View Full Version : Best substance to lower freezing temp (water)

01-14-04, 04:55 PM
Up here in New England, we're dipping into the negative degrees (in F... brrrr). I have my HCs/fans outside to cool my computers. I have about a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/water, but my lines keep freezing on me (especially at night). I hate to say that my WC rig is too cold, but it kind of is.

Anyway, I'm putting in more antifreeze (probably a 33/66 mix right now), but I'm thinking maybe there's something better out there to lower temps. I remember from chemistry class, the freezing & boiling point of water is determined by how much other matter is in the water (or mass? Something like that, like salt in water makes the boiling point lower).

Anything else besides more antifreeze I should try? I'm currently using the Toyota red stuff.

Thanks for any input.

01-14-04, 04:59 PM
You could insulate the lines with some foam tape. they use that to insulate pipes that are near walls, so they dont freeze. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.

01-14-04, 05:03 PM
use methanol it can be found in winshield washer fluid because it wont freeze easily and the problem with adding antifreeze is because it raises the viscosity of the liquid in general which would result in bad flow rate and might hurt your pump by making it work too hard

01-14-04, 05:04 PM
The problem area is in my HC's. I actually have a blowdryer next to my window box to heat the HC up when it freezes so I can start moving liquid again.

Thanks for the methanol recommendation.

edit: I did search, and found several articles on this (http://www.overclockers.com/articles609/), but I haven't found practical advice on what mixture to use to cover all bases.

01-14-04, 05:08 PM
try introducing a 10% alcohol mix.

or just do not turn off the pump, moving water cannot freeze.
As dreadded as it sounds, put in a patch length that is running through a water tank indoors, that way the coolant is "warmed" at more then 1 stage.
Turn off a couple of the fans
Anything basically to get more heat introduced.
Pretty much no matter, water WILL freeze at -20*, there is little to nothing that can be done about it.
maybe a 70/20/10 alky will take the extreme temps.
I am originally from Caribou Maine, so I KNOW cold. That is also why I MOVED.

01-14-04, 05:25 PM
Yeah, I am in Orono right now (Near Bangor) and my god... it is going to be -30 F tonight.... brrr

01-14-04, 05:30 PM
increasing the amount of water would make it harder to it to freeze overnight it would protect your from sudden dips ( like at night)

01-14-04, 05:59 PM
Why don't you want to use more antifreeze?

I'm sure everyone thats got a car around their is probably using simple antifreeze to keep the coolant in their engines freezing at nite and cracking the block.

01-14-04, 06:23 PM
I could just use 100% antifreeze, but it wouldn't carry as much heat off the waterblock. I'm trying to keep as much water in the mix as possible. I'm about 33 water 66 antifreeze now, and would like to get more water into the mix. MBM says I'm at 5 C at load, so I guess I can't really complain. I just don't want my lines freezing anymore ><.

01-14-04, 08:35 PM
What is HC I keep seeing youg uys type it but what does it mean? Heat something??? :(

01-14-04, 09:07 PM
Heater core. Methanol is the way to go... Fairly decent for cooling, and doesn't freeze for a long while. Evaporates fairly easily, though.

01-14-04, 11:05 PM
Just stay with pure antifreeze and distilled water. Looking at my antifreeze container, a 50/50 mix will protect down to -34F, whereas 70%AF/30% water is good to -84F. I'd say you'll be just fine with that. If it drops below -84F, we're all in trouble.

If you're worried about it getting too thick to efficiently pump, just make a seperate solution for when it warms up and save this one in sealed containers until you need it again.

Oh yeah, you should also pick up an antifreeze tester. Just go to a parts store, they're only a couplel of dollars and they will tell you how cold your current solution is good to, so you will have some idea of how much AF to add.

01-15-04, 12:24 AM
Actually, I wonder how 50/50 antifreeze and methanol would perform. Methanol has a heat capacity close to water (definitely better than ethylene glycol) and it's also thinner than water. That would help counteract the thickness (and resulting inefficiency) of antifreeze. Plus, methanol has a much lower freezing point. Take a look at this, it's very informative:


01-15-04, 08:45 AM
Antifreeze AND methanol both aren't optimal. Methanol is better than antifreeze, and water is better than both. I think you should use water for its cooling, and methanol for its lower freezing temperature.

01-15-04, 09:10 AM
If it is that big of a problem why not just bring the heat exchanger back inside? You will still get very good results.