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Thread: How to clean off results of minor leak?

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    Senior Member AD-15's Avatar
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    How to clean off results of minor leak?

    hello,

    I recently had a minor leak while I was leak testing my PC. Foolishly, I'd left everything in the system (all components, wires plugged in etc), as I thought in the unlikely event I had a leak then it wouldn't do any damage as there is current flowing.

    I did get a leak from the northbridge block (swiftech, third party fittings don't make proper contact with standard o-rings). By the time I'd noticed it, there was a small puddle (about 3cm) on the VGA, and some on the sound card too. I took everything out, and the leak is now fixed. However, I'm not sure how I should clean off the VGA and sound card. There's nothing immediately obvious, but I do see what seems to be a little white residue on the sound card (can't see anything on the VGA). How should I get it off?

    I was using the Primochill ICE clear (non-UV) fluid.

    Thanks!
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    If it is a dust residue, try brushing it off or blowing it off with an air duster. If that doesn't work, use some de-ionised water and sparingly dab it off with a lint free cloth or at a push, a tissue. The cooling fluid is probably water based, so the rersidue will be water soluble.

    If you can't get de-ionised water, distilled will do. Be sparing with the water, you don't want to spread the residue any further.
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    Gently rub with alcohol - was the system on at the time?

    If the system is off, there is a good chance it'll be ok - its the shorting that kills things, not water as such (unless it gets in caps and a few other things)
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    hello,

    Thanks for the fast replies.

    The system had no power at the time, thank god.

    I've tried removing the "residue" from the sound card by dabbing a cloth (distilled water, spare Feser Aqua) at it, but it won't make any difference. I don't have any alcohol, just the Articlean stuff that I use for thermal compound. There rest of the card is squeaky clean. The VGA is totally clean too (I hope), which is wierd, since it got most of the leak.

    The moment I noticed the leak, I put a tissue on the card (underneath the NB block) while I sorted it out. After I'd finished, I threw away the tissue (quite soggy), but I didn't bother to clean off the cards, they seemed totally clear. It's only after I removed them to be safe that I noticed the residue on the sound card.

    Is it possible that some of the fluid is actually inside the card? There seem to be plenty of holes/gaps.

    I've heard of simply putting the cards under neath a 60 watt desklamp for a while, but if this removes the water, it would still leave any residue right? Is this stuff conductive? I would just leave it the way it is if there isn't any possibility of it becoming conductive, but I can't be sure.

    EDIT: I've had a look again using a torch at the VGA, and I've found very faint small white spots. However, they're all over the card, rather than just where the puddle was. And distilled water doesn't get rid of it either.
    Last edited by AD-15; 25-10-2009 at 06:25 PM.
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    Water itself is a very poor conductor of electricity, ions e.g. dissolved salts are what you should be worried about, these carry charge (only in the presence of a voltage i.e. when the machine is switched on) which may lead to shorts - that leads to damage.

    Once the water has totally evaporated the solid salts are left behind, these alone don't conduct electricity at all.

    Completely dry the affected components and you'll be OK. Just get rid of the water which may have seeped into the various nooks and crannies by gently heating the card for a few hours.
    Last edited by DDY; 25-10-2009 at 10:36 PM.

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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    My mate dave dropped his gameboy in the loo once. One weekend on the radiator it was fine.

    You're best off finding out what was in the water that evaporated. Its funny it won't dissolve again in water......

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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    tin of alcohol spray to chase out any leftovers if your worried.

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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    I reckon that white stuff is not residue but rather the water (or whatever is in it) removed/reacted with the coating on the sound card.

    I would try using a toothpick and try in an area without circuit and see if the residue can be rub off. That can proof my theory right or wrong.
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    hello,

    Thanks guys.

    I'll try those suggestions ASAP.

    The coolant is advertised as non-conductive, so even if water were to come into contact with the residue (assuming it is from the coolant), it wouldn't become conductive would it?
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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean off results of minor leak?

    none conductive in small amounts, a pool of it can conduct.

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