Opening up a loop that has been sealed for 6 years

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by JLangevin, Jun 6, 2012.

What do you think will be inside???

  1. Super Corroded, its all garbage now

    7 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. The FluidXP did its job and all metals are clean

    12 vote(s)
    34.3%
  3. I really have no idea what to expect, going 6 years on the same fluid is just insane!

    16 vote(s)
    45.7%
  1. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Tonight when I get home from work, I will be opening up a loop that has ben sealed for 6 YEARS! This loop has never been drained, never been flushed and has been running with UV DYE its entire life. My brother in law purchased the system from me in 2009 and a couple of weeks ago the mobo finally died, and the guts were transplanted. I couldnt pass up this opprotunity to answer some of the most common myths and watercooling questions we all have, and this is an awesome opportunity to investigate what Time + UV Dye + No Flushing does to a watercooling loop

    The reason I am posting this now is so that I can get requests from the watercooling crowd on things they would like to see when I disassemble this loop and block.

    Here are the items still sealed (I removed the entire kit in 1 piece, still sealed)

    CPU Block - Swiftech Solid Copper with integraded Barbs. I will be using a dremel to cut open this block and look inside since it is a solid piece of metal.

    [​IMG]

    GPU Block - EK 8800GTX Ultra Full Cover block. This bad boy will be disassembled!

    [​IMG]

    Radiator - GT Black Ice 240mm - This is one awesome rad. It kept my HEAVILY overclocked E6300 CPU and overclocked 8800 Ultra nice and cool.

    [​IMG]

    Pump - DangerDen basic pump. I got this bad boy for $40 from FrozenCPU back in 2006 and it has been running like a champ ever since.

    [​IMG]

    Res - Swiftech Micro Res v1.0 - This is the original res that Swiftech made with none of the fancy improvements that they made over time. Its nice and stained!

    Tube - 1/2ID - 3/4OD Vinyl tubing that I had gotten from Ace Hardware. Its kind of funny, the tube is clear, and the coolant is Alien Green, yet the tube turned orange. Go figure.

    Coolant - FluidXP - The so called "Non Conductive, Biodegradable, Anticorrosive, Super Coolant. I guess the Anti Corrosives will be put to the test once its opened up.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of the system right after I built it back in 2006.

    [​IMG]


    Here are the questions that I am hoping to answer, and it is my hope that you guys will add to this list before I get home tonight .

    1. Did the coolant turn conductive over time? Now I dont actually have any means of measuring the amount of electricity that is/can be conducted through the coolant. I am hoping that the continuity function on my Fluke meter will suffice in answering this question. Tips on doing this?

    2. Did the UV dye cause gunk to build up in the block? I will be disassembling the GPU block, as well as cutting open the CPU block for inspection.

    3. Did the UV Dye stain any parts of the system? This one I can already answer. The Res which is a clear acrylic has a cloudy tinge of green to it. The tubing also reacted to the coolant, but the stain doesnt match the color of the coolant. The coolant is still clean, but slightly cloudy but most of all still green, however the tube is a peachy/orangy color. I assume this is a chemical reaction to other elements found in the coolant.

    4. What is the condition of the coolant? I somewhat touched on this in question #3, however until I get the coolant out of the system, and examine it, it will be hard to say. I do recall the FluidXP having a fairly thick viscosity when I assembled the loop, so we will see what it feels like now

    5. Did the Anti-Corrosive elements to the fluid work? Is there any discoloration to the copper, particles, etc? Pretty self explanitory. Is the metal still clean and pure?

    6. ??? What would you guys like to see?

    I will be taking high res photos with a professional DSLR for this experiment, so expect very detailed photographs to accompany this science project. I cant remember the last time I was so excited about tearing something apart.

    I will update this first post to include the results and will post in the thread when I have updated this OP to let any subs know it is present.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Answers to Questions:

    1. Yes. The coolant turned conductive over time. My Fluke confirms that there is conductivity. As to how much, I will let anyone with electrical and Ohm experience chime in on whether or not it is a dangerous level of conductivity.

    2. There is a zero build up on the GPU block. The inside looks as good as day 1. The CPU block on the other hand turned quite brown, and has a slime to it... I would say that there was some buildup in the CPU block, but overall, it isnt that bad.

    3. The tubing turned a nasty peach color, as for the acrylic of the res... there is absolutely no stain at all. Its completely clear.

    4. The coolant has the same weight and feel as it did the day it was filled. It is not cloudy at all, has a nice glow to its color, and still has that slightly oily viscosity to it. Id say that it held up excellent over the 6 years it was flowing against metal!

    5. This one will have to be answered by the photos... yes, there was corrosion, but probably not where you would expect to find it. The Radiator is toast.



    Here she is, still completely sealed as it was pulled from the system, still in one piece. Notice how the tubing turned a weird color of peach, must have been a chemical reaction between the vinyl and something in the FluidXP

    [​IMG]

    EEEW... nastiness inside! Looking at this up close, I am expecting the coolant to be completely smelly and grunge... or is it???

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, here the coolant doesnt look half bad... cant wait to get it out of the loop!

    [​IMG]

    Aside from the ugly tube reacting, the coolant looks bright and healthy. Maybe FluidXP was on to something!

    [​IMG]

    And here was our first sign of something bad lurking inside the loop... floaties are NEVER a good sign... ever. You can also see some brown spots that sank.

    [​IMG]

    I'm quite embarrassed with my TIM job on this one. Fortunately my skills have improved greatly over the past 6 years.

    [​IMG]

    What the frigg happened to my thermal pads?? They look like they caught fire! Sheesh...

    [​IMG]

    I dont even know what to think. Thats just insane!

    [​IMG]

    The business end of the block doesnt look too bad. Still has a nice shine, no signs of any crazy temps etc.

    [​IMG]

    Here we go, moment of truth!

    [​IMG]

    Looks almost brand new! Well, aside from the small brown deposits that are speckled through out... we will get to that later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Swiftech CPU block. This big heavy chunk of metal is so primitive!

    [​IMG]

    The inside is... brown? That's odd. Is this just tarnish? Why did the copper turn brown? I'm diggin the wall in the middle forcing the coolant around the sides of the block. I also love the way they bent the middle pins to make less resistance for the water entering the block.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As mentioned. The res has no stains at all. So its safe to say that if you had FluidXP Ultra in your loop with a clear acrylic res or block top... it wasnt going to stain on you

    [​IMG]

    There are some signs of nastiness inside the pump. But where could it have come from? There is only one component left..........

    [​IMG]

    My DSLR's onboard flash, as well as my bounce flash were not able to allow me to capture any images inside the hole of the radiator. So I decided to take out my iPhone and use the LED to peek inside the bung and see what I could see. The colors inside intrigued me. Here is a pic of the display on my iPhone which really peaked my interest. There is only one way I was going to get a good look inside and after seeing what I saw on the iPhone, I knew that there was no way I would resell this rad in this condition.

    [​IMG]

    Time to cut her open... and what a mess. This was the inlet side of the rad and that is some nasty buildup/corrosion. It was pretty hard and I had to scrape it off like a resin. This RAD was toast so I decided to open up the other side. too.

    [​IMG]

    Some more of the nastiness. I'm glad I took a look inside and didnt try to resell this rad. Sure, I could have tried the vinegar and distilled water method, but why chance sending something that was no good. I'm just not like that.

    [​IMG]

    The floaties have settled at the bottom of the bowl. I suspect this is from the radiator. At this point the only piece of the loop that I would trust is the GPU Block (and no, not just because the others are all cut up!) Considering I put this loop together for less than $300, I would say it got its money's worth!

    [​IMG]

    Looks conductive to me. I would really love it if something could tell me HOW conductive this fluid is now based on the resistance shown on the meter.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    So there you have it. Its really not bad considering that the loop is 6 years old. I'm sure that it held up pretty good compared to if it was just distilled water with PT Nuke, so who knows. Today's blocks would probably have not fared so well with the much tinier passages, and would have likely gunked up.

    I hope you guys enjoyed watching me cut up my old water cooling loop. I now feel [H]ard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  2. Imitation

    Imitation 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,536
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    For number 6 i'd like to see you cut open that old cpu block with a dremel to see what it looks like. The more pics the merrier!

    I think that likely the blocks won't be that gunked up as they were pretty high flow blocks. They aren't nearly as complex and restrictive as newer blocks are that can more easily catch particles and build up gunk. Who knows tho, looking forward to see what you've got in store for us.
     
  3. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Thats not a bad idea. Copper is pretty soft and it shouldnt take too many cutting wheels to open it up, the downside is that I dont have a vice, so I dont want to lose a finger getting it open!
     
  4. featsdontfailme

    featsdontfailme Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    You could just cut off one of the barbs, the center most might be good.

    it would at least give you a good look inside at the block's center without cutting yourself.

    run the fluid through a coffee filter to see if there is any particulate in the fluid.

    cant wait to see your pictures.:D
     
  5. mavalpha

    mavalpha [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,452
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    I wouldn't worry about losing a finger, but perhaps about burning yourself- the copper may get pretty toasty, and- well, they chose to make the heat absorption part out of copper for a reason. If you're going to Dremel, I'd say split the top and bottom, rather than right-left. Not sure how much extra work is involved, but definitely a better idea of internals.
     
  6. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Thanks! The coffee filter idea is a great one. I will do that!

    Bah, I was only kidding. Im not too worried about the heat. Ive been mutilating and burning myself on cars and PCs since I was old enough to pick up a screwdriver. I will likely cut out a square on top of the block to get a good look inside,
     
  7. thesecond

    thesecond [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    For testing conuctivity, set your meter to measure the resistance. :). It will be interesting to see how it has changed. Also, if you do it in a bowl or something, you can note how resistance might change depending on distance between the probes
     
  8. Imitation

    Imitation 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,536
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    I think i've actually seen one of those blocks cut open. I think they just dremel'd around the seam on the side and the entire top comes off. You could easily hold it with pliers while dremeling since you don't have a vice.
     
  9. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Its been a long long time since I really look ed at the block, so I dont recall what the seam looks like. Its sitting in my home office, and Im patiently counting down the minutes until I get to tear in to it.
     
  10. MrBean_Oz

    MrBean_Oz Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    I wouldn't expect you to see much in the way of gunk, if anything at all.

    I would expect conductivity to have increased quite dramatically, but, as long as you keep it leak-free, no worries. I have been running loops for 3-5 year stints, with not much happening - it all depends on the mix, but I would think fluid XP is pretty poisonous to anything algae/bacterial, so.

    I vote for some slight dirt buildup, as well as a healthy dose of tarnishing inside the block, but nothing worse.

    Let's see.
     
  11. devil_trigger

    devil_trigger Gawd

    Messages:
    716
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Subbed, can't wait to see the results!
     
  12. SeaWulf

    SeaWulf Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    It'll be interesting to see the results!
     
  13. SonDa5

    SonDa5 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,403
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    I don't think the inside of the blocks will be ruined but I do think there will be some type of corrosion that will need to be cleaned.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  14. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,792
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    I'm curious. :D

    I expect gunked blocks, maybe not corrosion but gunk at a minimum.
     
  15. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,969
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    I expect gunk, and I expect the loop to have become conductive. This will happen with any loop as inevitably some metal ions will make their way into the loop. This does not mean that you will see corrosion however ;)

    I doubt you will see much, if any, corrosion.
     
  16. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Looks like most of you are on... I have conducted my tests, and have 23 photos for your viewing pleasure... I will be updating the original post now... So, if you are online, stay on for a little bit... the results might surprise you all!
     
  17. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,365
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    I am subscribing to this thread now
     
  18. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    First post updated... let me know what you think!
     
  19. Riddlinkidstoner

    Riddlinkidstoner [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,097
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Interesting results from opening the radiator. Looks like some cars I've seen.
     
  20. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,969
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    The lowest value looks like 0.863 megaohms. That's 863,000 ohms. That would probably be considered very unconductive, but you should place the probes closer, like an inch apart or less to see what the resistance would be if you spilled it on electronics.

    You should use regular tap water in a similar sized bucket with the same amount, and see what the resistance of that is.

    Otherwise, great job. Looks like copper blocks really don't corrode much, while the brass in radiators are more prone to it.
     
  21. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,365
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    yeah, those are meg ohms, need a control datum
     
  22. Mr. Pedantic

    Mr. Pedantic [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,707
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Yeah, going off my very rough back-of-envelope calculations I'd say it had a resistivity of somewhere between 10^3 and 10^4 ohm-meters. A bit more conductive than distilled water, apparently.
     
  23. dcds1

    dcds1 Gawd

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Just a quick question for you. How was the radiator oriented in the case? Did you have it mounted vertical or horizontal?

    edit. I just seen the answer to my questions in the pic of the computer setup in the beginning. Now I am just wondering why only half was collecting debris.
     
  24. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    I actually did, I guess I just forgot to post the pic... Here it is

    [​IMG]

    So is this good or bad in regards to conductivity?

    That was the same thing I was wondering... why did only half collect it... I think its because the water had to bounce off that wall and in to the tubes, so it was just the immediate point if resistance.
     
  25. EarthwormJim

    EarthwormJim Gawd

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    That's not very conductive. That's almost a mega ohm, very little current would flow through that. Try testing a small puddle on a flat surface though, might be in the ten kilo ohm range. Still not really enough to carry damaging current. It could really only carry signal level voltages.

    The CPU block is just highly tarnished, that's what the brown color is.

    As for the gunk in the radiator, that might just be flux left over from when it was manufactured. Does it dissolve in isopropyl alcohol or boiling hot water (some fluxes are water based).
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  26. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,969
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Do a comparison with tap water, and see what it turns out to be. Also, maybe getting some distilled water from the grocery store and comparing that would be a good way of doing a comparison.

    Place the probes closer together. Remember, resistance not only depends on the material, but also the length and thickness.
     
  27. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    I have distilled water, I will compare it with TAP and Distilled tomorrow. So far it looks like the concept of anti conductive coolant becoming dangerously conductive over time may be false, or at least in this Particular that seems to hold true.

    The debris in the radiator is not flux. It's too soft and crumbles when handled. It reminds me of dirty battery terminals on a car battery.
     
  28. EarthwormJim

    EarthwormJim Gawd

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Water in general isn't ridiculously conductive, especially distilled.

    I'm sure if you poured that fluid into your PSU it would cause damage, but spilling it on your motherboard or GPU, it probably would just cause a blue screen and no physical damage.
     
  29. dcds1

    dcds1 Gawd

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Would you be willing to remove the tank from the other side of the radiator and take pictuers of the tank and the tubes? I just want to see what that side looks like.
     
  30. featsdontfailme

    featsdontfailme Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Very nice. Great pics and pretty neat idea.

    Looks like the radiator took one for the team though.:D
     
  31. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,792
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    I smell Science! :D
     
  32. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Yeah I can do that.
     
  33. __hollywood|meow

    __hollywood|meow [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    ive never seen anybody chop up their loop before xD by all means continue
     
  34. Omegas

    Omegas [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,605
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    damnit, can't see pix at work comp. Must see!!
     
  35. Radical

    Radical Gawd

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Thanks for taking the time to share your findings, very interesting.
     
  36. JLangevin

    JLangevin [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to getting some distilled water and tap water resistance comparisons for the FluidXP. I remember the entire reason I bought this coolant was because it was non-conductive, however it seems like it pretty much retained that aspect over 6 years. I will wait to compare to distilled water, but it looks as if it shattered the concept of the coolant becoming conductive over time... I wonder if thats just something that is more prone to happen with Distilled water since it has no elements in it besides pure water. Perhaps there is an inhibiter in the fluidxp that fights the ion gathering.

    I guess I will need to setup a test system with Distilled water and let it run for another 6 years! lol. My current setup is using Distilled Water, but I wont bother letting that run more than 6-9 months without being flushed, especially when I am running a Nickel EK Block on my 680. Needless to say, my nerves are shot hoping that the nickel on the 680 block has improved over the 500 series blocks.
     
  37. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,365
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    friends don't let friends run EK anymore
     
  38. MrBean_Oz

    MrBean_Oz Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Did I win anything :rofl:

    Thanx for the efforts, Mate, and pretty much as expected.

    Poofff, there goes the myths about cleaning your loops every 3 months, and another, that watercooling requires high maintenance. If done right, it is much more efficient, and requires very little 'internal' maintenance, if any, for very long periods.

    Good job, where do we sent the beers to?