[SOLVED] Need suggestions for a CLEAR coolant.

Mar 17, 2019
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I couldn't tell which coolant/additive is the most popular. When I go to the retail sites and rank coolants according to "best selling", different sites give me different results. This is my first watercooling build, so I just want the safest bet, and I figure that would be the most popular product.

Must have corrosion inhibitor + biocide, and be CLEAR. Concentrate or premix is OK. Electrically non-conductive is a plus. I haven't decided if I need a killcoil. For soft tubing.
 
Mar 17, 2019
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I saw where linus cooled like 5 desktops in one loop. He settled on a massive AC powered filter for the organics though. Seems a biocide would have been easier. That was a while ago, so maybe his advice progressed further.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Staff member
Distilled water is the best coolant anyway, you don't have an excessive concentration of other additives reducing the thermal properties of the water itself. But yes, you would need some type of growth inhibitor to prevent things from growing over the course of time.

Also, if you have anything that indicates mixed metals that includes aluminum in a loop containing copper and brass, you absolutely should be using a glycol coolant specific to preventing galvanic corrosion.
 
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Mar 17, 2019
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Anyone got any favorite corrosion inhibitors or biocides?
I hear a silver killcoil doesn't go well with nickel-plating; can anyone confirm?
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Staff member
Killcoil doesn't really do anything anyway. This has been shown in several user tests.

PTNuke has always been a favorite. I've also used anti-microbials found at aquarium/pet stores as well. They seem to do just as well, although by different means (chemistry by attacking any active microbes vs chemistry by prevention using dissolved copper)
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Staff member
Killcoil isn't directly linked to tarnishing, but also doesn't really kill growth in a system. As it is, the ability for the silver ions to positively impact the water is relatively minimal due to the low mass of the coil itself. Likewise, copper works just as well and in the watercooling industry, most components are copper-based, which also ionizes into the water. In short, the copper from cooling blocks is going to ionize far more copper into a loop than the silver kill coil will and neither is enough alone to combat microbial growth.

The PTNuke debate goes back to the early 2000's when EK and a few others were having plating issues with nickel on block finishes. This has long since improved across the board, and there hasn't been as much focus on it in recent time. Would I use it? Certainly, and I have....I just don't have any more at the moment and I've been successful with some anti-microbial drops designed for aquariums. I am also supportive of EK and Alphacool clear coolants - I've used both and have had good experiences with them. I am not supportive of opaque coolants meant to provide creamy or swirl effects - these often can result in gunking, congealing or separation under some use conditions, such as very high loads, periods of non-use or certain other chemicals often found in cooling loops, like oils from radiator manufacturing.
 
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