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How to clean your cloged up radiator

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Old 02-12-09, 11:15 PM Thread Starter   #1
kain000
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How to clean your cloged up radiator


I found this while searching arround about galvanic corrosion,
a neat idea to blast out any sludge or corrosion you may incounted inside your radiator on the cheap!

Water pistol time

Want to know how I cleaned the radiator? Sure you do.

Radiator

I couldn't look inside the radiator to see if it was as goopy as the water block. With much wider pipes and larger corners, it shouldn't have been, but I couldn't tell. From the outside, it looked as it did when new, except for a healthy fuzz of dust on the grille section.

I was still going to give it a darn good cleaning, though. With small input and output pipes, it'd be a pain to hook it up to a tap and give it a thorough blasting; the pump I was using, even running from more than 12 volts (which is not good for it) didn't have anything like enough power to shove significantly heavier than water crud around all of the corners and out.

So here's how to flush out a somewhat clogged radiator on the cheap, without using amazingly toxic solvents or pumping soapy water through it for days on end.

1) Make sure the radiator tubing's full of water.

2) Point the radiator's pipes at something you don't mind getting all wet. Since the Senfu radiator pipes are copper, it's easy to bend the smaller-diameter header pipes up a bit, for ease of access. And longer range.

3) Jam a butane (lighter gas) can with an appropriate nozzle on it onto one radiator connector. Push down.

4) Observe 20 foot jet of water created when butane flashes to vapour and pushes all of the water out of the radiator very quickly indeed.

Butane's not very good for you, but if you do this in a decently ventilated area without any ignition sources nearby, there's no cause for alarm. And lighter gas is cheap. The ejected water carried plenty of precipitate with it; a few repeats of the flushing procedure probably got the radiator tolerably clean.

You could also do this with an air compressor, of course, but most people don't have one.

http://www.dansdata.com/burning.htm

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Old 02-12-09, 11:40 PM   #2
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i wouldn't try that unless you want to blow up your rad. the butane won't do it but the compressed air will. half filling and shaking is plenty.

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Old 02-12-09, 11:43 PM Thread Starter   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spawn-Inc View Post
i wouldn't try that unless you want to blow up your rad. the butane won't do it but the compressed air will. half filling and shaking is plenty.
yeah didnt seem to safe for your equptment but still funny.

seemed to work for that guy tho.

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Old 02-12-09, 11:47 PM   #4
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Wow, hope this person lives far away and has insurance so I don't have to pay for it from my taxes.

Odd.

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Old 02-12-09, 11:51 PM   #5
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Wow, that's like a bait-pile for lawyers...
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Old 02-12-09, 11:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kain000 View Post
yeah didnt seem to safe for your equptment but still funny.

seemed to work for that guy tho.
ahh, i didn't realize that was a direct quote. i opened the link looking for a video or picture then closed it after not seeing any.

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Old 02-12-09, 11:58 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Wow, hope this person lives far away and has insurance so I don't have to pay for it from my taxes.

Odd.
Australia far enough? lol who knows maybe his routine cleaning is what caused those wildfires.

yeah sorry no videos, that would look pretty cool tho.

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Old 02-13-09, 08:41 AM   #8
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A MUCH safer and probably more effective way to clean out a rad is to simply use adapters and hook it up to a kitchen sink. I have an old waterbed flush/fill kit that has an adapter that goes from the kitchen sink to a hose thread that I then attach a hose barb to. You can then crank the faucet wide open using cold and/or hot water and flush it out. I do this also whenever I set up a new loop just in case there is something in any new parts or rads that I didn't catch when initially cleaning.
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Old 02-13-09, 12:33 PM   #9
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A MUCH safer and probably more effective way to clean out a rad is to simply use adapters and hook it up to a kitchen sink. I have an old waterbed flush/fill kit that has an adapter that goes from the kitchen sink to a hose thread that I then attach a hose barb to. You can then crank the faucet wide open using cold and/or hot water and flush it out. I do this also whenever I set up a new loop just in case there is something in any new parts or rads that I didn't catch when initially cleaning.
even that much pressure can mess the rad up, at least thats what i've read and been told. i would still hook it up (have have before) but just not run the tap full blast.

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Old 02-13-09, 06:16 PM   #10
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i use a small shot of air from a compressor, no leaks yet

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Old 02-13-09, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spawn-Inc View Post
even that much pressure can mess the rad up, at least thats what i've read and been told. i would still hook it up (have have before) but just not run the tap full blast.
With the one barb draining, there isn't going to be any pressure build up. I do this with my entire loop for that matter. You would have to have a much smaller outlet than inlet to build up any pressure.
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Old 02-17-09, 02:02 PM   #12
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Hi guys, this was a very interesting thread!

After having some problems with my new aquaduct 240 PRO system where my transparant tubing after a day running got "milky" which might have been caused by using too much of the AC Fluid that comes with the aquaduct I would like to clean my system and the whole loop and my question now is - is it really OK to use tap water for this or must you never ever have any tap water inside the system? Reason I ask is I heard you should never use tap water for water cooling since it contains lots of stuff that isn't good for your water cooling system. Of course I will after having my system cleaned use distilled or de-ionized water again but would be much easier to be able to use tap water for the cleaning purpose.

Also, have tried finding out what is better to use - de-ionized or distilled water? What I've read is that de-ionized water is even cleaner than distilled water but on the other hand will also corrode your water blocks. What coolant are you guys using? I know you can buy specially made coolant but would be great to find something that isn't that expensive but still serves it's purpose.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 02-17-09, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebMaximus View Post
Hi guys, this was a very interesting thread!

After having some problems with my new aquaduct 240 PRO system where my transparant tubing after a day running got "milky" which might have been caused by using too much of the AC Fluid that comes with the aquaduct I would like to clean my system and the whole loop and my question now is - is it really OK to use tap water for this or must you never ever have any tap water inside the system? Reason I ask is I heard you should never use tap water for water cooling since it contains lots of stuff that isn't good for your water cooling system. Of course I will after having my system cleaned use distilled or de-ionized water again but would be much easier to be able to use tap water for the cleaning purpose.

yes its safe to flush with tap water, just make sure your rinse it with distilled water after

Also, have tried finding out what is better to use - de-ionized or distilled water? What I've read is that de-ionized water is even cleaner than distilled water but on the other hand will also corrode your water blocks. What coolant are you guys using? I know you can buy specially made coolant but would be great to find something that isn't that expensive but still serves it's purpose.

Thanks in advance,

Richard
distilled water is best as di-ionized still has minerals and other 'crap' in it. you want pure h20, nothing more. well you want to add some biocide as well.

alot of people, including myself use plain distilled water and 2 drops of PT nuke. the less stuff in there the better the heat transfer.

BUT!! since your system uses mixed metals you should have anti freeze (30/70 mix) or use anti corrosion fluid. what your seeing coming out of your loop is not to much AC fluid but the result of galvanic corrosion of the copper and aluminum.

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Old 02-17-09, 03:36 PM   #14
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OK, great! I will then flush my system using tap water and then rinse it with distilled water before filling up with distilled water and some drops of AC fluid.

When you say what I see and what has caused the "milky" look is galvanic corrosion of the copper and aluminum in my system can this really happen that quickly and when I also did use the AC fluid which should stop corrosion? And would that mean my system is broken now ?
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Old 02-17-09, 03:45 PM   #15
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OK, great! I will then flush my system using tap water and then rinse it with distilled water before filling up with distilled water and some drops of AC fluid.

When you say what I see and what has caused the "milky" look is galvanic corrosion of the copper and aluminum in my system can this really happen that quickly and when I also did use the AC fluid which should stop corrosion? And would that mean my system is broken now ?
no , use more then a couple of drops of AC fluid, use what they say. for PT nuke and pt nuke alone is a couple of drops.

yes it can happen that quickly and you can never stop the corrosion, just make it slow down. that is why we advise people to stay away from mixing metals or most kits.

if you can take apart your block then do so and clean it up with some vinegar or ketchup (vinegar inside of it). let it soak for 10 minutes then check it and lightly brush it.

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Old 02-17-09, 10:11 PM   #16
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The milky look could be, just a thought, depending on your tubing you used, is placitizer leaching from the tubing. All tubing does it, some do it less, like expensive Tygon etc.

Just a thought.

And if you have mixed metals, yea you need anti-corrosion stuff.

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