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Thread: Official EK statement - Nickel Plating Issues

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    Official EK statement - Nickel Plating Issues

    Dear user of EK products,

    Original EK statement can be found also here.

    EK Nickel plated products have been under lot of public interest recently due to reported flaking issues. This is a short statement to summarize the important points and conclusions from research done recently. In our statement there are also links to technical papers covering the issue in depth. We hope this will clarify the situation. EK promises that we will pursue this issue furthermore.

    EK Water Blocks Company has been working on the Nickel Plating issue for over 3 months now. Let us say that any test with nickel is a long term project, if we want to be thorough.

    We chose technical Institute Jozef Stefan which is well known worldwide to check our samples. Their test report can be found here.

    We have also made internal tests of 5 different coolants in an identical hardware setup.
    What we found in summary is that:
    1. Certain chemical additives based on pure silver and Copper Sulphate that were added to the loops all of these cases have made distilled water electrolytic and with its properties they caused corrosion of nickel plating.
    2. Most of the threads on the forums have stated nickel-plating flaking off, while research have disclosed there was no flaking involved whatsoever.

    Effects of these additives were not commonly known. EK is sure that users are using them in good faith. Due to only until recently confirmed effects of these additives to nickel plated blocks, EK have decided to fully replace products with damage nickel plating in order to support customers of EK products.
    You will get a specific EK RMA form from your reseller which can be also downloaded here.

    To get the RMA product replacement you will need to follow these steps:
    1. Fill in RMA form
    2. Make pictures of the block (front, back and corrosion close-up)
    3. Send RMA form, scan of original invoice and 3 pictures for each block to support@ekwaterblocks.com e-mail.
    4. We will then inform you where to ship the damaged block(s).
    5. EK support will inform you from where your replacement block will be shipped to you (in most cases it will be shipped from the location where you bought it)
    6. Customer will pay shipping costs for the replacement block and can discuss with the reseller what shipping method to use
    7. Customer will get the block replaced and cannot ask for a credit note nor replacement for another product. Only thing that we allow is that customer can chose to replace the product for non-Nickel-Plated block – copper version.

    Therefore until further notice EK Water Blocks Company recommends, not to use distilled water with silver in the loop in combination with nickel-plated blocks, nor additives based on Copper Sulphate.

    EK recommends only coolants with anticorrosion additive, although our internal test systems of pure distilled water have been found without any problem in 2 months test period. EK Team would like to ask you to kindly spread this information as we would like our users to continue having excellent experiences with EK products.


    The replacement form can be filled in until July 31st, and starting with August 1st EK will no longer replace products with such damage as the reason of the damage will be widely known and customers still using these additives will do it under their own risk. The replacement request can also be possible only for the purchases with invoices dated up to June 12th 2011.

    Edvard König
    Quote Originally Posted by creidiki
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    So RMA the block to get another block that might or not might have flaking nickel?

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    And what about blocks people have that show corrosion that have NEVER been used?

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    What about blocks that have never been used that are showing symptoms of nickle flaking / corrosion? Must be that highly toxic and electrolytic air inside the packaging at work?

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    Once again, I would like to express that there is no nickel flaking found.

    The new products with some spots that may look like nickel corrosion is nothing more but the leftover from a nickel plating bath water. if you moisture it with your breath and use a cotton mop you can clean it.


    Right now we can recommend only the coolants that we have tested, EC6 and AT Fluoprotect, more tests will follow. The distilled water is an option if you change it regularly but cant guarantee it as distilled water has different qualities across the world....
    Quote Originally Posted by creidiki
    EKs are like waterblock pr0n

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    Eddy - thanks for your posting.

    To everyone who plans to post a comment regarding Eddy's announcement: Please post your comments or questions in a civil manner. No flaming. If you have additional questions for Eddy, post them but again - stay calm. Let's keep this thread useful as an information source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy_EK View Post
    Once again, I would like to express that there is no nickel flaking found.

    The new products with some spots that may look like nickel corrosion is nothing more but the leftover from a nickel plating bath water. if you moisture it with your breath and use a cotton mop you can clean it.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...d/DSC03892.jpg

    Right now we can recommend only the coolants that we have tested, EC6 and AT Fluoprotect, more tests will follow. The distilled water is an option if you change it regularly but cant guarantee it as distilled water has different qualities across the world....
    The picture you posted is of theseeker's waterblock which has never been used that you can see here: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...&postcount=517

    You can clearly see that is not the only thing on the block.

    Here you see he says it has never been used: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...&postcount=519

    Vapor then asked him if the spots can be removed: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...&postcount=523

    His reply is no: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...&postcount=524

    There have been other blocks posted with similar and worse issues that have never been used.

    Also how exactly does distilled water + silver cause this on the EK plating and no other companies nickel plating that I have seen?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy_EK View Post
    Certain chemical additives based on pure silver and Copper Sulphate that were added to the loops all of these cases have made distilled water electrolytic and with its properties they caused corrosion of nickel plating.
    ...
    EK recommends only coolants with anticorrosion additive, although our internal test systems of pure distilled water have been found without any problem in 2 months test period. EK Team would like to ask you to kindly spread this information as we would like our users to continue having excellent experiences with EK products.
    Please make something clear, Eddy. Is "PrimoChill Liquid Utopia Protective Fluid" completely safe?
    PrimoChill's latest water cooling fluid innovation Liquid Utopia, offers a full line of protection against algae and corrosion when added to new or existing cooling loops.
    So it's supposed to protect blocks against both algae and corrosion.
    Could be a good recommended additive. What do you think?
    Last edited by zalbard; 06-06-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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    I guarantee you this is not a nickel plating problem, more a discoloration. Using right coolant the block will last his card lifetime and more.
    Quote Originally Posted by creidiki
    EKs are like waterblock pr0n

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    What worries me is if I get a new plated block AND FOLLOW EK's recommendation and it still ends up flaking/corroding. What to do then? After the 1st of august they will NOT replace any blocks with such damage. And there are people with Flaking/corrosion that have NOT used silver or copper sulfate.
    There is no way for me to prove that I have not used any non recommended additives. And that leaves me at the mercy of the nickel god, and he have not been good to me lately.
    The option to get a copper block is really nice though and I think I will get one of those instead so I never have to worry about the nickel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zalbard View Post
    Please make something clear, Eddy. Is "PrimoChill Liquid Utopia Protective Fluid" completely safe?

    So it's supposed to protect blocks from both algae and corrosion.
    Could be a good recommended additive. What do you think?
    We cannot confirm it because we haven't tested it. We do plan to test it.
    We will also be testing some algaecide with the anticorrosive additive to see if they corrode the nickel plating thus having anticorrosive additive.

    However I am wondering, as much as I know about the anticorrosive additives, how could few drops of this prevent corrosion.
    Quote Originally Posted by creidiki
    EKs are like waterblock pr0n

  12. #12
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    Thanks Eddy. Very interesting results.

    Question:

    Is this PT Nuke (Active Ingredient: Benzalkonium chloride 1.65%) an additive based on Copper Sulphate?


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    Does Feser One Blue have any of the "no no no " stuff ?

    Last edited by st0ned; 06-06-2011 at 09:47 AM. Reason: image too big

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    Can't say I'm totally convinced Eddy as to the cause, but glad you are RMAing current blocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zalbard View Post
    Please make something clear, Eddy. Is "PrimoChill Liquid Utopia Protective Fluid" completely safe?

    So it's supposed to protect blocks against both algae and corrosion.
    Could be a good recommended additive. What do you think?
    I don't know the PrimoChill Liquid Utopia, but if it is anything like the PrimoChill Ice I would avoid it. One of the pumps I repaired the owner was PrimoChill Ice and it left hardened residue all over the impeller and around the o-ring where the most amount of pressure is in the pump. Took me 30 minutes just to clean out the pump and could easily wear down on the ceramic ball in the pump which acts as a bearing. This would eventually cause the pump to fail through seizure.

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    from different forum.

    Originally Posted by Eddy_EK

    The replacement form can be filled in until July 31st, and starting with August 1st EK will no longer replace products with such damage as the reason of the damage will be widely known and customers still using these additives will do it under their own risk. The replacement request can also be possible only for the purchases with invoices dated up to June 12th 2011.
    Posted by Blue Destroyer

    I would also like to point out this point. You cannot modify a warranty program without approval of both parties. Dont know what idiots you have in your Public Relations/Legal but they are pretty dumb. What the product was sold with(warranty) is what it is bound to. Your finding in your tests are pretty screwed up. Many people have used them with silver and never had a problem, im guessing those people had Nickel playing that was done correctly while everyone else had a batch that was screwed up. again, just cause you say you want to change the warranty, does not mean you can. The product is defective, you deny a warranty, you will more than likely face a lawsuit under the Magnuson-Moss act.
    Quote Originally Posted by AuToFiRE View Post
    *quarter million dollar frisbee*

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    I don't get it.
    Distilled and silver have been safe for a very long time, and suddenly its not, or its just for EK?
    As I hadn't seen anyone describe this issue on another company's blocks.
    I got a used nickel swiftech block which was used for almost a year using silver and distilled, and it doesn't show any signs or issues. Clean as a whistle.

    Also just noting that for some, sending the block and getting it back on their own money, is going to cost as much as the block itself.
    In that case I would prefer to get a new block from another company, check if my current full nickle one is clean, and sell it if it does. Same with my 580 block.
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    Dear Eddy EK

    I bought 4 EK's nickel plated blocks ( Supreme HF, Full cover block for evga x58 classified, and two FC580 GTX+ blocks) 2 months ago without knowing about this problems with nickel plating, I discovered all this last week so I've been running my blocks for last 1 and half months now.
    After reading this statement I was disappointed that your company will only provide this "special RMAs" until July 31st its obviously puts me and other people with similar situation in a bad spot because if i decide to believe in you and let my system run for about 8-10 months more and after that discover that all my block are ruined, and according to this statement I wont be able to replace them after that.
    BTW I'm using Thermochill EC6 and i did not used anything else but that doesn't make me less worried about my blocks.

    Srry for bad my English, not my 1st language
    Last edited by VMB90; 06-06-2011 at 10:12 AM.

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    Eddy, i got new nickel blocks (sr-2 and 2 RAM blocks) that i bought for my project.
    i dont want to fit them on my board and remove them in few weeks because of flaking.

    can i RMA them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defoler View Post
    I don't get it.
    Distilled and silver have been safe for a very long time, and suddenly its not, or its just for EK?
    As I hadn't seen anyone describe this issue on another company's blocks.
    I got a used nickel swiftech block which was used for almost a year using silver and distilled, and it doesn't show any signs or issues. Clean as a whistle.
    +1
    seems my nickel plated hk must be a differant kind of nickel.

    lol.. so now we have to use gross coolant nonsence to keep ek blocks good?

    nty.. you guys use a really special kind of nickel?
    Last edited by NKrader; 06-06-2011 at 10:08 AM.

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    So what happens to the people who have paid an extra premium for the nickel products and opt to have the copper one? Will the reseller refund the difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Defoler View Post
    .....
    this issue, so far, is known to be only on EK blocks. but i highly doubt that we will see that on other brands.

    as for the money, i was just about to say that to.

    6. Customer will pay shipping costs for the replacement block and can discuss with the reseller what shipping method to use
    fliked up situation... EK cut the costs a bit to much (this is not the only issue on EK products. EK res cracking...).
    Quote Originally Posted by AuToFiRE View Post
    *quarter million dollar frisbee*

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NKrader View Post
    nty.. you guys use a really special kind of nickel?
    I guess it grows under virgin feet and treated with the best massage oils.
    I don't know.
    I want nickle to be nickle. Not something special from the moon or mars.
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    You know what I find amazing, that I have not seen one bad thing on nickel plated Koolance blocks yet (other than the steel plugs 3 years ago) even after all this happened, and EVERYONE OF THEIR BLOCKS IS NICKEL PLATED. I think I'll pass on EK products from now on, because instead of blaming the plater (100% is their fault and no one will convince me otherwise), they try to blame the coolant, when koolance nickel plated blocks have had 0 problems with the said coolants + additives. So EK's solution is to send the blocks back to the SAME PLATER, to get replated by the same process that previously did not work.
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    Question for Eddy:

    I have three EK FC580 nickel-plated blocks that haven't been used yet, but I wish to exchange them for the copper-only versions, can that also be accommodated by this RMA process? I don't care if I get the price difference back, at all. An even exchange is just fine.

    If not, I don't know what I'm going to do with my 3 brand new nickel-plated blocks, but they are not going into my watercooling loop.

    Thanks
    Last edited by gelatinousfury; 06-06-2011 at 10:14 AM.
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