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Plugged blocks and coolant

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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Sep 20, 2001
Bakersfield, CA
So, I'm a bit old school in my water cooling. I usually use 20-40% Subaru coolant and the rest is distilled water. A few months ago I decided to upgrade my water block to an Optimus V1 from an EK Supreme HF. Over Christmas I was out of town but saw that my machine had crashed running Seti. Long story short, my pump could not pump any fluid through the system although it still turned, and I had a ton of air in the tubing around the CPU. I drained the rig tonight to troubleshoot, and as you might have guessed by now, the block is completely plugged with scum. I then took apart my old EK block, and it also had scum, and some of the nickel plating had come off of the base plate, exposing the copper core.

It would seem that my Subaru coolant is not compatible with a nickel/copper loop, for some reason. My Subaru STI does have an aluminum block/heads and radiator, so I'm guessing that I need to get with the program and use a proper computer oriented coolant with my distilled water.

Point me in a good direction, folks!

IMG_0473.jpeg IMG_0472.jpeg IMG_0470.jpeg
welp 4 years distilled water without any maintenance, pt nuke, and a kill coil and mine was almost pristine goes to show what works and what doesn't.
Before I put in the new block, my system had been on the same fluid for about 4 years straight. Fin pitch wasn't bad enough to get plugged too bad, though. I used to run a kill coil until it started getting nasty looking, too. I've read they don't play nice with plated blocks.
4 years? Not bad! Metals will lose plating but the block is still functional and I'd expect another good 4 years out of it. Time for a total tear down and cleaning, new tubing.
Current plan is to clean the plated blocks, soak the radiator with vinegar, replace all the fittings that were losing their plating, and new tubing. I'm a little concerned about the pump, as it was still liquid filled but was unable to push water, starting to make bad noises. Was running pretty warm, too. I disassembled it and it appears ok, but I'm not 100% on the spherical bearing.

Unfortunately, all my new fittings, tubing and a new pump I intended to save for my new rig.
My understanding is that kill coils don't play nice with plated blocks, though I haven't seen any ill effects in my loop.

Well Yeah...My pump had some seal stuff tear off in it and freeze up the Shaft/Impeller...overheated Ryzen so swapped that out for awhile back to the 7700k/EVGA.

EK block had trash in it...and THAT gpu Block has some corrosion developing lol.

Dude this picture is crazy, theres a pack of cigarettes inside de pc and the nvme is not secure by the screw and seems to be hanging gangster style...
By your statement i know its probably a backup pc but still...
Yeah, I don't judge, but my OCD went off at the free range cigarette butt farm.
Yeah, I don't judge, but my OCD went off at the free range cigarette butt farm.

LOL +1!!!!

I'll also add I'm going on 3 years with distilled and biocide, I took the block apart a month ago and it was still clean.
My understanding is that kill coils don't play nice with plated blocks, though I haven't seen any ill effects in my loop.

i had the same results it never bothered my ek supreme hf nickel i hadnt heard about the plated blocks, i did hear that some of the older plated ones were peeling because they put too thin of a coating on them or something like that.
damn dude the tabletop ashtray is just nasty! get a coffee can man!
i ran distilled and pt nuke phn for about 5 years. with a copper ek HF, xspc rx360(copper/brass) 2x gtx580 blocks, one dd copper full coverage block and a ek copper full coverage block. after pulling it apart the cpu block had alot of black corrosion on the fins but everything else in the loop looked fine. flushed the rad with clr and nothing fugly came out of it. i think my cpu block became the kill coil and grabbed all of the crud in the loop. keeping everything else from getting gunked up.
ive been using distilled and petras forever. well since he originally concocted it. thats the only crud ive ever had in my loop since i started using that combination. it was my own fault for leaving the loop like that for so long. if i had done regular maintenance like i do now im sure the cpu block would have been fine.

just a note for future reference. always drain and dry out your blocks before storing them! the dd 580 block looks nasty after my leaving fluid in it and parking it in a closet for a couple of years. if i can find it ill post a pic.
you ought to get into roll your own or RYO if you're going to smoke - i still do, and my cost per pack dropped to $1.22 a pack as there's very little taxes on pipe tobacco (@$2.68 / lb of tobacco, vs cigarettes which are @$27.xx per pound of tobacco). Cigarette mfgrs dropped the amount of tobacco per carton from just under 1 lb in the late 60s to average of .74 lb per carton.

But main reason i went with RYO smokes, is no chemicals - in case you're not aware, there are 70 chemicals in mfgr'd cigarette tobacco, one of them is ammonia which Phillip Morris trialed in Brazil (as it was illegal here in the US) - the ammonia to nicotine is like whatever agent makes cocaine into crack cocaine - the nicotene hits your system 33X faster and stronger.

google for the RYO or Stuff your own cigs. THe finished product looks just like a filter cigarette - other benefit i now smoke way way less, and enjoy it more

Got the radiator and full copper parts soaking in 5% vinegar now. The nickel plated parts are soaking in alcohol and will be cleaned more gently. New tubing and fittings throughout will go in. I will test the old pump for functionality but nothing will surprise me on that front.
Tubing scum started falling off in quick order exposed to the alcohol. Tubing is completely clean this morning. Going to do a full distilled flush on everything, then re-fill and test with 70-30 water-glycol mix.