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How Do I Keep My System Clean?

How Do I Clean My Loop?
Cleaning your loop the “green way”

Pine oil (a phenolic disinfectant) is an essential oil used in cleaning products such as Pine-Sol and similar products. We recommend using the original Pine-Sol® brand (which is a Clorox® product), because of its wide-spread availability worldwide, but you can also purchase pine oil from various sources online as well as many local health food stores. Please consult online resources for concentration if preparing your own mix.

Procedure Pre-requisites

CRITICAL: Unplug the power connector to the motherboard! Components (CPU, GPU, etc..) should not be running during the cleaning procedure.

Use either a test-plug, or short-out pin 14 (connecting the green wire to a black wire using a paper-clip) so that your power-supply will start-up and power your pump. Alternatively, use a separate power supply if available to power-up your pump.

Cleaning procedure

1. Mix (1) one to (2) two table-spoons of Pine-Sol® brand detergent to 1 Gallon of Distilled water; for a more vigorous cleaning you may use only 1/2 gallon if your system is very dirty or severely polluted with algae growth.

2. Cleaning: fill-up the loop, and run it with this mixture for several hours (no less than 3).

3. Rinsing: drain the mixture, then refill the loop with pure distilled water and run the system for no less that 30 min to rinse (you may run it longer if higher concentration of Pine-Sol was used).

4. Final rinse: drain the dirty rinse water, and refill the loop again with distilled water, and run the system again for no less than 20 minutes.

5. Completely drain the final rinse water; your system is now ready to be refilled with coolant.

Recommended Coolant: we recommend using a mix of 10% Hydrx + distilled water (1 bottle Hydrx to ½ Liter distilled water).

Reference:

Pine-Sol® Contents (per manufacturer)
Primary ingredient: Pine Oil (about 10%)
Secondary ingredients: Alkyl alcohol ethoxylates, Isopropyl alcohol, and sodium petroleum sulfonate (sufractants)
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How Often Should I Change The Coolant?

When using our recommended coolant which is a mix of 10% Swiftech brand "Hydrx" with distilled water (1 bottle Hydrx to ½ Liter distilled water), every two years is a reasonable and safe time frame. In all cases, you should inspect your system every 6 months to a year for any discoloration in the coolant.
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How Do I Restore The Shine Of My Tarnished Water-block Copper Base?
First, you should know that just like silver, copper tarnishes over time; this is completely normal, and it does not affect the thermal performance of your waterblock.

When they are not plated, all the copper bases of Swiftech waterblocks are treated with a passivating solution that slows-down surface oxydation but does not totally eliminate it.

To restore the shine of a copper plate, Tarn-X® brand tarnish remover is an excellent starting point. Please follow the manufacturer's recommendations for precise how-to-use instructions, but you essentially dip the part in small container of Tarn-X, let it soak for a short period of time, then remove it and rinse it with running water.

What must be understood however, is that a copper plate treated with Tarn-X will immediately and very rapidly re-oxydize if the surface of the copper isn't treated (passivated). For this purpose, you must use a copper specific polishing compound; these can be easily procured online, or in household section of most supermarkets. The Brasso® brand is an excellent product for this purpose.
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