What went wrong with my loop?

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
2,705
I setup my MORA3 360 loop back in July 2020

Heatkiller copper blocks
ZMT
Bitspower fittings
Koolance 702 coolant

System ran fine, but 8 months later, I go in to uograde and the blocks are full of what I believe to be copper oxide.

The coolant has a light green tint and some dark sediment (not a lot)

Here is the weirdest part and I asked 4 people who all agreed; the coolant SMELLS LIKE YOGURT!

What went wrong and how can I prevent it happening again?

Everything cleaned up with vinegar and I think it was just (or mostly) copper oxide, but it stained the res and fittings pretty good. I think the fittings have nickel so I'm just going to use soap and water on them and I have a couple new rads I'll be using. If it was just discoloration, I could live with it but the cpu block had a lot of junk in it.
 

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Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 7, 2007
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What you have there is a petri dish with a live culture.

Maybe a bad mix of coolant, or not enough anti-corrosion/biocide in the mix, or it was just (past) time to replace the coolant. Clean the blocks and tubes real good, maybe run a loop prep/cleaner through, then flush and fill again.

Check again regularly, and replace the coolant if it gets cloudy or begins to smell. Maybe plan to change it early to get any leftover biomass out of the loop.
 

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
2,705
What you have there is a petri dish with a live culture.

Maybe a bad mix of coolant, or not enough anti-corrosion/biocide in the mix, or it was just (past) time to replace the coolant. Clean the blocks and tubes real good, maybe run a loop prep/cleaner through, then flush and fill again.

Check again regularly, and replace the coolant if it gets cloudy or begins to smell. Maybe plan to change it early to get any leftover biomass out of the loop.

Oxidation and growth or just growth?

I guess it could be a bad batch of Koolance, I used it straight, as recommended. I'm sitting on a new 5000ml jug of the stuff, presumably from a different lot.

Not suee what to do to kill out anything left over or how to keep it from happening again.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,890
Oxidation and growth or just growth?

I guess it could be a bad batch of Koolance, I used it straight, as recommended. I'm sitting on a new 5000ml jug of the stuff, presumably from a different lot.

Not suee what to do to kill out anything left over or how to keep it from happening again.
The green stuff could be just copper oxide or it could be biomass, hard to tell just looking at it. You would be able to check easily with a half decent microscope–put a drop on a glass plate, sandwich and put under scope.

Koolance and others produce a solution for cleaning out loops– think they're a mix of biocides, surfectants, maybe some other stuff. Supposed to kill and strip them from the parts in the loop, but of course it won't get everything. Use one of those products, then flush and fill with coolant.

The chemicals in coolant used to prevent corrosion and growth will deteriorate over time, and eventually stuff will begin to corrode and grow in the loop. All you can do is pay attention and periodically flush and refill the loop. How often will depend on what's in your loop, how clean it is to start, and the product you use to protect it. So I can't really tell you how often to do it, but 6-12 months is probably a safe bet.

Since you noticed this at 8 months, you may want to check at 4-6 months or earlier, just in case. It's possible there was a significant colony of microbes which were growing in some part of your loop that will take a couple flushes to clear out before you get reasonable life out of your coolant.
 

Nasgul

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
103
When I put my Loop together, I never considered bare copper, copper is just too volatile, even to air, I couldn't understand why the copper water pipe was so nasty looking down in my basement...........

Anyhow, another thing that made me stay away from dyed coolant, was that in many cases I saw on youtube many people complained that their loop had stuff growing or stained and ruined their setup. So, no coolant of that type nor I wanted soft-tubing.

CPU block is going to pick up the most debris, so no problem there, it's common. My CPU block had the same thing, very little debris but had my Loop running for 21 months, 20 if you count the month I got stuck out of the U.S. last year.

I used Corsair (blue-clear) coolant though and this time I went for the all-clear coolant, looks so much better. And I didn't use soap or any other chemicals to clean it, I just use warm water and a new soft toothbrush, as good as new.

My CPU block is nickel-plated, the light above makes it yellow and the dark spot on the right is the shadow of my camera. The green stuff is the product of 20 months of use. And I cleaned it up two weeks ago.
 

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It could be caused by just about any kind of human contact with the insides of your blocks, fittings, tubing or res. Thats all it takes. Thats why alot of people used (some still do) to swear by swiftechs hydrx when all we had was copper blocks, automotive coolant basically. You still had to be careful not to contaminate anything but you didnt have to be quite as paranoid.
 

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
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Dec 16, 2010
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Ordering some Mayhems biocide/inhibitor. Will keep a much closer eye on it.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
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Coolant does need to be stored properly. Could it be that you got sold some coolant stored in direct sun or heat or that is just really old. No offense to Koolance fans but have they released anything new in terms of coolant in years?
 

kamikazi

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
955
I'm running Koolance 702 and I'm coming up on a year with mine. I hope I don't hit the same issues you did. I did run some of that primochill prep stuff through the loop for a couple of days before I flushed it and filled it with Koolance. Don't know if that stuff really makes a difference. All it has in it is soap and a very mild acid. It made my distroplate very bubbly. This is my second go at water cooling. The first time, the pump went bad and I got it replaced under warranty and just sold the whole setup years ago. I'm thinking of going back to another AIO if this one ever gets gunked up. ;-)
 
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