Distilled Water Shootout & Water Purity

Posted: March 22, 2012 in How To & Misc
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Let’s take a look at the tested results and see how things scale.  I will also include my previous 208uS tapwater result to get a better sense of scale.

Had the ionization test come up with smaller numbers, I could see value in looking at the distilled water value differences.  Unfortunately though, we are putting this very pure water in a loop of solid metals where metal ions are eager to jump off into the loop.  The water in the loop is almost instantly ionic and conductive at levels that exceed even the worst of distilled waters by many many times.  In the end, this all means that distilled no matter what the brand is or how pure is moot when you take into context the end result once put into a loop.  In other words, who cares about 5uS when you will have 80uS in only a few weeks.  While it can’t hurt, I don’t think there is really any practical difference after a very very short time of running.  You also can not rely on a fluid’s “Low or Non” conductive specification to prevent damage when spilling because  it is significantly changed almost instantly in a real water cooling loop making contact with various copper/brass or other metals.

Suggested Reads

A special thanks to “@ELPCU” for sharing this great link.

I wish I read the following before doing this round of tests, but as things usually go we often go chasing after the same questions throughout history.  Here is an excellent article covering much of the same subject and more giving a really good description and context as well as including many more tests of similar nature:


Conclusion as of 3-24-12

  • There is no such thing as Nonconductive fluid, all no matter how pure instanly become conductive. You spill it you have problems.
  •  Tap, Spring bottled, and spring drinking waters are not recommended due to variable and sometimes higher ionic concentrations of unknown contents.
  • Any distilled water or ultra pure water is fine and much the same, there is technically a measurable difference in the bottle by a few uS using a meter, but there is no practical difference once added to the loop. 1uS or even 5uS doesn’t matter when the ionization jumps to 20 instantly and 80 in just a few weeks.
  • Deionized battery water is likely ok, but was not found or tested in this review.

Distilled is distilled and ultra pure much the same once put in the loop.


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  1. Dominic H says:

    I think its worth noting that Distilled water absorbs CO2 from the air VERY fast. This is probably why when you put it through your rad where there is no air it stopped raising its conductivity.

    It is also important to note the temperature of water plays a MASSIVE part in its conductivity, the warmer the water the higher the conductivity so inside a hot loop the conductivity will plummet.

  2. Anon says:

    Our Silver Springs (FL) store brand spring water was 411 uS/cm.