i get ready to put them on, I dip the end in Boiling water, and slide it over. That does 2 things. It makes it pliable so it goes on easy, and when it cotracts again, it grabs ahold of the barb real good and makes a good seal. I use 2 tie wraps with the sqaure parts 90 degrees from each other to hold them. The black kind.

Watercooling rocks man! It really works great.

10-04-2009, 04:37 PM
So I can't run hot water through the pump?

10-04-2009, 04:48 PM
So I can't run hot water through the pump?

Of course you can.

10-04-2009, 04:49 PM
T_flight said no, which is why I asked.

10-04-2009, 04:56 PM
T_flight said no, which is why I asked.

Hot water is fine. Boiling hot water is no.

10-05-2009, 03:41 PM
Ok, I drained the system & there is a VERY thin film in the tubes.
So thin a q-tip hardly gets on it when I wiped the ends.
I ran hot water through it for a bit & then filled it with the good stuff & am letting it run to work the air out. All foamy right now.

EDIT: foam all gone. I will need to find some way of cramming a sponge or something through the tubes to clean the thin green film off. This isn';t even slime really. But it's really thin.

10-05-2009, 04:01 PM
I like these:


10-05-2009, 04:45 PM
Canadian Tire should have something like those.
Temps have not changed with the fresh coolant. Still mid to high 20s.

10-05-2009, 05:54 PM
You could get a camel back cleaning brush perhaps. Or the obvious, if that doesn't work, replace the tubing.

10-06-2009, 03:06 PM
I cannot believe that those brushes/sponges cannot be found in Canadian Tire or Home Building Centers etc.