Odd smell from new radiator and other questions

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
I'm putting together my new PC project and yesterday was the first day I got all the plumbing connect and began to do a leak test. It's been running for about 24 hours straight now and I am not noticing any leaks, thank goodness. But just a short while ago I decided to do a test on the blue shop towels I used to wrap potential leak points to see what they would look like if they absorbed coolant. Apparently, they do too good of a job and its almost imperceptible to determine if they absorbed any leaked liquids. I guess that is what I get for using clear coolant. I may try to use toilet paper for further testing tonight just to be sure (so it will be running for around 48 hours straight). On the upside, the bubble in my reservoir looks to be about the same size as yesterday. So that makes me think there hasn't been a change in coolant level. I've also used a piece of painters tape to mark where the coolant level is in the reservoir (there is a small bubble at the top) to determine if it is getting lower or not.

But what I have noticed is that there is an odd, faint smell coming from the radiator. I can't quite put my finger on what the smell is. I tried to do a side by side smell of coolant to the radiator smell. The smell of coolant on a paper towel is much stronger and smells more like alcohol. The radiators smells almost like a mix of metallic, burnt, musty, and/or paint like. It's very faint. The radiator is made by Corsair, who sources them from Hardware Labs. I have read online of others mentioned that Hardware Labs radiators can sometimes have an odor to them. Some mentioned the smell goes away over time and others mentioned it wouldn't go away until after they cleaned the exterior of the radiator with a toothbrush and some soapy water. I really hope I don't have to do that. Being a compact build, it would be a real pain in the ass to accomplish this. Any ideas as to what it might be?

Aside from the EKWB D5 pump, the case fans, and the power supply, there is nothing else running and nothing else producing heat. My computer case is two chambered and I don't notice the smell in the chamber that doesn't have the radiator and I don't really noticed on the underside of the radiator in the other chamber. Just from the top of the case where the air is being blown out through the radiator.

Next question I have is how long should I expect it to take to get all air bubbles out of the system?

There are a lot of microbubbles still built up around the sides of the reservoir (which is laying horizontally). There are no more bubbles visible in the CPU water block.

Also, once in a while I hear either a small whoosh-like sound or squirt, similar to what I heard at the very beginning when I filling it up for the first time and cycling the coolant, forcing air pockets out. I still get this even 24 hours later. Yet I don't notice much or any change in reservoir level. Is this normal and how long should I expect to experience this?

Thanks for any help and advice.
 

learners permit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
329
Is the reservoir inlet high enough above the outlet to remove the air in impellor chamber of the pump at startup? An eddy at startup could be admitting air thus making it impossible to get rid of. How about a pic of the arrangement.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
Is the reservoir inlet high enough above the outlet to remove the air in impellor chamber of the pump at startup? An eddy at startup could be admitting air thus making it impossible to get rid of. How about a pic of the arrangement.
Here is a pic of the reservoir, which sits sideways in my case (horizontal):
Reservoir.jpg

Sorry for not providing a better pic, and ignore the blue tape. I am using the tape to mark the level of where the bubble is at to track coolant levels (it looks off in this picture but is level from where I take my baseline photos at zoomed in).

Majority of the bubbles you see are not blowing around, those are stuck to the cylinder wall. The only bubbles I see moving around are really tiny microbubbles about the size of the tip of a needle. If you look carefully towards the right, you can see the clear tube that is inserted in the middle. This was the tube that was provided with the reservoir/pump combo to use in place of the EKWB logo that was originally there to further minimize the inlet from sucking in coolant too close from the outlet when both inlet and outlet are connected at the pump base instead of a "top/bottom" setup. The instruction had me pull out the EKWB anticyclon part, install an o-ring inside the inlet, then push the tube all the way in past the o-ring until it sits flush with the bottom of the inlet.

I've also confirmed that the periodic whooshing/squirting/swishing sound is coming from the pump. I wonder if it occurs when enough microbubbles get sucked in, they then get stuck in a "pocket" somewhere then get flushed out when the air bubble gets big enough, and the flushing out is the noise I am hearing. It's very brief and not frequent at all.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
I forgot to add, that this pump is PWM controlled. Since it is only receiving power from the PSU, the pump runs at full speed by default and I cannot slow it down unless I connect everything else and setup its speed via the motherboard bios. I just read somewhere (I think on here via a search) that the D5 pump running at full speed can cause microbubbles, noise, and vortexing. Slowing down the pump might resolve those. Of course, it's kind of hard to do that when you are testing out the system before plugging everything in. So I don't quite know what to do about that. Leave it running another night to continue leak testing or since it has been around 26-27 hours of non-stop running, consider it good enough and power it down so that I can finish putting it together and configure its pump speed in the BIOS?
 

learners permit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
329
Can a longer cylinder for the res be fitted? Would give more room for air to surface and reduce pump cavitation. Probably the source of the odd smell as well, Cavitation whips a pump quicker than anything.
 
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VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
Can a longer cylinder for the res be fitted?
You mean inside?

A longer one was not provided, but I see no reason why a longer one couldn't be used providing the inner/outer diameter are the same.

I went ahead and moved the case around a bit more to see if there were any other air pockets stuck in the loop. Tilting it side to side repeatedly and then standing it straight up (pump on bottom, of course, to keep coolant flowing into it). I heard quite a bit more swishing noise as if air pockets were being pushed out, primarily from the radiator and a little bit from the pump. This also removed most of the air bubbles stuck to the wall of the reservoir. After doing that, my coolant level dropped a little bit but not by much. I still have quite a bit of coolant above the inlet in the center of the pump.

When I tilted the case around, I think the notice where the air pocket and swishing noise is occurring from within the pump. It might be coming from the slits/holes in the outer portion of the pump where coolant is being returned into the reservoir and not from the center tube that is sucking coolant from the reservoir and pumping it through the system.
 

learners permit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
329
No the acrylic storage reservoir tube I mean. A longer one would put more distance between the inlet and outlet for the bubbles to rise away from the inlet.
 

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VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
No the acrylic storage reservoir tube I mean. A longer one would put more distance between the inlet and outlet for the bubbles to rise away from the inlet.
Not enough room in the case. While I think that would make more sense if my reservoir was installed vertically, mine is install horizontally. The diameter of the different lengths are all the same, so the bubbles rising would be the same distance away from the center regardless of length.

Here is a pic of the whole chamber that that reservoir/pump resides in:
Second_Pic_In_Progress.jpg
 

learners permit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
329
Looks to be enough flow to try and slow the pump via software until cavitation stops and see if flow suffices for cooling or find a way to stand it on it back and fill until resovoir is free of air. That will leave little room for hydrothermal expansion if the system is a fully closed loop tho.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
Looks to be enough flow to try and slow the pump via software until cavitation stops and see if flow suffices for cooling or find a way to stand it on it back and fill until resovoir is free of air. That will leave little room for hydrothermal expansion if the system is a fully closed loop tho.
I may top it off again before loading her up. The way I do that, I stand the whole case on its back, pop off the front cover, and using a coolant squeeze bottle, I take the long bottle spout and slide it between the front case fan blades to fill up the reservoir via the fill port at the end/top of the reservoir. But because the way the reservoir top is shaped, it is nearly impossible to get every little bit of air out of it unless I want to risk causing spill by overfilling it or tilting it around while the fill port is still open. So there will always be a small air pocket in the reservoir.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
Coolant levels still look to be about the same this morning, which is good. I haven't heard any new swishing sound since I tilted the case around last night, so that is good so far (or it might be even more infrequent than it was before, which is still a good sign).

The smell is still persisting and I think I might have a better description for it now. It kind of reminds me of the smell of weed or the smell of burning yard debris. Odd, I know. Any ideas?
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
No idea on the smell but happy to hear ya got it working better.
I guess I will give it some time to air out. Meanwhile, I placed a dryer sheet on top of the case where the fans are exhausting air through the radiator. Now my office smells Bounce fresh!

I have a second identical radiator not being used and tried to get a whiff off of it. I thought I got a very vague, faint sniff of the same smell but it is hard to nail down. Of course, I don't have fans blowing 24/7 through that radiator to see if it would smell the same.
 

somebrains

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,360
Dish soap mixed with water applied around fitting and suspected areas will produce external bubbles for you to troubleshoot.
Smell testing isn’t very effective.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,178
Not enough room in the case. While I think that would make more sense if my reservoir was installed vertically, mine is install horizontally. The diameter of the different lengths are all the same, so the bubbles rising would be the same distance away from the center regardless of length.

Here is a pic of the whole chamber that that reservoir/pump resides in:
View attachment 285653

Why did you put white paint over your otherwise nice looking power supply?
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
714
All 4 of my hwlabs rads(sr2/gtx/gtr/gts) smelled funky at first but it went away after a few days. Pretty sure its the detergent they use to rinse them with. Ive got a corsair 360 still in the box but ill have to dig it out to see if it smells the same. If i can remember where i put it...
Give it a few more days, it should go away. It is aggravating tho.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,178
It’s not paint. I just quickly covered the serial number using Photoshop.

OK but for what purpose? Using a "hot" power supply? or got something else to hide that you are not disclosing here?
A legally licensed version of Photoshop I hope.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
OK but for what purpose? Using a "hot" power supply? or got something else to hide that you are not disclosing here?
A legally licensed version of Photoshop I hope.
Naaa....I just know it is usually best practice to hide serial numbers when posting stuff to prevent someone with ill intent at trying to use it for their own purposes.

As for the Photoshop, yes, I have an Adobe Photography Plan subscription which gives me access to Lightroom and Photoshop CC. In the past I used to do a lot of photography and used to use the software quite frequently. I still keep it now because I have well over a TB of photos that I maintain. I don't use it as much now, but it does come in handy when needed.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
All 4 of my hwlabs rads(sr2/gtx/gtr/gts) smelled funky at first but it went away after a few days. Pretty sure its the detergent they use to rinse them with. Ive got a corsair 360 still in the box but ill have to dig it out to see if it smells the same. If i can remember where i put it...
Give it a few more days, it should go away. It is aggravating tho.
That is a relief to hear that I am not the only one that has experienced this.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,178
Naaa....I just know it is usually best practice to hide serial numbers when posting stuff to prevent someone with ill intent at trying to use it for their own purposes.

As for the Photoshop, yes, I have an Adobe Photography Plan subscription which gives me access to Lightroom and Photoshop CC. In the past I used to do a lot of photography and used to use the software quite frequently. I still keep it now because I have well over a TB of photos that I maintain. I don't use it as much now, but it does come in handy when needed.

Lol! I was just poking fun at you I knew it was not paint. I do the same thing to people selling their car as an "owner" when they are clearly a dealer using a blocked out dealer licence plate on the car they are tying to pawn off as "one owner original miles" as opposed to what? replacement miles on your new or rolled back odometer. they don't like when I say that and they are not smart enough to obscure the whole plate usually missing the bottom that clearly states "dealer" I also know what most dealer plates look like if I can only see the color of it.
 

VirtualMirage

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
341
Lol! I was just poking fun at you I knew it was not paint. I do the same thing to people selling their car as an "owner" when they are clearly a dealer using a blocked out dealer licence plate on the car they are tying to pawn off as "one owner original miles" as opposed to what? replacement miles on your new or rolled back odometer. they don't like when I say that and they are not smart enough to obscure the whole plate usually missing the bottom that clearly states "dealer" I also know what most dealer plates look like if I can only see the color of it.
It’s no biggie. I knew you were just kidding. It’s just my thought process to still elaborate. 😂
 
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