Brown Stains in Tubing

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bmanson25
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Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby bmanson25 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:52 am

All,

I redid my cooling system about 4 months ago, it is now made completely of Koolance parts, fittings and coolant and has been running like a champ. Doing some dusting and cleaning of my system recently I notices brown stains on my tubing, particularly right after a fitting where the coolant was exiting (the same spot where the coolant enters is significantly cleaner).

My old setup which was of components from a mix of manufacturers also had a similar thing going on in a more diffuse manner. I found the plating had corroded off some of my fittings and water blocks when I removed and dissected them. Does anyone know what is causing these brown stains and if I should be concerned about something in my system failing?

I have an image of what I am seeing posted here: http://i.imgur.com/2TIRhho.jpg (The exit from my video cards which are plumbed in series is MUCH darker with a reddish brown color on the same area, just a bit harder to get an image of being behind some power cables.)

Anyone have thoughts/expertise regarding this and if I should be concerned?

Thanks,
-Brian
RP-452X2+(PMP-450x2) > HX-CU1020V > CPU-380I > HX-CU420V > VID-NX980 > VID-NX980 > NS-FM18D > return (@ 1.9 L/m)

Izerous
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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby Izerous » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:21 am

There are many things that can cause issues like this. Some brands of tubing for example have plasticizers and others don't, and some fluids etc will react differently with those tubing's. Since you were seeing this issue you should have cleaned the internals of the blocks etc as there might be stuff inside aswell.
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bmanson25
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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby bmanson25 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:01 am

Izerous wrote:There are many things that can cause issues like this. Some brands of tubing for example have plasticizers and others don't, and some fluids etc will react differently with those tubing's. Since you were seeing this issue you should have cleaned the internals of the blocks etc as there might be stuff inside aswell.


Regarding the cleaning I have not done so yet but cleaning the internals is something I typically do ever time or preferably every other time I do a little maintenance. I suppose my question was more to find out if this is something I'm going to have to do so often with this new setup. My previous system was a mixed XSPC and EK setup and I maybe had to clean everyhting out yearly, sometimes less. To possibly have to clean out this new one 3 - 4 times a year is a little concerning to me as is the color: the brown/red color of the film in some areas makes me worry it is metallic corrosion as well as typical plastisizer "gunk" you'll get.

I just hate to have to tear everything down after only 4 months for a full cleaning of my blocks - but perhaps I'm a bit too lazy. Whats the frequency that you typically clean your internals? (knowing of course that it varies from time to time)

Thanks,
-B
RP-452X2+(PMP-450x2) > HX-CU1020V > CPU-380I > HX-CU420V > VID-NX980 > VID-NX980 > NS-FM18D > return (@ 1.9 L/m)

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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby Izerous » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:05 am

I meant cleaning it while you had it apart already.

Personally I'll go upwards of two years between major cleanings but I watch the computer closely for issues with the tubing etc. After 10+years of liquid cooled computers I have had only two instances where the tubing really discolored. One was when I bought tubing from an oilfield supply store as I didn't order enough and wasn't about to pay more shipping/customs for <1ft of tubing. The other was when I was trying FluidXP (was able to get it cheaper) and UV reactive tubing, gross white film coated the inside of everything.

Beyond that I'm typically changing hardware at a quick enough rate that my cleanings were timed with physical system maintenance anyways. IE new CPU clean CPU block and inspection for signs of issues etc. If issues take everything apart if not continue on happily. Right now there has been a stagnation on the hardware side so I have been running things for a while without a through cleaning but I did do a fluid change not to long ago.
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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby bmanson25 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:39 pm

Izerous,

That helps, thanks for the background! Been water cooling for about 5 years myself but it was kits. This is my first time going completely from scratch with individual components, I appreciate input from a veteran such as yourself.

Regarding my issue, I didn't clean everything as it was all brand new. I got a new set of GPUs and replaced an old closed loop CPU cooler with a block to bring it into my overall loop. All tubing and fittings were either cleaned or new - the radiators were actually new as well. As for the source of my components, it is literally 100% koolance gear down to the fans and coolant. I initially loved their products for the QDC connectors and eventually found their overall product line reliable and effective.

That's why I am surprised to see the discoloration. I'm concerned that something may be awry but with the coolant being non-electrolytic I wouldn't think its a galvanic problem and the fact that it is most prevalent right after each fitting makes me skeptical that it is tubing plasticizer as I would imagine that to be more diffuse throughout the plumbing. Perhaps I'll disconnect the tubing segment between my GPUs and the tank return to examine the inside of the QDC and take some pics to post if something interesting is found.

Thanks,
-B
RP-452X2+(PMP-450x2) > HX-CU1020V > CPU-380I > HX-CU420V > VID-NX980 > VID-NX980 > NS-FM18D > return (@ 1.9 L/m)

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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby Izerous » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:49 am

Did you do a flush of the new components before installation?
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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby bmanson25 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:59 pm

No I didn't. How is that done? Am I too late to do one now?

Sounds like we are on to something!
RP-452X2+(PMP-450x2) > HX-CU1020V > CPU-380I > HX-CU420V > VID-NX980 > VID-NX980 > NS-FM18D > return (@ 1.9 L/m)

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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby Izerous » Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:50 am

There are a few ways to do it personally I'll take tubing and attach it to the component. Make a mixture of hot tap water and vinegar (i go fairly light on the vinegar), take a funnel shove it in one of the tubes the flush a bunch of the mixture through. Then I'll flush that out with plain tap water to make sure any vinegar is gone. Then a final rinse with distilled water.

Tap water isn't really great to have inside your loops but it is far simpler than trying to heat/mix distilled water for this purpose. Typically my spare time is in the evenings so I'll position it so it can drain/dry over night before using. But since the final rinse was with distilled I have no issue just immediately using it.
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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby bmanson25 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:41 pm

Thanks a lot for the tip, I'll make a weekend project of it!

Being as savvy as you are with water cooling, do you think not flushing at the start could have caused damage to any of the components and lead to long term corrosion issues or does this sort of thing usually clear up after a good cleaning?
RP-452X2+(PMP-450x2) > HX-CU1020V > CPU-380I > HX-CU420V > VID-NX980 > VID-NX980 > NS-FM18D > return (@ 1.9 L/m)

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Re: Brown Stains in Tubing

Postby Izerous » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:09 pm

It's "possible" it is hard to know without being confident of the cause, but it is something that lowers the risk of issues along these lines. But doing things like flush even new parts even if it is only because of habit lowers means if you do run into issues you at least crossed from of your t's and dotted most of your i's and you have a lower list of things to go through.

If/when you take things apart again, take a q-tip and attempt to rub the brown areas. It will help distinguish between staining and residue/gunk issues.
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