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1/2" ID <--> 3/8" ID water cooling?

Last response: in Overclocking
January 8, 2007 10:22:16 PM

I want to use the Koolance TMS-100K Interface Card to control my water cooling system.
The water blocks and radiator are 1/2" ID (DangerDen).
The TMS-100K works best with these 3/8" ID Koolance components:
- TNK-400-V10 (Reservoir & Pump)
- Coolant Flow Meter
- Temperature Sensor, Inline Coolant attached to a "Drain Valve"

What do I do? Yes, the easy answer is get 3/8" water blocks and radiator, or don't use the TMS-100K with the TNK-400-V10 Pump. I'm asking for other options.

Can the above Koolance parts have their tube fittings changed to support 1/2" ID tubing?
I've read that 3/8" ID tubing can be forced over 1/2" ID fittings. However, doesn't that defeat the purpose (increased flow rate) of having a 1/2" ID system?

Bottom line is I like the DangerDen stuff for its price point and quality. (Koolance is over-priced IMHO). I like the software control and monitoring of the pump/flow/temp with the TMS-100K + TNK-400-V10 combo. Is there anything else available with similar features with 1/2" ID fittings?

More about : water cooling

January 11, 2007 3:25:39 AM

Turns out you can buy adapters so that you can run 3/8" tubing for parts of your loop and 1/2" tubing in others. You might be able to get away with only two adapters, but they're pretty cheap anyway.

Here's the link.
January 11, 2007 9:27:29 PM

Thanks for the answer Hotfoot.

I was not as clear as I could have been. My concern isn't the ability to go from any given inner diameter (ID) to another. The concern is what impact that will have.

For example, if I want the flow rates of a 1/2" ID system and I put in one or more 3/8" parts will I in effect now have a 3/8" ID system?

Doing more reading and thinking I am guessing the bottom line answer is it doesn't matter. "ID" is a measurement of how big an opening the <b>tubing</b> has. It is for the nozzle the tubing fits over. Any given nozzle can have relatively any ID. A "1/2 inch" fitting/nozzle can have an ID of 1/4". This means the outside is 1/2" but the inside is 1/4". The fluid flow is passing through a 1/4" hole. Most don't do this but it <i>could</i> and that is the point.

It is true that one should consider all the various things in the coolant flow circuit and how they will impact flow-rate. However, they should not get overly concerned about using both 1/2" and 3/8" tubing in the same system. The parts the tubing connects to will be the bottlenecks (radiator, water blocks, etc.). Any step-down/step-up adaptors will cause less restriction on flow rate than the flow meter I <b>was</b> planning to use anyhow. (I'll have a new post regarding my current water cooling system palns.)
January 11, 2007 9:59:43 PM

You're quite correct that the flow resistance from the narrower tubing will be quite negligible compared to the resistance of components like the waterblock and radiator. For example, consider the little calculation I did to show the penalty for using 90 degree elbows with 3/8" tubing:

As an idealist, I would say you should use the largest diameter tubing you can reasonably accomodate. However, the practical difference will certainly be less than 5% total cooling performance. A better waterblock or radiator will make a bigger difference.