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Why all of the fuss and dislike over soft tubing? Is it really that bad?

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Jul 7, 2013
I mean I HAVE seen some tubing types cause the water to change color but is this a guaranteed side effect of soft tubing? Even so, does it really happen any sooner than when you should be bleeding and refilling the loop anyways?
I don't think there's a widespread dislike of soft tubing, a lot of people prefer hard tubing for the aesthetic appeal. The primary issue with soft tubing is that it leeches plasticiser over time. This gets into the other components of the loop such as the blocks and radiator, which will then need to be disassembled and cleaned after a while, since a simple flush will not resolve this. This also means the tubing will have to be replaced eventually. For most people this isn't really an issue, but hardline tubing has virtually no long term reliability issues, so it's easier to maintain.
It's plasticizer. It's only colored when there's colored fluid otherwise, its usually a clear cloudy look. If you don't have color fluid and you still see some type of color, one of two things is happening, corrosion or growth.

As already posted, its not that wide spread as you think if you purchased the right tubing and the loop is maintained properly.

If you use quality tubing it is a non factor , Hard tubing does look nice if time is taken to make it look good.
I disagree it is easier to maintain from an assembly and disassembly standpoint.
I disagree it is easier to maintain from an assembly and disassembly standpoint.

True. I've already heard a story where a hard bend just fell right out of its fittings and spilled all over a rig. I wouldn't mind hard tubing if it weren't for such a easy catastrophic concern. Nothing holds it in place other than some O-rings compared to soft tubing whether its clamps or even the more secure compression fittings.
It's not a dislike, its just the newest thing to come along for water cooling. Personally I wouldn't use hard lines because of the huge pita it looks to be to make any changes to the build. With soft tubing I can just move the piece out of the way for a moment then replace it. With hard tubing everything would have to be removed, drained, rebuilt, etc. Way too much work imo. Stick with the proper tubing and it will last for years.
I've been watercooling for just over 10 years now, I've used soft tubing in every build I've done.
My first build I cheaped out and used cheap tubing. It leeched plasticizer pretty quickly with the hot AMD temps. Now I just use quality tubing and have no issues.
I like my builds to have a clean look, but I don't really care for anything special so the hard tubing just seems like to much work for no benefit.
If anything, my dislike is towards hard tubing.
I don't dislike soft tubing, I prefer the look of hard tubing. Take for instance my loop, it has a lack of fittings and I think that makes it look cleaner, the bends might be much more than I really need, but I like the flow of everything, and that's all that really matters ins't it? Granted if everyone else just fawned over my loop my e-peen would grow a lot, but I'm not here to get my ego stroked... ok most of the time I'm not. :chair: :escape:


And yes before you ask, I decided to put dye in my loop cause I said I might for a test. I've had the loop long enough and cleaned it enough to remove anything that might build up with the dye and make it clump/clog the loop. This is my theory as to why people have problems with dyes in loops, but only time will tell.

Both soft and Hard tubing have a place in this niche market, and it's all purely subjective to each PC enthusiast. What you think is better someone else thinks is the devil, and if we could learn from other peoples mistakes we would all be perfect and where is the fun in that?
I've done both soft and hard tubing. I'm thinking of doing copper for my Zen/Vega build just for fun.
I really like the looks of hard tube, just look at that in post# 9, but.......... I'm to lazy...........
I've done both soft and hard tubing. I'm thinking of doing copper for my Zen/Vega build just for fun.

Those I think look trick, especially if you have acrylic copper blocks, it all ties into real well together I think.

@Caddi, I feel you, I look at my loop and it looks nice, but my OCD just tells me I could of done better had I thought it out more, but then my lazy bone thinks I worked too hard on it as it sits, so I'm just torn :screwy:

I know my next build will probably be with soft tubing, not because acrylic is hard, just cause I have a **** load of fittings I can use, probably enough to do an entire loop, and after enough time I'l change that to acrylic I'm sure, lol.
I've been using soft tubing since I started watercooling more than 10 years ago. Never an issue. As a matter of fact I prefer soft tubing over hard tubing. It's easier to transfer over to a new build. Hard tubing ( tho looks nicer) is locked to that specific machine and you gotta spend more money to move to another build.

Last time I checked, I didn't have a money tree growing in my yard...oh wait i don't have a yard, I live in an apartment, lol.
I think the general "dislike" of soft tubing comes from the fact that pretty much any sponsored build, and a large amount of the unsponsored builds out there are moving toward hardline for aesthetics as well as the complete removal of plasticizer from loops. Stuff gunks up pumps, blocks, anything it can, really. I personally don't mind soft tubing as long as the runs look clean, nice arches, not a ton of unnecessary length, etc.
The hard tubing does look nice if done properly. Is the reservoir plumb ?

LOL, just kidding, build looks nice.

Soft tubing can look nice if done with care

Guess it is only a matter of time until we are using hard conduit for the wiring............... :rofl: