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Water cooling noob really needs help

Last response: in Components
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June 19, 2013 11:58:53 AM

so, a while back i finally got up the nerve to install a custom water cooling solution in my pc. i immediately ran into issues right from the get go, when i realized i did not have the right sized tubing, and that i didnt have anywhere near enough ffittings to attach the tubing. i didnt want to order online, becuase i was borrowing money from my brother to do this... ALOT of money. so to get the rest of the stuff we needed, i mange to drastically cut the waiting and price by going to a local hard store (took me two days to locate a place in my area that had anything that would fit).

i assembled everything, and im guessing i didnt clean the tubing and fittings from the hardware store well enough, becuase now the inside of my once clear tubing is all brown. im wondering what it is cuase this junk has coated the inside of my tubing good. on the 7/16" tubing that came with the radiator and res, the stuff can be broken away by squeezing the tubing, but the hardware store tubing seems to be permenantly discolored. scratch that its now all brown T.T thats issue number one.

onto issue number 2: i in my infinite genius forgot to add a drain port.... i am sincerely hoping there is an easy solution to this issue. i feel as if i dove head first into the deep end on this project lol my cpu and dual 670s have water cooling blocks on them, so im guessing that might make things a tad more difficult, right?

all of this is crammed into a AZZA hurrican 2000, with the side fans removed becuase of how ghetto looking the tubing job for this gfx cards is. they stick out like an inch or two farther then side door allows. to add to these issues im using a Corsair TX850w non modular psu.... so my wiring is a mess rright now.

one final issue: my res show the water level seems to be lowering but there are no leaks anywhere O.o dafuq is up with that.

so any helpful suggestions?

More about : water cooling noob

June 19, 2013 12:16:51 PM

really, you guys got nothing so far? :p 
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June 19, 2013 12:19:59 PM

the brown stuff could be rust, if your water is high in iron. you should use either distilled water and coolant, or a premixed coolant.

if you dont want to carry you PC to the bath tub and turn it upside-down, you can cut or disconnect your tubing at the lowest point, hopefully lower than your components, and drain it out.

water level lowering could be from evaporation or air getting purged out of the system.
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June 19, 2013 12:26:25 PM

first of all: do your reading and research BEFORE you buy anything... but clearly you've skipped ahead, which brings us to unfortunate issues #1.

1). that brown stuff in your tubing is probably some combination of bacteria/fungi or other microbs, as well as mineral/metal deposits coming off of your res and waterblocks due to galvanization etc. what water did you use? you should not have used tap and instead went to a store to by distilled water. also, including something like a silver kill-loop would go a long way in keeping bacteria out of it. warm tap water that's constantly flowing is honestly an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and algae, many of which doesn't need oxygen. you need to clean your loop out, rinse it multiple times with just tap water to make sure it's clean, then rinse once with distilled water and then fill it back up. then add a silver kill-loop and I'd say refill once a year should keep you running clean.

2). tell us the exact parts you used for your waterloop, in particular what kind of reservoir. perhaps you can connect a hose to your fill-hole and carefully tip at least most of the water out? do it carefully and bake any component that got wet at around 40-50C in an oven until completely dry and you should be OK.

Honestly you definately dove in head-first... and what do you mean the waterlevel is lowering on your res? is there an open port somewhere that would allow for evaporation? and how long did you leak-test?
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June 19, 2013 12:26:44 PM

everlost said:
the brown stuff could be rust, if your water is high in iron. you should use either distilled water and coolant, or a premixed coolant.

if you dont want to carry you PC to the bath tub and turn it upside-down, you can cut or disconnect your tubing at the lowest point, hopefully lower than your components, and drain it out.

water level lowering could be from evaporation or air getting purged out of the system.


well, thats the thing.... i AM using distilled water, and all of the hardware store fittings are nylon plastic, except this one GIGANTIC brass fitting (which i assume is the source becuase the discoloration is at its darkest here) i used to connect the 7/16" tubing to the externally mounted radiator (there are two radiators). now i assume that since this stuff is coating the tubing, that its also inside the res/pump and the water blocks. suggestions for cleaning the stuff out?
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June 19, 2013 12:30:49 PM

GeneralJim25 said:
everlost said:
the brown stuff could be rust, if your water is high in iron. you should use either distilled water and coolant, or a premixed coolant.

if you dont want to carry you PC to the bath tub and turn it upside-down, you can cut or disconnect your tubing at the lowest point, hopefully lower than your components, and drain it out.

water level lowering could be from evaporation or air getting purged out of the system.


well, thats the thing.... i AM using distilled water, and all of the hardware store fittings are nylon plastic, except this one GIGANTIC brass fitting (which i assume is the source becuase the discoloration is at its darkest here) i used to connect the 7/16" tubing to the externally mounted radiator (there are two radiators). now i assume that since this stuff is coating the tubing, that its also inside the res/pump and the water blocks. suggestions for cleaning the stuff out?


It's probably microbs then if you're using distilled water without a kill-loop. otherwise:

what kind of fittings did you use? and what is your waterblock and reservoir made out of? I think you're getting a galvanization effect where the mixed metals are coming off of your copper parts (probably the water-blocks), and depositing near your fitting
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June 19, 2013 12:33:04 PM

vmem said:
first of all: do your reading and research BEFORE you buy anything... but clearly you've skipped ahead, which brings us to unfortunate issues #1.

1). that brown stuff in your tubing is probably some combination of bacteria/fungi or other microbs, as well as mineral/metal deposits coming off of your res and waterblocks due to galvanization etc. what water did you use? you should not have used tap and instead went to a store to by distilled water. also, including something like a silver kill-loop would go a long way in keeping bacteria out of it. warm tap water that's constantly flowing is honestly an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and algae, many of which doesn't need oxygen. you need to clean your loop out, rinse it multiple times with just tap water to make sure it's clean, then rinse once with distilled water and then fill it back up. then add a silver kill-loop and I'd say refill once a year should keep you running clean.

2). tell us the exact parts you used for your waterloop, in particular what kind of reservoir. perhaps you can connect a hose to your fill-hole and carefully tip at least most of the water out? do it carefully and bake any component that got wet at around 40-50C in an oven until completely dry and you should be OK.

Honestly you definately dove in head-first... and what do you mean the waterlevel is lowering on your res? is there an open port somewhere that would allow for evaporation? and how long did you leak-test?


i didnt skip reading and research per se, i just lacked patience seeing as i wanted my computer back up and running as quickly as possible and the amount of money i dropped in to this modding pit was causing me to have a slight panic attack.

im hoping its not fungus as i have deadwater drops i was using is the resovior that came with the XSPC kit i bought. give me a moment and ill find the parts list somewhere XD and again, i used distilled.... store bought distilled water. the water was the first thing i researched. i have like 6 gallons of the stuff sitting here in my room right now.
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June 19, 2013 12:39:17 PM

GeneralJim25 said:

i didnt skip reading and research per se, i just lacked patience seeing as i wanted my computer back up and running as quickly as possible and the amount of money i dropped in to this modding pit was causing me to have a slight panic attack.

im hoping its not fungus as i have deadwater drops i was using is the resovior that came with the XSPC kit i bought. give me a moment and ill find the parts list somewhere XD and again, i used distilled.... store bought distilled water. the water was the first thing i researched. i have like 6 gallons of the stuff sitting here in my room right now.


well, I wasn't trying to be accusing, but as a general personal rule for everything, the bigger the investment, the more you should research. oh well, let's see if we can get you through this.

it's good that you're using distilled water. the fact that you used deadwater drops and that most of the discoloration is gathered around a single fitting leads me to believe that you're having galvanization deposits. I would switch out that fitting for something made out of a more compatible metal asap. copper is typically a good choice
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June 19, 2013 12:46:26 PM

this is my water cooling setup: 2x XSPC Razor Full coverage GTX 670 waterblocks http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16701/ex-blc-1190/XSP...

XSPC Raystorm EX360 custom cooling kit with d5 variable pump http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16071/ex-wat-211/XSPC...

RX360 White Radiator http://www.frozencpu.com/products/18296/ex-rad-475/XSPC...

and thats it except for the nylon and one brass fitting i used taht i got from the hardware store

edit: had the wrong kit listed, link and name fixed :p 
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June 19, 2013 12:49:33 PM

vmem said:
GeneralJim25 said:

i didnt skip reading and research per se, i just lacked patience seeing as i wanted my computer back up and running as quickly as possible and the amount of money i dropped in to this modding pit was causing me to have a slight panic attack.

im hoping its not fungus as i have deadwater drops i was using is the resovior that came with the XSPC kit i bought. give me a moment and ill find the parts list somewhere XD and again, i used distilled.... store bought distilled water. the water was the first thing i researched. i have like 6 gallons of the stuff sitting here in my room right now.


well, I wasn't trying to be accusing, but as a general personal rule for everything, the bigger the investment, the more you should research. oh well, let's see if we can get you through this.

it's good that you're using distilled water. the fact that you used deadwater drops and that most of the discoloration is gathered around a single fitting leads me to believe that you're having galvanization deposits. I would switch out that fitting for something made out of a more compatible metal asap. copper is typically a good choice



i have bought recently some more compression fittings like the ones that came with the raystorm kit. i planned on swapping out all the nylon and brass fittings with those. now can someone explain the baking process mentioned earlier? becuase i dont want to mess up anything else lol
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June 19, 2013 12:58:09 PM

now about the lowering water level: i leak tested my system an only managed to find one leak above the psu (thankfully it was turned fanside down). i solved that issue but the other day i had to refill the res cause it lost like a quarter of the water level O.o i looked and couldnt find a source for the loss, but i have read that water can evaporate from common hardware store tubing. is that true?
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June 19, 2013 1:16:27 PM

About the baking: generally it is best to avoid mixing water and electronics as I'm sure you already know. but in doing custom water loops, accidents can happen. fortunately, it doesn't always end in disaster (especially if power's not plugged in!). if some water ends up on your parts for whatever reason, you'd want to dry it off with a clean towel to the best of your ability. but even then you might still have tiny water-droplets stick in tiny crevices that will conduct electricity. a little bit of heating in a dry and temperature controlled environment will allow those droplets to evaporate. the oven tends to be the ideal place in the average home to do this. you can also use a hair-dryer as long as you don't put it on a super-hot setting.

how quickly did your waterlevel lower? over the course of days? weeks? months?. if it's months it could be evaporation. if it's just days or one or two weeks, you still have a leak somewhere. and yes, water can evaporate from common hardware store tubing
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June 19, 2013 1:36:22 PM

its been atleast two months since i built this and the water level dropped a quarter way. but evaporation is the issue im just going to order some more tubing anyways. i dont plan on reusing any of the existing tubing as i am sure that is not a good idea anyways.
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June 19, 2013 1:45:53 PM

GeneralJim25 said:
its been atleast two months since i built this and the water level dropped a quarter way. but evaporation is the issue im just going to order some more tubing anyways. i dont plan on reusing any of the existing tubing as i am sure that is not a good idea anyways.


it's a good idea to use tubing built for watercooling. your res is also on the small side (nothing wrong with that), so having the waterlevel drop a quater of the way is fairly minor, could just be a combination of small trapped air-bubbles and a bit of evaporation.
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