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Question Is this algae or corrosion growing in my watercooling parts?

iKrloz

Honorable
Jun 9, 2015
33
0
10,530
0
First things first, sorry for the long post but I don't want to just confuse people by not giving enough information since all loops are different. Now let me share with you my specs, my watercooling parts and some photos of the loop configuration:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/kZTjzVM


Parts:
CPU: Delidded Intel Core i7 8086k running at 4.4 all cores
Memory: 16 GB DDR4 3200Mhz CAS14 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
GPU: RTX 2080Ti
Mobo: ASus Strix z390-I gaming mini ITX
PSU: Corsair SF750 Platinum SFX
Case: NZXT H110 Mini-ITX
Watercooling parts (all from EKWB except the coolant):
Soft tubing: EK-DuraClear 11,1/15,9mm 3M RETAIL
GPU Block: EK-Quantum Vector RTX RE Ti D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi
CPU Block: EK-Momentum ROG Strix Z390I D-RGB - Plexi
Radiators: x1 EK-CoolStream SE 240 and x1 SE 120
Pump Combo: EK-XRES 100 DDC MX 3.1 PWM (incl. pump) with and installed Heatsink also from EKWB THIS IS A LOWER POWERED VERSION OF A NORMAL DDC PUMP WITH JUST THE 4-FIN PWM FAN CONNECTOR TO POWER (NO MOLEX NEEDED) AND I CHOSE IT JUST BECAUSE MY LOOP WAS GOING TO BE VERY SMALL AND THE EKWB SUPPORT TOLD ME THAT THE PRESSURE HEAD OF IT WOULD BE MORE THAT ENOUGH (AND IT WAS ONLY 79 USD LOL).
Fittings and adapters: All Nickel plated from EKWB
Coolant: PrimoChill Ice - Low-Conductive Coolant (32 oz.) - Clear
Max temps on full load:
CPU: 84° C
GPU: 70°

As for other relevant data: This is my very first custom loop and it was only running about 3 months and a half mostly playing GTA Online and Halo MCC PC, I have no pets, and the PC is on a desk on my bedroom.
I did all the loop preparation procedures:
  1. Drained the rads with vinegar and water when brand new
  2. Flushed the brand-new loop & parts like 3 - 5 times with distilled water
  3. Leak tested the thing for +24 Hrs with no leaks at all
So the whole point of disassembly was that there was this visible stuff growing in the CPU block and most importantly my pump one day decided to not start, so naturally I switched the PC and tried to start it by rebooting, but it kept making barely audible click sounds as if it was stuck and tried to start, so I hit vigorously the lower part of the motor with my finger and it restarted with no problems. I kept doing this for the last 3 weeks of the loop running before disassembly, and I've read that also I wasn't the only user of this lower powered DDC MX 3.1 Pump having this exact problem, solved also by punching the motor. EKWB even just recently discontinued it on their website as it says, "End of Life".

With all that context l begin:

Yesterday I decided to disassemble my watercooling loop because I could see in my acrylic monoblock that something was clearly growing inside the loop as shown in these pictures of the disassembled blocks:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/dFSvinn


As you can see there are multiple stuff of different colors on each material of the loop, and this is where I need your help figuring out why and how this happened and also how to clean it out.

I just recently scrubbed most of the stuff with a toothbrush and 50/50 white vinegar and water and at least the CPU monoblock looks like brand new, except from one mark of the edge of the rubber gasket.

The thing growing inside in the acrylic is white, whereas the stuff growing on the nickel-plated blocks is this brownish sticky oily stuff, but not oily like slippery lubricant, but more like a thicker kind of oil.

This oily stuff was also on the inside of the threads of the fittings and adapters (all nickel plated). So it was not easy to clean, and on some of the fittings there is like a circled layer of white paste on them (as shown in the first photos).

The tubing is the most dirty of them all with clear signs of this stuff growing inside to the point where the soft tubing looks more like a yellowish plastic tube as shown in one of the images where is compared to a brand new tube.

The pump/res combo was the same as the acrylic top of the blocks, it had a yellowish layer of stuff which wasn't hard to wash off, but when I disassembled the pump it looked fine except that it also felt covered in the brown stuff.

Now, of all of the above parts they can be cleaned and washed out really easily, but the radiators can't. And this is the most worrisome part for me because I don't know what is growing inside of the radiators; as shown in the photos, this black/brown stuff is at least growing in the 240 radiator, whereas the 120mm rad looks fine from the inside.

I've read that 3 flushes with a mix of 50/50 water and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes should do the job, but I haven't tried anything just yet since first I wanted to be sure of exactly what I am dealing with.

So my three questions for you guys are:
  1. What was the stuff growing on each of the parts?
  2. How do I clean and wash out all of the black stuff growing inside my radiators?
  3. How do I prevent this from happening again? even when I did all the mandatory stuff first
I am re-installing my loop as soon as I get more PrimoChill Ice since I have no more coolant, but this time in order to avoid problems with the pump I bought The EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 120 VTX PWM D-RGB - Plexi https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-quantum-kinetic-tbe-120-vtx-pwm-d-rgb-plexi , a fully powered Pump this time and (I hope), less prone to failure and manufacturing problems as the lower powered DDC MX 3.1 one.
Thanks in advance for your reply :)
 

white.a.drew

Respectable
Oct 14, 2017
930
53
2,290
59
First things first, sorry for the long post but I don't want to just confuse people by not giving enough information since all loops are different. Now let me share with you my specs, my watercooling parts and some photos of the loop configuration:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/kZTjzVM


Parts:
CPU: Delidded Intel Core i7 8086k running at 4.4 all cores
Memory: 16 GB DDR4 3200Mhz CAS14 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
GPU: RTX 2080Ti
Mobo: ASus Strix z390-I gaming mini ITX
PSU: Corsair SF750 Platinum SFX
Case: NZXT H110 Mini-ITX
Watercooling parts (all from EKWB except the coolant):
Soft tubing: EK-DuraClear 11,1/15,9mm 3M RETAIL
GPU Block: EK-Quantum Vector RTX RE Ti D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi
CPU Block: EK-Momentum ROG Strix Z390I D-RGB - Plexi
Radiators: x1 EK-CoolStream SE 240 and x1 SE 120
Pump Combo: EK-XRES 100 DDC MX 3.1 PWM (incl. pump) with and installed Heatsink also from EKWB THIS IS A LOWER POWERED VERSION OF A NORMAL DDC PUMP WITH JUST THE 4-FIN PWM FAN CONNECTOR TO POWER (NO MOLEX NEEDED) AND I CHOSE IT JUST BECAUSE MY LOOP WAS GOING TO BE VERY SMALL AND THE EKWB SUPPORT TOLD ME THAT THE PRESSURE HEAD OF IT WOULD BE MORE THAT ENOUGH (AND IT WAS ONLY 79 USD LOL).
Fittings and adapters: All Nickel plated from EKWB
Coolant: PrimoChill Ice - Low-Conductive Coolant (32 oz.) - Clear
Max temps on full load:
CPU: 84° C
GPU: 70°

As for other relevant data: This is my very first custom loop and it was only running about 3 months and a half mostly playing GTA Online and Halo MCC PC, I have no pets, and the PC is on a desk on my bedroom.
I did all the loop preparation procedures:
  1. Drained the rads with vinegar and water when brand new
  2. Flushed the brand-new loop & parts like 3 - 5 times with distilled water
  3. Leak tested the thing for +24 Hrs with no leaks at all
So the whole point of disassembly was that there was this visible stuff growing in the CPU block and most importantly my pump one day decided to not start, so naturally I switched the PC and tried to start it by rebooting, but it kept making barely audible click sounds as if it was stuck and tried to start, so I hit vigorously the lower part of the motor with my finger and it restarted with no problems. I kept doing this for the last 3 weeks of the loop running before disassembly, and I've read that also I wasn't the only user of this lower powered DDC MX 3.1 Pump having this exact problem, solved also by punching the motor. EKWB even just recently discontinued it on their website as it says, "End of Life".

With all that context l begin:

Yesterday I decided to disassemble my watercooling loop because I could see in my acrylic monoblock that something was clearly growing inside the loop as shown in these pictures of the disassembled blocks:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/dFSvinn


As you can see there are multiple stuff of different colors on each material of the loop, and this is where I need your help figuring out why and how this happened and also how to clean it out.

I just recently scrubbed most of the stuff with a toothbrush and 50/50 white vinegar and water and at least the CPU monoblock looks like brand new, except from one mark of the edge of the rubber gasket.

The thing growing inside in the acrylic is white, whereas the stuff growing on the nickel-plated blocks is this brownish sticky oily stuff, but not oily like slippery lubricant, but more like a thicker kind of oil.

This oily stuff was also on the inside of the threads of the fittings and adapters (all nickel plated). So it was not easy to clean, and on some of the fittings there is like a circled layer of white paste on them (as shown in the first photos).

The tubing is the most dirty of them all with clear signs of this stuff growing inside to the point where the soft tubing looks more like a yellowish plastic tube as shown in one of the images where is compared to a brand new tube.

The pump/res combo was the same as the acrylic top of the blocks, it had a yellowish layer of stuff which wasn't hard to wash off, but when I disassembled the pump it looked fine except that it also felt covered in the brown stuff.

Now, of all of the above parts they can be cleaned and washed out really easily, but the radiators can't. And this is the most worrisome part for me because I don't know what is growing inside of the radiators; as shown in the photos, this black/brown stuff is at least growing in the 240 radiator, whereas the 120mm rad looks fine from the inside.

I've read that 3 flushes with a mix of 50/50 water and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes should do the job, but I haven't tried anything just yet since first I wanted to be sure of exactly what I am dealing with.

So my three questions for you guys are:
  1. What was the stuff growing on each of the parts?
  2. How do I clean and wash out all of the black stuff growing inside my radiators?
  3. How do I prevent this from happening again? even when I did all the mandatory stuff first
I am re-installing my loop as soon as I get more PrimoChill Ice since I have no more coolant, but this time in order to avoid problems with the pump I bought The EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 120 VTX PWM D-RGB - Plexi https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-quantum-kinetic-tbe-120-vtx-pwm-d-rgb-plexi , a fully powered Pump this time and (I hope), less prone to failure and manufacturing problems as the lower powered DDC MX 3.1 one.
Thanks in advance for your reply :)
Thats risdulaul vinegar it looks like you will never be able to get it all out due to all the creases in the loops and everything i would continue to flush it till you can get as much as possible out
 

white.a.drew

Respectable
Oct 14, 2017
930
53
2,290
59
First things first, sorry for the long post but I don't want to just confuse people by not giving enough information since all loops are different. Now let me share with you my specs, my watercooling parts and some photos of the loop configuration:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/kZTjzVM


Parts:
CPU: Delidded Intel Core i7 8086k running at 4.4 all cores
Memory: 16 GB DDR4 3200Mhz CAS14 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
GPU: RTX 2080Ti
Mobo: ASus Strix z390-I gaming mini ITX
PSU: Corsair SF750 Platinum SFX
Case: NZXT H110 Mini-ITX
Watercooling parts (all from EKWB except the coolant):
Soft tubing: EK-DuraClear 11,1/15,9mm 3M RETAIL
GPU Block: EK-Quantum Vector RTX RE Ti D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi
CPU Block: EK-Momentum ROG Strix Z390I D-RGB - Plexi
Radiators: x1 EK-CoolStream SE 240 and x1 SE 120
Pump Combo: EK-XRES 100 DDC MX 3.1 PWM (incl. pump) with and installed Heatsink also from EKWB THIS IS A LOWER POWERED VERSION OF A NORMAL DDC PUMP WITH JUST THE 4-FIN PWM FAN CONNECTOR TO POWER (NO MOLEX NEEDED) AND I CHOSE IT JUST BECAUSE MY LOOP WAS GOING TO BE VERY SMALL AND THE EKWB SUPPORT TOLD ME THAT THE PRESSURE HEAD OF IT WOULD BE MORE THAT ENOUGH (AND IT WAS ONLY 79 USD LOL).
Fittings and adapters: All Nickel plated from EKWB
Coolant: PrimoChill Ice - Low-Conductive Coolant (32 oz.) - Clear
Max temps on full load:
CPU: 84° C
GPU: 70°

As for other relevant data: This is my very first custom loop and it was only running about 3 months and a half mostly playing GTA Online and Halo MCC PC, I have no pets, and the PC is on a desk on my bedroom.
I did all the loop preparation procedures:
  1. Drained the rads with vinegar and water when brand new
  2. Flushed the brand-new loop & parts like 3 - 5 times with distilled water
  3. Leak tested the thing for +24 Hrs with no leaks at all
So the whole point of disassembly was that there was this visible stuff growing in the CPU block and most importantly my pump one day decided to not start, so naturally I switched the PC and tried to start it by rebooting, but it kept making barely audible click sounds as if it was stuck and tried to start, so I hit vigorously the lower part of the motor with my finger and it restarted with no problems. I kept doing this for the last 3 weeks of the loop running before disassembly, and I've read that also I wasn't the only user of this lower powered DDC MX 3.1 Pump having this exact problem, solved also by punching the motor. EKWB even just recently discontinued it on their website as it says, "End of Life".

With all that context l begin:

Yesterday I decided to disassemble my watercooling loop because I could see in my acrylic monoblock that something was clearly growing inside the loop as shown in these pictures of the disassembled blocks:

View: https://imgur.com/gallery/dFSvinn


As you can see there are multiple stuff of different colors on each material of the loop, and this is where I need your help figuring out why and how this happened and also how to clean it out.

I just recently scrubbed most of the stuff with a toothbrush and 50/50 white vinegar and water and at least the CPU monoblock looks like brand new, except from one mark of the edge of the rubber gasket.

The thing growing inside in the acrylic is white, whereas the stuff growing on the nickel-plated blocks is this brownish sticky oily stuff, but not oily like slippery lubricant, but more like a thicker kind of oil.

This oily stuff was also on the inside of the threads of the fittings and adapters (all nickel plated). So it was not easy to clean, and on some of the fittings there is like a circled layer of white paste on them (as shown in the first photos).

The tubing is the most dirty of them all with clear signs of this stuff growing inside to the point where the soft tubing looks more like a yellowish plastic tube as shown in one of the images where is compared to a brand new tube.

The pump/res combo was the same as the acrylic top of the blocks, it had a yellowish layer of stuff which wasn't hard to wash off, but when I disassembled the pump it looked fine except that it also felt covered in the brown stuff.

Now, of all of the above parts they can be cleaned and washed out really easily, but the radiators can't. And this is the most worrisome part for me because I don't know what is growing inside of the radiators; as shown in the photos, this black/brown stuff is at least growing in the 240 radiator, whereas the 120mm rad looks fine from the inside.

I've read that 3 flushes with a mix of 50/50 water and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes should do the job, but I haven't tried anything just yet since first I wanted to be sure of exactly what I am dealing with.

So my three questions for you guys are:
  1. What was the stuff growing on each of the parts?
  2. How do I clean and wash out all of the black stuff growing inside my radiators?
  3. How do I prevent this from happening again? even when I did all the mandatory stuff first
I am re-installing my loop as soon as I get more PrimoChill Ice since I have no more coolant, but this time in order to avoid problems with the pump I bought The EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 120 VTX PWM D-RGB - Plexi https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-quantum-kinetic-tbe-120-vtx-pwm-d-rgb-plexi , a fully powered Pump this time and (I hope), less prone to failure and manufacturing problems as the lower powered DDC MX 3.1 one.
Thanks in advance for your reply :)
It may have been corroded from the vinegar i dont know where you got the idea that running a acid through computer componets was the best option but yeah
 

iKrloz

Honorable
Jun 9, 2015
33
0
10,530
0
It may have been corroded from the vinegar i dont know where you got the idea that running a acid through computer componets was the best option but yeah
Hi, No I never ran vinegar inside my loop, I used the mix to brush the gunk off the blocks after disassembly, then I rinsed like 5 times and then rinsed more with distilled water and then left it dry.
 

iKrloz

Honorable
Jun 9, 2015
33
0
10,530
0
Thats risdulaul vinegar it looks like you will never be able to get it all out due to all the creases in the loops and everything i would continue to flush it till you can get as much as possible out
I never used vinegar running inside the loop, I used it for cleaning the waterblocks only recently on the required maintenance, someone suggested it is plastizer and growth
 

white.a.drew

Respectable
Oct 14, 2017
930
53
2,290
59
I never used vinegar running inside the loop, I used it for cleaning the waterblocks only recently on the required maintenance, someone suggested it is plastizer and growth
I would recommend getting some of this stuff, it usually does the trick in my system loops, just add distilled water with it if you get the same stuff i get and run it in the system for a day or two drain the loop renise and then refill with what sulution you use.
PrimoChill PC-SPREP SysPrep - Cooling Loop Pre-Treatment
 

iKrloz

Honorable
Jun 9, 2015
33
0
10,530
0
I would recommend getting some of this stuff, it usually does the trick in my system loops, just add distilled water with it if you get the same stuff i get and run it in the system for a day or two drain the loop renise and then refill with what sulution you use.
PrimoChill PC-SPREP SysPrep - Cooling Loop Pre-Treatment
OH, ok I've read reviews of that stuff doing great things to ppl loops, what exactly it does? I read somewhere that it kind of creates a layer on the loop that prevents growth and prevents stuff like corrosion
 

white.a.drew

Respectable
Oct 14, 2017
930
53
2,290
59
OH, ok I've read reviews of that stuff doing great things to ppl loops, what exactly it does? I read somewhere that it kind of creates a layer on the loop that prevents growth and prevents stuff like corrosion
Thats exactly what it is, the best thing i've found for cleaning up the loop and preventing it from ever getting to that point again. And most loops only take at most 1/2 gallon water so one bottle should be good for two uses
 
Reactions: iKrloz

iKrloz

Honorable
Jun 9, 2015
33
0
10,530
0
Thats exactly what it is, the best thing I've found for cleaning up the loop and preventing it from ever getting to that point again. And most loops only take at most 1/2 gallon water so one bottle should be good for two uses
Great, Thanks for the advice I'm ordering a bottle on Amazon right now.
Last step would be flushing my radiators since there's a weird looking brown almost black layer in some parts of the inside of them, however, there's a lot of mixed opinions, I've read that just good old tap water and vinegar should work, others say that almost boiling water AND vinegar, and then there's the most extreme dudes saying that they cleaned theirs with heavy duty cleaning solutions, like really aggressive and more acid than vinegar, so ultimately I'm very confused on what to use. There's also a product that Primochill sells that is specifically to clean Radiators but I don't know if it will work to dissolve whatever is on the inside of the radiators.
 

white.a.drew

Respectable
Oct 14, 2017
930
53
2,290
59
Great, Thanks for the advice I'm ordering a bottle on Amazon right now.
Last step would be flushing my radiators since there's a weird looking brown almost black layer in some parts of the inside of them, however, there's a lot of mixed opinions, I've read that just good old tap water and vinegar should work, others say that almost boiling water AND vinegar, and then there's the most extreme dudes saying that they cleaned theirs with heavy duty cleaning solutions, like really aggressive and more acid than vinegar, so ultimately I'm very confused on what to use. There's also a product that Primochill sells that is specifically to clean Radiators but I don't know if it will work to dissolve whatever is on the inside of the radiators.
I don't know about using acid in computer components at all. My man i use warm water after taking the hole loop apart and using bottle brushes and staw brushes i deep clean all peaces separately. But het teach there own i guess i honestly would rather know i did the best i can to take care of my stuff then take the easy road i guess.
 

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