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Cooling Curious. How do you remove water cooling systems?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GauteHauk, 29 May 2007.

  1. GauteHauk

    GauteHauk What's a Dremel?

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    I just had a little blip on the mental radar. I was looking at the video cards forum and someone mentioned needing to clean their cooling pipes.

    Just how does one go about removing a water cooling system once it's been filled with liquid? From experience, I know a vid card(and mobo) can both die with a single drop of water getting on them.

    So. Explain your mystical ways.

    (Curiosity ftl)
     
  2. pdf27

    pdf27 What's a Dremel?

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    Not always - my 6600GT had no problems with being soaked, provided I dried it off properly. Of course, knocking a capacitor loose with a spanner didn't do it any good (still worked, just lots of artefacts - I've got a 6800GT clocked to 470/1200 nowadays to replace it).
    As for draining a loop while keeping the circuits dry, the easiest way is to undo one block, twist it outside the case (tubing being flexible after all) and undo it from a barb. That way you can drain it without risking getting the case contents wet.
     
  3. Colossous

    Colossous Minimodder

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    I'm a watercooling noob who's soon to build his first w/c rig (got a Mountain Mods UFO Opti) and i've been doing loads of research into it. On the subject of draining (hopefully not thread hijacking GauteHauk !), is it worth putting a tee with a drain port in the bottom of the system ? :worried:
     
  4. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    yes, it's wise to put a T somewhere in the loop for draining and getting rid of bubbles
     
  5. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    Ts are good, but they won't get a system anywhere near empty.

    To do it properly, you need to take out the video cards (or some other convenient water-cooled bit), take the cards out of the blocks, then (over a sink, or bowl, or cup) disconnect the hoses. Let all the coolant come out of the hoses that will, then drain the block. Blow into one of the hoses until coolant stops coming out the other. Move along the loop to the next block (I tend to go to the CPU next), repeat. Do the same until all the hoses are dry. There will probably still be coolant in the radiator, so when you take the tubing off it, be sure the barbs are pointed up. (If you've got multuple radiators, yank them all but the hardest to get at one.)

    After that, it's just a matter of taking all the blocks apart and cleaning them, and cleaning the radiators, pump and reservoir. Ketchup and scotch-brite does a great job on copper, as does the dishwasher. I've seen dishwasher detergents that eat aluminum, so be careful of what you put in.

    Then you re-build the system, with new hose (it just isn't worth the expense and time to clean out the old stuff), and re-fill it with fresh coolant. Presto, one nice, clean system.
     
  6. Colossous

    Colossous Minimodder

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    Thanks Techno-Dann, how often do you (is it reccomended) change your coolant in the system like that ? Can you top up for a while before you get to that stage ? I've read about the importance of flushing out rads before the build ! :worried:
     
  7. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

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    Fluorinert fortehwin!

    No algae buildup, no osmisis, no corrosion, no need to drain & clean and no worries if you spill it even if the PC is switched on! :)

    Expensive though and evaporates like mad... :/

    I like my current loop.
    I tried to make it one consecutive circle with res at top and it took me less than an hour for a full bleed and refill last time. :)
    When filling, all the air comes straight to the top, no air locks. :)
     
  8. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    For how often, I've heard anywhere from once every three months to once every couple of years suggested. Personally, I would reccomend doing it however often the system needs it: My loop has been going strong for two years straight, with just a single topping-up. I'll probably have to do it some time this summer, though, as my pump is dying.

    Topping up is just fine, a real clean and re-tube job is only needed when your system is getting algae and other gunk building up to either the point where it reduces performance, or just looks gross. Coolant choice is really the deciding factor: I've been using DD MCT-5, and it's fine after two years. On the other hand, I've seen six-month-old InnovatekProtect systems that are really, really gross.

    (And yes, Fluorinert beats all, including the impact on your pocketbook.)
     
  9. Colossous

    Colossous Minimodder

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    Thanks again, i've been a bit worried about having to change two loops worth every couple of months but it sounds like if i pick the right stuff then it could stretch out to a year or more which is prety good !! :thumb:
     
  10. GauteHauk

    GauteHauk What's a Dremel?

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    Killer. I hadn't thought of removing the whole system first. I imagined it'd be hell to remove the waterblocks while they still had hoses attached.

    I do look forward to getting my own liquid cooling, so the ideas here definitely help my future endeavors.
     
  11. pdf27

    pdf27 What's a Dremel?

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    Nah, realistically provided you put a suitable biocide in your system (and there are plenty out there) then the only time you need to drain your loop is if you want to change a component in it. I've done that once in the last 18 months (changing a video card and pump, plus switching from res to T-line).

    Not unless your system is seriously cramped. I run 1/2" ID hose - the biggest you are realistically likely to see - and apart from it needing a little bit of extra care to mount the block properly if you put it in with hose on it's pretty easy to handle.
     
  12. profqwerty

    profqwerty What's a Dremel?

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    My pump is at the bottom, and the rad at the top, so i pull the pipe off the rad and stick it into a 2l bottle. pump on, and voila the water all comes out (apart from a bit in the bottom of res / rad, although not an issue as the pipes are emptied)
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    The best way to drain a system is to have a drain port in the loop, or remove the loop from the PC. But this involves taking off the blocks, and taking out the res and pump and radiator... think ahead when you design your system. I designed my loop to be lifted out the case as a single piece (simply unbolt the blocks and res; the rad/fan/pump assembly lifts out in one piece).

    If you fill your loop with the correct mix, it will not go all cruddy and gunky on you. If it does however, you can clean the blocks by opening them up and going at the insides with a toothbrush and tomato ketchup (no, seriously); you can flush the radiator with a car radiator cleaner (rinse thoroughly afterwards), and clean the res manually. I would suggest you simply replace the tubing --it is easier.
     
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