Reserator coolant alternatives

The alternative to direct air cooling

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TwoJ
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Reserator coolant alternatives

Post by TwoJ » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:06 pm

First Post - :D

I've had a Reserator 1 plus for awhile now, and me & my girlfriend notice a smell from the unit, which i believe is coming from the blue coolant GL-100, that Zalman packs with the reserator. I've also found that this stuff contains ethylene glycol which is very toxic for any animals or children which come into contact with it.

Anyways I've read around for a few hours today on the subject and it seems there are quite a few posts on the subject of smell and people using all sorts of alternative coolants but most of them still are based on some pretty harsh chemicals.

I would like to know what natural alternatives exist that could possibly replace the coolant in the reserator. If anyone could point out any possiblities from running just water to any type of coolant that doesn't have any odor or harsh chemicals, and hopefully any cons/benifits.

I noticed in another post someone is running his reserator on water and olive oil and he said his is working fine. I want to get my reserator back on my computer but i need something that is not going to smell up the apartment. I understand there exists the low toxicity anti-freeze propylene glycol which might be an alternative but i was really hoping for something without chemicals at all.

Thanks

Rusty075
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Post by Rusty075 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:45 pm

Olive oil? Hmm....I guess it at least smells better. :wink: (for now at least...it will go rancid within a month or two and smell like something died in there)

Have you tried plugging the breather hole in the top of the reserator? A lot of people has reported good success with that reducing the smell.
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Skinnypuppy
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Post by Skinnypuppy » Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:22 pm

Distilled water is all I've used in mine for the last three years. I just change the water every three months. No problems at all. I don't think vou need to add anything to the water.

TwoJ
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Post by TwoJ » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:30 am

True- I didn't consider that part of olive oil going rancid - being virgin you think they would take a much longer time to go rancid :oops:

I know they had originally recommended just water with the original reserator but my understanding is that there was a high incident of pump failures - hense the reason to go with a coolant for the Reserator 1 plus.

I'm a bit suprised that no one has an organic solution that perhaps is not as efficient as glycol but which can be substituted.

disphenoidal
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Post by disphenoidal » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:17 am

Don't know if this will actually work, but what about glycerin? A brief search shows it has similar properties as ethylene glycol. And it's non-toxic; apparently it's in lots of foods and medicines, and occurs naturally in fats. I don't know about the smell, of course, I'm just assuming that if it's used in food it can't smell too awful. Of course, all this is just from a brief, semi-random search, hopefully someone who knows chemistry will chime in with more information.
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Rusty075
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Post by Rusty075 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:26 am

The whole purpose of adding chemicals to the water is to do two things: prevent corrosion, and stop things from growing in the water. It's hard to find an additive that will basically kill every living thing that tries to grow in there, and be non-toxic to people and pets.

Fluid XP advertises itself as being non-toxic. It's basically Propylene glycol, with glycerin and a variety of other things. I have no idea on the smell though, I've never used it. It's also expensive, about $30 a liter...so filling a reserator will probably cost you hundred dollars.
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darthan
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Post by darthan » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:20 pm

My advice would be to just pour in some vodka and distilled water, then plug the breathing hole. A 10% ethanol solution should keep bacteria etc. down and since the waterblocks are all gold plated you shouldn't have a corrosion problem. (Yes, they actually do that for a reason, a copper and aluminum mix in a water-loop can cause corrosion). Just mix 1 part 80 proof vodka with 4 parts distilled water and you should be good to go. Replace it every few months because the ethanol will slowly evaporate. This at least avoids any "inorganic" chemicals. Propylene glycol and water would probably be just fine for you too.

Glycerine would be pretty useless. It is completely non-toxic and that is a problem. It would do absolutely nothing to prevent bacterial/fungal/algae growth. All that glycerin would do is thicken up the solution and make your pump work harder.

TwoJ
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Post by TwoJ » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:53 pm

Well it seems that Propylene glycol is in a lot of products and we seem to be in contact with it almost everyday.

So i was wondering which you think would be better Propylene glycol or Vodka in terms of trying to perform the same as the coolant GL-100?
Has anyone tried running with propylene glycol and where would one get some? (the vodka is pretty easy to find 0 just would be hard to pour into the reserator :cry: )

Thanks

El Doug
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Post by El Doug » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:00 pm

ethanol kills heat capacity much faster than glycol - id stick with the tried and true

SwedenNorth
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Post by SwedenNorth » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:37 am

*Distilled water is the solution. Nothing grows in distilled water, it has the best heatcapacity, allmost no electrical conductivity. To be safe not to get any algae growth just change the water every 2 or 3 months...

*Ethanol is not suited for pumps in any way....kills heat capacity and could cause pumpfailure in too large concentrations, not suited at all with PVChoses, makes them dry out and crack the same goes for rubber o-rings, doesn´t prevent corrosion

*Ethylene glycol works fine mixed with tapwater....but it smells and it´s toxic and it smells and tastes sweet so children and animals are attracted to it....

*Propylene glycol works fine mixed with tapwater, i use it in my array of suncollectors...it´s not toxic but it smells, not as bad as ethylene glycol though...

As for pumps, most of them are originally made to run with aquariumwater, they do not fail because there is no additives!!
Most problems occur from the heat or broken impellers rattling on the shaft.

The main purposes of the additives as mentioned before is to prevent algaegrowth and prevent corrosion.

Terje
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Post by Terje » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:21 am

To get rid of smell, the probably most important thing you do is to replace the included silicone tubes with some new vinyl tubes (stiffer, more difficult to work with).

At least in my setup, the smell came from the tubes themselves.

I also replaced the coolant with InnovaProtect (I thought that it was better with a "blank" fluid in case of spill than the blue one). It has less smell in my opinion, but the smell is "sharper" than the zalman coolant which has a sweeter smell.

Not sure if the vinyl tubes alone fixed it or if the coolant change helped as well. In any case, smell gone, old tubes in the trashcan.

Been happy reserator owner for a year now without any smell, noisy pump or any other problems.

Many people also recommend Zerex as a cooling additive. It supposedly have no smell, but I have no experience with it as I cannot find it where I live.

As with all additives, some people are complaining that Zerex leaves deposits in the tubes/pump, corrodes their water blocks etc. etc. while a bunch of others says that they have no such problems at all.

Search around and see who you believe before ordering and don't blame me if you get trouble :)

Regards,
Terje

zds
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Post by zds » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:50 pm

Terje wrote:At least in my setup, the smell came from the tubes themselves.
Or then some combination of additives and the tubes. I have the original Reserator and with pure distilled water there has never been any smell. The tubing I have is of the original opaque blue variety.

Terje
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Post by Terje » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:44 am

Yes, that was exactly what I meant. The silicon tubes let the coolant condensate through them. The vinyl ones does as well (from what I have read), but to a much smaller extent.

I visited a shop that had a lot of water cooling gear when I had trouble with this and basically all the demo systems they had that used silicon tubing smelled horrible. You might need to put you nose pretty close to smell it in a big shop with good ventilation, but its easy to smell once you are a few cm away from the tubes.

Obviously, running pure water is another way to fix this problem (and it would for sure be much much easier to clean up after a leak of pure water than a leak with that smelly crap in it), but you should probably schedule more frequent water changes/cleaning to encounter organic growth in the system.

Terje

Butcher
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Post by Butcher » Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:41 am

Silcone is a lot more porous than vinyl so it'll let the additives leech through to a much greater extent. There's a reason most water cooling systems are vinyl these days rather than silicone.

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