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pHaestus 05-01-2003 01:00 PM

Oops sorry guys I was afk and missed all this. Apologies in advance if my tangential knowledge is of little use.

The problem isn't killing the microbes, it is getting rid of the existing biofilms they form on surfaces. For this, you can try two approaches: Try to get the pH of the solution to a point that the microbes don't adhere well any more. Low pH is better for this (dilute nitric acid at ~ 0.01 or 0.001 M would be what I'd try first). The other option is to add surfactants to solubilize the microbial gunk. This is more or less what airspirit did with success.

If I were dealing with this in the lab, I'd just use a sonifier + solvents to clean the components. Wouldn't be worth the effort to clean tubing this way though (sonifiers usually aren't so large).

As for an effective long term biocide, look at sodium azide. It is not nice stuff to work with (wear gloves!) but it is packed along with dialysis tubing so that it can be stored moist (it cracks when it dries out) over many months. I cannot at this moment comment on its chemical activity but take a look at it.

H2O2 and bleach are both pretty potent oxidizers. You'll end up with a Cu(OH)2 layer on your block with these pretty quickly.

airspirit 05-01-2003 04:37 PM

I'm just going to stick with the sanitizer I'm using now combined with glycol/hyperlube in a distilled base. Between all the poison I don't think anything can survive, and none of it will stain my tubing (the sanitizer is clear).

bigben2k 05-01-2003 04:40 PM

So you're going to leave the thin film residue in your loops?

BillA 05-01-2003 04:48 PM


Originally posted by bigben2k
So you're going to leave the thin film residue in your loops?

did you miss my comments about Liquid Algae Destroyer ?

am cooking at 40C with your brew now
had a wb setup that is presumed 'dirty'
will clean per your procedure (but I did scrub the 2 one gal reservoirs, lots of scum from the Liquid Algae Destroyer)
then retest with the same mounting

airspirit 05-01-2003 06:28 PM

No ... you guys are confusing two products I used.

I am running algae destroyer and sanitizer along with water now. Two different products. The algaecide will film, but I will be draining/flushing it prolly tomorrow in order to fill with the coolant I will be using. That stuff is gummy and white, kind of like Elmer's Glue.

The sanitizer I'm using is clear liquid and has the same consistency of water. It doesn't stain or film ... it is intended for use in hot tubs. That is the sanitizer I'll be using, not this gummy algaecide. The sanitizer won't leave any residue whatsoever.

Let me know how the *sol witches brew works for you, Bill. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how efficiently it "scrubs" your tubes clean.

BillA 05-02-2003 01:31 AM

good mix airsprit, gonna have to call you "*sol" now
4 hrs at 40C loosened it up and put it into solution

and the wb was fouled, as suspected from the coisistant gradual temp rise (0.08C per mounting)

what is the hot tub sanitizer you're using ?

airspirit 05-02-2003 09:34 AM

It's a non-chlorine non-bromine mix ... it just came in a clear bottle almost like a sports drink. I'll try to give them a call later and see if there is a brand to it (they are prolly selling smaller quantities of a chemical they bought in bulk).

prb123 05-02-2003 12:59 PM

A little off topic, but may be useful to those with huge setups like airspirt. I have an aquatic turtle, and the water would always get nasty very quick (turtles are very dirty). This was with a decient filter. None of the water clearing chemicals or alge destroyer chemicals made a difference. In the end I bought a UV sterilizer (I'll post a link tomorrow when I'm at home), and now always have crystal clear water.

airspirit 05-02-2003 01:53 PM

It's funny you mention that! I've been looking at a similar setup for mine, though it always comes down to one thing: how am I going to seal a UV light source in my res and NOT cause it to be just another heat load in my system? The only thought I had on that issue was to set it up inside of the cooling chest and have it shining on the internal tubing coming from the pump since it contains the entire slug of water for the entire system. The drawback there is that certain tubing (such as Tygon) doesn't allow UV to pass through, and I'm not too sure about clearflex 60. It may just end up being a spectacular waste of money if I was to install such a system.

Any input on that idea, though, would be welcome. I do not, however, think that I will have this problem again due to the chemicocktail I will be using as of tonight.

bigben2k 05-02-2003 02:02 PM

You need to think "solid" ;) you could probably fit a UV cross wise in your tower, with a clear acrylic tube.

The problem is finding the right UV tube.

BillA 05-02-2003 02:39 PM

good idea prb123
used them for drinking water in Centera America, never made the connection for cooling water

hit eBay guys, lots of types
not too practical for a single box system however

UnloadeD 05-02-2003 02:43 PM

You're not gonna get any sterilization from UV CCFL's if thats what you have in mind. Look on some aquarium sites for more info on UV Sterilizers.

Kinda late now, but I use products made for humidifiers to clean and sterilize my system. You guys might wanna check them out. Not sure how well they remove algae but will find out soon. Last time I setup my system I used distilled water and UV dye only. No water wetter and none of my humidifier bactrostat. I got a nasty build up of what appears to be algae in my fill tube. I've taken it out of my system and will be cleaning it this weekend. Although aglae isn't apparent in the rest of my loop, once I drained it I found that everything is pink. I've ran into this before and always thought it was water wetter causing it, but it obviosly wasn't. Now I haveta assume its either some sort of bacteria or my UV dye breaking down. I'm leaning towards the dye break down as I've had pink stains before while using bactrostat. I'll post my cleaning results soon.


Since87 05-02-2003 03:02 PM

One thing that might be worth looking for on Ebay for a ghetto system is an Ultraviolet EPROM Eraser.

These were used when EPROM's had little quartz windows in the top. (often covered by a sticker)

To erase the EPROM, you exposed it for a period to the UV light.

I don't know the emission specs, but from the warnings and built in protection hardware, I suspect it was fairly 'harsh' UV light.


Just recalled, I actually 'sunburned' my hands using one of these in a really stupid way to quickly cure some conformal coating.

If you do this, make sure you control where the light goes.

prb123 05-02-2003 03:40 PM

This is what I'm talking about, they are plumbed inline. I put some barbs on it, clamped the hoses from my canister filter on. It's been running for 2 years now.

Joe_Atlanta 05-02-2003 05:01 PM

Nice link, I particularly like the frog .

Althornin 05-02-2003 05:44 PM

Actually, here is a retailer that has then for reasonable prices:
$87 for the 8 watt unit, $97 for the 15 watt unit.
3/4" barbs on both ends.

TO sterilize, max flow is 700 GPH. thats more than any one of us is gonna be pushing.

airspirit 05-02-2003 08:57 PM

He doesn't know me very well, does he?

pakman 07-06-2003 02:31 AM

i know this thread has been dead for a bit, but hats off to airspirit.

I just flushed my system with a pinesol/water mix (readily available in my house). Connected my system to an old milk gallon container full of the pinesol mix (10% pinesol/90% water) and let it run while I watched a video. Came back and 90% of the white film on my tube walls (clearflex 60) and in the waterblocks (dd maze and z-chip) are gone. I've flushed out the pinesol, and am going to do another run with a new mix of pinesol, then flush the pinesol out with just water. tried to take some before and after photos but its dark and the white gunk doesn't show well under the camera flash.

pakman 07-06-2003 08:32 PM

here are some before and after pics. I did have an piece of the original tubing I took out. wish I had a pic of the all the white stuff in the maze3 as that has all but disappeared now.

Cloudy tube...:cry:

After the pinesol enema...:D

airspirit 07-07-2003 11:45 AM

You should have tried it with some Lysol in the mix as well ... it would have burned the goo off much faster. I wish I had a way to mass publish this ... perhaps I'll just submit a "how to" to and throw some stuff to the NZ crowd ... it'll get spread by rumor from there. There isn't any reason to have nasty tubing anymore ....

pakman 07-07-2003 03:26 PM

I was too lazy to run out and buy lysol the other day, but I will note that for the next cloudy day...:drool:

also note that I used a weaker mix of pinesol so that may have explained why it took longer. eitherway, glad I don't have to take everything apart and manually scrub...!!!

RabidMoose 07-14-2003 04:11 PM


Originally posted by pHaestus
.....As for an effective long term biocide, look at sodium azide. It is not nice stuff to work with (wear gloves!) but it is packed along with dialysis tubing so that it can be stored moist (it cracks when it dries out) over many months. I cannot at this moment comment on its chemical activity but take a look at it. .....
Yikes! DO NOT use sodium azide! Aside from the fact that it is a poison to humans on par with cyanide, it can react with copper (and lead) to form explosive metal azides.

Most pertanant part:

"Reactivity and Incompatibility

Sodium azide should not be allowed to come into contact with heavy metals or their salts, because it may react to form heavy metal azides, which are notorious shock-sensitive explosives. Do not pour sodium azide solutions into a copper or lead drain. Sodium azide reacts violently with carbon disulfide, bromine, nitric acid, dimethyl sulfate, and a number of heavy metals, including copper and lead. Reaction with water and acids liberates highly toxic hydrazoic acid, which is a dangerous explosive. Sodium azide is reported to react with CH2Cl2 in the presence of DMSO to form explosive products."

iggiebee 07-14-2003 04:54 PM

Maybe a little late for this, but it's good advice:

Make sure when you FIRST assemble your WC rig, to make a first run with your favorite cleaning agents... Why? to remove the manufacturing extrusion oils from the tubes, and/or soldering resin residues from the radiator of course.

That whitish-creamy-powdery thing that may appear in tube's walls after a few hours days, most probably are these organic compounds decomposing and not any algae or bacterial growth at all. So you thought you had only pure ditilled water in your WC system.

What these decomposed organics will do for sure, is provide the nutrients for future healthy algae/bacterial growth.

pakman 07-15-2003 06:12 AM

iggiebee, good point. I think I've narrowed down my culprit to an old radiator I had reinstalled to run dual rads. it had been sitting around in open air since its removal half a year ago, so it must have been a ripe breeding ground... I noticed the tubes running from that rad had to worst white coating & spots.

starbuck3733t 08-14-2003 09:44 AM

When you say "Lysol" for the *sol mix, do you mean the spray lysol? or is there a liquid lysol floor cleaner (like pinesol) that I should use? :shrug:

Otherwise I'm just going spray some lysol in a cup to get the required amount and mix it with the pine sol and water... after I Get my res rebuilt b/c the isopropyl alcohol pretty much destroyed the seals on the end caps :(. Shoulda used plumbers goop instead of RTV I guess.

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