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Old 01-22-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
cstmcomps
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The skinny on building a loop

In another forum (DangerDen.com/forums) a noob asked a couple of us, now that he has his parts for his liquid cooling loop, where does he go from there?

Conumdrum, as he is known there, answered him with this:

Quote:
Okay, here is the skinny on building a loop.

Once all the stuff is there, cut a 3" piece of tubing and learn how to put it on a barb and clamp it. Better now than when it's in the PC. Exercise the clamps, open, close them a few times to make them smoother.

Barbs, tighten down to finger tight and 1/4 to 1/2 turn more. Look at o-ring, do it a few times to get the hang of it before it's in the PC.

Rad prep:: One of the most missed things. Boil sink water, let cool 5 min. Pour into rad filling it up, let sit 10 min. Drain 1/2 water or so, shake till your arms hurt, 3-4 min like a crazy man. Drain into a clear container. Do the rad dance again and again till the water from the rad is clear and no gunk once the water settles. Then do it two more times. NOW and only now is your rad 90% clean. No worries, the last 10% will come out in the next year or two when you redo your loop for maintenance. Oh and post a vid of ya dancin, be a fun thing to see.

Inspection: Open pump, look for gunk, packing material. Run sink water Through the blocks, pump, hose. Drain as well as you can, but don't freakaziod on draining. Inspect bottom of block, don't forget to remove the plastic cover!! Seen it done by pros, funny......

Inspect screws and holes, check they go together well first. Seen more than one bad HS screw broke in a bracket. Your rad screws might not work perfect, and DON"T put a screw through the rad, seen it done more than once.

Wash hands very well to remove any finger oils, in time it will stain your copper blocks. I wipe with alcohol before handling the stuff. Keep alcohol away from acrylic, it will crack it in time.

Install blocks on parts. Take it slow, even remove to check TIM contact if you want. Install hose, measure twice, cut once, make a bit longer if your worried, you can always cut it shorter. Dry mount everything, and inspect all clamps etc. Take a walk, watch a movie. Then inspect it again.

Unplug PSU from everything except pump. Turn PSU and wall power off. Jumper the 24 pin PSU connector green and ANY black wire. Insure PSU is off. Connect pump to PSU.

Add liquid to res till full. Turn PSU on, it should run dry in a second or two, turn PSU off. It's called bumping the pump. DO NOT LET PUMP RUN DRY, ceramic bearings needs water to stay cool. Fill res, do it again, and again till water is in the loop. Watch closely, a big bubble can hit the pump and no water. Then bumping the pump, tapping hoses, turning case etc till your sure you got solid water flow. Keep an eye on it for 15 min or so, then check every 15 or so to make sure the res has water to almost full and pump is running. Pump might make a whooshing noise as bubbles get pulled through it, no worries. Put paper towels around EVERY fitting, laying below the CPU block, below the pump etc, check in an hour.

If you get water/liquid all over the place, the parts need to be taken out (meaning Mobo, GPU etc), rinsed in alcohol, lightly scrubbed with a toothbrush, compressed air AND if possible blow dried very very well on LOW heat, then left to dry for at least 24 hours. Pay close attention to the PCI slots if they get full of liquid. Compressed air helps a lot to blow them out.

By now it's late in the day, very late. Go to sleep with it running, check in the morning. Time to bump the pump, twist and turn, pinch a tube, tap rad SIDE with a screwdriver handle to break bubbles loose. Inspect the paper towels, turn it back on, run for an hour, inspect with a bright flashlight and bits of paper towels on every connection (barb and o-ring). No leaks? Turn er' off.

Connect Mobo and boot er up, go to bios immediately and check CPU temp. If good, boot up and check with your fav proggy, then load er' up and revel in the coolness of water and the quiet.

It could take a few days for the last of the bubbles to go away. Depending on your flow rate etc. Bumping the pump, tapping rad/hoses, pinching hose for a sec or two helps. Don't fret unless your temps are bad.


I need to add a couple of things to what he said...

First, Expect this to take about a week. The reason I say a week, is because this is your first. After this one, and in the future you can get to where it can be done in a day or two.

Second, Have another computer setup that you can access the internet and do whatever you need to do. That way you won't be pressured into finishing this computer.

Third, Be extra patient and pay attention to every single detail no matter how minute. Learn how the tubes bend and how far they bend before binding. Learn how the pump works, the reservoir, the rads... be a scientist on this your first liquid system. That knowledge will help you in the future.

Obviously this is written for a liquid cooling noob, but as we are always learning; I'm sure there's something there for everybody.

Credit: http://www.dangerden.com/forums/view...?p=22935#22935 Used by permission of original submitters Conumdrum, Tainted, and cstmcomps(myself).
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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woa, that sure helps a lot. tapping the res, time to make it work and much much more are things in the guide i would of used that i never saw. thanks for posting this. i read it all and learned so much. the part that scares me though is getting water all over the computer. that's...very reassuring.

my only question is can't you test for leaks in a bathtub first? a dry bathtub with the distilled water in it. wouldn't that be safer?
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Last edited by krone6; 05-09-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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I have seen that before somewhere, nut not there...weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krone6 View Post
my only question is can't you test ofr leaks in a bathtube first? a dry bathtube with the distilled water in it. wouldn't that be safer?
bathtube...

Think about krone. If you test it outside the rig, then if you have a rad that needs externally mounted, you have to take it apart to put it back in the rig. Even if its an internal rad, you are moving the parts around and that could easily cause things to come loose.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:01 PM   #4
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typos are fixed. what do you mean exactly? i'm talking about just leakage. wouldn't finding out if the watercooling loop leaks be better in a bathtub than the computer since if it does leak you don't need to worry. i didin't understand your statement is all.

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oh, and the new way of bathtubs bathtubes lol.
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Last edited by krone6; 05-09-2009 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:56 AM   #5
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I have never had any major problems with leaks. I have had minor leaks, but nothing major. The think is, when you are first installing it you leak test it with paper towels first and you sit right on it watching. At the first sign of a leak you pad like crazy with paper towels and shut it down, and then fix the leak. After a few hours you will know if you will have any problems and if you are anything like me, you will still be watching it every 15 mins for a day or so. I know cause I just rebuilt my rig and I am still watching for leaks a day and a half later now.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:03 AM   #6
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I would add that using silicon sealant on all screw-on fittings eliminates lots of headaches. Teflon taping the hell out of all the barbs doesn't hurt, either.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krone6 View Post
typos are fixed. what do you mean exactly? i'm talking about just leakage. wouldn't finding out if the watercooling loop leaks be better in a bathtub than the computer since if it does leak you don't need to worry. i didin't understand your statement is all.

Additional Comment:

oh, and the new way of bathtubs bathtubes lol.
Cliff's Notes: Testing the loop in a bathtub would be counter productive b/c the loop isnt sitting in its final resting place. When you move it from say, a bathtub, into your PC, there is a decent chance that some of the the tubing could come loose in the transition.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
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I see. thanks. Your like the guru of eocf.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewecallgod View Post
I would add that using silicon sealant on all screw-on fittings eliminates lots of headaches. Teflon taping the hell out of all the barbs doesn't hurt, either.
if proper fittings are bought and fitted properly there should be no need for either. and if your not careful with teflon tape there is a chance of it getting into the loop and to the pump. not that it would do much (pending how much tape got in there)
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spawn-Inc View Post
if proper fittings are bought and fitted properly there should be no need for either.
In my experiences, I've only had five fittings out of many not leak out of the box and they were silicon'ed by the manufacturer (Dtek and Danger Den) (the fittings that leaked were the ones that came with the block or radiator or whatever). Maybe I'm just unlucky, but silicon sealant is a cheap insurance policy; a guarantee that that fitting won't leak at the threads. Same goes for Teflon taping the barbs; you don't have to do it, but it's so easy, there's no reason not to.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:34 PM   #11
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I'm glad you guys have mentioned the teflon. That's something I do in my system, but I forgot to mention it in my thing up there... Thanks for bringing that up.

For those that don't know what Teflon is, it is a non-adhesive tape that you use like a thread lock to make another barrier from moisture or leaks. You can find it in the plumbing section of just about any hardware store, or some computer stores that stock liquid cooling stuff will also carry it at a slightly higher price. Instructions for use can be found either on the packaging or on google.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting this, I wouldn't have thought of boiling the water for the initial radiator cleanout. Now to find a cpu block to use...
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #13
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Nice little guide, should come in handy for the long weekend if my parts show up tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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reported...
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:46 PM   #15
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:03 PM   #16
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Hi, IS it really necassary to prep the Rad??
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Nephilim View Post
Hi, IS it really necassary to prep the Rad??
Yes it is, a lot of people overlook this like the guy said. I read a TON of guides and other crap before I started building my watercooling loop and there was only one place that mentioned cleaning the rad before using it...

I'm glad I did because when I did clean it a TON of black gunk came out...
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:54 AM   #18
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OK WIll spend the time Preping the Rad THNX for the info ..

Additional Comment:

How do you know hwo many Rads you need?? Is there any Tests done to see inlet and outlet temps after adding said Rad??

Last edited by The_Nephilim; 05-26-2010 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Is there any Tests done to see inlet and outlet temps after adding said Rad??
You can put an inline thermometer in you loop, actually the micro rez you were talking about getting has an extra fitting hole you can put a thermometer in if you really want (you need a display to know its temp or mobo connector).
Quote:
How do you know hwo many Rads you need??
If your really paranoid about it calculate the amount of heat watts each item makes (cpu and gpus) and compare it to the amount of heat watts the radiator dissipates otherwise its generally 120.2 per block (120.3 on hotter items like 480's and i7's)

Edit: used create instead of dissipate on rad
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:16 PM   #20
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What I am asking is if anybody has done some before and after test with different rads to see if there really is any difference in using one Rad over the other??

How do I determine the Heat Watts, and how much the Rad dissipates heat??
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