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My First Watercooling Build: issues and doubts

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New Member
May 12, 2016
This is my first watercooling custom loop and i need some feedback and suggestions: i want to "retube" the loop as i thought the one i did, isn't such a good work. I am a newbie in watercooling, i'd be happy to receive hints and corrections.

I ended this work about one month ago and there is a particular issue i had during the assembling:
after i finished filling the loop from the reservoir i noticed (after several trials and re-filling attempts) that the radiator wasn't completely full so i had to unscrew it off the case and fill it tilting it with my hands. Once it was completely full i connected the tubes and carefully mounted it in the case, it's been a delicate operation!
I've seen a lot of tutorials on youtube and in none of these there was someone doing the same thing i had to do...i'm pretty sure something it's not as it should be but i don't know what. Please help! :confused:

I also question myself on the possibility i made some mistakes or bad choices because the CPU temperature has recently assumed unexpected higher values compared to the first times.
I initially recorded an average value of 29 °C in idle (or normal tasks) with negligible peaks of 33-34 °C and peak values of 36 °C under full load during gaming.
Now i have an average value of 36 °C in idle (or normal tasks) under 35% of CPU load and peak values of 41 °C under full load during gaming.
Is it normal? How should i explain these variations? Is there anything that i should fix/improve to decrease these temps?

Here follows a full and detailed description of my watercooling loop.

Loop's Parts

Pump/Reservoir: EK-XRES 100 Revo D5 PWM (incl. pump) (link)
Radiator: XSPC EX280 Dual Fan Radiator (280mm) (link)
Fans: Thermaltake Riing 14 LED Yellow (link)
CPU Water Block: EK-Supremacy EVO - Nickel (Original CSQ) (link)
- EK-HD Adapter 10/12mm - Black (link)
- EK-AF T-Splitter 3F G1/4 - Black (link)
- EK-AF Extender 6mm M-M G1/4 - Black (link)
- Alphacool L-connector G1/4 outer thread to G1/4 inner thread - deep black (link)
- Alphacool 2-way Ball Valve G1/4 Black (link)
- EK-CSQ Plug G1/4 (for EK-Badge) - Black (link)
Tubing: EK-HD Tube 10/12mm 500mm - Acrylic (link)
Fluid: Mayhems Pastel Yellow 1Ltr (link)

Loop Scheme


The only possible configuration for the placing of the radiator in my case is vertically oriented so i chose an XSPC 280mm radiator with two Thermaltake Riing 140 mm fans for cooling it.
The flow path starts from the "out" port of the pump and goes into one of the radiator's ports (bottom tube in image 3).
The output flow from the radiator is separated by the T-Splitter (image 3) in two directions: one goes to the CPU Water Block's "in" port (tube on the left in image 2), the other goes to the valve (image 3) for draining operations.
The "out" port of the CPU Water Block is directly sent back to the "in" port of the pump (tube on the right in image 2).


Image 1: Side View

Image 2: The CPU Water Block

Image 3: Pump & Rad

Image 4: Tubes
Last edited:
Out of curiosity, why did you watercool an i3, and why an Extreme9 for that chip? Both are way overkill.

As far as your temps are concerned, you are far below needing to worry about them. My guess is they rose with the ambient temperatures, as it's starting to get warmer in the northern hemisphere.

Sweet looking rig. I wanted to do a yellow and black theme, but I didn't care for the yellow boards in the sub-$250 price range for Z97. Love the backplate on the GPU.
We usually run stress tests like this.

Idle PC not using with temp monitor like GPU-Z and CPU-Z.
Record temps.
Room (ambient air temps)

Load up Prime Prime 95
Load up Heaven or the newer one for GPU stressing.

Run both
Run 30+ minutes
Record the same 3 temps as above.

That is your max heat saturation. Keep the numbers.

Rooms get warm in the summer etc.... Ambient room temps normalize the situation.

The ambient change should almost exactly show the same change in temps as the CPU/GPU over time

If you are showing a repeated increase in temps running the tests:

You are running a dye in the system that can clog the micro-channels of the blocks, stain tubing, stain and clog the rad making it impossible to ever get rid of the gunk. The stuff has particulates that love to clog up high velocity water channels.

Here, for us normal folks, we suggest ONLY distilled water and a good biocide. You can go a LONG time with no issues. Home users don't have the $$$ or time for a build rig and a tear down 1 month later for the next PC magic show.

Distilled water, $1 a gallon and a $7 bottle of biocide (PHN-Nuke) needing 2 drops for 6 months, heck I went 2 years on that with a clean system.

Pretty is one thing, nightmares for a normal user, ack....

That is a great looking rig! Good luck!
A few years ago, when i decided to buy the components, my budget couldn't include an i7 and i went for a temporary and cheaper choice, so i took the i3 but i was unlucky! Intel decided to release new CPUs with different sockets just a couple of months after i bought my i3 and my Z77 Extreme9. I am still searching for good i7 cpus with 1155 sockets but the only hope you have to find one is on ebay and not new.
I think i am going to be forced to replace motherboard, cpu and ram but this is definitely not going to happen soon.
Anyway thank you for your appreciation and feedback! :)
P.S. The backplate is in acrylic, it's homemade!

I will run the tests as soon as i can.
However should i get rid of the coloured coolant and replace it with distilled water?...it would be a shame, it's so nice to see yellow coolant. More than the 50% of aestethics of the build was given by that pastel yellow. :(