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Loop Order Question, Drain Port Question

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animalmom

Registered
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Loop Pic.jpg

Above is the how the gear is currently installed in my case. I had this working for two years or so and needed to replace the CPU (dead) and added a new Mobo so could get modern CPU.

Previously when I drained I had the drain port at the bottom coming out of the front radiator. You can't really tell but the tube would have to go up and over the case lip so it was actually somewhat higher than the port at the bottom of the radiator. My previous loop had much too much tubing and now, feeling a bit more confident, I think i will get some angled fittings and make it tighter.

In any case I was thinking about setting up the loop like in the photo.

Question 1: Is there anything wrong with going Pump - GPU (x2) - RTop - CPU - RFront - Pump?

Question 2: Should I flip the front radiator so that the lowest point is the pump outlet (it would be) and add the drain port there? Previously when I tried to drain the loop it was a disaster - water got caught everywhere. Would that be better?

Question 3: When you drain your loop do you use the pump to suck out all the fluid? Do I need some sort of vent at the top? Do I just open the top of the Res as a vent? Do I build a vent?
Previously I ended up unplugging it and just taking off all the tubing which sucked.

Question 4: If I do it as in the photo the GPU outlet hose would have to have some play because it would go over the memory modules - other than aesthetically is that a big issue? (I dont' mind the aesthetics that much)

I know some of these questions are basic so appreciate your patience.
 

DaPoets

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
1st, loop order doesn't matter at all. From a "bad" order to "optimal" order you'll only see maybe a 1°c - 2°c difference in temps on your CPU or GPU depending on the configuration so don't worry at all about it. When the water temps equalize it really just doesn't matter.

2nd, the order that somewhat matters but not much at all is where you are exhausting the hot air. Ideally you always want to have your hottest air exhausted out of the case, not blowing into the case. So in your case that would be the top rad as exhausting the hottest air and then your front rad blowing less hot air into your case. That front rad is thick enough where you would see a sizable difference in performance if i'ts in Push/Pull instead of just Pull from what I can see in your photo. Kind of hard to tell but perhaps there are case fans hiding in front there? As for flipping the front rad, how you have it now is easier to drain, but having it flipped is easier for bleeding the loop. Personally with the chaos that is the bottom of your case I would flip it having the ports on top. I would honestly recommend buying a new case as they are cheap as hell these days and much more water cooling friendly compared to what you're using. You're also missing a bottom intake fan which would really help w/ your airflow.

3rd, draining the loop should be gravity based. You'll burn out your pump if you turn it on while draining. Just open your drain valve 1st, then crack open the top of your res to allow for airflow. Some will drain, but there are no loops that allow for 100% of fluid to drain out. You drain what you can, then start taking things apart knowing there is still fluid in radiators and graphics cards at times. Tipping helps some, just be careful and make sure the top of your res is screwed back on when you start tipping. Also when you have drained what you can, just attach a tube to one of your rads and blow into it to force more fluid out. Just be mindful of the flow of your loop when doing this.

4th, position your loop how ever you like, it doesn't matter if it's crossing over ram. As long as it makes you happy it's all good.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
In full agreement with DaPoets.

1. The only order that matters in a loop is that your reservoir directly feeds the pump (no components in between) and in your case the combo fits that perfectly.

2. From what I can see, unless you can move the front radiator up and/or mount the pump to the bottom of the case you will always have water at the bottom of the front radiator lower than the pump ports. If this assumption is correct then your best option is to keep the drain from the lower ports of the radiator. (Pro tip: if you're not afraid of case mods, drill a hole at the bottom of the case and add a drain port with a ball valve from the lower radiator port. It has a clean look and makes draining easy as it's guaranteed to be the lowest point in the loop.)

3. Don't run your pump unless you are sure it will have water in the res. If you're draining your loop, you will not be supplying water to your pump, so no, don't do it.

Of all the loops I've build the easiest to fill and drain have had drain ports at the lowest point and fill/vent ports at the highest. Tipping will pretty much be necessary in any loop.

4. If you can provide some height clearance between your ram and tubing, that would be ideal. If not it will just make removal and installs of ram more difficult. A non-issue for 95% of builds.
 
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OP
A

animalmom

Registered
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
1st, loop order doesn't matter at all. From a "bad" order to "optimal" order you'll only see maybe a 1°c - 2°c difference in temps on your CPU or GPU depending on the configuration so don't worry at all about it. When the water temps equalize it really just doesn't matter.

Thanks - super helpful

2nd, the order that somewhat matters but not much at all is where you are exhausting the hot air. Ideally you always want to have your hottest air exhausted out of the case, not blowing into the case. So in your case that would be the top rad as exhausting the hottest air and then your front rad blowing less hot air into your case. That front rad is thick enough where you would see a sizable difference in performance if i'ts in Push/Pull instead of just Pull from what I can see in your photo. Kind of hard to tell but perhaps there are case fans hiding in front there?

Yes, two 140s pushing in

As for flipping the front rad, how you have it now is easier to drain, but having it flipped is easier for bleeding the loop. Personally with the chaos that is the bottom of your case I would flip it having the ports on top. I would honestly recommend buying a new case as they are cheap as hell these days and much more water cooling friendly compared to what you're using. You're also missing a bottom intake fan which would really help w/ your airflow.

Thanks - my priority is draining ease so may leave it the same - what do you mean by bleeding the loop? I can add the bottom fan, there’s an intake grill on the bottom

3rd, draining the loop should be gravity based. You'll burn out your pump if you turn it on while draining. Just open your drain valve 1st, then crack open the top of your res to allow for airflow. Some will drain, but there are no loops that allow for 100% of fluid to drain out. You drain what you can, then start taking things apart knowing there is still fluid in radiators and graphics cards at times. Tipping helps some, just be careful and make sure the top of your res is screwed back on when you start tipping. Also when you have drained what you can, just attach a tube to one of your rads and blow into it to force more fluid out. Just be mindful of the flow of your loop when doing this.

Thanks - I feel better now

4th, position your loop how ever you like, it doesn't matter if it's crossing over ram. As long as it makes you happy it's all good.

Great, Thanks again

What case would you recommend?

In full agreement with DaPoets.

1. The only order that matters in a loop is that your reservoir directly feeds the pump (no components in between) and in your case the combo fits that perfectly.

Thanks

2. From what I can see, unless you can move the front radiator up and/or mount the pump to the bottom of the case you will always have water at the bottom of the front radiator lower than the pump ports. If this assumption is correct then your best option is to keep the drain from the lower ports of the radiator. (Pro tip: if you're not afraid of case mods, drill a hole at the bottom of the case and add a drain port with a ball valve from the lower radiator port. It has a clean look and makes draining easy as it's guaranteed to be the lowest point in the loop.)

I was thinking of this exact thing, and am just going to go buy the right drill bit today

3. Don't run your pump unless you are sure it will have water in the res. If you're draining your loop, you will not be supplying water to your pump, so no, don't do it.

Of all the loops I've build the easiest to fill and drain have had drain ports at the lowest point and fill/vent ports at the highest. Tipping will pretty much be necessary in any loop.

Good to know, my fill is the top of the res. How do you make a vent high - the highest point is the top radiator - it has ports on both ends so i guess I could build a ball valve on the top of the case? Maybe not worth the effort

4. If you can provide some height clearance between your ram and tubing, that would be ideal. If not it will just make removal and installs of ram more difficult. A non-issue for 95% of builds.

Thanks
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Here are my last two loops, well, 2 1/2 loops.

Case: Phanteks Luxe. This is before making the top air vent but you can see the way the case is made there is plenty of room for a vent port and the removable top filter grants easy access.

IMG_20180625_192813.jpg

IMG_20180625_192723.jpg

IMG_20180625_192830.jpg

The drain is not the lowest point when the case is upright so I would lay it on it's back (right side) and open the top vent. It drained ok but needed plenty of tipping to get most of the water out.

Case: Phanteks Evolv ITX. By far the most challenging but best loop I've made is my current ITX build. ITX builds always come with their own challenges and a full custom loop requires tons of planning and patience. This loop required some Dremel work to get the pump res to fit where I wanted it. This one fills and drains laying on it's right side. The top of the res is the highest point with a short fill hose attached to the top port and the drain is always the lowest point. I'm very proud of this one.

20200209_215149_HDR.jpg

20200209_215238.jpg