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My Water Cooling Rig

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Jan 4, 2001
Lower NY
Im fairly new to water cooling and have noticed something that has given me some concerns. I am water cooling a p700 fcpga and I noticed in the hose leading from the resevoir to the BE Cooling block right before it enters the brass nipple I can see a tiny amount of copper peices that has built up. It is a small amount but concerns me none the less. I am using a Purple Ice mixture to reduce corrosion but seems to be happening anyway. I have only had the installed system for 2 weeks. If anyone can give me some advice on this i would be much appreciated.

Unfortunately you will need to add some antifreeze which will reduce the cooling efficiency a tad. Better than letting the battery keep working until it clogs your system.

"Purple Ice" is an anit-corrosion agent. He doesn't need anti-freeze. Maybe he just needs more grape soda, er... Purple Ice in his mixture.


You did use de-mineralized water in your mix right? Cause if you didn't, dump your mix out, and whip up a new batch using de-mineralized water. It is possable the the "corrosion" you are seeing is mineral deposites.
If the pieces are copper in color with sharp edges, then they are just innocuous shavings. However, if the edges look grey or rounded, then you should probaly put some antifreeze into the system. 10-20% by volume should be more than enough.
purple ice and water wetter will both reduce corrosion ,but I have found that unles you use 2-3 times the recommended dilution ,you will still get some corrosin ,and deionized water also seems to help
yeah, use distilled(demineralized) water that you get at your local supermarket. It will get rid of all the ions in the water that could attach to the copper and start corrosion. Also eleminates conductivity which is a great bonus. If you are using distilled water, then add more of your purple goopy stuff to your mix and that should do it. You can also safely add some HCL to get rid of the minerals present as long as you only have copper metal in your system although this is a bit of an extreme(just my chemist side speaking). HCL works really nicely to elimate all the crap in your liquid, but will absolutely tear through steel and aluminum.
Yes i used distilled water, but I followed the recommended 1oz purple ice to 1qt water. I will increase the purple ice and see if that helps. From what i could tell the copper peices didnt look grey but they were more like fine sand sized particles.

Thank you all for your suggestions...
To be completely honest - distilled water isn't all that much better than tap water.

Yes - it does get rid of the Na, Ca, Cl (etc etc) and any other cations and anions that are dissolved. However, it does not get rid of the H+ in the water. Since the H+ are still there, the water is still slightly acidic, and thus (after time) can eat away at any metal. Water is one of the best solvents (scary, eh?), in general terms. So in effect after awhile (even if using Distilled H2O) the H+ will 'eat' away at some of the metal and thus you'll have ions again.

Waterwetter (et. al) helps rid the free H+ in sol'n (I'll bring my bottle in to school and test the pH tomorrow). If i'm correct in my thinking, it acts as a buffer, to limit the pH range. It also does prevent corrosion - likely by bonding with those free ions (listed above), to keep them from affecting the metal in the system. That's why the label says that when used with distilled water - it will reduce scaleling - while with tap water, will just prevent it.

I could break out some reducing reaction equations...wait - I forgot that after I passed chem

Oh, and when I was setting up my water cooler - I was still getting oils - and I flushed the system about three times with nice hot soapy water.

I guess - without going into a control lab using precision equipment, there will always be issuses with corrosion. All we can do is have enough foresight to take precautions to limit it.


Thanks for the reply Kurt, Funny how all that stuff you learn in Chem just kinda flys out the window several years after.. hehe

What kind of timeframe does one expect for corrosion? The system has only been installed for less than a month. How long have people had water cooling installed without changing the solution and not having major corrosion?

i don't know about the timeframe, but Kurt is right about that distilled water will eventually ionize. Water is not just an acid, it is also a base! There is also some OH- in the water too. You can reduce corrosion dramaticly by adding something that is very polar to the water like salt(but then there is the conductance issue) If the pieces appear to be sharp, they are just shaving left over. The corrosion shouldn't happen too quickly either. Just remember to change the water every so often.
I don't really understand why having increased conductivity after adding salt is such an issue. Correct me if I am wrong, and I very well may be, but if your water cooler springs a leak, even with distilled water isn't your system just about fried?
well actually, if you spring a leak you are fine with distilled water, it is nonconductive and with proper removal will no rust. Tap water does conduct, but distilled does not. Running the watter through all the copper will make it slightly conductive, but much less so than tap water. Tap water will conduct enough electricity to light a light bulb if two bare ends of a wire are submerged where as tap water has no conductive value whatsoever.