Recommend Replacements: XSPC 45 and 90 degree bends leaking after 2 years of use

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by Zarathustra[H], Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Hey all,

    As the title says. I have been using 8 XSPC swiveling bends in my loop for 2 years now, and all of a sudden three of them are leaking. I should have known. One of them leaked at the same spot (the swivel) when I first installed them two years ago, but the rest were fine, so I assumed I just had one with a manufacturing defect. I can't pretend to understand why the floodgates suddenly opened on three of them at the same time, but that is neither here nor there.

    I just drained my system and it is sitting in the basement drying out. Luckily I noticed before it got any worse than just a small puddle on the back of my GPU on the backplate, so nothing electric actually got wet.

    It figures too. This was the first time in forever I had some time to kick back and play a game. Now I am without a functioning system.

    It looks like the leaks on all of them are right here at the swivel joint:

    upload_2018-12-3_23-3-47.png

    upload_2018-12-3_23-5-58.png

    Here is a little video:




    Anyway,

    So as it stands right now, I don't trust any of XSPC's bends or fittings in my system at all, and I plan on replacing them with a different brand.

    Question is, what is the most trusted brand when it comes to fittings and bends?

    I'm hoping to find some on Amazon with Prime so I can get them here quickly and fix my system over the weekend.

    By my count I'm going to need:
    - 10 compression fittings for 3/8" ID, 1/2" OD tubing
    - 2-3 90 degree bends
    - 5-6 45 degree bends

    What do you guys recommend, that will last me a long time and many reuses without leaking?

    Also, is it advisable to reuse the tubing, or should I replace that too?

    Appreciate it!
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Bitspower CC3 fittings and bends seem nice, but HOLY SHIT are they pricy.

    Supply on Amazon is spotty and overpriced it would seem

    Performance PC's has better pricing, but their inventory for every bitspower part I want is lower than what I need (wtf?)

    Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  3. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is a surprise to me - I would have recommended XSPC fittings if you hadn't just had a bunch of them fail. Their products have always seemed quality to me, but I'm not gonna have much to recommend based on your two-year criteria because I've only been watercooling myself for about that long.

    None of the fittings I've used have leaked, and I've used primarily Koolance and Barrow. I've read that Barrow are just unbranded BitsPower fittings, and they do seem to look very similar. Trouble is that being a Chinese brand, inventory in the be US is spotty. ModMyMods has the best stock in the states, but they sell them like hotcakes and are frequently out of the more commonly used ones.

    Honestly though if you're refitting the whole loop, I would take the opportunity to find the most flexible tubing you can get, order fittings according to that, and eliminate every single "rotary" fitting you can from your setup. Every o-ring is a failure point and the ones that aren't secured by threads are even more prone to leak under the right conditions.
     
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  4. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Fewer moving parts, fewer points of failure.

    That said, I have no experience with the non swiveling bends. How difficult is it to get them pointing in the direction you need them to?
     
  5. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't think you really can, but that's why I suggested getting the softest tubing you can get and possibly reordering your loop to make your runs possible without using any angled fittings at all.
     
  6. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've been using Monsoon fittings for about 3 years now without leaks. They are pricey though, and I wouldn't be using them if I had to buy them (got them for free from a cousin). Also have Bitspower angled fittings in the same system without leaks so far.

    I would not bother with fixed angled fittings. Pretty much the only way to change their angle while keeping everything sealed is to get different thickness O-rings. Or put large amounts of thread seal tape and run without O-rings.
     
  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Intersting. I've seen the Monsoon brand online, but I never considered buying it, probably in large part because it felt like an unfortunate name for a water-cooling product. I picture a monsoon raining inside my case :p
     
  8. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Aesthetically nice fittings for sure, a pain in the butt to deal with. If I actually did proper maintenance/regular upgrades on my system (I don't think I've changed out the water in 2+ years), I probably would not use Monsoon fittings.
     
  9. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Intersting idea, but I don't think I can make mine work without at least one 90 degree bend. I could probably eliminate some of the 45 degrees, but I'm not sure I really want to.

    Is the "all swivels eventually leak" a generally accepted fact? I would expect them to wear out if you keep constantly twisting them, but mine were just twistes to their correct angle once and then sat still for two years.

    I'm hoping by just going with Bitspower, EK or some other more trusted brand I'll be less likely to have a leak.

    Last night I was in a "fuck it, I'm going to rip out everything" kind of mood, but I think I've calmed down a little bit. None of the compression fittings appear to have leaked, just the swivels, so I am going to see if I can get away with replacing just the swivels (and the fluid while I'm draining it anyway, as it's over two years old now) and see where that takes me.

    I had forgotten about modmymods. I've never ordered from there, but browsed their site frequently. Do they generally ship fast? I'm hoping to take care of this this weekend.

    Surprisingly, my local Microcenter apparently also stocks water cooling parts, including various swivels and connectors. I had no idea water cooling was that mainstream now. I might check what they have in order to get parts fast.

    I figured that would be the case, but I have never used them before, so I didn't know for sure.

    I thought there might be a small ability to tweak orientation by alternating the starting position. You know, if there are two full turns to bottom out if I start at 12 o clock maybe I wonder up there? But I guess not.
     
  10. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    ModMyMods is an excellent supplier. Their inventory isn't as expansive as PPCS, but their customer service is top notch. I've actually got their owner working on a custom bracket for me right now. Never had any problems with them.

    Swivels don't all eventually leak, but they have a much higher chance of it than other types of fittings by their nature. I can't say if they wear out faster from being twisted more often or if it's just a matter of the rubber aging.
    The o-rings in them are required to be a hair "uncompressed" by comparison to other fittings, as that is how they're able to turn at all.
     
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  11. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    What I would do is reuse the compression fittings and tubing that you have, but eliminate the swivels. You may need to make new, slightly longer tube runs. I have many of those XSPC compression fittings like you're using there, and none of them leak. The swivel fittings have always seemed like a bad idea, to me, though.

    You can replace the o-rings that seal the compression fittings on the flat side. I would lubricate them with silicone o-ring while I was at it.
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Hmm. If I had my druthers, I'd like a design I could set the angle of before installing, and tighten it down hard so it no longer turns, but that's just me.

    Yeah, I shoehorned some pretty big radiators into my case, and it has left me with some pretty unforgiving bends in places I don't really have much option other than using some sort of angle unfortunately.

    I did not realize that lubing the o-rings was advisable. What kind of silicon does one use for this? Is there a special product?
     
  13. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    This is a different brand from what I use, but it's the same thing.
    https://www.amazon.com/Grade-ring-L...127&sr=8-1&keywords=silicone+o-ring+lubricant

    O-rings should always be lubricated prior to installation, especially in situations like you see in PC water cooling where they're not really being used properly, anyway.

    As an aside, I've always thought it would be cool to build a water cooling loop with AN fittings and stainless braided hose, but I've never seen the right adapters to make them fit a G1/4 thread like the jackets and rads generally have.
     
  14. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    That would be cool, but I wonder if there would be corrosion due to dissimilar metals...
     
  15. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    For what it's worth, CLCs use copper cold plates and aluminum radiators as standard practice. Automotive cooling systems have many different types of metals in them too, and corrosion hasn't been an issue for them for like 20 years.

    It's not really a problem if you don't use tap water, I think.
     
  16. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    CLCs can get away with that because they have a coolant very specifically formulated for their product. Cars aren't really a good analogy here, because they actually do corrode quite a lot - at least in PC cooling terms - they just don't have things like microchannels and jetplates for that corrosion to cause problems with.
     
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  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    It's interesting. I've never heard anyone mention lubricating the o-rings before.

    Have you had them dry out and leak in the past?

    That link you sent is a food grade silicon. I wonder if a silicone based cooking spray would do the trick in order to find something local and quick.
     
  18. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    In the military, we couldn’t afford the silicone grease (which is the best thing — can get it in a hardware store, it isn’t expensive or exotic).


    ...Which sounds retarded because the military could afford to spend $12,657 on coffee cups and toilet seats...

    But we used to just use grease off our nose or forehead.

    Which is gross. It is practical. And it’s far from the most gross thing we did in the service.

    It does make a difference - fittings slide in smooth and o-rings stay more pliable and will take longer to crack due to age or embrittlement.

    Natural rubber o-rings are notorious for cracking (and leaking).
     
  19. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    Any hardware or auto parts store will carry something similar. I use a food grade one because it's what I have, but it doesn't necessarily need to be food grade unless you're planning to drink the coolant. I suspect it's all the same, anyway.

    And while I've never had an o-ring in a PC leak as a function of failure to grease it, they're very susceptible to mechanical damage, which can be caused by rubbing them against things, which happens when you tighten them. The grease helps to prevent this.

    In fact, if you can disassemble the swivel fittings you mentioned in your original post, I bet you can replace the o-rings in there, grease the new ones, and reassemble, and get years more life out of them. Getting them apart and back together will probably be a challenge without the right jig, though.

    Edit: If you attempt this, use Viton replacement o-rings. They're more chemically stable, and less prone to leakage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  20. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Intersting. So are we talking more of a thick grease, or a more liquid oil?


    I have this thick synthetic grease I use on my car. Would that be appropriate?

    IMG_20181124_161354.jpg
     
  21. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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  22. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    It would probably work ok, but I'd try to avoid anything petroleum based, more for the sake of any plastic parts of your system than the o-rings. Especially that red grease, which may stain the plastic parts.

    The silicone grease isn't hard to find, though. Any auto parts store or hardware store would have it, and Amazon has free same day delivery for it, for me.
     
  23. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    i had the same issue with 3 or 4 of the 16, 4- 4packs of 45/90degree black chrome xspc fittings i used last year. they leaked from the very same rotary section but right off the git go. i caught them during the leak test. ive found that if they are anything but almost impossible to turn, they will leak. the ones that leaked were really easy to turn vs the ones that didnt. those were tear the skin off your finger hard to turn. of course the sloppy ones were the first ones i used and they leaked. after removing the bad ones and turning them around over and over there would be a kind of metal on metal catch that would force the rotary opening to 3 times that of normal. i was also able to create a larger than normal gap(enough to leak) by leaving a piece of tubing on the rotary+compression. then rocking the tubing back and forth. the gap would eventually widen. so my assumption is that they are just not very hardy fittings to begin with and any kind of manipulation either back and forth or by turning them can cause a leak.
    i emailed xspc CS and explained what happened. they said they had a small batch of 45/90 degree leakers around the time i bought my fittings (6/17 from amazon). what a coincidence! ive still got around 10 or so xspc rotaries in my loop but im phasing them out with my next tear down(yeah im lazy). barrow is what ill be going with. if your xspc compression fittings are still in good shape i would just try to match the chrome/black chrome 45/90s you need with another companies like bp, alphacool or ek. itll save you a ton vs buying all new fittings. as has been suggested, the safest bet would be to go rotary free but who can do that? the safest bet would be to go back to barbs and worm drive clamps but who wants to look at those again!? haha
    i wouldnt introduce any foreign material into your loop if possible. it will almost always result in nasties of one kind or another. to put your mind at ease as far as orings go ive got 8 or 9 year old green bp o rings that i just pulled off of fittings that were pock marked with corrosion. despite how the fittings themselves look, the o rings look and feel brand new. xspc has an issue with the way their rotaries are built internally.
     
  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Hopefully this silicone oil will do the trick!

    IMG_20181206_192639.jpg
     
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  25. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    One more time, this time with bitspower.

    IMG_20181206_225048.jpg
     
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  26. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    id say fug it and just go back to barbs and clamps, im not kidding. after all of those leaks i would be waaaaay to paranoid to use anything but the simplest, easiest, most reliable gear available! hell im getting paranoid just seeing what your dealing with. the problem is we design our rigs around 90 and 45 rotaries now...so wtf do you do without them in the loop?! im seriously trying to mentally reconfigure my new loop but without the 10 or 12 rotaries and hardline, i cant do it. the whole loop has to change without them...
     
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  27. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I think compression fittings are fine. None of mine have leaked, but I agree, if I had the option, based on this experience I would not use rotaries, but with my case and radiator configuration I just don't think it is possible to elininate them.

    I wish there were bends that you could set to the angle you want them, then clamp them down in that orientation before installing them so you can have a rigid bend without the risks associated with swivel designs.
     
  28. Hakaba

    Hakaba I Think I am Funny, but I'm Not

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    Well just used 8 or so EK swivels, just finished my hard loop now I want to go back to soft tubing... I would have a hard time trusting something that leaked.
     
  29. Reality

    Reality [H]ard|Gawd

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    My EK 45 and 90 degree rotary fittings are leaking now as well, rip. Bitspower are the only brand I trust now. So far I've had alphacool, ek, and xspc fittings either chip or leak. Bitspower fittings still perfect tho

    edit: one of my 4 koolance QDC also stopped connecting properly also, which means its useless
     
  30. Supercharged_Z06

    Supercharged_Z06 2[H]4U

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    ^^^^ This times 1000.

    While I can appreciate that some folks really want the bling/flash and a rig that's ready for an art exhibit, or perhaps just the convenience of fast disconnects/rotary connectors, to me it all boils down to form/function, reliability and performance. Nothing is going to beat barbs and hose clamps with good quality 1/2" ID tubing. Every single fancy 45 or 90 degree elbow/rotary fitting you add robs your loop of flow performance... not to mention piece of mind from future potential leaks. When it comes to a cooling loop, keeping it simple with lots of extra capacity always wins in my book. I've never had a leak and I've been running water loops for a good 15+ years:

    My_PC.jpg

    I just replace all my tubing whenever I do a major upgrade, which is typically once every 3-4 years. (The above is going on 3+ years now - a bit on the slightly discolored side due to some minor leaching, but otherwise fine.) Straight up distilled water, 3-4 drops of iodine and a kill coil.

    Ok, now get off my lawn! :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  31. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Super Lube silicone grease on all my compression fittings. Never a leak. Swivel fittings are just not a good idea...ever.
     
  32. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

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    +1 to this. I trust barbs + clamps far more than compression fittings. I used them them pretty much exclusively. Not as pretty. I do have one Barrow 90 degree swivel tho with a barb screwed into it for the output port of my pump. I would rather not have used it but the alternative is a big bend in my hose. The swivel seems pretty tight and so far I haven't had any probs with it - knock on wood (*raps head*).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  33. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    My build simply wouldn't be possible without them. Too many tight bends to make the radiators I have fit in this case.

    I could see how swivels would be a problem if you are constantly - well - swiveling them. That would wear the seals. The way most people use them though, install them, adjust them to the correct angle, and then let them sit untouched for a couple of years, you'd think wouldn't be a problem.
     
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