Watercooling... ??? (noob here)

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by prime2515102, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So, I'm a complete noob when it comes to watercooling. I have wanted to do this for at least 15 years now but I'm just now getting around to it. This is gonna be fun! lol

    I just ordered a Swiftech H140-X and I want to add another radiator to it.

    I got a good deal on a XSPC EX420 radiator (3x140mm) so I went ahead and ordered it (even if I can't use it right now I couldn't pass up the deal - got it for $65 and it's now back to $81) but I want to make sure I know how to install it before I go ordering parts I don't need.

    The radiator specifies G1/4 for the fittings, which seems to be standard?

    So...


    1. Are XSPC radiators any good? I got it for about $20 cheaper than the next cheapest radiator of that size so I figured, how can I go wrong? I'm not looking for the absolute best performance, I just need it to fit (to install, and to install fans) and to not leak. I doubt going with more performance will add any overclocking headroom as I hit 5Ghz without even trying with a 2x140mm AiO (7700k, and that was before delidding).

    2. Can the pump in the H140-X handle another radiator, and one that big? I was assuming so since it's the same pump used in their bigger kits (as far as I can tell) but I thought I would ask before I overwork it.

    3. It would appear that I prefer compression fittings as apposed to barbs and clamps, so I want to go with that. Do these fittings typically come with the gaskets needed for them or is that something I need to order separate?

    4. Do/should you use pipe tape on the threads of the fittings, or is the gasket good enough?

    5. Is it true that if I put a silver coil in the reservoir I can just use distilled water and not have to use additives? How long does that last? Any down side? Can I still use dye if I should decide to do so?

    6. Any suggestions for clear, flexible tubing? I don't want it to fog up...

    7. Any particular brand of fittings I should look into? I definitely don't want to go cheap on that. Cheap price is ok as long as it's quality (I like bang-for-the-buck, but I don't wanna fuck around with water flowing through my system lol).

    I'll probably have more questions at some point, but that's a start. lol

    Thanks :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  2. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    1. XSPC makes good stuff, just make sure you clean it out first, there is a few posts on radiator cleaning in the watercooling section, and one that I posted a good video on the process.

    2. Gonna be a pretty big ask for that pump imo, depending on what you're using in the loop (CPU only?)

    3. Yeah, they're good to go, and you don't need to spend big bucks on Bitspower fittings or the like, darkside, phobia, and koolance make great fittings at a much more reasonable price.

    4. No thread sealant needed, they are o-ringed at the base

    5. Yes, a silver kill coil is recommended to prevent algae growth, I use a silver plug in my loops (can get in other colors). I usually drain/flush and refill my loop about once a year. You can still use dyes, but it can stain tubing and acrylic, when using dye in a loop, I usually change the tubing every couple years to keep it looking nice.

    6. You want a plasticizer free tubing, I use Dupont Tygon, Masterkleer and Primochill LRT are also nice options.

    7. See post 3, modmymods has good prices on fittings.

    I'd honestly say you should remove the pump/res/rad from the H-140X and use the swiftech block and start building a full custom loop, only thing you would need to add is a pump and res and you can ensure that you will have the flow to get through that big rad and any blocks you may add in the future. That and I don't know what the swiftech radiator is made form, if it's aluminum, you don't want to put it in the loop with the XSPC radiator, as you will get galvanic corrosion from the mixed metals.
     
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  3. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm pretty sure it's brass/copper.

    I'll have to ask Swiftech about that pump (but yeah, just the CPU block for now). I'm likely going to use the kit as-is for awhile (1x140mm) because I want to make sure I've done my homework. And, actually, the block is what I'm more concerned with - I've seen a few people needing replacements because of cracks. Swiftech seems to have really good customer service, though.

    So far, I'm off to a good start, thanks for the info :)

    Edit: Yeah, copper and brass
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  4. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    To add to what rgMekanic said about your item #3: I'm in the middle of a new build with a red and black color scheme. Expenditures were already higher than I wanted so I went with some EK-ACF fittings. I wish I had not ordered those. While they were relatively inexpensive and saved me a few bucks they don't have a quality feel to them for one reason - the compression nut. The barb is (I believe) made of brass and nickel plated - feels great, nice fit and finish, and good design. The compression nut however is made of aluminum - it just feels very lightweight and cheap, though the fit and finish is fine and they look good. It just feels fragile. Don't get me wrong though. I have not had any functional issues with them, I just don't like the way they feel. YMMV.

    EDIT: Woo Hoo - Post # 500!!
     
  5. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Grats on 500 :)

    I've been water cooling for a loooong time. I'm just not a big fan of EK in general. the blocks are uninspired and meh, plus the plating issues they had previously, rads are DIRTY when new, and the fittings and res' are just meh. I really don't understand the hype.
     
  6. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    Thanks!

    I've been water cooling for a long time too. But up until this build I've been using Koolance Exos systems due to cases (Lian Li) that were not WC friendly. This build is going into a Thermaltake Core X2 which is pretty WC friendly. I chose the EK fittings because I wanted red ones and the Bitspower were tho only other ones I liked but those things are gawd awful expensive! Would have cost me nearly 3 times as much for fittings. As I said though, the EK fittings are working. The EK fittings, EK-FC1080 GTX Strix and backplate, Vardar F4 fans, and EK-D5 PWM G2 Motor are the only EK products in the build - Black Ice GTX 360 radiator (red), Monsoon Stand Alone Pump kit (red), 200mm Monsoon Modular Reservoir System (clear/red), XSPC Raystorm Pro CPU Waterblock (red), PrimoFlex Advanced LRT (red), XSPC EC6 Coolant (Blood Red), a handful of Monsoon plugs (red), and a few miscellaneous Koolance items (black and nickel). I guess I have more EK stuff in there than I thought but generally their parts are okay. The plating issues are really long in the past now. The Vardar fans are really good, though I wanted the new series that can drop to 25% on PWM or stop completely below that - but they were OOS at the time I placed the order. The Vardar fans are about the only things I would hype - the rest is, as you say, just kind of meh.

    Not trying to thread-jack here, just adding more information that the OP might find interesting/useful.
     
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  7. Nimisys

    Nimisys [H]ardForum Junkie

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    while i haven't felt these in particular, light alloy fasteners feel fragile in general. too reminiscent of pop-metal and the associated bias. just got to go with it.
     
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  8. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    And I did. I'm just used to something that feels more substantial. Been using Koolance fittings for years and there is no comparison to the way they feel.
     
  9. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I decided that since this is my first WC project, I'm going as cheap as possible for now and I'll upgrade things over time (I want to move to rigid tubing anyway, it's just too much of an investment right now).

    So I went the quick route and bought some primochill tubing that comes wtih pre-treatment, some XSPC barbs and clamps, and a silver port plug. Hopefully it will be 'good enough' for a year or so.

    Everything is coming tomorrow but I'm waiting for some memory I lost so who knows when I'll have it up and running.
     
  10. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    Losing one's memory is never a good thing. Wait... What? :)

    Welcome to the world of water cooling! Just take your time and plan things out and you'll do fine.

    Some hopefully useful tip that you may or may not already know:
    • Loop order really doesn't matter other than you want the reservoir to feed the pump.
    • Shorter, more direct runs usually look and work better than long, convoluted runs.
    • Did I mention to plan things out?
    • Do not over tighten fittings and clamps.
    • This stuff can get expensive! BUT it can almost always be reused in future builds.
    • If you're not sure about something, ask questions. There are people here that will help.
    For some good videos on water cooling visit Jayztwocents channel on Youtube. He covers everything from the basics to high end custom builds.

    Above all else, enjoy yourself, keep us posted and post pics! Good luck!
     
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  11. Nimisys

    Nimisys [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I used Home Depot purchased tygon, simple brass/copper nipples and normal work gear clamps for many years. They may not be as visually appealing as the fancy stuff, but they work well and are cheap/easy to aquire.

    Don't let this stuff become too complex for the sake of vanity. You can have a very effective loop for 1/3 the price by keeping the parts and connections simple. Once you get over the fear then you can start replacing stuff with more visually appealing parts as you desire.
     
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  12. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    On the lost memory, it's just too embarrassing to talk about. I might talk about it some day if it works out and I retrieve the memory. lol

    In this case, the pump and reservoir are integrated on the 140mm radiator. I was going to run from that, to the CPU, to the 420mm radiator, then back to the 140mm. Seem reasonable?

    I was going to see if I could find a suitable GPU block but I'm only running a GTX 1060 right now, and I already have an AiO attached to it so I'll just leave it for now or maybe go back to air until the next gen GPU's come out, then go something more high-end that would be worth watercooling (the 1060 water was just a for fun kind of thing, I didn't expect any massive OC improvements over air).

    Oh, and I did contact Swiftech and they said that pump will work with the added radiator no problem (I don't know if I mentioned that in a previous reply or not lol).
     
  13. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    Sounds like there is an interesting story to tell about that memory!

    Assuming that the 140 is in the rear exhaust position and the 420 is on the top that layout should work fine. As I said you want to keep your tubing runs as short as practicable which will usually look better too.

    Video card blocks are the biggest "recurring" cost because they generally can't be reused generation to generation. CPU blocks usually can be reused - I think I've used my Koolance block for at least three builds. Video card blocks, at least full coverage ones, will usually work only on one specific card, sometime only one specific SKU. You can get "generic" blocks for the GPU only that can sometimes be reused and they are a lot cheaper than a full coverage block. But you still need to provide some sort of cooling for at least the video VRMs and probably the RAM chips too especially if overclocking a higher end video card. You should be fine though with the AIO on your 1060.
     
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  14. TheSmJ

    TheSmJ 2[H]4U

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    Is it still possible to get GPU-only blocks and install alternative cooling on the MOSFETs/RAM? I remember being able to do this with a Maze4 block and a handful of loose heatsinks ~15 years ago but it's been a while since I've messed with water cooling videocards.
     
  15. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    Undoubtedly yes. Small heatsinks for the RAM and VRMs are still available all over the place. Generic GPU-only blocks are only very slightly harder to find. Hardest part is the mounting of the block. Some blocks might come with hardware to fit a variety of cards, others you may have to cobble something together yourself. This can be a viable solution for a person on a budget using a lower powered, non-overclocked card. While you MIGHT be able to get acceptable temps with this method on a high-end or overclocked card, I would recommend a full cover water block made for the specific card.
     
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  16. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    OFF TOPIC:

    Since it worked out, I'll tell the story.

    In the single most flaky move I have ever made, I sent back a defective motherboard to Amazon with a 250GB M.2 SSD and 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory still in it! I thought for sure I was out around $460.

    The day after I shipped it I realized what I had done and contacted Amazon. They said they filed a form for me to have the shipment reversed and sent back to me. Well, somebody screwed up because it ended up getting delivered to them.

    Amazon refunded the money for the SSD because I bought it from them, but I bought the memory from Newegg. They said I would be contacted by someone in 1-2 business days, and when they did not, I was told the same thing a second time.

    Suddenly I got an email from UPS saying a package was on the way from Amazon, but nobody contacted me. I opened the box and it was my memory, AND the SSD they had refunded the money on!

    Since they assured me they took care of this and the package was on it's way back, I didn't bother contacting UPS while the package sat in IL for three days, so the fault was no longer mine, therefore I'm keeping the second SSD for RAID0 (plus I corrected the second person I talked to when he had the SSD on the list of stuff to be returned, telling him I was already refunded the money for it, so...).

    Or does that just make me a dick since legally they had no obligation to send any of it back?

    Anyway... That whole thing was really stressful. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  17. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    If it's too late, you can disregard this, but I started my watercooling journey with a Swiftech H140x too.

    Friend... It was awful and I didn't even know it. That tiny integrated reservoir made everything about loop maintenance into such a chore it was unbearable.

    My recommendation is that you return or sell the H140x and put the funds towards a DDC pump (the AlphaCool DDC310 gets my vote) and a proper tube reservoir pump top. (Barrow makes decent budget-friendly ones for $20 or $30.) The cost difference will be minor, and that 420mm radiator you bought will more than handle your 7700k and a single GPU, should you choose to add one to your loop.

    Just sharing my 2¢.
     
  18. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    [​IMG]

    Hahaha! Funniest thing I've read all day! Would have loved to seen your face when you realized what you did! :D The refund and return of the SSD reminds me of the Friends episode where Phoebe found an extra $500 in her bank account. When she contacted the bank thay deposited ANOTHER $500 in her account.

    Some will say you're a dick if you keep it. I say meh... Amazon is a big company with many accountants. If they discover their error they will contact you. If not, oh well. Years ago I bought some fiber optic supplies from a company and received them a week or so later. About 3 months later they sent me an email saying they never charged me for the order and that they were doing so now. I went back and checked my bank statements and sure enough, there was never a charge. Sometimes shit happens...

    So how's the build going? Have you finished? Got any pics?
     
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  19. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Actually I just ran into my first problem. It turns out the rear exhaust fan on the motherboard side of this case is only 120mm, so I'm going to have to mount it in front and put the 420mm radiator in the drives side of the case (it's a Lian-Li PC-D600). I could have sworn it was 140mm. Oh well, I have plenty of tubing.

    The rest of the parts came today though, so all I need is some distilled water, which I'll probably pick up tomorrow, then another day for the pre-treatment (I think it says 12-24 hours but I'll have to double check).

    P.S. Is there a way to upload pics directly to this forum or is a 3rd party host required? I thought people were doing it but I can't see a button for it.
     
  20. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, I was already giving a lot of thought on the H140-X because it seems clunky, but once I get it together it's going to stay where it is for about a year or so and I'll be getting rid of it for a discrete pump and reservoir. I'm just getting my feet wet for now (hopefully not literally! haha) and this appears to be as simple as it gets. Plus, this H140-X was on sale for only $62, so the cost difference would be substantial enough (pump alone would be at least that much).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 1:51 PM
  21. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    And the second problem... I shouda googled... The silver plug won't fit in the H140x because something is blocking the opening. OK then... lol Looks like I'll be using the antimicrobial stuff that came with the tubing.
     
  22. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    WOW... This just isn't going well. The tubing I bought isn't 5/8" OD like the store page and package says. According to my calipers it is .604" (±.001") where it should be 0.625", so the clamps won't hold.
     
  23. tkoons000

    tkoons000 n00bie

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    if this hasn't already been discussed ,if you have nickel in your loop that silver kill coil will ruin it
     
  24. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    What tubing and fittings are you using? Got links to product pages handy?

    Have you tried installing the tubing on a fitting yet? I've seen some soft tubing visibly bulges over the barb, giving it the full OD it needs for the compression collar to squeeze down on it.

    Edit: Just read the thread again and noticed you're using barbs and clamps.

    I know this sounds ghetto, but zip ties are a feasible retention method. Really, once the tubing is over the barb, the "press fit" is all the seal you need; the clamps are just for peace of mind. Just be sure your tubing runs don't put a ton of lateral force on the fitting and zipties will hold it together.

    You can get some good fittings a little later. I strongly recommend Barrow fittings, sold in the States by ModMyMods. They're priced great, fit and finish are awesome, and they DON'T have photo obnoxious logos printed all over them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 3:48 PM
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  25. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The tubing is Primoflex and the clamps and barbs are XSPC (those seem like very good quality to me, and they are the right size).

    I said screw it and I'm keeping the tubing because this is getting stupid. lol I'll do the zip-tie thing or get some smaller generic clamps from Home Depot or something because I absolutely could not get the tubing off the barb. I pulled and wiggled and twisted as hard as I could but it didn't budge one bit (and I mean not even a fraction of a mm) so I don't think it's going to take much to keep it on there.

    For future reference because it's just not in the budget right now: Has anybody tried Ice Dragon nanofluid coolant? Is it worth $30? It seems kind of gimicky...
     
  26. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Premixed coolants are a waste of money, especially if you're aiming budget. You'll be far better off with simple, cheap distilled water and a biocidal additive, which I believe you got a little bottle of with your tubing. =)
     
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  27. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    Truth, however, I had some trouble with my all-XSPC loop corroding, and leaving gnarly black deposits in the reservoir after about six months when using distilled water and a silver coil. I had to tear the whole thing down and clean it over the weekend. The minor tarnishing of the blocks I don't really care about, but the res was starting to look pretty gross.

    I've since changed to XSPC's coolant concentrate, which supposedly includes some corrosion inhibitors. We'll see if it makes a difference.
     
  28. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Scary. Any mixed metals in that loop? Nickel-plated stuff, for instance? My experience with gnarly corrosion is nil, and I've only ever used distilled and biocide.

    I read once recently that silver and nickle don't play nice.
     
  29. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    No, no nickel. Silver coil, copper CPU jacket, copper graphics card jacket, apparently brass radiator.

    Edit: Actually, the fittings have some sort of plating on them. It looks like chrome, but I'm not sure what it's actually made of. Could be nickel, maybe? They're all XSPC - the type with the little barb for the hose, and then a compression ring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 3:18 PM
  30. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I think I know the fittings you're talking about. The low-profile type compression fittings? They kinda look like black nickel to me, but I'm not certain. Might be some other kind of finish.
     
  31. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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  32. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    [There's a question at the bottom]

    Ever get the feeling that some malevolent force in the universe is trying to prevent you from doing something? The replacement motherboard is more dead than the first one (at least the first one worked for a little while). FFS!!! :cry:

    Anyway, I decided to put the H140-X in the drive bay side of the case so it will be out of the way (it's not exactly small or pretty) and the radiator in the motherboard side.

    So, I'll have three 140mm filtered intake fans blowing through the radiator, two filtered 120mm intake blowing down from the top of the case, and one 120mm rear exhaust. On the drive bay side, two 120mm filtered intake, and three 140mm exhaust (one of which is the H140-X). Overall I think I should get positive air pressure to keep the dust to a minimum.

    HOWEVER...

    Can the H140-X be mounted upside down and sideways? The instructions say nothing about orientation and only shows shows the 220x mounted from the top of the case facing down (radiator up, pump/reservoir down). Would it hurt anything to mount it with the fill port facing down (so that I can still see the window to keep an eye on the water)? I wouldn't think so, but as wrong as everything has been going I thought I would ask before cutting the tubing.

    Here is the stock picture from their site:
    [​IMG]

    So, there's the fill port at the top in that pic, but I would like to mount it facing down.

    If I have to, I can just mount it with thumbscrews so I can take it out once in awhile to look at the windows I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017 at 1:33 AM
  33. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    Just a note / tygon tubing is often just a hair undersized - it’s usually intended to use with barbed fittings and that makes those connections more snug. Dipping the tygon in hot water softens it up and makes it easier to get over these. Generic hose clamps (either the worm gear screw type or the simple clamp/snap on type) are best while you are figuring it all out. Yes, zip ties will work fine as well unless you have way oversized your pump.

    It makes dealing with compression fittings more difficult (as you found out) as it may be a bit too loose - usually it will work just needs a bit of finagling. I do like compression fittings, I just don’t like compression with tygon. The tygon is too soft and tends to kink at the fitting when the loop heats up unless you get heavy with strain reliefs - and that kills the flow and temps go through the roof.

    Barbed fittings don’t seem to do that as badly - maybe because the barb goes in farther and acts as support, I don’t know. Barbed fittings are a pain in the ass to get back apart once the tubing had been installed for a while. This is over months, not hours or days though - maybe as it heats up the tygon kind of forms/molds around the barb or something . I Usually end up cutting the tubing off and just replacing the run if it’s too short after I’ve snipped it.

    I concur with the general consensus on premixed cooling. I never ran a kill coil, and the only time I ever had to drain and clean a loop was because I used premixed dyed coolant and the die plated out on the tubing. A bit of biocide can’t hurt anything, but if your equipment is all clean, you don’t spit in it, and you use distilled water (not tap water or bottled water or anything else), the biocide is precautionary at that point.

    Custom Water cooling doesn’t have to be expensive, but it certainly can be if you let it. Don’t go crazy until you’ve had your first basic loop running.
     
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  34. prime2515102

    prime2515102 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good stuff! thanks :)

    Actually, I tried to get that tube off like 5 minutes after I put it on. I did end up cutting it.
     
  35. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    For orientation of your H140

    I don’t know about that model specifically.

    In general, reservoirs need to be installed with fill port so they are “Up” in your normal case orientation.

    Reason being - the reservoir is there to trap air and keep your pump primed and humming along. Air in the blocks and rads is bad, but you want a bit of air in the res because it acts as a cushion for when the water heats up and cools down. That keeps the pressure on your tubing and fittings more consistent. Further more, sometimes the fill ports may have a small vent drilled in them and you don’t want them to drip.

    Also, the pumps are usually installed in the bottom of a res in combo units. For obvious reasons the pump needs to be in the water. If you flip it upside down, now the pump is in the air bubble and stuff just doesn’t work out well.
     
  36. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    With regard to cosmic forces aligning against you and making your build difficult...


    Welcome to custom water cooling! If it were easy everyone would do it.
     
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  37. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I gotchu, my man! From Swiftech's website:

    MCR140-DRIVE-X-orientations.jpg