Project Absinthe – Part XIV

For the record, trying to drain a loop that has a vertical radiator with its fittings toward the top is a pain. But that was necessary before I could pull the tubing. And will be necessary again before putting in the coolant.

Brasso is the polish of choice in shining up the copper tubing. It had its nice, shiny reddish coppery hue when it was polished up,

but had already gained a slightly darker patina by the time it was re-installed. But it still looks a hell of a lot better than before the polishing. To give you an idea of how bad it was, if you’ve never had to clean a brass musical instrument, consider yourself lucky. If you ever have, what comes out of a brass musical instrument after weeks or more of saliva making its way through the tubing, it’s similar to what was coming off the copper tubing emulsified in the polish. Yuck!

And I’m glad that it did gain a slight patina before being installed. My wife prefers that slightly darker hue, and so do I. The sharp copper color would’ve stood out too much against the mainboard. There’s still some contrast, but it’s not nearly as distinct.

In rebuilding the loop, I filled it with distilled water again to run that through. In cleaning the tubing, I used dish soap to clean the polish off the tubing and rinsed with tap water. There was very likely still some tap water left in the tubing, albeit only a small amount, but enough that I wanted to run distilled water through to pick that up and drain it out. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if I went straight to coolant.

Speaking of coolant, the Koolance bottles I purchased from Microcenter were a little concerning to me when I opened them and pulled them out of their boxes. In both cases there is a noticeable precipitate floating in the liquid. And in one case, what is supposed to be a colorless liquid is actually an amber color. I sent the following message to Koolance’s customer support:

Good day,

I purchased two bottles of Koolance coolant LIQ-702CL-B off the shelf from my nearby Microcenter. In opening the boxes for the bottles today, I noticed that the coolant in one of the bottles has taken on an amber hue while the other remains colorless. Both appear to have a slight precipitate floating in the coolant that is noticeable under light.

What could be causing the amber hue in the one case, and should I be concerned about that? Should I be concerned about the apparent precipitate as well?

So until I hear back from them about the coolant, it’s not going into the loop. Unfortunately to preserve the warranty on the CPU block, I need to use their coolant, so I’ll see what they say. Until then, things are likely on hold. I re-discovered after sending the message the note on Koolance’s page for the coolant that “It’s recommended to replace the coolant every 2-3 years, or immediately if there is any change in color or clarity.” I’m pretty much guessing that I’ve got two bottles filling both criteria. The one that is an amber color most certainly does, but we’ll see about the other one.