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Antifreeze or alternative in custom loop

garethsnaim
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My water cooling loop is very custom. I have run the tubes out of the PC to the outside of my office shed. Outside the pump, rads and 7 fans sit in a double lined box. Its worked really well all year but I am, now approaching winter.

 

Now being in the south of the UK, I am not expecting deep issues but nevertheless I want to prevent the potential for freezing. The web seems to be a bit mixed on antifreeze. Please note I am not looking to use it for 'better' functioning, just to prevent freezing!

 

Anything else out there, any advice?

 

Also can someone advise on how I can monitor the outside box temperature? I am guessing I could get a probe of some sort that HWINfo could pick up on?

 

Cheers

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3 minutes ago, garethsnaim said:

Also can someone advise on how I can monitor the outside box temperature? I am guessing I could get a probe of some sort that HWINfo could pick up on?

You can get a cheap wifi controller such as a ESP8266, ESP32 or Raspberry Pi Pico W and get some probe and mayb even a cheap moisture and temperature sensor such as the DHT10 then set it up so you can get values remotely, assumming you get wifi signal from your shed. Could be a neat project if you enjoy that kind of stuff. As for temperature probes I'm not exactly sure how you would go about connecting one to a PC.

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I think you need to watch out for condensation build up if it does get very cold outside. May be wrong but you could fry the PC in theory. 

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In the early days we used anti freeze either cut 50/50 to distilled water,Some old school water cooling guys still swear by that and do it today.Most pc coolants on the market should work just fine even in cooler temps.For a temp probe get a cheap cooking one and just leave it turned on to watch it.

 

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anti freeze was mostly used in parts with aluminum. i dont no if it will effect the parts but it will work just wont cool as good as water thow it be cooler out side so it be fine anyway... 🤔

 

the again the water wont be zero and i guess you could just run the system a bit to incress the water temp if needed too?

Edited by thrasher_565
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Sure but at night the system is asleep which means what ever water is outside in the loop is just sitting there, I think there is more than enough themal properties in the thick tubing its those thin fins in the rads I am worried about.

\I might put a dash of antifreeze in, say 5%

 

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21 hours ago, garethsnaim said:

Sure but at night the system is asleep which means what ever water is outside in the loop is just sitting there, I think there is more than enough themal properties in the thick tubing its those thin fins in the rads I am worried about.

\I might put a dash of antifreeze in, say 5%

 

Take a look at https://mayhems.store/mayhems-xt-1-nuke-v2-clear-premixed-coolant-1-litre.html

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u might wanna check how low in celsius it gets at night,

then check if yer coolant is rated for that

 

personally i use 30% ethylene glycol (CAS# 107-21-1) mix with 70% distilled water

AFAIK it's rated for up to -15c before it starts freezing

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On 11/30/2022 at 10:54 PM, garethsnaim said:

The PC is not outside, condensation is not an issue.

 

inside:

 

OUtside:

 

So this actually is an issue.

 

If the temperature difference is enough the tubes and block will start gathering condensation inside.

 

Think of it as a cold winter window in a warm room

 

This isnt the first build ive seen like this and it wont be the last. So keep a very very very good eye on it but if the coolant goes below 10c on inlet condensation will appear in a normal 20c room. The colder the worse it gets.

 

Fix was usually to have a bucket with 2 rads in it with a pump. The outside one added cold and the inside rad added heat, the pump created flow. This caused the water to stay at room temp when the pc was off and to have a temp buffer when the sometimes -10c antifreeze came through the outside bucket rad into the bucket. Ran for 3 years I think before friend moved.

 

As for monitoring a usb temp probe, cheap weatherstation, home assistant thingy with a temp sensor,... plenty of options.

 

Depending on how cold it gets you can quite literally use non corrosive antifreeze as a 100% coolant.

 

 

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The higher percentage ethelene glycol or propylene glycol you add the less thermal capacity the coolant fluid will have, beyond a certain point it also stops reducing the freezing point. Generally go with the lowest % you expect to need to protect against in your mix:

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On 12/2/2022 at 2:43 PM, jaslion said:

So this actually is an issue.

 

If the temperature difference is enough the tubes and block will start gathering condensation inside.

 

Think of it as a cold winter window in a warm room

 

This isnt the first build ive seen like this and it wont be the last. So keep a very very very good eye on it but if the coolant goes below 10c on inlet condensation will appear in a normal 20c room. The colder the worse it gets.

 

Fix was usually to have a bucket with 2 rads in it with a pump. The outside one added cold and the inside rad added heat, the pump created flow. This caused the water to stay at room temp when the pc was off and to have a temp buffer when the sometimes -10c antifreeze came through the outside bucket rad into the bucket. Ran for 3 years I think before friend moved.

 

As for monitoring a usb temp probe, cheap weatherstation, home assistant thingy with a temp sensor,... plenty of options.

 

Depending on how cold it gets you can quite literally use non corrosive antifreeze as a 100% coolant.

 

 

I feel this must have been an extreme situation. I will keep an eye on it apparently its getting cold this week. This being said my shed is not 20oC, I wish, if its 0oC outside I can expect it to be around 5 degrees inside until everything warms up.

 

Still not something I had considered to be honest.

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7 hours ago, garethsnaim said:

Thanks I have ordered a couple of bottles although I may consider just leaving the system running

The early days of water cooling people did use anti freeze cut 50/50 to distilled water.It would stain up everything it touched and nasty to clean up if you had a leak.The modern long life coolants are pretty close in temp ranges and clear wont stain nothing.

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Yeah I ordered clear. This was a practical experiment (to reduce the heat it generated in my little shed in summer) rather than too look cool.

 

This being said and with the current energy crisis I am considering just purchasing another pump and rad set up to go under the PC, as the tubes are on quick release I could just swap it over for winter and keep my shed a bit warmer too!

 

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Hey it may be a risk but certainly fun to see the cpu/gpu running at 30oC when working 🙂

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just don't have ambient of 33c -_-

 

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