My 8800GTX is waterproof....

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by sir.richard, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. sir.richard

    sir.richard Member

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    Well wouldnt you know it.....

    I was checking out my cpu water block getting ready to add a northbridge cooler. I glanced at my water reservoir and noticed it had dropped by about 1cm or so. I thought maybe it was since the system was only set up a week or so earlier (air bubbles etc) but thought I better have a poke around just in case, as it didnt make sense for it to suddenly drop after a week.

    Stuck my hand around where the pipes meet the Apogee cooler, and thought "gee, that feels wet!". No sign of wetness in the preceding days .

    Pull my hand away and can see coolant on my fingertips.

    So I think to myself if its slightly wet there, then what else has been happening?

    So I look in my box, my eyes scan down from my cpu block to see what water would drop on if it were leaking. I see the backside of my 8800GTX, with a pool of green coolant on the back of it, about 5cm across!

    Well, after a quick swear-fest I thought sh1t, the power is on and everything is running fine! So I power down via the PSU back switch, frantically grab for anything that sucks up water, and proceed to blot up the water.

    I pull the card out, totally amazed that it was still running - there are tons of tiny transistors and diodes on the back of the video card, a good 30 of so which learnt to swim.

    So after careful blotting up I laid down my pc, and checked out the motherboard. About the only other slight liquid presence I found was in the video card slot. I sucked that up with a thin towel which I gently pushed in the full length of the slot using a case pci slot cover.

    Spent an hour checking no water anywhere. Didnt start PC. Next day I went off to bunnings and bought a big thing of silicone, and proceeded to just about encase the waterblock pipe connection area in a massive block of flexible (rubbery) wet-area silicone. No chance of leaks now! Im reasonably sure the silicone will cope with the coolant and its also made to stay wet the whole time and still cope.

    I know what the cause was. The Apogee instructions say to screw in the connectors that the water pipes connect to until they are flush with the waterblock. I could not get that far no matter what I did. I tried ring spanners, open spanners, adjustable spanners and pliers. As the connectors are plastic (should be metal!) there is only so much force that can be put on them with a spanner or similar before they twist ever so slightly and I could not tighten them any more as I couldnt get enough grip. They were approx 0.5-1mm above being flush with the waterblock. The o-ring looked quite compressed so I figured that would be ok. It was....for a couple of weeks!

    So I tightened them again as much as possible and also used a combination of hot water on the waterblock end and freezing the pipes, to maximise the chance of things screwing in all the way. They are still not quite flush - getting them flush just doesnt seem possible to me! I wonder if something was off slightly in the parts I got. I then encased it all in 1+cm thickness of silicone which I am reasonably sure wont leak for some time. Will keep a close eye on it and review it again in a week or two.

    PC has been running for almost a week now with no signs of damage from the coolant leak. Fingers crossed no slow corrosion will sink in...only time will tell. The coolant has corrosion inhibitors in it which doesnt hurt. Intersting no short curcuits occured despite the card being covered in water for god knows how many hours and turned on.

    So there you have it....my first near disaster from watercooling! Could easily have cost me my new motherboard and new 8800gtx!n

    Unfortunately no decent digital camera nearby. so no pix to post...Im sure they would have got a nice reaction! It definitely made me cringe to see that water on the back of an operating new 8800gtx!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  2. Zac88

    Zac88 Member

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    Congratulations on your card surviving!
     
  3. spikes

    spikes Member

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    let's hope mine doesn't leak :D I just don't want to take any chances.
    what coolant were you using, the coolant must have been non-conductive
     
  4. MWP

    MWP Member

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    I used to clean up coolant leaks on video cards by washing them under a water tap, then putting them in the oven for 30mins at 60degC.

    I did this many times & never killed a single video card or motherboard.
    I ended up using plain water in my systems instead of coolant since when coolant dries it goes sticky and is very hard to remove. Plain water though is cleaned up easily and while it may cause a lockup, it wont fry anything.

    ... hardware is not as fragile as most people think.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  5. spikes

    spikes Member

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    are you being serious???? :confused: :confused: jjeeez, the oven bit, that's a bit too far :wired:
     
  6. SirNemesis

    SirNemesis Member

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    Oven wouldn't do any damage. Think about how hot the GPU's run in standard operation.

    Excellent luck you have in not killing your videocard. I had the same sorta thing with a motherboard about a year ago. It was totally stained green from a coolant leak over a few weeks that I hadn't noticed, but it didn't skip a beat.
     
  7. skootyloops

    skootyloops Member

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    Hmm I cant see myself putting an expensive videocard in the oven :p
     
  8. knoted

    knoted Member

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    Basic hand soldering technique. Although the ovens used are probably a lot cleaner than your average kitchen one ;)
     
  9. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Forget std operation, the whole card goes through an oven during production @ around 200c for 5mins, then a burst 250 :cool:

    Admittedlty minus things like electro caps ;) , but keep it under 100 in there it'll be fine
     
  10. OP
    OP
    sir.richard

    sir.richard Member

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    I was amazed too.

    Coolant was the standard green Swiftech stuff in the little bottle. Water was tap water from Melbourne (which is quite clean and low hardness as far as tap water goes).

     
  11. spikes

    spikes Member

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    then that's conductive ay? why don't you use distilled water, stops your parts from corroding
     
  12. spikes

    spikes Member

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    then that's conductive ay? why don't you use distilled water, stops your parts from corroding
     
  13. YoSiMeTe_SaM

    YoSiMeTe_SaM Member

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    It also stops the water being CONDUCTIVE as the metals are taking out of demineralised water. That is the whole point of not using TAP water.:shock: :shock: :shock:
     
  14. YoSiMeTe_SaM

    YoSiMeTe_SaM Member

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    Dude you need to get that tap water out of your system. I am amazed that you did not fry your whole rig. :eek: :eek:
     
  15. Deltoid

    Deltoid Member

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    Kind of off topic but is it normal for the water level in your res to drop? Last time I pulled my setup apart was about 5 months back now. But the res water level has dropped maybe 0.5cm over that time. I could be imagining it. There is a bit of condensation in the top of the res so perhaps that is where the water is. Just wondering. I haven't seen any leaks anywhere. Might add some UV reactive stuff to the water and shine a UV light around the case looking for leaks.
     
  16. YoSiMeTe_SaM

    YoSiMeTe_SaM Member

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    No it is normal for that to happen :thumbup: over time with water heating and the cooling you will loose some.a If you feel that you have a leak just put some small pieces of tissues where your water pipes go into the barbs :)

    Cheers Sammy :thumbup:
     
  17. Deltoid

    Deltoid Member

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    Thanks. I don't think I have a leak though, I would have expected more water to be gone if that was the case. Just noticed that it might not be as full as it once was (I'm not sure if it has gone down or I just think it has gone down).
     
  18. djjc

    djjc Member

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    Tubing isnt 100% waterproof. Some will eventually evapourate out through the walls and through connections.

    Same reason pushbike tyres always need pumping, nothing can hold something forever. Ive even seen a 5mm thick glass xray element (for industrial xray analysis) that contains a vacuum. after 6 months of being bathed in oil, it has oil inside the glass.
     
  19. Kaine[zof]

    Kaine[zof] Member

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    i had a pretty decent dripping leak dropping onto the top of my 7800GTX for over a week, coolant being a mixture of demineralised water and metho. card still runs happily, even though there's a little corrosion in the wet area. I have a slow leak somewhere in my system, and it keeps air-locking my pump when my system gets powered off (rare) I'm kinda just holding off for a little while to re-do the whole system because my build is rather complicated and hard to work with (think 2 120 rads, vid and cpu w/c INSIDE a P180)
     
  20. Glock

    Glock Member

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    Erm.. No.
    Do some basic chemistry before making wild claims about the conductivity of water. Water is polar. It'll conduct even if you make it from pure hydrogen and oxygen in a 2:1 ratio.
     

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