How to maintain a crypto rig for longevity and more productivity? It is needless to say that if you have a clean and well maintained crypto mining rig or rigs it will not only ensure longevity of the rig but will also guarantee more productivity in turn.
Therefore, whether you set your crypto mining rig in the basement or in your bedroom, or even in a factory space if you want to go large scale, cleaning and maintaining your mining rig is most important.
Therefore, you should not ignore the maintenance aspect of your mining rig or take it lightly.
There is no doubt that your mining rig will encounter heavy wear and tear due to continual use.
And, depending on where you have set up your machine and what are the conditions of the surroundings, this wear and tear will be even more pronounced.
For example, if you set it up in your basement which is stuffy and not well ventilated, it will experience heat issues which will damage the internal parts of the mining rigs fast.
Therefore, while cleaning and maintaining your mining rig you will need to look at every possible aspect for the best results.
This means that while cleaning and maintaining your mining rig you should not only focus on the dust accumulated on the outside of the rig but on its inside as well.
You must also ensure a clean and proper air circulation in the room and the rig, the internal components such as the cooling fans, CPUs and GPUs, and even clean the cat and rat litter if you have set the system up in your basement.
How to Maintain a Crypto Rig for Longevity and More Productivity?
Whether you are a beginner miner or have joined the movement long time back, one thing is common in both the cases, which is, you should keep your crypto mining rig as profitable as possible.
Maintaining your mining rig and space to keep them both in top condition is one of the basic ways to ensure high profitability in crypto mining.
This does not limit to the use of an efficient mining rig but also making sure that it is functional to its optimal level.
For that you will need to maintain your mining rig on a regular basis.
Your maintenance schedule should include routine maintenance after every couple of months, advanced maintenance probably twice a year, and also a thorough maintenance done annually.
This is over and above the daily dusting and cleaning you will need to do for your mining rigs and your mining space as well.
The additional benefit of following a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule is that it will not consume more energy than that is required, which by itself is pretty high as you may already be aware of.
Yes, you may hire a contracted service for such maintenance and cleaning but that is for the big mining farms to do.
For individual and small miners, it is nothing but a luxury that they simply cannot afford.
If you are one of them, then here is what you should do to ensure your mining rig runs at its optimum level and produces the optimal results.
It is needless to say that the cleaning and maintenance schedule will be different depending on the type of mining activities performed within the space.
Therefore, you should first consider whether it is a single mining rig or multiple rigs, a single server, a home lab, or an entire farm.
This will ensure that you have the right gear to start with your maintenance and cleaning program.
There are several technical aspects that may influence the maintenance and cleaning process as well.
Therefore, it is important for you to choose the most suitable and relevant maintenance and cleaning process for your crypto mining rig and space. And, never rush things.
If you have rigs that can be operated remotely then you will probably have to look deeper into the cleaning and maintenance aspect of the same.
You will need to check the console access, VPN or Virtual Private Network access, and the remote power controller via Ethernet.
There are lots of aspects to focus on while cleaning and maintaining your mining rig and space.
Therefore, it is quite hard and that is why you will need help from articles like this one to know how exactly you should go ahead.
In no specific order, these are some of the best ways to keep your crypto mining rig and space highly functional.
Jumping straight on to the routine maintenance that you should preferably do every two months if not one, make sure that you do not cut the corner to make it short and quick.
Ideally, you should keep a note while you check for:
- The software updates
- The CPU
- The GPU
- The PSU
- Dust accumulation on the specific areas
- Damages of parts if any and
- Functioning of the cooling fans inside.
Consider everything properly depending on the number of mining systems you have running and need to maintain.
One of the most important things to focus on is the dust accumulated on the mining rigs.
Letting the dust to accumulate will consume lots of energy unnecessarily, cause excessive heat buildup, and damage the innards of the mining rig.
This will in turn affect the longevity and productivity of the crypto mining rig.
Therefore, dust removal should be done cautiously and systematically.
Ideally, during the dust removal process you will need to shut your mining rig off for safety reasons in spite of the fact that a mining rig is never supposed to be off.
Remember, if only the dust cleaning process is done correctly, it will enhance the longevity and productivity of your crypto mining rig.
Dust build up will decrease the performance of your crypto mining machine due to reduced heat buildup and may even bring your rig down and cause fire. This happens in two ways such as:
- Compromised air flow and
- The components become insulated.
This raises the critical operating temperatures of the components such as the GPU especially and reduces its performance level.
Therefore, clean the dust every couple of weeks if not days.
You can use an electric computer duster to clean the dust from your crypto mining rig.
It is far better than using ‘canned air’ because it has inadequate air and is also very harmful for the environment.
The electric computer duster will deliver adequate pressure via the concentrated air and produce excellent results.
Make sure that you shut off your rig and hold the cooling fans steady while cleaning instead of spinning them to remove the dust from the fan blades properly.
The entire process will not take more than 5 minutes which is the best part of using this type of cleaner.
If the dust is harder to remove such as the stubborn accumulation on a plastic surface, you can go for anti-static cleaning wipes.
You may use alcohol or special cleaning solutions that are available in the market for that matter.
However, make sure that you do not follow this process for cleaning the dust off the electronic components.
This process should be followed only for cleaning the plastic surfaces, the fan blades of the GPU, and the exterior case of the PSU or Power Supply Unit.
You will also need to maintain a free flow of fresh air within the mining room and for that you will need to use some kind of air purifiers apart from a proper ventilation system and exhaust fans wherever possible.
And, all these systems need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis as well.
Properly running system will surely enhance the productivity as well as the longevity of it.
Using air purifiers may not always be that promising but is very useful in case you have set up your mining rig in the garage of your home or in a small warehouse.
These purifiers often come with carbon and particle filters but its effectiveness may depend on the size of the room.
In larger rooms you will surely have additional cooling systems installed.
You will need to clean them as well to ensure high functionality and proper airflow.
You must check that the vents do not have any dust accumulated in it and it is free from any mold buildup as well.
Both these can cause a fire breakout.
Check the fins, the blades of the cooling system and it is best to use foam cleaning method for proper maintenance and minimizing the chances of damaging the components of the cooling system while cleaning.
A dust free and well maintained cooling system will ensure proper air flow and purification.
Make sure that you clean the cooling system after every two or three months for best functionality.
Visual examination of your mining rig is very important to ensure that it is properly maintained and functioning well, though it may sound trivial.
If you are using a larger space for crypto mining, you should especially focus on the remote parts during examining.
This will positively affect the productivity of your crypto mining rig.
Here are the specific steps that you should follow for a proper visual examination of your mining rig or rigs.
Remember, once again you will need to shut off your system first for safety reasons.
Power Supply Unit:
You should first check the PSU of the system with special focus on the fan to ensure that it is spinning freely and is free from dust.
Also, look for any unusual noise while rotating the blades and check whether the speed of the blades is good enough.
If any of the issues go unresolved it will damage the PSU as well as the mining rig on the whole.
If you find any issues with the PSU you should:
- Remove the screws
- Open the cover
- Remove the cable if you can and
- Look for dust and damages on the fan.
Remove the dust from the fan and in case of damages replace it with any regular PC fan.
Cables and Connectors:
Next, check the cables and connectors of the GPU and riser of your crypto mining rig.
These are extremely vulnerable to wear and tear when these are used at their maximum capacities.
In most rigs, the cables are easy to remove from the PSU case.
Check the slots after removing them for any signs of burns. If there are any, you can do two specific things such as:
- Repair it yourself – You can solder it with a connector of a different cable, probably the one that came with the PSU itself.
- Replace it – This is the only thing that you can do if the connector happens to be burned pretty badly.
Finally, check the fan in the CPU, though it may not be affected that much if you usually mine crypto on a GPU.
However, if by chance the CPU gets overheated it will normally shut down by itself to prevent further damages to the other components of the mining computer.
Nevertheless, you will not be able to run your mining rig if there is a problem in the CPU. Usually, a CPU experiences fan error.
Therefore, you should check the fan to find out whether or not there are any peeling riser bases or cables trapped inside it, instead of running the setup by pressing F1, and remove it to restore functionality.
Parameters to Monitor
There are many different parameters to consider and monitor them on a regular basis if you want to keep your crypto mining rig and space safe and fully functional.
If you ensure a continual monitoring it will help you to prevent significant issues such as:
- Mining rig downtime
- Unanticipated damages and breakages and
- Money losses most importantly.
These are the specific parameters that you should consider monitoring specifically such as:
- The GPU and CPU temperature as well as the RPM of the fans by using a web-based Graphical User Interface or a command line as applicable and
- The temperature of the room that may cause GPU errors due to excessive heat buildup by using smart home tools and temperature sensors.
You should also focus on the hardware of the mining computer to look for breakages.
Ideally, you will be better off in keeping out the downtime if you have some spare components with you always as a precaution such as:
- Fans and
- A backup drive.
You must also consider the warranty repair and replacement aspect so that you do get them in case you detect any manufacturing defects in the hardware during your regular inspection.
Make sure that you do not do or use anything that will annul the warranty such as modifying the BIOS or connecting multiple GPUs to one PSU, and messing up with original hardware configuration or removing the seals from their dedicated places.
If you have extra components in hand, it will be easy for you to avoid such situations and enjoy the repair and replacement warranty apart from ensuring that the productivity of your mining rig is not reduced.
You should make sure that the mining software is up to date to ensure that anything out of date does not affect the productivity and efficacy of your crypto mining rig.
If you use the latest versions of software in your mining rig it will perform much better with almost all of the vulnerabilities removed.
This will help you to earn more coins and increase the profitability margin.
However, if you are using Windows based software you may face some issues while updating due to the problems with the video drivers.
On the other hand, the Linux-based distributions are not that complicated to update and therefore are more feasible to use.
Still, if you experience some issues while updating your software, it is best to install the new version in two simple steps if you are using multiple mining rigs for crypto:
- First, update the software in one particular mining rig to check whether or not everything is fine.
- Second, install the updated software in the rest of the rigs that you have if there are no issues found in its operation and functionality.
If you follow this process it will save you from having to move on to systems with lower hash rates.
Since the GPU is one of the main components of a crypto mining rig, you should take proper care of it to ensure your system is efficient and more productive.
For that you will need to check a few specific components of the GPU while maintaining and cleaning it.
One of the most critical parameters of the graphics cards to look for is the temperature.
Ideally, it should be well under 70°C or else it will start damaging the processor unless you use some extra fans and cooling systems.
The chief cause of rise in temperature in the GPU is dust buildup. Therefore, keep your system and the GPU fans especially free from dust.
Another significant aspect of the graphics cards to look for is the fans in them.
If the GPU gets hotter the fans will have to work overtime and at a high RPM.
If there is any dust in it then it will add to the issue making the blades difficult to spin.
When you inspect the fans of the GPUs you should keep one particular thing in mind.
It is that the order of the graphics card displayed in the interface may not be the same as the real order of the GPU on the motherboard.
Moreover, there are several manufacturers who unfortunately use copper grommets in the fans instead of bearings.
You will find it quite hard to get the right grommet for your GPU fan if there is something wrong in it and needs to be replaced. Lubricating it will not help in any way.
Instead, it is far better and easier to buy a new fan and have it replaced altogether.
Plates or the Thermal Paste:
Next, you should check the plates and the thermal paste in the GPU. You will find these between the graphics chip and the radiator of the cooling system.
The plates or thermal paste are thin material layers that prevent the graphic cards from becoming hot excessively.
If you find that cleaning the fans of the GPU does not stop it from getting overheated, consider it is time to reapply a new layer of the thermal paste.
However, this does not need to be done pretty often.
Ideally, it is best to do so once 3 to 5 years but make sure that the layer is not too thin so that it cannot prevent the plates from getting overheated.
Finally, check the memory errors of the graphics card. When you see such errors, consider it as a sign of a worn out memory chip.
You should reduce overclocking so that you do no harm to your mining rig by running damaged memory chips which may even result in getting barred from the mining pool.
Get it replaced as soon as possible to prevent your rig from being damaged and affect its productivity and efficiency in a negative way.
You will need to do some scheduled advanced maintenance to ensure that your crypto mining rig is efficient and productive and its lifespan is not reduced unnecessarily due to reasons that could have been avoided easily.
Ideally, advanced maintenance of your crypto mining rig should be scheduled once in a couple of months.
This process involves most of the maintenance procedures mentioned above such as dust cleaning and visual inspection.
However, the difference in this process is that it is required to be done in a much more precise way.
For example, while cleaning the dust from your mining rig, in an advanced maintenance process you should check the risers, RAM and the cables and connectors.
You must unplug them to check whether or not there are any signs of oxidation in them over time.
You must also ensure that the power connectors are proper and are in good shape.
All these, if improper, will cause serious issues in the functioning of your crypto mining rig.
When you re-plug your mining rig, check whether or not the fan of the graphics card is working properly.
If you find that it is taking quite a long time to start rotating you should check it more closely.
Maybe it is time to replace the fan altogether because this is one of the most important signals of a malfunction.
Rotating the fan blades manually may solve the issue but it is not a permanent solution.
When you schedule an annual maintenance of your mining rig, it is mostly the same maintenance aspects followed as above.
However, during this process the battery in the motherboard needs to be checked and, even better, must be replaced.
Usually, these batteries have a maximum lifespan of a year or two.
If your system continues to run on a low battery it may reset the BIOS settings and you will not know about it unless there is a power outage.
Moreover, these batteries may even corrode and cause significant harm to the motherboard.
Since replacing the motherboard is a very expensive proposition, it is prudent to replace the battery during your annual maintenance of your mining rig.
This will keep it safe and also ensure that it functions at the optimal level producing maximum profits.
Considerations for Remote Rigs
If your crypto mining rig is set up in your home, then you will not need to worry about this particular step.
But, if your mining rig is in another location and you need to manage it remotely, you will specifically need to focus on the remote network aspect to ensure easy accessibility.
The specific aspects to look for this matter include and are not limited to:
- The Ethernet WAN
- The USB
- The Power controls
- The Ports and
- The VPN Router.
You will also need to check the console access.
There may be a few specific systems that come with motherboards that support some specific management interface such as a remote virtual KVM over an IPMI that you need to check.
However, not all motherboards used for crypto mining may offer such functionality.
In such cases you must check the other options for console access such as the local keyboard or mouse.
Make sure that these are in accordance with the web access or the client programs.
Also, check the stackable rack mount switches if you are using any to handle a lot of devices with several local as well as remote users through a single port unit.
This will ensure that you secure your network access to the remote location without needing to put the remote KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) on the internet directly.
If you need to get into the mining rig remotely you should use a proper remote desktop protocol or a Secure Shell protocol, commonly referred to as SSH.
However, you will need to use the KVM terminal if you have to get into the BIOS or Basic Input Output System of the motherboard or if the network of the system has failed.
You will also have to check the remote power control but make sure that you do not fiddle with the power circuits or the switchable banks of the outlets too much.
If required, you can layer a STS on top of it.
All these are highly technical matters and therefore it is best left for the professionals to resolve them when you find any anomalies in the system that may be affecting the functionality and productivity.
Finally, there are few other specific considerations to make while maintaining a remote mining rig.
- The surge protector
- The UPS battery backup
- The input requirements and
- The outlets.
And of course, it goes without saying that you should check the cords to the mouse, keyboard and monitor.
Using Protection Systems
Finally, if you want to reduce some of the burden of cleaning and maintaining your crypto mining rig to ensure longevity and productivity, you may use specific tools such as a smart monitor and protection system.
This will ensure that you will not need to monitor your mining rigs during operation. However, make sure that it is workable on the given setting.
These systems usually come with two specific parts – software and hardware.
It looks after the specific parameters for mining such as current, power, and temperature.
With such a real-time monitor backing your rigs up, you can rest assured to have safe operation of your mining rig.
This list of factors to look for while maintaining your crypto mining rig may look pretty long.
However, it will not take much time if you do it in an orderly manner and on a regular basis. It will maximize mining profits and reduce the chance of downtime.