Hi all ,
I hope this can help clear up some / most of the questions about using silver in distilled as a biocide / antifouling agent .
About me . I don't post much ( usually find the answers to my questions using the search function ) so you don't know me .
I've been water cooling since the Athlon T'Bird days . Been using distilled and silver for five years . I have never had anything grow , corrode or gunk up since using distilled with silver .
I will tell you my experiences with D/W and silver and use some quotes from Innova Materials , IonArmour Division . ( I am not a rep of this company , just used their site for for info )
How does silver work ?
When added to water , silver releases silver ions into the water . These ions kill and prevent biological growth by :
" quote "
" inhibit microbes via multiple pathways: ions prevent microbe proliferation, disable microbe metabolism, and hinder microbe membrane function. The combined effect is to prevent microbes from multiplying and surviving."
" quote "
" protective properties have been known across cultures around the world for millenia. In fact, Aristotle advised Alexander the Great in 335 BC to have his troops store water in silver vessels to prevent fouling that occurred with earthenware containers. The Vikings would line the hulls of their longboats and ships with strings of silver to prevent fouling. Even the ancient Egyptians were aware of silver's sterilizing powers."
Is this " Silver water " toxic / harmful ?
No , nada ,zip :
" quote "
" are FDA listed and EPA registered for a broad range of uses, including food and water contact. Unlike antibiotics, there is no evidence suggesting that active ingredients used for IonArmour® protection lead to resistant strains of microbes.
Silver-based antimicrobials are an example of an ingredient used by IonArmour® to provide excellent antimicrobial properties while remaining safe and natural. The power of these antimicrobials stems from the powers of naturally safe silver—the same silver that has been plating silverware and jewelry for centuries. "
That being said I do not think you should drink your loop water . The copper , lead and tin that the water will pick up are toxic and would more than likely taste like shiznit .
What kind of silver to use ?
Use .999 pure silver . This can be found as bar , strip , round etc at online precious metal stores . Most any jewelry store also has silver available too . Banana Power offers True Silver plated barbs and compression fittings .
Sterling does not contain enough pure silver to do the job . Plus its mixed with other stuff . I tried sterling . While it did not work very well as a biocide , it did not cause any loop issues at all .
Silver solder does not work either . It is only 8 to 10 % silver .
How much silver to use ?
The amount of silver ions in the water is measured in parts per million . I really do not think it matters . As long as the piece will stay in a hose or res without moving you should be good .
What I have in use now .
These 3 PC's have either side windows or are open sided . They all see the sun at least 3 hours a day .
1 iandh kill coil , around 4 months old , as shiny as new . Water is as clear as day one .
2 loops with XSPC res tops . With one 10 gram bar in each res . I choose 10 grams because the water movement in the res will not move that heavy a piece . These bars are approx .5 x 1 x .1 inches in size . The loops are 10 months old The silver pieces look like new . Same as the water . This silver has been used for five years in water loops .
1 loop with 4 banana True Silver 3/8 barb fittings . The water looks like new . Can't see the fittings . Loop is 3 months old . If you look at the size of the plated surface of these fittings two probably have around the same surface area as my 10 gram bars . I figured four barbs would more than plenty . I plan to take this loop down in three months to look at these fittings .
How often to change the water ?
One of the best parts about water and silver is the longer the two are together . The more antibiologic they become . The silver keeps releasing ions into the water so it becomes stronger with time . I have left a loop together for almost two years . Out of guilt I took the loop and blocks apart and found nothing to clean out . Unless you use dyes . I would think a year between water changes would be more than ok . If you use dyes probably every 3 months would fine . I have never used dye so I could be wrong in saying three months . Your previous experince with dye gunking , color loss or whatever should be your guide on this .
Do I need to add anything else to the water ?
In a word . NO
If you are not using mixed metals then there is absolutely no reason to add anything other than fresh distilled to top up the system .
If you are using mixed metals . Then you need a corrosion inhibitor . Still the silver can not hurt a thing .
Will the silver disappear ?
Not really . The silver looses ions . It would take eons to disappear .
If you want to find out more . Google " silver as a biocide "
Thanks for reading.............j