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Uneasy about water cooling--is it safe?

Last response: in Overclocking
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May 22, 2011 12:29:34 AM

This is porbalby a dumb question, but I've enver used a water cooled system. However, I want to overclock and I have an antec solano 1000 case that i got for 50% off. it's a great case but the large side fan means i have to use water cooling or smaller heatsinks. Like I said i want to overclock a lot, so i want a great cooler.

i've read that the antec kuhler h20 620 is excellent, and it is on sale for 55$. I guess my questions are:

1) is it safe (i'm sure it is otherwise it wouldn't be on the market, right?)?

and

2) if the unthinkable thing were to happen and it leaks, would antec cover any loses? it is easy to install, and i will install it properly. if it is installed properly and leaks, would antec cover me?

thanks in advance!
May 22, 2011 1:09:29 AM

I'm running custom water cooled PC's for almost 2 years now and I have never EVER had any problems or hazards. the Antec water cooler or the ones similar to it (Corsair, CoolIT, etc) are closed loops - they are even safer that custom water loops. If u install properly, no need to worry. and no, antec wont cover your loses.
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May 22, 2011 3:00:31 AM

I'm quite sure it voids the warranty of almost everything in your PC. There'd be many guides up on the internet for you to follow, and I'm sure the kit would come with some sort of instructions.

I'm thinking about liquid cooling my PC :) 
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May 22, 2011 3:12:54 PM

if the kuhler fails while it's under warranty and damages my system, would they give me anything?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 23, 2011 12:13:11 AM

No, they will not. Other hardware isn't covered by their warranties, so if you get a leak and it damages a motherboard or video card, they won't cover it. However, depending on warranties/RMA on those components, sometimes it is possible to replace. I replaced an EVGA video card once because I didn't properly secure a fitting and it leaked while on. (my own fault).

Read through the watercooling sticky at the top of the forum; it is also linked in my signature. Watercooling is very safe if you understand what you are getting into, take your time and follow directions. Most of the fears associated with watercooling have to do with folks not understanding or knowing what it really entails.

To add: if a CPU cooler fails, your CPU/motherboard have built in safeguards that will shut down the system before it overheats and cooks itself. So, even if you have a normal air cooler and it failed, the system would simply do a hard shut-down and prevent permanent damage.
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May 23, 2011 1:56:12 PM

i was mulling this over and came to a semi-conclusion. the cooler etc will be vertical once in the case so any leak would only leak downwards (gravity). that'd mean it'd really only leak onto the top graphics card in my system. if you used a card like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDCAJCIh_WY

with a heatspreader/cover on the back, would any leak on that happened and leak onto the heatspreader damage the card? intuition tells me it'd cause a lot less damage than if ti leaked onto the circuitboard.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 23, 2011 2:07:32 PM

You need to understand that watercooling doesn't leak unless you go with garbage gear and/or you don't take the time to install it correctly. I've only had 1 leak EVER...and it was my fault. If you are looking to take the cheap route and buy a GPU LCS cooler (all-in-one liquid cooling unit, similar to the H70, etc) then you may or may not have an issue. Yes, some of those leak on occasion but most do not. The only problem with them is that you really don't have a way to ensure they will not leak since they come from the factory with the tubing installed. With a real watercooling loop, you have far more control what components you use and since you are installing it yourself, you have the ability to take your time and do it right.

What cooler are you looking at? You haven't linked or mentioned it as-of yet.
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May 23, 2011 4:00:12 PM

i believe you understood. the CPU cooler (antec kuhler h20 620) sits vertically because the motherboard sits vertically. if the CPU tubing/cooler were to leak it would drop downwards, on to the graphics card underneath. would a card such as this HIS 6950 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDCAJCIh_WY , which has a heatspreader on the back, be less affected if fluid leaked onto the heatspreader rather than onto the back of a graphics circuit board.

in addition, the custom built water cooling loops definetly interest me but i don't have the money for it. i want to reiterate that i'm only considering watercooling because quality air coolers won't fit in my case. that is why i'm looking at the antec kuhler h20 620 all-in-one cooling system which is on sale for 55$

i hope that is more clear and i apologize if not. i'd also like to say the watercooling sticky was assuring, thank you.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 23, 2011 5:52:32 PM

If that cooler springs a leak, your GPU will get wet and likely sustain damage from the coolant. That being said, only a small percentage of LCS coolers leak from what I have read, and some of those are due to installation error (kinking tubing, stressing fittings, etc). So, as long as you take care and follow directions and don't get too rough, you should be just fine. Most LCS coolers perform relatively close to high-end air coolers, so you should see some decent temps. I wouldn't worry too much about it...just make sure to look at everything very close on the cooler, inspect all connections and see if you can fire it up without turning on your PC by jumpering the PSU. If you need help with that, let me know, I have some info on that (it might also be linked on the WC sticky, as well).
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a b K Overclocking
May 23, 2011 7:07:39 PM

reignsupreme11 said:
if the kuhler fails while it's under warranty and damages my system, would they give me anything?

Couldn't say, there were a couple of cases of the Corsair H50 leaking and taking other components out, enough evidence was presented that Corsair made it right.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 23, 2011 7:25:06 PM

^Yeah, which is also the reason some of the changes were made from the H50 - H70.
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May 23, 2011 11:19:47 PM

delluser1 said:
Couldn't say, there were a couple of cases of the Corsair H50 leaking and taking other components out, enough evidence was presented that Corsair made it right.



i've heard that as well. are these like, the two documented cases of an all-in-one liquid cooling system failing? i've heard that the Corsair H50 and and Antec Cooler H20 620 are rebrands of the same model but there was some changes made by Antec? I've also never heard of an Antec Kuhler leaking is that true?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 24, 2011 1:25:33 PM

Leaking of LCS coolers is more rare than you think...most work perfectly fine. There are better, actual watercooling solutions, such as th XSPC Rasa kits, but you are looking at around $130 for those kits. You said you found the Antec H20 620 for around $55 or so. The Corsair and Antec are very similar products and depending on the model, likely perform very similarly. (Someone else might need to chime in on whether the Corsair/Antec are in fact manufactured together...I think I recall this conversation from the past).

Just remember...any watercooling solution can leak. It's just a nature of the beast and you can do a lot to help lower your chances of this happening, but simply keeping an eye on things is the best way...kind of like checking the oil in your car...just peek under the hood and make sure everything looks like it should...there shouldn't be any puddles.
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May 24, 2011 6:00:00 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Someone else might need to chime in on whether the Corsair/Antec are in fact manufactured together...I think I recall this conversation from the past


Yup, the H50, H70, Khuler 620 and Khuler 920 are all produced by Asetek. It's interesting that they are able to give some numbers around their OEM devices but none on their Partner products. I'd say if it's between a H50 or a 620 just go for the cheaper one, I've yet to see a review where they pull out both on the same day and test under the same conditions (same with the big brothers). There's some mix and match with the pump used, but everyone seems to be putting better fans on the radiators so the pump difference is much less apparent.

At one point a vendor rep showed up here and tried to tell us how the Khulers are more custom and should before better. All we have is their word since no one seems to be into disassembling theses units. Last time I suggested that people should look inside on OCN people just told me how hard it would be (since when does that stop anyone!?).
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 24, 2011 6:23:43 PM

I'd be more than happy to do some tests/tear downs on these to provide some reviews. Of course, someone would need to supply those for me. :) 
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a b K Overclocking
May 25, 2011 1:11:27 AM

I'm fairly certain that Corsair and other closed-loop cooler manufacturers have changed their warranties to cover only the unit itself. They cannot be responsible for everything that might happen.

It's the same for my kit from EKWB -- the warranty only covers the kit itself.
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May 25, 2011 6:42:14 AM

Having built a custom water cooling rig I can attest to how safe they can be. Just please Read the F*cking Manual (RTFM), there are some particularities involved. Namely order of components and how the flow of water will work. I was struggling for days trying to get my rig working right when I ran into a diagram that basically told me I had my flow reversed and it was like a light went on. Reversing the order of flow vastly improved my flow rate and performance as a whole. Do lots of reading to determine a universal tubing side for ID / OD, the types of clamps and barbs. Plan where your going to mount the pump, the radiator and if your going to use a reservoir. Plan where your drain plug is going, and trust me you ~WANT~ a drain line. Make it a T connected at the very bottom of your system with the middle connector facing down and plugged, when its time to drain and do maintenance on your rig you just put a water pan under it and unplug, simple coolant drainage.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
May 25, 2011 2:35:56 PM

Palladin-
Quote:
Just please Read the F*cking Manual (RTFM)


Couple things: this is a little inappropriate, especially for someone who hasn't even picked up a manual or even knows where to begin reading. I understand it is a humorous reference to most of us here, but it could be a little offensive for a newcomer that might be a little much. Just keep it clean; I like the humor, but not everyone gets it.

Loop order does not matter. The only 'guideline' we suggest is having your reservoir before and feeding into your pump...as well as being higher so your pump isn't sucking air during filling. You don't need a res, so if you run a T-line, you'd want this to substitute for the res in the loop order if you run this setup.

You can run barbs or compression fittings...I have covered these in the watercooling sticky.

Planning is a MAJOR consideration with a WC loop...
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a b K Overclocking
May 25, 2011 5:22:15 PM

reignsupreme11 said:
This is porbalby a dumb question, but I've enver used a water cooled system. However, I want to overclock and I have an antec solano 1000 case that i got for 50% off. it's a great case but the large side fan means i have to use water cooling or smaller heatsinks. Like I said i want to overclock a lot, so i want a great cooler.

i've read that the antec kuhler h20 620 is excellent, and it is on sale for 55$. I guess my questions are:

1) is it safe (i'm sure it is otherwise it wouldn't be on the market, right?)?

I've already covered your other question with a previous reply, so I figured I'd answer this one too.

I am a first-time water-cooler that took the plunge about two months ago. I read all the stickies I could, and grilled forumites about what to get and how to set things up right. I finally made my decision, bought a kit, and went about setting it up. I read through the manual and re-read some of the stickies just to make sure I had things planned out right, and finally connected all the tubing and started filling the loop with water. That was the most complex and worrisome part of the setup, but it worked just fine with no leaks during testing.

My system had eight points of potential failure -- two fittings on the radiator, two on the reservoir, two on the pump, and two on the CPU block. The kit I chose uses compression fittings to minimize the risk, but it was still up to me to tighten them properly.

Do I still worry about leaks? Yes, and I've been checking the fittings about once a month since I set it up. Would I do the water cooling thing again? Yes, no question at all.

A closed-loop system like the Kuhler series has only four potential points of failure, and they are far less likely to spring a leak. I would have went with something like that, but I wanted better performance than the big air coolers. It has definitely lived up to the hype so far, and I'm looking forward to what comes in the future.
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March 7, 2014 10:29:14 AM

Sssooooo what have we learned from our mistakes? Lets think about water itself. Given enough time (or pressure) water will dissolve, cut, eat or destroy any material. It is the solvent of all solvents, the creator of canyons, the most amazing element on the planet! It does not work well with electronics! However, You can take steps to ensure that your equipment doesn't get damaged by your water cooling system.

Pre built systems:
There are a number of water coolers that come pre assembled with coolant and all. Corsair H60 I think is one of them. Its a no brainer plug and play setup that you bolt on in about 10 minutes. However, factories are not omnipotent and a few lemons do slip past QA. So before you install that water cooler, plug it in ( outside of the case away from electronics ) and turn on the PC. Check the tubing, pimp assembly and heat exchanger for any leaks. A periodic inspection (every couple of months of the system is also note worthy. Just to be sure. This should be done anyway to make sure the heat exchanger is kept clean for best performance.

DIY cooling systems
These systems are a bit trickier considering you you have to assemble them yourself. A full explanation would take too long to for me to type so I will just give the advice. The number one reason people F this up is because they are in a hurry and don't leak test the system before they install. Look on youtube and you will find all kinds of video on the subject matter.

Do your research and you will be fine.
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