It may be silent, effective, and cool to show off, but that Liquid Cooling System (LCS) you have in your computer needs to be maintained. Just like a car’s oil, or coolant, the liquid in your LCS gets used and abused every day. Over time the liquid breaks down and needs to be replaced. I know some of you may be thinking “It’s a closed system. Nothing gets in or out of it. Why would it need to be changed?” Well, that’s what we are here to show you.
Why Change The Liquid
The liquid in a LCS may not be exposed to external debris, but it is exposed to many things each day, even if you don’t use the system. The metal on your CPU heat sink may not appear to corrode, but it will slightly. The change from hot to cold, mixed with the elements of the fluid are a deadly combination for just about everything in your system. The liquid in liquid coolant is not just water. It’s a mixture of several things including Propylene Glycol, Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate Detetrasodiura, Methy Paraben, and of course Water.
Propylene Glycol (which happens to be around 6% in Liquid Coolant for your LCS) has properties similar to those of ethylene glycol. The industrial norm is to replace ethylene glycol with propylene glycol when safer properties are desired. This, among many other things, is used to be the actual coolant in liquid cooling systems. Other uses include:
- As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations. Notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form
- As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
- As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
- As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, shampoo, mouth wash, hair care and tobacco products
- As a carrier in fragrance oils
- As an ingredient in massage oils
- In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
- In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters’ training and theatrical productions
- In electronic cigarettes, as a vaporizable base for diluting the nicotine liquid
- As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
- As an ingredient, along with wax and gelatin, in the production of paintballs
- As a moisture stabilizer (humectant) for snus (Swedish style snuff).
- As a cooling agent for beer and wine glycol jacketed fermentation tanks
- As a non-toxic antifreeze for winterizing drinking water systems, and in applications where the used antifreeze eventually will be drained into the soil, water, or a septic system
- As a less-toxic antifreeze in solar water heating systems
- As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
- In cryonics
- As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
- As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
- To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
- As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
- As an additive to pipe tobacco to prevent dehydration.
- To treat livestock ketosis
- As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.
- To de-ice aircraft
- As an ingredient in UV or blacklight tattoo ink
- As a lubricant in air conditioning compressors.
Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate Detetrasodiura is actually a chemical that is used to remove all traces of magnesium and calcium ions from the solution because it binds tightly to them, in order to control unwanted side reactions with these metals during the cooling and heating process. This would be what they use to stop the corrosion of the heatsinks, and is fairly effective.
Methy Paraben, commonly called Methylparaben is a preservative. an anti-fungal agent often used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products as well as a food preservative. This is the ingredient that keeps the mold and mildew out of the lines.
As you can see, there are plenty of additives that attempt to maintain the cleanliness of the warm, dark, wet environment. The inside of the LCS is basically a cesspool waiting for mold, mildew, and filth to come to it.