Custom Water Cooling Loop With Glass Tubing

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by SpeedMan88, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. SpeedMan88

    SpeedMan88 n00b

    Apr 27, 2019
    Hello, I would like to build a new gaming computer in the near future with a custom water cooling loop that utilizes glass tubing. I've built my own computers for many years, but never done the water cooling thing before. I love the look of glass tubing and would like to learn how to do it. Can anyone point me to some useful resources, tutorials, tips, or suggested hardware?
  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Oct 7, 2000
    youtube has plenty of how to's and build videos
  3. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

    Apr 5, 2016
    Jayz2Cents did a glass tubed build a few years back and IIRC made a video on how he did it.
  4. mvmiller12

    mvmiller12 Gawd

    Aug 7, 2011
    The glass tubing is really pretty easy to work with. Since there was no bending involved, I personally found it to be much easier to work with than PETG. You just measure, score and snap and the glass mostly snaps cleanly. Sometimes (usually when trying to cut short pieces) you end up with a bur you will need to file down. The gotchas I ran into when I first did it (I'm at 4 times, now) were as follows:

    1) Measure twice, snap once :) While this should go without saying, it is really easy to mess up. If a run is 1 or 2 mm too short or too long, the fittings can usually accommodate it, but if it is more than a few mm too long... super short pieces of glass are a bitch to snap and grinding/sanding it down would take forever - you will definitely be cutting a new piece.

    2) Save your scraps! Sometimes that left over piece is just the right size for a different run. Even a really small piece may serve a use. For example, I had a small 1.5" piece of tube left over from a cut and I ended up using it with 2x rt angle bend fittings to make a swivel fitting.

    3) Glass don't bend, bud. You will either need to buy pre-angled tubes (if you look you can find tubes with 90 or 45 degree bends) or enough angled fittings to compensate.

    4) Glass tubing does not have a uniform thickness to it. Just because it may say it is 13mm OD tubing does not mean it is perfectly 13mm all the way down the tube. You pretty much have to buy fittings just a hair bigger than the tubing size you want - in my case, I was using 13mm OD tubing and needed to buy 14mm fittings, and they fit and sealed just fine.

    5) The glass tubes are an awful lot tougher than they look. They are much tougher than acrylic in my experience. You don't have to treat them particularly delicately.

    6) Glass tubing is super easy to clean. PETG and Acrylic can stain and discolor - glass does not. If you go to change your coolant, you can easily pull the tubes out and soak them in soap and warm water. A quick rinse and they are pristine again. If you use coolants with particulate matter than falls out (like pastels or special effects coolants like Vue) you can get something like a flute cleaning brush to clean them out.
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