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Advice needed... Cleaning AIO Rad after spill?

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Good morning all!

It's been a tremendously long time since I've started a thread, but I've still frequented the website and forums daily over the years!

Seeking advice on cleaning my Corsair H100i Pro XT RGB Rad after a spill....

So the rad was contained in my spare Fractal Define Mini C TG case waiting to be repurposed (along with my old 850W Seasonic M12II) for a possible Alder Lake build (as yet undecided, but optimistic budget-planning underway! :laugh:)

Anyway, there was unfortunate spill from a carelessly-placed house plant that knocked wet soil into the rad and seeped through into the case... and the worst part is I didn't notice until a few days later, when it had dried.

I've cleaned the case up (I think the PSU might be a lost cause) but I've tried a can of compressed air on the Corsair Rad, but cannot get the gunk out.

Any sensible suggestions would be sincerely appreciated! It's only a year old and I would like to salvage it if possible :)

Block and pump were unaffected as far as I could see, the spill seemed concentrated to near the center of the rad (fortunately I guess?)
 
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I would submerge the rad in water for a few hours to loosen the soil stuck on it , then gently brush it off with a soft brush from both sides

psu can be ok ! No way to know , definitely don’t try to power it up ... unless you can open it ( while being careful about touching the big capacitors , they can be fatal) and gently cleaning with compressed air and soft brush , a repair shop will definitely be the better choice
 

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yeah, soak it in water

if you can circulate the water slowly somehow, even better

PSU... disconnect it, open it up and see if its full of crud and make a decision based on it's condition
I've been shocked many times by PSUs, but if they're unplugged they cant do a whole lot to you, the capacitors just dont store THAT much energy (a phone battery holds a lot more, etc)
 
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I would submerge the rad in water for a few hours to loosen the soil stuck on it , then gently brush it off with a soft brush from both sides

psu can be ok ! No way to know , definitely don’t try to power it up ... unless you can open it ( while being careful about touching the big capacitors , they can be fatal) and gently cleaning with compressed air and soft brush , a repair shop will definitely be the better choice
Thanks Ferd,

I will cautiously give that a go. Whilst the psu part is annoying, it had a good 8 year run, so I'll take it out of the case and give it a good visual inspection. Fortunately the fan was pointing down, but there are vents in the Define Mini C shroud for the PSU, so will tread carefully.

Forgive my ignorance here, are there any motors/pumps/electricals on the side of the rad?

I would normally consider trying a pressure washer on it, but mine died a few weeks ago in a separate incident XD

Open to any other options too! It's annoying how densely packed those rad fins are in this instance... fortunately the fans were removed at the time of incident, so that's something I guess. Also had my old Asrock Z390 mITX board in there but that looks like it was missed by the flow of watery soil...
 

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radiators are just metal tubes with fins stuck to the outside of them - no fancy moving parts in them at all. the pump is in the CPU block for 99% of AIO's so just keep that bit out of the water
 
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are there any motors/pumps/electricals on the side of the rad?
No not in your case at least, some rads have pumps, but your H100i Pro XT doesn’t so you’re good on that
so I'll take it out of the case and give it a good visual inspection.
you can always share some pics with us , I’ve never seen a psu getting wet soil treatment before , wonder what it looks like inside :p
 
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I would normally consider trying a pressure washer on it, but mine died a few weeks ago in a separate incident XD.
I would have bagged up the electrical parts and blasted it with a pressure washer also it's what we always do on HVAC coils maybe there's one at a garage near?

As far as the PSU you could get a bucket and soak it in distilled water to get the crud and any mineral deposits out then leave it dry thoroughly.
 
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You are risk like having infection in your piping, like I had. I changed to new more thick rads and I didn't clean/flush them before use. After a while I got some dandruff floating.

Took apart the rad and poured in hot citric acid and then acetone to clean up probable residue from soldering flux. No problems for 1.5 year so far now. It was a pain to find Tygon R3400 at that time again. The only tubing I use.
 

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You are risk like having infection in your piping, like I had. I changed to new more thick rads and I didn't clean/flush them before use. After a while I got some dandruff floating.

Took apart the rad and poured in hot citric acid and then acetone to clean op probable residue from soldering flux. No problems for 1.5 year so far now.
?? In a aio? Surely nothing got inside a sealed loop.
 
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?? In a aio? Surely nothing got inside a sealed loop.

Ah he didn't damage the loop? I understood that it got inside as it was taken apart, my bad. I took it because of the thread name. Spill = loop open.
 
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Ah he didn't damage the loop? I understood that it got inside as it was taken apart, my bad. I took it because of the thread name. Spill = loop open.
I often scan threads and give completely unrelated advice also :roll:
 
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Thanks for the suggestions all, will take a photo when I can.

Fortunately it’s not caked with soil, but there are certain areas of the fins that are clogged and mixed with the dust that I had yet to clear from it. I’ll see if I can soak in a bucket (and keep the block/pump wrapped up and hanging out of it haha)

I’m just hoping that the screw hole threads on the rad (exposed metal) don’t start corroding from such treatment. Thinking, in the absence of a working pressure washer, I might use a shower head and bucket to blast it then dry it quickly.

I appreciate the knowledge and insight guys, thank you :)

Ah he didn't damage the loop? I understood that it got inside as it was taken apart, my bad. I took it because of the thread name. Spill = loop open.
No damage to the loop as far I can tell, just plant soil/water fell into the rad and leaked down into the case (top mounted)
 
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I often scan threads and give completely unrelated advice also :roll:

Yeah... age starting to show off itself :D

Thanks for the suggestions all, will take a photo when I can.

Fortunately it’s not caked with soil, but there are certain areas of the fins that are clogged and mixed with the dust that I had yet to clear from it. I’ll see if I can soak in a bucket (and keep the block/pump wrapped up and hanging out of it haha)

I’m just hoping that the screw hole threads on the rad (exposed metal) don’t start corroding from such treatment. Thinking, in the absence of a working pressure washer, I might use a shower head and bucket to blast it then dry it quickly.

I appreciate the knowledge and insight guys, thank you :)


No damage to the loop as far I can tell, just plant soil/water fell into the rad and leaked down into the case (top mounted)

Just screw off the shower head, you should have a solid stream then.

As for corrosion. Well... It will start a bit, but after you will start to use the AIO it should be warm and stop any moisture eating up further anything.
 
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The rad should be copper or aluminium I would think corrosion would be negligible but if your worried you can dip any screws in vaseline and wipe off the excess.
 
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Fortunately it’s not caked with soil,
Lol :p glad to hear that , i thought it’s a big mess in there
I’m just hoping that the screw hole threads on the rad (exposed metal) don’t start corroding from such treatment.
you can always blast it with a medium heat medium fan speed hair dryer for a few minutes ....

I suggested submersion and not blasting it with water because water Will dissolve anything stuck to the rad... you can try blasting it first , if there are any stubborn spots submersion will help

Good luck :)
 
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The rad should be copper or aluminium I would think corrosion would be negligible but if your worried you can dip any screws in vaseline and wipe off the excess.
I should clarify just the tip (first 2or3 threads of the screw. Excess might cause damage to electronics.
 
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I didn't clean/flush them before use.
what I do to flush new rads is distilled water with 2 table spoons of white vin and a drop just a drop of washing up detergent 90% fill the rad plug up give it a good shake and leave it overnight the next give it another good shake and let the water out, the crap it removes is clear to see then just flush with a bit more DW.
 
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Hi,
Drop of oil on the screws should help on them

Only other metal is the case
Rad is usually all aluminum
Just remove it and hose it off or use a sink just don't get the wiring or cpu cooler wet.
Blow dry.
 
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Do the bucket dunk first then take it outside, put a spray head on a hose and blast the dirt out.

If you want, you could try blowing some compressed air through the fins first. My guess is that this will not dislodge all of it since the soil was wet. You could also try gently using a thin wood skewer or toothpick.
 
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I think the PSU might be a lost cause

Circuit boards can be washed (some people use a dishwasher) but things must be thoroughly dried before they are powered up.

and then acetone to clean up probable residue from soldering flux.

Acetone can dissolve some plastics and isopropyl alcohol is probably better
 
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Circuit boards can be washed (some people use a dishwasher) but things must be thoroughly dried before they are powered up.



Acetone can dissolve some plastics and isopropyl alcohol is probably better
Problem with using anything but distilled water to wash electronics is the mineral deposits that can short your system wet or dry.

Oh and yes acetone will eat many plastics and polymers don't use it, isopropyl is safe and cheap I buy it in 5liter jugs and use it for many things not just electronics.
 
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Never had a problem with tap water, the dry minerals are few and not really conducting; then again I tend to blow off the water before it dries.
 
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Ions and salts are the only reason water conducts and the only reason electronics get water damage. The fact you blow off the water might help but you can't always be lucky.
Using distilled water is far safer and not only better for cleaning but can actually also reverse water damage on electronics.
 
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Acetone can dissolve some plastics and isopropyl alcohol is probably better

In a radiator? If you have some plastic there you should ask your money back.
 
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Keyboard Custom Skyloong sk64s
Software Windows 10 Pro
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