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Ruptured tube in Swiftech H20-120 Liquid Cooling System

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May 26, 2008 2:28:38 PM

Has anyone ever seen this happen?

I purchased a Liquid Cooled (Swifttech H20-120) EPHEX system from MainGear at the beginning of 2008. This was a "normal" system meaning it was NOT overclocked. I got it up and running in a spare room, and due to time constraints I didn’t have much time to experiment with it other than ensure the system was working. I managed to move all my files and install my programs my May and the unit performed normally, though I did not install any graphic intensive games.

So the unit was operating normally with all the normal (i.e. not overclocked) then the tube ruptured and the unit shut down.

I can’t attach photos in this forum but the outlet tube from the top video card BURST just above the tube of the video card outlet.

Not sure what happened, MainGear says the pump may have malfunctioned and the heat buildup melted the valve. The pump was working enough to spray the inside of the case with coolant (HydrX) though.

Now the spring was a few centimeters away from each end of the tubing. It looks like the entire spring contracted and ripped the tubing away from the clamp.

I have no clue what damage the coolent did to the PC. The video cards are PROBABLY ok. Not sure what damage the coolant did as it splashed onto the motherboard.

Has anyone ever seen such a thing happen?

I haven’t heard of something like this before and liquid cooled systems were SUPPOSED to be stable. My experience tells me they are not.
Good thing is that is still under warranty, bad thing is its over the 30 day refund limit and it cost me 94.75 to ship back to MainGear for repair. I am going to have them remove the liquid cooled system, take out one video card, and replace that monster 1000W power supply with a 750W. Not sure WHAT that is going to cost me. So after spending five grand for a custom system, I have a piece of junk. Not sure what it will cost me to downgrade.

I am switching that box to air cooled and staying away from liquid cooled systems from now on.

I cannot possibly recommend Switech’s liquid cooled system.

My recommendation for MainGear will be determined on how they resolve this incident.

My advice is to stay away from liquid cooling systems. Fans are just fine. The new CPUs run VERY cool. If you think your vid card is going to over heat.
May 26, 2008 2:47:35 PM

I never seen a hose burst before...
but i have all kinds of misfortunes before...
still learning at the time about water cooling.
after replacing(RMA) my motherboard about 3 times...
I think i learned enough to hopefully not get a leak anymore...
as for buying kits? I never would.
I get nice sturdy hose, harder to bend and work with but worth every cent. I never had one rupture. even with my hose clamps on it tight.

as for spending $5000 on a PC? wow i could get 3 for that price that would run real fast, then again I'm not a gamer... so video cards ain't my highest priority.
May 26, 2008 2:53:17 PM

welcome to the forums --- sorry to hear about your system. As for what was damaged, each component will have to be tested.... good thing it is still under warranty.

I had a different problem with water cooling. I threw on WC to quiet an old P4 system that I hardly used but when I did, would use it hard for about 8 hours and I thought it was too loud. But by letting the system sit for a couple of weeks the fluid got really cloudy and I was afraid the pump would fail because the liquid was not pure anymore.

It ended up a waste of $250 bucks. I don't think I would try another WC setup unless I got it for free. I'm sure if you game and want to squeeze an extra overclock it could be useful but for most people, I would have to agree that stay away from WC unless you absolutely need it.
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May 26, 2008 2:53:31 PM

All components fail. Yours did. I run WC and haven't had that problem, but it does happen. Watercooling is usually done by do it yourselfers, you don't sound like one.

Watercooling is used a lot for high overclocks done by people that actually work on their PC's, not buy a custom made system.

Your recommending that the kit is bad or good means nothing because you don't know squat about modding PC's.

And going air cooling... what type of HS are you buying? Or are you leaving it up top the company that builds it? I recommend a TRUE, some HR-05's and at least one HR-03 for your remaining GPU. Ohh you don't know what that is? ........................

Buy a DELL next time.

May 26, 2008 4:55:32 PM

Sorry about your story, I hope your pieceswil work again. I just want to buy a water cooling kit myself, so after earing that I think I wll build it. If they leak they leak, but it will be my fault. Lot to read before doing that part.
May 26, 2008 5:10:07 PM

Using a system that relys on plastic fittings and plastic hose clamps was just aksing for trouble. I suspect the tubing itself was cheap as well. I only use metal fittings and compression clamps in my system with clear tubing. I have never had a single problem with my watercooling system and its by far much better then air for removing heat.
May 26, 2008 5:49:51 PM

If you have $5000 for a system from MainGear it doesn't sound like the $100 for shipping will hurt that much. Why would you downgrade at all?
It's their system that failed they should replace everything that died.

I mean no offence but Conumdrum is right.
Watercooling is for DIYs and people who stick their head in their computer case atleast once a day to tinker or tweak something. Next time do some reaserch before spending your money on something like watercooling. If you need your computer to run without maintenance stick with air.

I bought a ThermalTake BigWater 745 kit to research the kinks and details of watercooling. I ran it in an old PC for about 6 months. It worked flawlessly but the coolant fluid had to be replaced every 3 months or so.
It's a cheap kit and it cooled about the 10°C better than a stock AMD CPU cooler for my A64 single core CPU (it's quite an efficent air cooling system and reaches ~48°C when folding, 50°C for Prime95).

Your experience was bad on a quality kit (based on reviews and DIY forum recommendations) but I've bought the WORST kind of kit and it worked great for me. The amount of money you spend isn't everything. You have to know what you spend it on.

The only real DOWNSIDE of watercooling setups is higher maintenence.
May 26, 2008 6:14:42 PM

Why Liquid?

Heat-producing devices in a typical computer are cooled by air. Generally, this involves mounting a heat sink and fan to each component. Heat generated from your CPU is transferred into a metal heat sink, where a fan blows air across its wider surface area.

While altering a heat sink's size and makeup can improve the effectiveness, it is still limited because air absorbs and transfers heat very slowly. To help counteract this, the fan can be run at a higher speed, but most people know what that means: high performance has become equated with high noise. As systems continued to be upgraded, required heat sinks got larger and louder.


Of liquids, water (after mercury) conducts heat the fastest. Its thermal conductivity is about 30 times greater than that of air. And not only that, it holds a lot more heat; it takes over 4 times as much heat to raise the temperature of water as it does air.

Contary to Andries, I watercooled because of heat control. I don't pull the side off my case every day. I haven't touched my system since building it other then to add more memory. Also I like how quiet it is compaired to how it was when it was aircooled. I don't hear any pumps running, its so quiet I had to add a flow meter just to make sure the coolent was moving from time to time. Also the recommended coolant change is once every two years on my Koolance system.
May 26, 2008 6:33:44 PM

stoner133 said:
Using a system that relys on plastic fittings and plastic hose clamps was just aksing for trouble. I suspect the tubing itself was cheap as well. I only use metal fittings and compression clamps in my system with clear tubing. I have never had a single problem with my watercooling system and its by far much better then air for removing heat.


Sorry to hear about your misfortune... hopefully everything is covered by warranty.


I agree %100 with Stoner133

Make a water cooling rig from scratch if your going to do it... never buy a kit. My first time i considered a kit as well but opted not to go that way as i have read to many horror stories and seen to many poor temps.
May 26, 2008 6:36:37 PM

Conumdrum said:
All components fail. Yours did. I run WC and haven't had that problem, but it does happen. Watercooling is usually done by do it yourselfers, you don't sound like one.

Watercooling is used a lot for high overclocks done by people that actually work on their PC's, not buy a custom made system.

Your recommending that the kit is bad or good means nothing because you don't know squat about modding PC's.

And going air cooling... what type of HS are you buying? Or are you leaving it up top the company that builds it? I recommend a TRUE, some HR-05's and at least one HR-03 for your remaining GPU. Ohh you don't know what that is? ........................

Buy a DELL next time.


I don't care if he is correct. There is no reason for that kind of sarcasm on a forum. This is a place that people come to ask questions and get an answer. If you want to add something to the discussion, fine. It should be productive though, at the very least constructive criticism. The idea is to help the OP. Your comment was neither productive nor constructive. Comments like that have no place here.
May 26, 2008 6:48:36 PM

But my watercooling system did come in kit form. But it wasn't a cheap one to start with.

I do agree I hope its all covered by the warranty.
May 26, 2008 7:08:08 PM

stoner133 said:
Contary to Andries, I watercooled because of heat control. I don't pull the side off my case every day. I haven't touched my system since building it other then to add more memory. Also I like how quiet it is compaired to how it was when it was aircooled. I don't hear any pumps running, its so quiet I had to add a flow meter just to make sure the coolent was moving from time to time. Also the recommended coolant change is once every two years on my Koolance system.
The TTBW745 is a cheap kit. A rubish pump, low performance and lets face it, the coolant is rubish as well. I had to add some distilled water (about 1dcl) every month. No leaks just probably not vapour proof somewhere. After 3 months or so the first fill of fluid became murky so I replaced it. And again after the next 3 months. It was a nice test project and I know what to get if I ever decide to do a completely watercooled system.
May 26, 2008 7:12:31 PM

lcaley said:
I don't care if he is correct. There is no reason for that kind of sarcasm on a forum. This is a place that people come to ask questions and get an answer. If you want to add something to the discussion, fine. It should be productive though, at the very least constructive criticism. The idea is to help the OP. Your comment was neither productive nor constructive. Comments like that have no place here.


Yours wasn't either, so....really moot point.

There is much truth in is statement, as harsh as it may be.

As it was stated before, if this is under warranty the Co. that sold it to you must replace everything that broke/failed, and they should even pay for the shipping both ways, I mean, they sold you a product which is to work correctly.
May 27, 2008 12:07:23 AM

lcaley said:
I don't care if he is correct. There is no reason for that kind of sarcasm on a forum. This is a place that people come to ask questions and get an answer. If you want to add something to the discussion, fine. It should be productive though, at the very least constructive criticism. The idea is to help the OP. Your comment was neither productive nor constructive. Comments like that have no place here.
Are you the forum police?
Conumdrum said:
All components fail. Yours did. I run WC and haven't had that problem, but it does happen. Watercooling is usually done by do it yourselfers, you don't sound like one.

Watercooling is used a lot for high overclocks done by people that actually work on their PC's, not buy a custom made system.

Your recommending that the kit is bad or good means nothing because you don't know squat about modding PC's.

And going air cooling... what type of HS are you buying? Or are you leaving it up top the company that builds it? I recommend a TRUE, some HR-05's and at least one HR-03 for your remaining GPU. Ohh you don't know what that is? ........................

Buy a DELL next time.
That was a tad harsh.

Remind me to not start a thread about my leaking water cooling... Oh wait, I have a TRUE 120.

If I want the aggravation of an aquarium I will damn well get the fish with it. Not to mention the risk of a water damaged system.
May 27, 2008 12:49:58 AM

I think I owe a bit of an apology. I read the comments above and my temper got the best of me and I posted before I really thought things out. MCMONOPOLY was correct, I didn't add anything to the topic either. I apologize for being an ass. Good luck to the OP with your system.
May 27, 2008 1:00:47 AM

uhh, i bought a kit... h20 220 apex ultra +. it works great. you should revise your statement to say "dont buy a cheap kit".
May 27, 2008 1:20:23 AM

MCMONOPOLY said:
here is much truth in is statement, as harsh as it may be.


Shure it was harsh...

but like u said there was much truth in the satement.
you want the fastest... but don't know how to maintain it...
doesn't mean you should get it...
Watercooling isn't for everyone...
I'd never consider watercooling my parents machine...
and if i wan't around to build them a machine... I would tell them to get a Dell as well..


May 27, 2008 7:03:42 AM

I think I'm gonna get a Dell......NOT! :lol: 
May 27, 2008 11:50:37 AM

@MadHacker
You must not like your parents or their house for that matter. :heink: 
The crap PSUs in Dell's are a firehazard...
You get what you pay for. :D 
May 27, 2008 12:27:09 PM

50% of the machines in our office are Dells...
they work... and keep working...
I have no complaints about them for an office machine...
does it's job...

any links to this fire hazard PSU?
May 27, 2008 2:09:55 PM

^For an office build they are great yes. But for a home build (even if it's for my mom/dad to play Sudoku on it) I'd still rather not pick something like Dell. If you build it you know what's inside even if it's cheap crap. :) 

Maybe I'm biased by the crap notebook Dell sold to my coworker for a workmachine. It died twice in 1 year and was replaced. Then ran out of warranty (we only get 1 year here) and died again. All 3 times the culprit was the power adaptor. The sad part is it took the motherboard with it everytime.

So he bought HP. Half the price but way better the performance (1.5 years between them). Works perfectly unless you install the fingerprint recognition software. Then it locks out your folder so antivirus programs can't scan it. Makes a T7500 machine work like an XT. Too bad it's a bussiness machine that takes trips everywhere. It would have been a nice security feature.

I somehow lost my faith in DELL/HP/... to make something reliable.

As for firehazard. Did you ever check those systems' PSU exhausts? :sweat: 
Cheap, low rated, runs hot. I wouldn't want one in my home.
Here's your firehazard link.
http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/22/dude-your-dell-is-on...
And IIRC there is a DELL XPS housefire video on youtube.

I've never owned a Dell so I admit maybe I'm wrong about their quality. :) 
May 27, 2008 3:45:16 PM

First off it is sad to hear about your kit failing. Secondly I always recommend that if you are going to use a kit do some research on it. I myself have 2 WC'd systems. I have 1 system running a Gigabyte 3D Galaxy kit and another running a custom Dd WC rig. The Dd is always about 5C-10C cooler under load than the Gigabyte kit, but cost about twice as much. I have never had a problem with either of them leaking or the coolant becoming cloudy. I always recommend the following mixture: 90% distilled (de-ionized) water, 9% P11 pentosin, and 1% biocide (it got mine from Petra's). I have not had to change out my coolant in over a year and it is still flowing nicely and clear.

-ouch1
!