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How to correctly leak test a loop.

Discussion in 'Watercooling' started by B NEGATIVE, 5 Jan 2015.

  1. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    This is a thread explaining a simple method of dry testing a loop or reassembled blocks to guarantee watertightness before filling.
    The current accepted method of filling and crossing your fingers is,to my mind,unacceptable when for $20-£20 outlay you could have a professional leak tester with all the uncertainty taken out.

    The parts list.

    1 1/4" BSPP Equal Tee
    1 Pressure gauge,1/4" BSPP thread,20 PSI gauge limit is best as it will allow you to see very small pressure drops easily
    1 Schrader valve,1/4" BSPP thread.

    Assemble like so....

    [​IMG]

    Use PTFE tape on all threads to make a good air seal.

    Test the unit with a blanking plug fitted,pump it up to 25 PSI and leave it,any pressure loss means a leak,it HAS to be airtight before use.

    I use a Bitspower d plug on the end as I can just screw on side on then push the unit into place rather than screwing the whole thing on.

    Attach to your fillport or any port thats free.

    [​IMG]

    Pump it up with a hand pump to around 10-12 PSI.

    Any leaks will result in a pressure drop which the gauge will show.

    To find those pesky leaks,use a qtip with dish soap or childrens bubble liquid around any suspect fittings,any leaks with blow bubbles allowing for a clean,simple fix rather than having to drain the loop and starting again.

    For opened blocks,seal the other ports with blanking plugs and pump up,any pressure loss is indication of a leak.




    There,a simple and nigh on fool proof leak test method.
     
    GaryP likes this.
  2. megamale

    megamale Member

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    very neat. Funny I knew about this method to for leaks in radiators in cars. And yet I never made the connection to use it for my PC.

    Great post. Deserves to be a sticky.
     
  3. Turbz

    Turbz New Member

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    For those in the UK looking to build one:

    1/4" Rear Entry Pressure Gauge 0-2 bar 0-30 psi 50mm Dial BSPT Guage Back £5.60
    TI13 1/4inch BSP Equal Tee Female Threaded Adaptor £2.49

    I couldn't find a 1/4" schrader valve, they seem to be more commonly referred to as an air tank fill valve on the internet, so I bought a couple of items from ebay. Keep in mind these links might not work for long but you will at least have the name of what you are looking for:

    1/8" BSP SCHRADER TANK VALVE 25MM TRUCK WHEEL AIR COMPRESSOR 500 PSI 35 BAR £.4.99 (this is overkill, but all I could find)
    Bsp Male to Female Reducing Bush , Bsp Adaptors Nipple-Socket Brass Nickel Plate £1.99 (choose 1/4" male thread, 1/8" female thread)

    Total price: £15.07

    I had to redo the PTFE tape a couple of times before it would hold a charge overnight, so keep that in mind if you buy the same components. Youtube helped with getting that right.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bradley8988

    Bradley8988 New Member

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    Thanks for sharing. How safe is this for res and blocks etc?
     
  5. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    Your next weak point would be the rad, dont go over 20PSI, this is a hard ceiling too, You can and probably will deform rad tubes over this.
     
  6. Big Elf

    Big Elf Oh no! Not another f----ing elf!

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    I've managed to force a leak in 2 x XSPC RX480 rads using over 20 psi.

    Hardware Labs recommended nominal operating pressure for the Black Ice Alpha, GTS, GTX, and SR1 is 1.7 bars (24psi) but are tested up to 2.5 bars (36 psi). However they have stated that older PC radiator designs do not factor pressure fluctuations/pulsations.

    They claim that the Black Ice NEMESIS GTS/GTX radiators are tested to 4.5 bars (65 psi) and can be safely operated at 2.5 bars (36psi) nominal.
     
  7. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    Yeah,you have to be careful with air,it tends to exploit weaknesses quickly.

    20 psi is a solid limit,no way will you ever see that in actual use.
     
  8. Big Elf

    Big Elf Oh no! Not another f----ing elf!

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    I split the seams on the RX480s with 2 x Swiftech 35X2 i. e. 4 pumps at full speed.
     
  9. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    :D

    Why on earth did you hook those up? It was never going to end well.....and you of all people should know that....

    I wish I was there to see it.
     
  10. Big Elf

    Big Elf Oh no! Not another f----ing elf!

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    I didn't mean to have them on full speed. To get the quietest setup possible the idea was to run the slowest speeds balanced by the optimum flowrate which turns out to be 24%. However whenever I switch my PC fully off then on again the pumps ignore the PWM settings and run at full speed for about 10-20 seconds and that was apparently enough to split the seams.

    That's when I checked with Hardware Labs what their SR480's were tested at as they survived intact.
     
  11. Mads1

    Mads1 New Member

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    So im a guessing then you just attach the pump to the truck valve, what pump adapter will i need or can i use a normal bicycle pump.
     
  12. Turbz

    Turbz New Member

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    Standard bike pump does the job, don't got over 15psi. Bike tyres have a schrader valve commonly, although some use a presta valve.
     

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