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  1. #1
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    WATER COOLING FAQ

    Alright. Once again, I see too many people asking the same questions over and over, and it seems like many folks don't like to read the stickies. (which I can understand). So while I will STRONGLY recommend the stickies be read. (and as Xander put it, you should read the stickies as if they are specifically written for YOU.) to give some general guidance, I thought I can list out some -general- recommendations if you are new to water cooling. Hence writing this short FAQ:


    Q1, WHAT COOLANT SHOULD I USE?
    - WE recommend Distill water over all coolants. Other coolants are really more cosmetic than anything, and scientifically, if you add any additives to water, you WILL lower its specific heat capacity, lowering cooling properties. So in general, you best choice is Distill water, you can buy in Groceries stores. That's right, you can drink it.
    quick additional info: : http://www.overclockers.com/beginner...cooling/#fluid


    Q2, What Biocide should I consider? How about Color Dyes?
    BIOCIDE:
    - Silver Kill Coil (1 string), or CuSO4 (1 drop per L) will do. DON"T OD on CuSO4, some research shows that can accelerate tube aging, and CAN add deposits in waterblocks (especially when you have mixed metals.) Silver Kill Coil is in general easier to use, and also very reuseable. For that reason, I will suggest Silver before CuS04, just drop it in your res, and end of story.
    DYES:
    As for Dyes, in general is it believed that dyes can eventually 'evolve' into a gooish material/deposit in your waterblock, and unless you are really unhappy about water being transparent, we recommend against it. Yes it is cool, but you will need to prepare to scrub every now and then. On the bright side, there aren't any serious reports about the dye-goo causing -serious- performance issues, so some dyes are safe to use. However, if you want color, why not color tubing instead.


    Q3, How Much Radiator Space I need to use?
    - General rule is 120 x 2 (120.2 = 240 rads) for CPU cooling only, then 120 x 1 for each additional component. The LONG ANSWER is much more detailed, and we need to talk about wattage, fan choice, and your overclocking target, but if you are not exceeding 1.45V Vcore for your CPU, 120.2 will generally be enough. AGAIN, the long answer requires lots of consideration, and this is general guidance only.
    quick additional info:
    Quick guide on picking radiators: http://www.overclockers.com/guide-deltat-water-cooling/
    How to pick the right fan: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/s...light=fans+101



    Q4, Which pump should I use? 655 or 35X?
    BOTH PUMP WILL WORK FINE.
    655 - quieter, less powerful, more suitable for loops with less components/restrictions.
    35X - stronger, smaller, more suitable for tight space, and loops with more components. When in doubt, get the stronger pump, the 'so called' noise won't be heard much if you have fans running anywhere near your chassis. Many folks prefer the 35X series cause it also comes with PWM control, which makes it ultra easy to tune.

    Q5, Is larger ID tubings better?
    Short answer: YES.
    Long answer: Not enough to matter. As flowrate's impact on heat dissipation is not very important when you use Water as coolant. Water's heat capacity is so large that even very low flow rate will almost never bottleneck the heat absorption, (unless near grinding halt) Most water cooling veteran using 1/4 - 1/2" ID, with 3/8 and 1/2 being more dominant of a choice. Larger tubings with thick walls is harder to bend around, but also harder to collapse, while smaller tubing might be more manueverable. The rest, is personaly taste, which means, you can really pick whichever.
    quick additional info: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/s...d.php?t=515368

    Q6, Where to place my reservoir?
    BEFORE PUMP.
    and as long as you place before Pump, anywhere is fine in the chassis.
    Reservoirs can be bought or self-made, they all function similar despite how they can look very different.


    Q7, Are compression fitting better than Barbs?
    Not really. In fact many people will tell you otherwise. Function wise, they are both tried and true, compression fitting might take less 'skill' to use, as with barbs you need to add a clamp most of the time, and over tightening the clamp can at some point cause a leak. (depending on the barb brand you use). If you use Barbs, a common trick is to use a slightly larger barb then tube, if you use 3/8 ID, then use 1/2 IB barbs, it will be a TIGHT fit. Let me list out the pro's and con's:

    Barbs Pro's:
    - less bulky.
    - cheaper
    - you can use them for thin wall or thick wall tubes.

    Barbs Con's:
    - Over tightening can cause leaks.
    - easier to be 'pulled' off.

    Compression Pro's:
    - Easier to have peace of mind.
    - very difficult to be pulled off.

    Compression Con's:
    - Expensive.
    - Need to match both ID and OD of tubes, can't be cross used.
    - Bulky, hard for tight spaces at times.


    Q8, Are my components OK?
    If you decide to ask this question, please remember to list out the following:
    - Your CPU/GPU model
    - Your OC goal
    - Your environment room temp
    - Your computer chassis
    - Detail component list, including fans you pick.

    Cause otherwise, it is near impossible to give you a good answer.
    We welcome such questions, but do give us the right info to help you.


    Q9, MUST I bleed out the air bubbles?
    YES. YES YOU MUST. Air bubbles can cause a series of things to a close loops, and none of them are good. When you are priming your pump (filling with water.) definitely include the following easy steps to bleed out the major air pockets:
    1, Fill Water in res, let it flow to pump.
    2, turn on pump, let water go 3/4 way down in res, add more water.
    3, when the above has been repeated enough without the res level lowering. turn off pump. close the lid. Tilt your chassis 90' to the sides.
    4, turn on pump again, you will likely hear lots of bubbling noises, let it run for a moment, make sure there's water in pump.
    5, tilt chassis back up, you should see the res level dropped as air bubbles are freed. add more water.
    6, turn off pump. tilt another direction. repeat steps 4-6, til you no longer see bubbles escaping.
    7, Now you probably have bleed out 95% of the bubbles! the system is good to go.
    *** don't be alarm if the water level drop slightly after first week, some bubbles takes forever to escape to the res, and that can happen.
    *** the tilt test is a good way to test potential leaking points too... beware of leaks while doing test.



    ...

    I am sure our Forum brothers will think of more to add here.
    and I will edit the list as we go along... hopefully everyone looking for answer will have a more effective time doing so.






    Last edited by bluezero5; 12-09-12 at 07:12 AM.

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
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    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

  2. Thanks!

    briansun1 (02-19-13), Conumdrum (08-13-12), manu2b (08-07-12), txus.palacios (08-14-12), xander89 (08-07-12)

  3. #2
    Member DigitalMonkey's Avatar
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    Nice work Blue. I hope this becomes a sticky. Its a good way to simplify things for those who are flustered with all the info they have to read.
    Project Akachi Coming Soon...

  4. #3
    Winner, Rig-o'-the-Quarter
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    haha, thanks.

    yeah, just trying to help folks that don't have time to read the stickies, but want some quick generic answers first. Hopefully that will help more folks.

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
    Core i7 3930k 5.0Ghz (1.52Vcore) <= 24mths! no decaying!
    select1: GTX680 3x SLI @1280Mhz
    select2: HD7970 GE @ 1300Mhz
    32Gb Trident 2400 DDR3 10-10-12-30 T1
    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

  5. #4
    Registered laxin213's Avatar
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    my 2 cents....

    a few topics you may wish to add, that although some are mentioned in the stickies, people miss them in the long reading style format and giant block of text that the beginners guide is. An FAQ is a more efficient way for people to "hunt and peck" to find that 1 answer to a single question they need....

    I agree new members need to read the whole beginers guide, but an FAQ would be a good way for the 1 off question or after the sticky was read but before the build starts type of questions. ...

    Q8 - How much PSU do I need?
    A good start is this calculator


    Q9 - What are some WC friendly cases that are easy out of the box to work inside?
    Corsair 800D, Lian Li series, others...This is mentioned in the sticky - Beginners guide to watercooling

    Q10 - Can I use any blocks with any rads, etc?
    Something about galvanic corrosion and the no-no's of mixing metals. This is mentioned in the sticky - Beginners guide to watercooling

    Q11 - What fans go best with what rads?
    Goals and hardware needed, and budget, but something along the lines of say the SR1 with an appropriate low noise high volume fan like a typhoon. I'm no expert on this, maybe just give some common ones and some rules of thumb...

    Q12 - What is the general maintenance?
    Daily/weekly monitoring, 6 mo maintenance and full 1 year teardown. Here's Conodrum's nice write up

    Q13 - Fittings?
    Y are OK, T is bad. Also clamps vs. compression fittings. Also this is mentioned in the sticky ""
    Last edited by laxin213; 08-07-12 at 07:26 PM. Reason: formating my ideas

  6. #5
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    yeah, keep mentioning what we should add to an FAQ, I can try to consolidate and see can it be made into a worthy quick post for new joiners.

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
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    select2: HD7970 GE @ 1300Mhz
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    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

  7. #6
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    Should i do, Rad,pump WATERBLOCK or rad,waterblock,PUMP

    Should the pump be pushing in the block or sucking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HD5830Gamer View Post
    Should i do, Rad,pump WATERBLOCK or rad,waterblock,PUMP

    Should the pump be pushing in the block or sucking?
    Quote Originally Posted by bluezero5 View Post


    Q5, Where to place my reservoir?
    BEFORE PUMP.
    and as long as you place before Pump, anywhere is fine in the chassis.
    These 2 can kind of be put together as the only orientation that matters is as long as res is before pump it doesn't matter what order the other components go in.
    Heat


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  9. #8
    Winner, Rig-o'-the-Quarter
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD5830Gamer View Post
    Should i do, Rad,pump WATERBLOCK or rad,waterblock,PUMP

    Should the pump be pushing in the block or sucking?


    Pump should ALWAYS be sucking from res. and pushing towards waterblock.
    this is particularly important when you are priming the pump, can damage the pump otherwise.
    I see no res from your setup.. u trying for the T-line?

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
    Core i7 3930k 5.0Ghz (1.52Vcore) <= 24mths! no decaying!
    select1: GTX680 3x SLI @1280Mhz
    select2: HD7970 GE @ 1300Mhz
    32Gb Trident 2400 DDR3 10-10-12-30 T1
    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

  10. #9
    Member Bubba-Hotepp's Avatar
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    So.....which coolant is good to use then?



    Sorry, couldn't resist.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluezero5 View Post
    Pump should ALWAYS be sucking from res. and pushing towards waterblock.
    this is particularly important when you are priming the pump, can damage the pump otherwise.
    I see no res from your setup.. u trying for the T-line?
    Should i get a reservoir or not? the rad I'm using has a cap is that enough for bleeding air?

    most reservoirs are made out of low grade plastic. Not very good for withstanding high pressure or temperatures.

    it's gonna be awhile to save up the money for the build. Don't expect it in a week or a month. For me it will take months to get that cash since i am 16

    POINT PC rad cores are sealed with epoxy (i seen inside of one how? i cut one open.)

    moto rads are brazed meaning the radiator core is melted with the tubes. No epoxy.

    Not gonna bother with pictures of it. But it is epoxy, not even soldered.

    Everytime i say moto rads are better people rage at me dunno why when it's the truth.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD5830Gamer View Post
    Should i get a reservoir or not? the rad I'm using has a cap is that enough for bleeding air?

    most reservoirs are made out of low grade plastic. Not very good for withstanding high pressure or temperatures.

    it's gonna be awhile to save up the money for the build. Don't expect it in a week or a month. For me it will take months to get that cash since i am 16

    POINT PC rad cores are sealed with epoxy (i seen inside of one how? i cut one open.)

    moto rads are brazed meaning the radiator core is melted with the tubes. No epoxy.

    Not gonna bother with pictures of it. But it is epoxy, not even soldered.

    Everytime i say moto rads are better people rage at me dunno why when it's the truth.

    you can actually make your own reservior very very easily. For a quick design, you can look at Digg's geo-thermal cooling, he has a custom reservoir too. and yes, you don't need to buy an expensive rad at all, res is probably the easiest part to mod. I will recommend having a res... without 'can work', but it is just so much easier with a res. Without a res, bleeding bubbles can be a pain in the butt, and the res also helps you to deal with a few more problems. The only time I will use a T-line and no res, is only when I am trying to make it work in a space so tight that I cannot afford a res... just my 2 cents.



    and Bubba
    So.....which coolant is good to use then?



    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    Exactly bro... EXACTLY.

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
    Core i7 3930k 5.0Ghz (1.52Vcore) <= 24mths! no decaying!
    select1: GTX680 3x SLI @1280Mhz
    select2: HD7970 GE @ 1300Mhz
    32Gb Trident 2400 DDR3 10-10-12-30 T1
    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

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    Well? is the radiator pressure cap enough to bleed bubbles?

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    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    The radiator you have will work fine as a res, assuming it is placed in such a way that gravity will feed the pump water, in much the same way that pc radiators with built in fill ports work as both a rad and a res.

    And they dont rage at you for saying moto rads are better in high temp high pressure situations. However, water cooled pcs are neither high temp nor high pressure. If your loop is done right, the water in it will be between 2 and 10 degrees celcius above ambient temperature. And to get enough pressure to burst a pc radiator, you will have to go out of your way to buy non standard water pumps that so far outclass the power needed to watercool a pc its laughable.
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD5830Gamer View Post
    Well? is the radiator pressure cap enough to bleed bubbles?
    well, should work in theory, but I never tried it, so I am not sure to what extent it can perform. If I were to use it, I know I will be paranoid about the bleeding process, I will probably be tilting my computer over and over just to be sure.

    CM Storm Trooper Chassis - ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme
    Core i7 3930k 5.0Ghz (1.52Vcore) <= 24mths! no decaying!
    select1: GTX680 3x SLI @1280Mhz
    select2: HD7970 GE @ 1300Mhz
    32Gb Trident 2400 DDR3 10-10-12-30 T1
    Motto: I didn't go water-cooling for an air-cooling Vcore!!

    My Rig's build log ::: Fans 101: Going Scientific ::: Water Cooling FAQ

  16. #15
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    Nice work BlueZero!
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    The radiator you have will work fine as a res, assuming it is placed in such a way that gravity will feed the pump water, in much the same way that pc radiators with built in fill ports work as both a rad and a res.

    And they dont rage at you for saying moto rads are better in high temp high pressure situations. However, water cooled pcs are neither high temp nor high pressure. If your loop is done right, the water in it will be between 2 and 10 degrees celcius above ambient temperature. And to get enough pressure to burst a pc radiator, you will have to go out of your way to buy non standard water pumps that so far outclass the power needed to watercool a pc its laughable.
    Yea i already ordered the moto rad it seems fittings will be somewhat easy because i got a moto rad with very small fittings.

    And waterpumps? yeah car water pumps well most aren't ran by power/electric but by the ENGINE (on a belt) meaning it's probably 5000 GPH to be honest.

    Like i said PC rads are sealed with epoxy (the core) while moto rads are melted shut (again the core not the tanks)

    The moto rad might not cool as good as PC rads in lower temps because the walls of the tubes are thicker. It just saves a little money and looks cool at the same time

    Thinking about bolting it to the case using L brackets or something.
    Last edited by HD5830Gamer; 08-07-12 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Grammar fixes.

  18. #17
    Member xander89's Avatar
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    nice info blue

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  19. #18
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    Nice Blue, thanks! A couple quick suggestions if you don't mind.





    I'd add this to the sticky thread, but nobody would read it.

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  20. Thanks!

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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiealumnus View Post
    Nice Blue, thanks! A couple quick suggestions if you don't mind.





    I'd add this to the sticky thread, but nobody would read it.
    This is nice... I guess you cant have this information in too many places it seems (Beginners water cooling guide where it already is?!).

    "We have more information and more ways of accessing it than ever, yet seem increasingly less inclined to do so."- Michael Wilbon

  22. #20
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    Nice FAQ Blue this is really cool is something that I could have used to not bother you guys with questions after reading the Guides as I did get a bit lost with all the info in the guides.

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