View Poll Results: How do you fill or top up your coolant loop?

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  • With a t-line.

    25 24.75%
  • With a reservoir.

    70 69.31%
  • With another method. (please give details)

    6 5.94%
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  1. #1
    Retired muddocktor's Avatar
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    2010 Poll: How do you fill/refill your cooling loop?

    This poll is one of a series of polls designed to give members the opportunity to see what the membership as a whole have chosen in regards to some of the more common cooling choices. This particular poll is for members to show what kind of cooling fluid fill/refill method is being used by them. It will also give anyone who feels the need, the opportunity to explain why they have chosen that method and possibly help others decide on what their next cooling fill method will be. This poll, along with the others will be stuck in the appropriate section and will be open for one year, after which a new poll will be set in place to allow future members to show their choices, current members to list any changes in their choices, and to allow members to track shifts in trends over an extended period.

    Having said that, how do you fill or top up your loop, do you use a t-line, a reservoir or another method? The "another method" could be anything such as immersing the whole system underwater and then, once it has been filled, sealing it up completely before removing it from the water or using both a t-line and a reservoir. As always, please give any detail you think may be of use to others, especially if you have an unconventional setup.

    NOTE: This is a direct cut-n-paste of eobard's old thread on this subject. I thought this one was a good poll to continue, so I have made a new poll for us to let everone know their preference.

    eobard's old poll can be found here.


    The 2009 poll can be found right here.

  2. #2
    Retired muddocktor's Avatar
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    As for me, I am a firm believer in a reservoir for my loops. The ease of filling and bleeding my loops is the deciding factor for me.

  3. #3
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    I have a drain line low in my loop with a plug to drain the loop. I pull the GPU's off my mobo and tilt them upside down to get the water out of them. I also pull my CPU block off and tilt it so the water drains out. I have to do this since my mobo is horizontal. I don't disconnect any hoses.

    I fill the loop and run it for a day, running just the pumps. I then drain one more time, fill again with distilled and my choice of biocide and bleed it.

    EDIT: I forgot to add. Both of my rads are vertical with the barbs on top. Both rads have drain plugs on the bottom thankfully, so my loop is pretty much 100% empty when I drain it. Thermochill and XSPC still have the plugs on the newer ones? I dunno.

    I think thats what your looking for Mudd?
    Last edited by Conumdrum; 03-31-10 at 09:33 PM.
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  4. #4
    dark bishop's Avatar
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    ive got a t line and a plug in the end of my radiator, just fill it up from the bottom.
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  5. #5
    Retired muddocktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conumdrum View Post
    I have a drain line low in my loop with a plug to drain the loop. I pull the GPU's off my mobo and tilt them upside down to get the water out of them. I also pull my CPU block off and tilt it so the water drains out. I have to do this since my mobo is horizontal. I don't disconnect any hoses.

    I fill the loop and run it for a day, running just the pumps. I then drain one more time, fill again with distilled and my choice of biocide and bleed it.

    I think thats what your looking for Mudd?
    Yes, that is a very detailed and helpful post, Conumdrum.

  6. #6
    Spawn-Inc's Avatar
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    started out with t ines and moved to a res as i didn't want to fill the giant loop with a T lol, though i could do it
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  7. #7
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    I use a reservoir. I have a little different method of filling the res than most though. I picked up a kind of squirt bottle, similar to the ones you would see for mustard and catsup at a hot dog stand or in the camping section of pretty much any store. With that bottle full, I can fill the res twice, fill the bottle again and top off my loop. Altogether, I have to fill the res a total of 3 times to fill the loop, and then top it off where the res is left about half full after bumping the pump the third time. I came up with this method due to the limited space in my Antec 900, where I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to fit a funnel. It also gives me more control over how much water goes into the res over pouring through a funnel.

    As for draining, since I have the MCRes V2, I take some spare tubing, put it on a spare barb, and put that on the top port of the res, which I also use to fill it. I then tip the case on it's face to let the water drain out into a bucket or onto the ground. Once the water stops running out, I then move the case around to get the rest of the water to move into the res, where I can finish pouring it out. It takes a bit of time, but it seems to work. I have thought about putting a T with a quick disconnect on the line between the pump and rad (lowest point of my loop), so that I can just hook up the piece of tubing on the other end of the disconnect and pull the fill plug on the res to speed up the process a bit.
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    Last edited by m0r7if3r on 1-23-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: I haz uber 1337 h4x0rz 5k1llz

  8. #8
    Seņor Senior Member Nebulous's Avatar
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    Using a "T" line atm, but prefer a res for the same reasons Mudd stated.

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  9. #9
    cadman420's Avatar
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    I use a small res, and like deadlysyn I use a bottle, mine I got from a sports store that has the curved end, to better fit in my case.
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  10. #10
    Member donuts's Avatar
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    I've got both. Cheap rig has a "t"- line, wife's and mine have a res.

    For filling both reservoirs, I've got enough tubing on them to just clear the side of the case. I fill/top them using a watering can for house plants.
    My "t" , I picked up a funnel that fits the tubing, I use a watering can to pour water to that. (I can't always find the funnel, so...)

    Draining, I have enough slack to pull the pump outside the case, hang it over a drain pan, and break loose the seal on the pump. I've got D5's so the motor unscrews from the body.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by donuts View Post
    I've got both. Cheap rig has a "t"- line, wife's and mine have a res.



    Draining, I have enough slack to pull the pump outside the case, hang it over a drain pan, and break loose the seal on the pump. I've got D5's so the motor unscrews from the body.
    So do you disconnect both the input and output hoses from the pump?

  12. #12
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    Regardless of what you use, are you sure that you've entirely drained the rad?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by x509 View Post
    So do you disconnect both the input and output hoses from the pump?
    The D5 has a ring that secures the head to the motor. If you loosen this ring, the head comes away from the motor, and you can drain the coolant without having to disconnect any tubing. To refill the loop, just put the pump back together.
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    Last edited by m0r7if3r on 1-23-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: I haz uber 1337 h4x0rz 5k1llz

  14. #14
    Member donuts's Avatar
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    As far as me draining the rad. Once my tubing is drained, tubing can be unhooked from the rad barbs. My pump is the low point of the loop. My rad is on the back of the case (external- barbs on top) pull the 4 bolts holding the rad to the case, and I can carry the full rad to the sink.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadlysyn View Post
    The D5 has a ring that secures the head to the motor. If you loosen this ring, the head comes away from the motor, and you can drain the coolant without having to disconnect any tubing. To refill the loop, just put the pump back together.
    Thanks. That sounds a whole lot better than installing a "T" in the loop somewhere. I assume that you need to be able to move the pump to somewhere outside the case, so when you loosen this ring, you don't get your case wet.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by x509 View Post
    I assume that you need to be able to move the pump to somewhere outside the case, so when you loosen this ring, you don't get your case wet.
    Correct. That is the reason I put a barb with about 2 feet of tubing on the fill port on my res. This way, I can safely tip the case over on its side or face, and let the water drain onto the ground (I do it outside), without any fear of damage to my components. When enough has drained that it is no longer filling the res anymore, I move the case around to try to get the rest of the water into the res, where I then flip the case over to the top, so that the rest comes out. If I am just doing the 6 month cleaning, I give it a good flush with clean water, drain again and refill. If it is time for the annual tear down, everything gets taken out, and I follow the same cleaning procedure that I did for every part when I first assembled the loop, including taking the pump and blocks apart and giving them a good inspection and cleaning.
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    Last edited by m0r7if3r on 1-23-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: I haz uber 1337 h4x0rz 5k1llz

  17. #17
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    I use a copper plumping 1/2-1/2-3/4" 'T' with a 1' long 3/4" tube on the fill side. The fill tube holds about half what a MicroRes holds and the 1/2" IN/OUT on the main loop (no barbs!) has virtually zero restriction. For me it's the perfect solution - low-cost, small space, easy to add water (fill-port), and if the 'T' is located just right it bleeds pretty quick.* Few bubbles make it past the 3/4" opening in the top of the T.

    For draining I disconnect the fill line from the fill-port and move it outside the case & down, letting gravity and nature take it's course for a few minutes. Once the loop has a little bit of water drained out I put a towel under the highest component (usually the CPU) and pull the tubing off the highest barb to let air into the loop. There's very little if any spillage and certainly nothing that splatters all over the place.


    *I try to locate the T so it has a slight uphill run going into the T and a slight downhill going out. This tends to slow the bubbles down a bit so most of them go up the 3/4" opening.
    Last edited by QuietIce; 06-08-10 at 05:21 PM.

  18. #18
    Member Haste266's Avatar
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    i started out with a swiftech micro-res almost 5 yrs ago now...went to a t-line for about 2 yrs...just went back to a swiftech micro-res...omg, so much easier to get the bubbles out. =D

    the swiftech micro-res rev. 2 has a drain port on the bottom of it. im sure i will make good use of it at some point. i have a small funnel i use to fill my loop.
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  19. #19
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    Drain Valuve!!

    I found after pleanty of blueprinting (doodling) that I came up with....let gravity do the work

    1 Drain Valuve at bottom of case
    2 Res in middle
    3 open valuve and it siphons its self out.....

    I just built it and it works great....

    here is a link to the photos

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  20. #20
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    I put my pump in a large glass bowl, open its vein and let gravity and a funnel do the rest of the work.

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