Recommend me an algeacide...

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by Despotes, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. Despotes

    Despotes Gawd

    Messages:
    772
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    My loop is just beginning to get cloudy. Is it safe to simply put in a tablespoon of bleach or use an algaecide? I'll do a complete flush in a few months.
    Currently using distilled water and Primoflex LRT tubing and the included Utopia and no exposure to sunlight, so not sure what's causing the cloudiness.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  2. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

    Messages:
    18,270
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Silver.
     
    SticKx911 likes this.
  3. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Bleach will definitely kill the algea. It will also probably ruin every other fitting you have. If it is bio - drain, take it apart, clean everything w/ soap+water, flush a million times with distilled water, flush once more for good measure, then put it back together.

    Cloudiness isn't always bio-related. That is probably something leeching out of the tubing or from inside one of the components.
     
  4. SticKx911

    SticKx911 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Silver kill coil.

    Cloudiness can also just be dirt/dust etc. Could just be time for a flush/refill.
     
  5. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,525
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    Bleach is a bad bad idea. It is not chemically compatible with lots of things in your loop. The best way to deal with this is to drain the loop, discard the existing fluid, flush the hell out of it with distilled water (fill with clean distilled water, run pump for a while, drain, fill with clean distilled water, run for a while, drain, over and over again) Once you are satisfied you've gotten rid of the contaminant, fill with new fluid and use a good antimicrobial.

    This is correct. The cloudiness could result from many different things. The two most likely are probably plasticizer leeching from your tubing, and flux from your radiator(s) if they werent fully cleaned before use. (you always have to thoroughly clean new radiators, as there is lots of flux in them from the soldering process)

    Once you have completed your cleaning process here is what I would recommend, (and I know this goes counter to what most people suggest, but I have done lots of research on this.

    A silver coil is actually a bad idea. If you have any brass in your loop (many fittings are brass based) the silver and brass are dissimilar enough that it can promote galvanic corrosion. Silver can also result in galvanic corrosion on copper and nickel, but it will be very very slow, and possibly negligible, but even so, it's a better to be safe than sorry and go without.

    PTNuke (popular copper sulfate based biocide) can also be problematic, so I'd avoid that too.

    Per WATERCOOL-Jakob the safest thing you can do is use pure distilled water and a glycol based additive. (He should know, he is the rep for Watercool, the manufacturer of the popular Heatkiller blocks, on these forums)

    Glycol is a miraculous additive for water loops as it does three things without side effects. It is an anti-corrosive (to prevent corrosion in your loop) it is a surfactant (removes surface tension of water, to help remove air bubbles) AND a biocide all in one. Do it right and you don't need any other additive.

    This is what most of the professional coolants use. If you don't feel comfortable finding and mixing your own Glycol (Propylene Glycol or Ethylene Glycol) I've had good luck with EK's Cryofuel line of coolants. They aren't too expensive, come as either premix or concentrate (just dilute with distilled water) and come in a variety of colors. I'd avoid th eopaque ones though, as opaque fluids tend ot have micro-particles that can gunk up the microchannels in your blocks)

    Dow Chemical has a good writeup on the effects of glycol and what concentrations to use:

    https://dowac.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5207
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
    Brian_B and pendragon1 like this.
  6. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

    Messages:
    662
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    I would second glycol. Primoflex LRT is PVC and compatible with glycol. If your Res is PETG or any other part not specified then glycol is not safe. Automotive antifreeze is pretty commonly used ( Ethylene glycol ) but also, most RV/ Marine antifreeze is polypropylene glycol which is also pet safe and that is also what the watercooling fluids that are glycol based are
     
    pendragon1 likes this.
  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,525
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000

    This is a good point I forgot to mention. Thank you. Yes, there are some plastics which don't do well with Glycol.

    I thought most water-contact cooling parts these days are either acrylic, acetal or glass though, which is why I forgot to mention it.
     
    pendragon1 likes this.
  8. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

    Messages:
    662
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Yup, except PETG hard tubing and some reservoirs are PETG. Just something to look out for
     
    pendragon1 likes this.
  9. Despotes

    Despotes Gawd

    Messages:
    772
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    My res is an XSPC Photon 170. Glass and Acetal.
     
  10. Despotes

    Despotes Gawd

    Messages:
    772
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    I'll buy some Propylene Glycol. Any recommendations for cleaning/flushing?
     
  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,525
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    I just did a flush of mine as follows:

    1.) Drain loop
    2.) Fill with distilled water and a couple of drops of dish soap (really, only a couple of very small drops, too much and you'll have a mess) as a surfactant to make sure you get in all the corners and crevices
    3.) Leave pump running for a couple of hours
    4.) Drain loop
    5.) Fill with plain distilled water
    6.) Leave pump running for a couple of hours
    7.) Repeat steps 5 & 6 3-4 times
    8.) Fill with fresh fluid.

    This is not some sort of official best practice, but it worked for me.
     
    Brian_B and SticKx911 like this.
  12. Dullard

    Dullard [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Petra Nuke PHN doesn't have copper in it, just a poison that kills algae/bacteria or whatever. I have one loop that's going on 4 years with just distilled water and Nuke PHN, hard tube PETG though, and no clouding/algae/funk. Brass radiators, nickel plated fittings/blocks, PETG tubing, whatever EK res is made of (acetal?)

    https://www.amazon.com/Petras-Tech-Nuke-Concentrated-Biocide/dp/B008EH4STK#customerReviews

    Another rig will be 2 years old in May, same recipe, same result.
     
  13. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

    Messages:
    706
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    I'm using Swiftech's HydrX, which IINM is simply Zerex antifreeze - which inhibits corrosion and is a biocide. I've used it in the past and beyond staining cheap tubing it works fine.
     
  14. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,082
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    If you use silver you really need to add the silver while the water is still fresh, preferably before even adding it to your loop. Silver ions wont do much if there's already crap growing in there.

    The best solution I've found is copper sulfate. Years ago I bought a bag of CuSO4 crystals (copper sulfate pentahydrate) off ebay for a couple bucks to make my own 'blue PT nuke.' You can get essentially a lifetime supply for your watercooling needs off Amazon for less than $10. It doesn't take much.

    It shouldn't be an issue as long as you aren't using aluminum radiators in your loop.

    I found silver to be ineffective and glycol was a poor algaecide, at least in my experience with commercial mixes from Koolance and some other brand I don't remember (crap would start growing in the blocks). Since I switched to distilled water + CuSO4 I've run loops for 5+ years and had the water come out clean.
     
    SticKx911 likes this.
  15. Despotes

    Despotes Gawd

    Messages:
    772
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    What are the differences between Propylene and Polypropylene glycol? Are they equally effective? What's the recommended ratio? >25% glycol to water?
     
  16. Dullard

    Dullard [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    This is 19 months with distilled and Petra Nuke PHN. The fluid is not cloudy, see the reservoir/top tube, it's dust or reflection or something - it's clear in person (and I really need to blow this thing out - haven't had the panel off in ages).

    Fluid1.jpg
     
  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,525
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    Glycol is just short hand for either Propylene Glycol or Ethylene Glycol. They are both chemically similar and work similarly.

    Ethylene Glycol is more effective in smaller concentrations than Propylene Glycol, but is also more harmful to certain plastics, like PETG.

    Propylene Glycol is by far more common.

    Dow Chemical recommends pretty high concentrations to inhibit growth, but keep in mind they also want to sell you more chemicals :p

    https://dowac.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5207
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  18. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    i think the biggest factor in keeping a loop clean and free of nasties is to treat your entire loop building process as if you were conducting a kind of clean room surgery! dont introduce dust or dirt in any way shape or form. in my early days of loop building i opened and closed the res multiple times without bothering to clean off dust and dirt from the fill port area. i rerouted tubing incessantly and added or subtracted parts on a whim while rarely if ever doing a full drain and fill. the result and my point being, the more you open your loop to outside goonies the more frequent you will find a dirty loop. today when i build a loop i mix my petras pt nuke phn biocide and distilled water as closely as possible(by the gallon). in the past i just dripped as much phn in as i thought looked right. i would experiment with additives without draining and refilling with the appropriate mix(not smart). now i use rubber gloves to handle my spotlessly cleaned blocks, rads, tubing and fittings until ive closed the loop up for good. i try not to reopen the loop at all, unless of course i have to during the purge process. even then i always clean the filler portion of my res before opening it (canned air ftw). my loops today stay chrystal clear for years (going on 2 1/2 currently) with only a minor fill/refill process once a year. in the past, my loops would cloud up with in a few months. just sayin...keep your shit clean from the git. use proven fluids. mix them properly and you should be a happy wcing fool for years to come (like me, emphasis on the fool) haha.