Do you unplug your liquid cooled PC when it is off?

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by dezman, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. dezman

    dezman n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2019
    Hi everyone.

    I have been liquid cooling my PC for about seven years now. I have a question that I can't find an answer for online so I thought I would post it here.

    I have always had my PC plugged into a surge protector power socket board. When it is not in use I have it powered off and covered with a dust protector sheet as I like to have the side panel off all the time. My question is I have always been concerned that if the PC leaked when I was not home it could cause an electrical fire. So because of this concern once I power down my PC and cover it I unplug it from the surge protector power board until it's next use. Is my concern rational and is unplugging my liquid cooled PC when it is not in use the right thing to do, or am I just being paranoid?
     
  2. tedych

    tedych Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    331
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Is your PSU located at the bottom in the case? If yes, I'd do like you do. If no, then the risk is far lower but still exists however small unless parts of the water loop are above the PSU itself. Still I think the risk is greater only if there is a leak that has been undetected for some longer.
     
  3. dezman

    dezman n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2019
    Thanks for the speedy reply. The PSU is located toward the base of the case and about ten fittings are located directly above it. I'll keep unplugging my PC when it is not in use like I have been doing, thank you very much for your advice.
     
  4. owcraftsman

    owcraftsman Gawd

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Do you shut off the water to your house when not using it too?
     
    mwin, alxlwson, pendragon1 and 2 others like this.
  5. dezman

    dezman n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2019
    You have posted a question to a question. I can kind of see what your saying, care to elaborate. Electrical fires in liquid cooled PC's do happen. As long as a house is built to code by some one you trust, plumbing and electrical, thinking about turning off the water to your house to prevent a fire just doesn't enter into the equation.
     
  6. bwang

    bwang Gawd

    Messages:
    961
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    The PSU is fused, the power strip is fused, the outlet has a breaker, and water isn't that conductive anyway, so the chances of a spontaneous failure when the computer is off is pretty low. Well-made water cooling is also very reliable, especially with the pump off (and even with the pump on, seeing as there is barely any pressure in a PC loop). Use a GFI or a leak detector wired to a breaker if you are really nervous.
    Honestly, owcraftsman is probably right - the chance of a water leak flooding your house is...probably higher than the chance of a computer setting your house on fire, and no one turns off their water mains when they are not at home.
     
    Kardonxt, GoldenTiger and Brian_B like this.
  7. dezman

    dezman n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2019
    The chances of water leaking through your house maybe higher (it's never happened to me in all my life) but what I had always been concerned about with a water cooled PC electrical fire was burning my house down. Now I'm sure the odds of that are very very slim, but my power board sits right beside my desk and it literally takes me two seconds to unplug my PC, so for now I'm going to continue to do so.

    But I do appreciate your thorough advice.
     
  8. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    27,653
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    I think this is overly cautious.

    It's not going to hurt anything, but I'd say that even if your PSU got doused, you'd be extremely unlikely to start an electrical fire.

    - Firstly your fluid, as long as you don't keep it in there too long, is mostly non-conductive.

    - Even if conductive water were to get into it, it most likely would just switch off.

    - Anything worse than that and your house circuit breaker is likely to kick in.

    - And lastly, leaks usually occur when the system is on, not when it is just sitting there. The pump puts extra pressure on the lines, and that's when you are the most likely drip, drip, drip, or less likely a full blowout.

    Switching off the power is certainly not hurting anything, but it seems like taking a while lot of precaution for something very very unlikely.

    That said, if your case allows it, it's best to install the PSU such that the fan opening is downwards. That way a y drips are less likely to get in there and destroy anything
     
  9. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    I never did when I ran WCing back in the early 2000s, and that's was the time I had a 120v aquarium pump relayed on/off from the PSU, a gutted UPS in a 2nd case combined together with the CPU case.
     
  10. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,944
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    As a sealed system, there is very little chance of water leaking out on its own that wouldn't while the system is running. The pump generates pressure, which is higher than atmospheric pressure at essentially all points in the loop except before the pump. As the water warms, it expands and creates additional pressure. Off and cooled without a way for air to get into the system, water is very unlikely to leak in any meaningful amount.

    Use of cheap PSUs has caused computer fires. Watercooling has not.
     
  11. Fuzzy_3D

    Fuzzy_3D Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    You don't? I like the extra peace of mind that my place isn't going to flood while I'm on vacation. I've started unplugging most of my electronics too, it's a worth while precaution to me, along with locking my doors and windows. (y)
     
    GoldenTiger likes this.
  12. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,635
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
  13. owcraftsman

    owcraftsman Gawd

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Really? of course, I shut off the water when on vacation I also lock my doors and windows when I leave and have a security system armed. The point to my comment was to illustrate absurdity. Most here got it except you.

    The idea that water would cause a fire is absurd. It might damage components if running at the time of the leak and may not if a leak occurs when the system is off. There are tons of articles and videos out there that tell you what to do to salvage your components if a leak occurs, but not one that water in a water-cooled PC starts a fire, but I suspect you know all that and just wanted to troll me for some reason.

    I've been water cooling for 20+ years. My first radiator was a heater core from a chevy vega. I never provide power to my components until the loop is thoroughly tested for leaks by using a PSU and paper clip to provide power to the pump to run the loop for at least 24 hrs to ensure there will be no surprises. Once this is done the likelihood of a leak down the road is generally very small. Even less likely is a fire. I could go on and on about other things one could do to make things safe when assembling a loop, but I'll spare you all any more digression.
     
    fullvietFX and The Mad Atheist like this.
  14. dezman

    dezman n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2019
    Well by the looks of everyones responses unplugging my water cooled PC when it is not in use is being overly cautious. Thanks for the advice.

    But owcraftsman, you say you were pointing out absurdity? All I asked was an honest question, and all you provided to begin with was a condescending sarcastic short remark. A shame that you couldn't have just provided a straight answer in the first place, it would have been a lot more helpful.
     
  15. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,545
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    I let it run. I have my watercooling on a seperate PSU though so I'm not afraid of leakage at all.

    Now my room smelling like a wet dog is one thing to be afraid of.
     
  16. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,635
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    that's all part of the [H] experience. dont take any offence, none was intended..
     
  17. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,640
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Fun fact: any given receptacle is only rated for so many insertions and removals in it's lifetime. I'd venture to say that you're more likely to cause an electrical fire at your power plug from wearing out the contacts and creating a resistance hot spot in your power strip than you are to have a spontaneous leak in an unpowered system.

    Even that is highly unlikely, but is something to consider if you're in the habit of unplugging and plugging it back in daily.
     
  18. owcraftsman

    owcraftsman Gawd

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    By that comment I'm suggesting we were both being absurd. I should have said combating absurdity with absurdity. My initial comment was simple and intended to make you think. I hold no malice for you. I actually respect how cautious you are, but it maybe a bit too attentive in this case. In other words don't change a thing, Be You and always ask if you aren't sure. I'm only are here to help.
     
    geniekid and dezman like this.
  19. Elkwood

    Elkwood Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    I had my setups under water since 2008. Only time i unplug completely is if i am going out of
    town for an extended period of time or if a really nasty storm is approaching. Otherwise i
    never worried about it. Which is something i do for say my stereo system.
     
  20. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,901
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Use hard lines and you wont leak. (edit* as long as you do it right)

    Also use ground fault or arc fault breakers and your good to go.

    I use 240v to feed my threadripper but I never unplug my system. If it's not leaking while operating under temp it's not leaking any. And you should change your o rings at least once in 7 years time if your really worried.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  21. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,640
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Hard line fittings represent much more likely points of failure than compression or even barb fittings...
     
  22. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,901
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Says who? What evidence to support that? Hardlines do not stretch or wear out on fittings like soft hose does.

    I have had more leaks with hose than ever. Switched to hard lines an dont even leak test. It just works perfect.
     
  23. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,640
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    As long as you're not trying to use ancient hose, or reuse the same stretched end for the fourth time, barb/compression make a much more physically robust seal and do not have nearly as many o-rings to fail.

    I don't really need to cite sources on that... it's just kinda common sense.

    With due diligence both are certainly safe, but hardline is definitely higher risk.
     
  24. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,901
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    You dont need to cite sources Haha This is not college. I was just curious where you got that from. But youre right about ancient hose etc... I will admit I have had major leaks on that hose stuff, tried all different kinds of materials. Once you get it locked down and non leaking it will run for years. However, with hardline I have never had leaks even from the start as long as you do it right the first time.

    I will say this, I trust home brew watercooling any day over closed loop mass manufactured ones. I am using a CLC right now on my 2600x simply because I didn't want to try and rig a loop in this matx case I have. But my threadripper is fully custom looped with hardline. But I still suck at bending even with silicon tube inserts to keep the walls from collapsing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019