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Blue-Green Water

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xluryan

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Hey all-

This is my first shot at water cooling. I'm by no means new to building PCs, but by all means new to building my own custom loop.

So I've got the following blocks/components in the loop:
- [GPU] MSI GTX 1080 SeaHawk (newegg)
- [CPU] EK-Supremacy EVO Elite Edition (ekwb)
- [RAD] EK-CoolStream CE 420 (ekwb)
- [COOLANT] EK-Ekoolant EVO CLEAR (ekwb)
- [COIL] Antimicrobial .999 Fine Silver Strip (amazon)

All of my fittings/plugs/splitters are nickel-based. The CPU block is nickel and the GPU block is nickel and copper. From what I understand, these should all be fine together, right? I added a silver kill coil to the reservoir as well.

After about 36 hours of operation, I decided to swap motherboards (long story short, bad USB stuff happening). So when I went to drain my fluid, I noticed it was definitely not clear anymore (see picture).

1) What could be causing this?
2) How can I fix any damage that has occurred (if any)?
3) What should I do in the future to prevent this?

Many thanks!
 

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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Welcome again xluryan.

A few questions. Were all the water cooling components purchased new? What brand and type of tubing did you use? Did you flush ALL of the components before filling them with the eKoolant?
 
OP
X

xluryan

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Welcome again xluryan.

A few questions. Were all the water cooling components purchased new? What brand and type of tubing did you use? Did you flush ALL of the components before filling them with the eKoolant?

Hey, thanks :thup:

Yes, everything purchased new. The radiator said something about "ready to use - no cleaning or flushing required". I didn't even think to flush the GPU/CPU blocks (whoops).

The tubing is this: PrimoChill PrimoFlex™ Advanced LRT™ (ekwb)
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Excellent choice on tubing! I always flush everything but I'm sure that's not why the coolant turned blue. I was thinking more on the lines of a previous owner leaving some dye in the rad or whatever. But these are new so...

I've yet to see a blue algae and 36 hours is way to fast for it to grow anyhow. It's not a plasticizer as the ADV LRT contains none.

The only thing I can guess is the Silver coil. There has been a growing movement away from silver in WC loops as there have been occasions where oxydation has formed. This is normally caused by mixed metals and some form of electolyte. Again Highly unlikely in your case...unless you have a ground that is not properly grounded. I'm completely spit-balling here, but make sure your motherboard isn't grounding out to the back of your motherboard tray, especially near the 20+4 pin PSU cable. Again unlikely but....


EDIT: look for extra stand-offs that aren't being used too.
 
OP
X

xluryan

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Ok. I'll double check for anything behind the motherboard. I have a new case coming in tomorrow (I didn't like how gigantic my current case is), so I'll make sure nothing gets stuck behind the motherboard.

I don't really like buying $17 bottles of coolant, so I think I'm going to switch to distilled water + additives. I was thinking PT nuke. Is that ok to use with nickel components? And will I need an anti-corrosive if all of my components are nickel or nickel/copper?
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Use PT Nuke -PHN and distilled water. Should be about 4-5 drops per liter IIRC. Be sure to do a full cleaning now that the loop has been contaminated. Boiling water then let it cool for a bit and do the full rad dance with each part. for the tubing(if you're going to reuse then just let it sit in the hot (not boiling) water for a few minutes. This can be regular tap water so long as none remains in the system prior to refilling with distilled and PT Nuke -PHN. The copper and nickle are generally considered to be of the same type since the nickle plating is so thin and usually doesn't cause a reaction. Again it can happen but it's very rare (read copper plating).

Here's a very good thread from Jakob, a rep for Watercool about watercooling but specifically using Silver in your loop. As I type this I have just plain distilled water and Silver in my loop but will likely take his advice about not using silver any more during my next cleaning. Also if you look at the EKWB site they also discourage Silver.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
No not with nickle/copper. The anti-corrosive wouldn't hurt of course, but I don't think it's needed.
 
OP
X

xluryan

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
No not with nickle/copper. The anti-corrosive wouldn't hurt of course, but I don't think it's needed.

Awesome, thanks dude! I'll update this thread in a while to let the internet know how it goes.
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
Yup, Blaylock is right on point with his suggestions. Just wash everything out with white vinegar and flush thoroughly with hot water. Then rinse with distilled water before reassembly. Fill the system with distilled water a few drops of PT Nuke -PHN and you'll be golden.

I'm thinking that blue/green water ( EK's coolant) and the silver kil-koil may have had some negative chemical reaction with each other. Just guessing here.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
I'm going to skip all the comments and I apologize if its been said already but get rid of the silver kill coil because that's what caused this reaction. I have seen this before quite a few times. The silver would have eventually damaged your nickel based components. EK and many other H20 companies have been very vocal about this. Your EK fluid has all the inhibitors needed for the loop. Just grab a new fresh batch of EK clear liquid or if you have some left over and fill in the loop with out the silver kill coil in there. I would just flush the loop a couple times with distilled and then go as planned.

Stick with the pre-mixed fluids and pay the premium for it is my motto nowadays. Not worth dealing with oxidization or nickel plating damage because of a silver kill coil. Some of the pre-mixed fluids last anywhere from 1-3 years from reputed companies like Aquacomputer (1 year), Innovatek (2-3 years), etc. Stick with EK's recommended clear fluid and let it run and not have to worry. Once its close to expiration for that fluid, just drain the system of it and fill it up with new unused fluid. Rinse and repeat and you're set. No more back breaking maintenance needed anymore, only if issues should arise as they shouldn't if the system was properly cleaned from the get-go and the fluid is in good shape.
 
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Silver Surfer

Member
Joined
May 8, 2011
Location
Darlington, South Carolina
I'm going to skip all the comments and I apologize if its been said already but get rid of the silver kill coil because that's what caused this reaction. I have seen this before quite a few times. The silver would have eventually damaged your nickel based components. EK and many other H20 companies have been very vocal about this. Your EK fluid has all the inhibitors needed for the loop. Just grab a new fresh batch of EK clear liquid or if you have some left over and fill in the loop with out the silver kill coil in there. I would just flush the loop a couple times with distilled and then go as planned.

Stick with the pre-mixed fluids and pay the premium for it is my motto nowadays. Not worth dealing with oxidization or nickel plating damage because of a silver kill coil. Some of the pre-mixed fluids last anywhere from 1-3 years from reputed companies like Aquacomputer (1 year), Innovatek (2-3 years), etc. Stick with EK's recommended clear fluid and let it run and not have to worry. Once its close to expiration for that fluid, just drain the system of it and fill it up with new unused fluid. Rinse and repeat and you're set. No more back breaking maintenance needed anymore, only if issues should arise as they shouldn't if the system was properly cleaned from the get-go and the fluid is in good shape.

Affirmative! Regarding getting rid of the Silver Kill Coil Only!

No agreement on the premix or the 2nd paragraph regarding premix.

I use 100% Steam Distilled Water (You have to be really picky about the water these days many label it Distilled but they purposely leave out Steam because it is not actually Steam Distilled it has been filter processed with additives, do not buy that type! Read the label until you find 100% Steam Distilled Water with zero additives.)

The only additive I run is "PT-Nuke" Biocide IE. Copper Sulfate, and I run a 100% Copper system with zero problems.

I purposely buy all my components in copper I don't use any Nickel plated anything, maybe Nickel plating was introduced for the water cooling manufacturers to be able to sell their expensive coolant products but no matter how marvelous the the nickel plated water block is claimed to be, it is also released in a cheaper pure copper version.
 
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BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
I'm going to skip all the comments and I apologize if its been said already but get rid of the silver kill coil because that's what caused this reaction. I have seen this before quite a few times. The silver would have eventually damaged your nickel based components. EK and many other H20 companies have been very vocal about this. Your EK fluid has all the inhibitors needed for the loop. Just grab a new fresh batch of EK clear liquid or if you have some left over and fill in the loop with out the silver kill coil in there. I would just flush the loop a couple times with distilled and then go as planned.

Stick with the pre-mixed fluids and pay the premium for it is my motto nowadays. Not worth dealing with oxidization or nickel plating damage because of a silver kill coil. Some of the pre-mixed fluids last anywhere from 1-3 years from reputed companies like Aquacomputer (1 year), Innovatek (2-3 years), etc. Stick with EK's recommended clear fluid and let it run and not have to worry. Once its close to expiration for that fluid, just drain the system of it and fill it up with new unused fluid. Rinse and repeat and you're set. No more back breaking maintenance needed anymore, only if issues should arise as they shouldn't if the system was properly cleaned from the get-go and the fluid is in good shape.

It has always amazed me how the w/c community shifts from one product to another so aggressively. How many years now has anything other than distilled w/ silver coil and PH-nuke been the norm? Now we are going back to premixed fluids that have been forever frowned upon. I've been using the same distilled water, silver coil and ph-nuke for going on 5 years. The water is still clear and parts look fine so why use something that expires? Isn't that how people run into problems with dyes? They expire and breakdown causing problems similar to what I assume happens to these premixes. The whole thing seem like a huge waste of time and effort to me with all the cleaning and rebuilding and just a way for w/c companies to sell more products. I'm sure most people these days would be appalled by what we used for parts in the heater core era.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
It has always amazed me how the w/c community shifts from one product to another so aggressively. How many years now has anything other than distilled w/ silver coil and PH-nuke been the norm? Now we are going back to premixed fluids that have been forever frowned upon. I've been using the same distilled water, silver coil and ph-nuke for going on 5 years. The water is still clear and parts look fine so why use something that expires? Isn't that how people run into problems with dyes? They expire and breakdown causing problems similar to what I assume happens to these premixes. The whole thing seem like a huge waste of time and effort to me with all the cleaning and rebuilding and just a way for w/c companies to sell more products. I'm sure most people these days would be appalled by what we used for parts in the heater core era.

I do agree.
I have used nothing but distilled and Copper Sulfate based biocides for more than a decade and never had any issues other than general maintenance.
Don't fix what ain't broke.