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[O/C]Annual Water Cooling Cleaning and Rebuild Journal

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Overclockers.com

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Annual Water Cooling Cleaning and Rebuild Journal
by Conumdrum

Properly maintaining a water cooling loop is critical for great long term performance. So I documented my rebuild and my thoughts as I worked my way through it. My rig is pretty complex, but the basics are the same for any water cooling loop. The rig was first built March 2009. I drained and refilled per at least the six month window, and rebuilt my loop starting on January 8, 2010, so a bit less than one year since my rig was built.

The rebuild and draining time are variable. I have varied in the past. It’s really up to you, the user, as your knowledge and scheduling require. It has to be done someday. It’s better you do it on your time than have a messed up loop you don’t have time to repair. When you decide to rebuild, give yourself plenty of time, don’t rush it.




Click here to continue reading.


Discuss this article below. If you are interested in contributing to the front page (www.overclockers.com), please feel free to contact splat, mdcomp, or hokiealumnus.
 
Last edited:

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Everyone please congratulate Conumdrum on his first article for the front page. Job well done!
 

mdcomp

Classic Administrator
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Awesome article man! I gotta say, I haven't been interested in watercooling in a few years, but you really grabbed my attention and got me thinking about building my own. I love the informal narrative you put together, really makes me feel like I'm your buddy hanging out in your garage helping you clean it out myself. It really shows your personality!

I tweeted this article as well (www.twitter.com/overclockerscom) if anyone is interested. Nice work man!
:)

Matt
 

Spawn-Inc

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Nicely done !

clean up time is coming soon for me, thinking i will do a before and after cleaning and testing that new thermal paste on the weekend.
 

Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
Thanks to everyone back to day one when I first wanted to go watercooling and even overclocking my old PC. This is my fav forum, my home. Thanks to Hokie for fixing my pics cuz the stoopid proggy wouldn't let me or I was just unable to make it work.

Glad I'm able to contribute directly to my home forum. I have other odds and ends helpful hints etc scattered around other forums, but this place deserves something better than my previous hacks. Was fun! Now, Mass Effect 2 is sitting on my table unopened. I got better things to do now!!!
 

starrant

Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Location
New Hampshire
Great job with good detail. This will printed and by my side when I have to do my first annual maintanence. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing with everybody. :salute:
 

PolePosition

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
Location
Louisiana
Really nice article with a wealth of information for those of us (like myself) who have yet to move into the realm of WCing. I'll be bookmarking for future reference.

Just wanted to ask one little question though. Is there any alternatives out there to using plain distillled water such as glycol (spelling) sorta like antifreeze stuff, that would extend the times one would need to do all the draining/cleaning/refilling? Much like what is used in autos where you only have to flush/fill a radiator every few years instead of 6 months-year.
Also, I have to believe some kind of new developments will eventually come out where the issues of corrosion on blocks is minimized, or is this something we'll all have to live with and goes with the territory in WCing?

I really like those fittings and especially the clamps. Chrome is nice, but it would be nice to see them in black or gold or brushed aluminum/nickel. A link to where to find parts like this would be helpful too, but I guess thats what search engines are made for.
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
Really nice article with a wealth of information for those of us (like myself) who have yet to move into the realm of WCing. I'll be bookmarking for future reference.

Just wanted to ask one little question though. Is there any alternatives out there to using plain distillled water such as glycol (spelling) sorta like antifreeze stuff, that would extend the times one would need to do all the draining/cleaning/refilling? Much like what is used in autos where you only have to flush/fill a radiator every few years instead of 6 months-year.
Also, I have to believe some kind of new developments will eventually come out where the issues of corrosion on blocks is minimized, or is this something we'll all have to live with and goes with the territory in WCing?

I really like those fittings and especially the clamps. Chrome is nice, but it would be nice to see them in black or gold or brushed aluminum/nickel. A link to where to find parts like this would be helpful too, but I guess thats what search engines are made for.

Antifreeze is used when you're mixing metals (i.e. aluminum) in the loop to prevent corrosion. With normal PC loops, all the parts are brass and copper, which do not corrode when in a loop together, so it should be a non-issue unless you're modifying automotive parts to fit in your loop. There are other substances in the loop, such as plasticizer in the tubes, that will collect in places, making this necessary. AFAIK, distilled water has the highest specific heat out of any readily available liquid, which is why it's commonly used (it can hold more heat). Adding anything to the water will reduce it's performance, so we go with the bare minimum (silver kill coil or 1-2 drops of copper sulfate to prevent algae from growing in the loop).

There's a list of WC part stores in the sticky in the water-cooling subforum.
 

Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
It's not corrosion we have, it's a thin film of oxidation in a distilled loop.

We tear our loops down when we feel like it, and since a drain/refill is easy enough to do, (4-5 hours including spiffing up dust bunnies etc) AND it's a hobby we don't mind. I have seen trouble free distilled loops go over a year with no drain/refill. (I'm not gonna say how long mine is been, I'll get in trouble).

The teardown is a full weekend. Again it's a hobby. And a good way to check stuff. When a WC loop goes down because of problems, it's never at a good time, so with a schedule YOU pick when.

It's a hobby 1st and formost.
 

Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
Ohh the fittings/rotaries are all Bitspower, the clamps, umm lemme check.

Lamptron, they come in different colors. They are difficult to work with, the aluminum strips easy. I had to open each one to fit over my barbs, then squeeze them with pliers to get the screw started. Still stripped two out. And they are silly expensive. My suggestion is go with easy stainless hoseclamps bought usually a bit cheaper at any auto store. On your annual cleaning, upgrade, your knowledge level of how these things work will be 1000% higher and problems are easier overcome on the second time. I know, do I ever.