Need a few pointers on flushing blocks, etc.


Limp Gawd
Dec 19, 2013
Ok, so I'm finally getting around to my build here, and I'm knowingly in well over my head, I'll be the first to admit that. But, I'm an all or nothing kind of guy.

So, I have assembled the water blocks on all cards/chips, etc. I probably should have flushed them before doing so, eh? I'd imagine it's not that big of a deal to flush them while on the video card? Obviously not with the terminal on just yet.. Just one card at a time.

I have (3) of those handles of distilled water. Is that enough for flushing 4x290x blocks, cpu, and 3x 360 rads?

I'm ashamed because I was all ready to rock when I started this endeavor about six months ago, but I got so busy with work, I never had time. Now, I have to re-engage, and get back into the loop, yes pun.

I'm going to browse some guides on water cooling today while taking a few micro breaks at work, but I always appreciate your insightful input [H]!
Thanks chief! I flushed all the rads last night. See, every little bit helps! I never got around to reading up on the guides yet though. Today maybe.
Should be fine on not the card

Make sure when flushing to do it with boiling water (Helps to displace flux in the RAD, one of the primary reasons to flush)
I agree with everyone else, flushing blocks is not needed these days since most are just milled pieces of copper. The competition and growth in watercooling has made "ooh shiny" important so waterblocks are typically cleaned pretty well and there isn't a lot from the manufacturing process to clean anyways. There just isn't much gunk left on them that needs to be cleaned out. Radiators however, due to how they are made, typically do need to be flushed. Most manufacturers simply don't clean the insides of them well enough.

When you do your leak test I suggest you do it with everything installed in the case like you were done with your build EXCEPT don't plug in any power cords. Jump the PSU so that only the pump is plugged in and has power. Run the leak test overnight with some paper towels to catch leaks, if it is all dry in the morning then you are good to plug in the power and get rolling. If something does leak, you can dry out the parts thoroughly and no damage will be done. Some people leak test without the case components cause they are afraid of damaging them. The problem with this is you then have to install the components into your case and your leak test is now invalid because you just jostled and moved stuff around potentially creating a leak.
Thanks for the input guys! Yeah, the blocks definitely looked nice and shinny... Not that I'm even a fan of that, but I guess I did splurge a bit on the build... ;c)

Definitely aware of the PSU jump maneuver on the leak test, but thank you for sharing. I'm honestly considering renters insurance on this computer, just in case.

I flushed the rads with boiled water I cooled for 10 minutes. Emptied it all into a clear container, just for fun.. Found a cloudiness to the water, maybe a few black dots, unless they're leftover cookie crumbs in the container, but anyway.

Here is what I'm hoping for tonight:
-Install quad semi-parallel terminal (without cross-threading, like last time..)
-Mock up or install PSU
-Install 3x 360 rads, (2) in pedestal, (1) in PSU side
-Play with hose runs, and see what I come up with

Things that are kind of blocking me:
-I'm scared to cut the damn tubing.
-I don't know where to run the tubing throughout. Obviously want clean, short, sweet. I guess this is something that comes together over time.
-Placement of items where there are options. i.e. I'd imagine I should put the SSD in the PSU side just for room purposes? Where should the few extra fans I have be placed? I guess all on the Mobo side of things, and just keep all rads out of the mobo side?
1) Tubing is cheap! Don't worry about making a mistake because it is only a few dollars to get more if you need it. Also it is pretty flexible and you generally have a decent amount of leeway with your measurements. It isn't like working with hardline where you have only a few mm of leeway.

2) Just get the components all in the case and start planning it out. Often times you will see that some runs are too tight to really make the proper bend and you have to route it a different way. To me this part is often the most fun. Honestly though you could have a spaghetti nest of tubing routed poorly and the cooling performance won't suffer much. The tubing is the smallest factor in restriction in the loop. So again, don't worry! It is hard to mess up this part.

3) Try to make sure that you have roughly equal amounts of input and exhaust fans. Err on the side of more input than exhaust, this will give your case positive pressure. That way air won't leak in holes and only come in through the fans. That way you can control dust getting into the case with filters on the fans.

Good luck, and remember it is a lot easier than you think it is!
Do some dry runs of your palcement ... Not plugged in / hooked up etc......Figure what you like aesthetically , as well as where the parts can actually be placed.

As for tubing, how much did you order? (As a default I typically order 10 ft, just because the extra ~4 bucks I pay maybe 6 bucks wont break me, and i'd rather have more than not enough)... Just plan your runs, measure out what you need, cut slightly more. If it doesnt fit, trim it down.

Fans were covered nicely by Erasmus

Also, It may be helpful (For us to help you) if you were to give us a list of your hardware, so we can give some suggestions placement wise from our prior experience.
It's more my being prude, and preoccupied I think than a real fear of cutting the tubing. I meant it as a metaphor, despite the fact that it is indeed true. I have 15', I'm sure I'll have enough.
Before I explain the specs, I should justify a few things. I made a ton of cash right before making this purchase. A purchase I've always wanted to, and it came just in time for me to get a 50% pay cut.

Anyway, specs:
Caselabs M8 w/Pedestal
RIVBE - no blocks
16GB Corsair Dominator @ 2133 - no blocks
3930k that was supposedly batched, scored highly - EK Supremacy
256GB 840 Pro (potential for WD Black 1 TB as main/data/I have NAS)
(2) Asus 290x w/EK Ace/Nick Block/Backplate
(2) XFX 290x w/EK Ace/Nick Block/Backplate
(3) 360 Black Ice SR1 Rads full of GT AP15s in push/pull, plugged into 1x6 power splitter (plastic terminal that you stick down)
MCP35X2 for pump w/aluminum backplate
(22) GT AP-15's for fans, (18) taken by push/pull, (4) leftover
Lamptron FC Touch
Coolermaster M2 Silent Pro 1500w - I hadn't made a selection yet, and this one came around for $120. I really would rather have something better, but the more I read, the more all of them suck. I haven't read anything in a long while. Maybe one of those Supernovas should replace this?
250ml Bitspower tube res
3/8" Bitspower compression fittings: Mostly straight/swiveling, a few 45s, one or two 90s, a couple extensions.
Primochill Advanced LRT 3/8" @ 15'

Why buy a new truck, when you can spend it on a computer, and have your truck die on you a few months later? If I had another chance, I'd do it all again, the very same way. ;c)
Here is what I was thinking... Correct me if I'm wrong.
(2) rads in the pedestal - but facing each other? Wouldn't they affect each others airflow?
(1) rad in PSU side - I bought that side bracket, not realizing I could probably put it facing down in the floor.
Pump in the pedestal, between the two rads.

This leaves me with the following questions:
What is best placement for 3rd radiator? Is intake better than out due to air temperature? So, I shouldn't consider using one of the rads as a 'blowhole' up top? Intake from the bottom maybe?
Loop order: It looks like my cleanest run would be res>pump>rad>rad>rad>cpu>gpus>back to res. Now, I've read that loop order doesn't matter, and that makes sense to me. But, then I get the old school 'res>pump>cpu>gpu>back to res' mentality. Feel free to help me break that, or stick to it for that matter.
Is having (2) 360s push/pull facing each other in a pedestal a bad idea? I feel like it might be, but how else would you use a pedestal to its fullest extent?
How the hell do you guys make this stuff look so amazingly clean...? I'm too scared to even pull the backing off the sticky pads on these friggen power blocks...
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1) Radiator Placement: It isn't all that bad to have a radiator exhausting air outside of the case. As long as you have good airflow, which you will, the air temperature inside your case won't be much higher than ambient temperature.

2) You're right, order doesn't matter. It all comes down to how fast the water is moving. Imagine you have a sauna with two doors and you throw a thermometer from one door to the other. What temperature will it read? Not much higher than room temperature because it didn't have much time at all to heat up as it traveled through the sauna. The coolant in your loop does essentially the same thing. It might heat up 0.5C going through the CPU and then cool down 0.5C going through the radiator, but it travels through the loop many times a second. So having multiple components right after each other doesn't negatively hurt performance any noticeable amount because the last component is only getting coolant that is a few degrees C hotter than the first even in long loops.
If you dont have legit tubing cutters, then you need to get some. $10 at homedepot for perfect cuts every time.

Also, I would not worry about radiator placement, you have way more radiator's than you actually need. Intakes will get better temps at the cost of a boat load of dust going into the system. Definitely get filters.

Hows the caselabs? I'm most likely ordering a SM5 at the end of this month to replace my 7 year old mountain mods case which I hate (takes me ~30 screws to get access to the inside of the case).
As for rad placement.. in that case the only concern now is... will it be counter productive to have (2) 360s blowing at each other with only about 5" between them?

The Caselabs case is amazing. I bought mine used off Ebay (for a steal), and it's immaculate, without an issue on it. Came with most original parts, too. Took me a long while to figure out where/how everything goes, but I got it. I've reconfigured everything about five times already, it only takes a few minutes. ;c) Go for it, no regrets.