Saving a block with failing nickel (I did the dumb)

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by VanGoghComplex, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Welp, my pride took a hit last night. After completely dismantling and cleaning my loop, I found what looked to be some corrosion spots on my new EK monoblock. I cleaned them up, put it all back together and dropped in the last of my Primochill Vue.

    A few weeks in and I'm seeing deposits of stuff in the corners through the plexi. So, time to take it apart again. This time I'm dismantling the Phanteks GPU block too, and I see it - failing nickel coating on the fins and on the terminal area.

    I think that, after reading a post by @Watercool_Jacob, my trouble wasn't the Vue, but it probably exacerbated it. My problem was running straight distilled with a copper-sulfate growth inhibitor. Now I've got two fairly new blocks with nickel that is starting to fail.

    My plan is to disassemble and thoroughly clean. I'll run a batch of Mayhem's Blitz through the radiator. After that, I'm going to distilled with a corrosion inhibitor concentrate. I'll live with the nickel that's already come off ( it'll be a good reminder of my hubris), but what I'm wondering is if these blocks are still serviceable long-term? Can a block with partially-failed nickel be trusted if run with proper corrosion inhibitors, or is it a nasty "once it's started it won't stop" sort of thing? I can't justify the expense of replacing the blocks, and as I've disassembled both for cleaning, I don't think EK or Phanteks will honor any warranty claim.

    I should have listened to the folks on this forum...
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Well,

    Even if you had listened to the folks on this forum, there are a lot of proponents of the old school copper sulfate or silver biocides.

    I had originally planned on running DI water and copper biocide in mine, but in the last second I got nervous about corrosion and decided that the safest thing to do was to use EK's own Ekoolant, since i had two of their nickel plated blocks.

    My blocks have opaque covers on them though, so I have no way of telling what is going on in there.
     
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  3. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah. Watercool_Jacob's suggestion was to just run a corrosion inhibitor, since it'll double as a biocide. He suggested Innovatek Protect, but it seems I'll have to pay through the nose to get the stuff shipped to the US, so I'm going to be using Primochill Liquid Utopia.

    I just hope the nickel failure stops where it is. :cry:
     
  4. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Yeah, his advice is welcome. It's good to have some actual knowledge on here rather than urban legend.

    If it's a glycol based corrosion inhibitor, there ought to be many different versions available locally.

    Water Wetter used to be really popular back in the old school diy days before there was a dedicated PC water-cooling industry.

    Reading the description it actually seems like it would be pretty good, but I don't know for sure.
     
  5. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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  6. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Hmm. I did some searching. If you want to do what I did, and use EK's own coolant just to be on the safe side, they sell 100ml concentrate bottles on eBay for ~$14.95 each.

    Back when I bought them they were called Ekoolant, but they have rebranded (and possibly reformulated) to Cryofuel since.

    They are supposed to be mixed with 900ml of distilled water to make one liter of coolant per bottle.

    As mentioned, mine has shown no problems yet, but I also have opaque blocks so I can't see I side without taking everything apart. The reservoir looks nice and clean though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Seems like people are suggesting this is due to using too much of the stuff and having it crash out of solution. I guess it is important to follow instructions :p
     
  8. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'll give it a go with Liquid Utopia first. I wish Primochill were a little more forthcoming about what's in it though - if Watercool_Jacob suggests a glycol-based corrosion inhibitor, that's what I want.
     
  9. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good news everyone! ...@Zarathustra[H] ! :D

    It was NOT failing nickel! It was a gnarly, copper-looking rock hard schmunda that was caking to the surface. After some spirited scrubbing with dishsoap, I saw what looked like fresh nickel where I thought it had all been eaten away. So, remembering a trick I read about, I slathered on some ketchup, let it sit for a minute, and scrubbed some more - shininess returned!

    All that said, I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. I think I'll be sticking with clear premix from now on. This was too scary to repeat.
     
  10. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    That's great! I'm glad it worked out!
     
  11. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    huh?! I wonder if that is the issue with that guys aorus card after all...
    maybe a vinegar rinse would clean his out?
    edit: oh wait his is a sealed unit.
     
  12. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    I dunno. It's a little hard to tell from the pictures, but his didn't look like mine. I should have snapped some photos, but while his looks like some swirly whirlies of bright shiny copper peeking through, mine looked like gnarly corroded metal - no sheen or luster, just nasty brown/bronze crapola over every fluid-contacting surface.
     
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  13. guitarslingerchris

    guitarslingerchris Failure is just success rounded down

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    If it makes you feel any better the 1080 Ti FTW3 in my main rig has part of the nickle plating eaten away by the Vue my roommate ran. We both ran Vue but unfortunately his card at the time was the 1080 Ti and not my 980 Tis that were bare copper and sustained no damage other than a bunch of crap I had to clean up after :(

    EDIT: Just saw your update, good that you don't have damage but mine is for real :( :( :(
     
  14. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    That sucks my man. Vue seems weird. Jay was one of the early adopters, and in most of his machines it ran just fine. In his editing rig he built though, it fell out and got nasty, eating nickel in places, within a month.

    For me it was the same - the first time I ran Vue it went great. Very minimal fallout and no gunk when I cleaned it out. This time though... nastiness on my nickel and pockets of fallout on almost every horizontal surface in my loop.

    My I bought all my Vue at once, so my first and second tries were from the same batch. I wonder if the stuff has a shelf life?
     
  15. Chapeau

    Chapeau Gawd

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    I was so so keen to try it out but I trust what you're doing - It's a shame though because if I had to put a percentage on the aesthetic component of water cooling joy it would be 60%.

    Would you do it again though?

    It might seem like an obvious question, but I've seen build up using Mayhems, EK pastel and Cryofuel to some degree on my own loop. I'm firmly in the camp that believes the loop needs a serious cleaning at least every 6 months to stay factory fresh.
    If Vue lasts the same time then really it's not so different?
     
  16. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Honestly, right now I would not use Vue again - but that opinion is tainted. I'm 1/2 on successful Vue deployment, and while my blocks did some scary stuff, I don't know that the Vue is to blame.

    ...I don't know that the Vue isn't to blame, either... so yeah. I might change my mind someday, but as of now it's a solid no. =P
     
  17. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Limp Gawd

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    [
    I'm wondering if it was fallout from the copper sulfate. The concentration for 1000ml (1 liter) is a single drop. You didn't use too much did you? (I doubt you did but I had to throw that out there)
    That + distilled water + a kill coil in the res is what I am intending to use in my loop. The wet parts will be copper (rad). nickel over copper (acrylic top waterblock) and whatever metals are used in the wet chamber of a D5 pump (can't find my old swiftech mcp655 pump to find out).
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  18. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    That would be the only thing to make sense to me, but at the same time it doesn't. This stuff was caked thick, and I mixed my copper sulfate only a tad heavy - 5 drops to a gallon instead of 4.

    I'm actually beginning to see the stuff on some nickel again. They're tiny spots so I can't be sure that's what I'm seeing... but if they get any bigger, I'm going to begin to suspect my stainless steel tubing to be the culprit.

    That will make me cry.
     
  19. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  20. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm not sure if it's glycol based or not, but I'm using AquaComputer's premix now.
     
  21. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    the dp ultra? google tells me it has ethylene glycol in it so that should really help with the corrosion.
     
  22. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Limp Gawd

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    yeah even 4 drops is a wee bit heavy, but thinking about it I can't see it causing that. The concentration is just way too small even @ 5 drops. That leaves the tubing or the nickel alloy used on the blocks (they don't use pure nickel). Since I can't see EK chintzing out on their nickel plating that leaves the only other parts of the system. I really hope it isn't the SS tubing as well cause that would suck turds.
     
  23. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    It would suck turds like a shopvac dropped into a port-o-potty. I LOVE my stainless steel tubing. :cry: