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Question about dropping water levels

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June 29, 2012 4:14:20 PM

So I built a water cooling rig about 6 days ago, and so far, each day that has gone past the reservoir level has dropped about 1 or 0.5cm.

I've checked all fittings, the tubing and the reservoir, there are no leaks of any kind that I can see or feel.

How long should this go on before I get worried? Is this just a product of air bubbles working their way out of my system really slowly causing the water level to drop really slowly?

How long should this go on before I know something is really wrong?
a b K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 4:19:36 PM

are you using tubing form the hardware store? if so this is the answer! the water is evaporating in the system and the water vapor is escaping through the tubing.
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June 29, 2012 4:21:06 PM

Naw I bought an XSPC raystorm kit from frozenCPU. I'm using the tubing supplied with the kit.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 4:23:03 PM

Air displacement- you didn't bleed all the air from the loop and as it's been running, the air is moving to the reservoir and being replaced by water.

It's either this, or you have a leak.
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a b K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 4:25:14 PM

how long has the system been operational now is it two weeks?

** edit ok sorry 6 days that is the time that it takes me to bleed a system before I plug any components up and sometimes I will spend two weeks doing nothing but bleeding and checking for leaks before I turn any of my components on or plug them up **
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June 29, 2012 4:29:33 PM

Ya I thought it might be this because I didn't bother doing any special bleeding procedures, and just basically filled the thing up as I turned it on, AND my res is one of the really thick 360 rads mounted horizontally.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8523/ex-rad-146/XSPC_...

Any guess on how long this should go on before I assume there is a leak somewhere that i'm not seeing?

Also, I had some issues putting it in and ended up being really rough on a couple of the tubes. Any chance that over-twisting/bending can cause little air holes in tubes? I don't feel any leaks or see any damage on the tube, but I was not gentle with it for sure.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 4:56:42 PM

If you had to be forceful, you might check around where the fittings and tubing connect to see if there is any moisture or drop formation. Other than that, components are really pretty resilient and tough.
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June 29, 2012 5:43:12 PM

I've been checking the fittings and tubing daily. I haven't seen or felt any liquid at all.

I'm guessing you guys are right and it's probably excess air, probably in the big radiator, and as i've been running my system over the past couple days they make their way out a bubble or 2 at a time and drop my level slightly.

If I top off my reservoir a week from now and the water level keeps dropping i'll just reassemble the whole thing with new tubing and compression fittings.

Thanks for the help guys.
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June 29, 2012 5:44:18 PM

Best answer selected by airborne11b.
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a c 224 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 5:47:34 PM

Sounds like trapped air to me, sometimes you have to gently rock your machine side to side in the filling process (with the reservoir closed of course), to get all the trapped air pockets out of the system, and keep topping off as the air bleeds out, and the reservoir level drops.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 5:52:49 PM

Yeah, just add water as you need to, but make sure you aren't losing it anywhere, first. Air trapped in the rad is likely the biggest suspect, but just don't discount a leak.

Water leaking from a watercooling loop is much like a gas leak on your car- you continually add to the fluid levels and the end result can be rather devastating if you don't do something about it...fast.
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June 29, 2012 5:57:15 PM

Ya it was confusing me pretty badly, because it was just tiny drops in reservoir levels each day... and I keep checking my tubes, fittings, case, everything, looking for any sign of a leak, but none of the tubes are moist or dewing liquid, no drops of water anywhere... I can even see all around and under my reservoir, nothing looks out of place.

I guess I'll know next month if I have to fill my res up again lol.
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a c 224 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 5:59:51 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
are you using tubing form the hardware store? if so this is the answer! the water is evaporating in the system and the water vapor is escaping through the tubing.


Water Vapor? What the heck are you smoking? :pfff: 

He said he didn't have any leaks.


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a c 224 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 6:05:30 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
how long has the system been operational now is it two weeks?

** edit ok sorry 6 days that is the time that it takes me to bleed a system before I plug any components up and sometimes I will spend two weeks doing nothing but bleeding and checking for leaks before I turn any of my components on or plug them up **


2 weeks bleeding and checking for leaks?

Really?

2 weeks?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 6:07:27 PM

While vinyl tubing is technically permeable, you would likely not have water loss due to this...especially in a matter of days. Tubing being permeable doesn't mean it's necessarily permeable to all molecules. I don't know that I would want to buy tubing that might have a warning label like this:
Quote:
"Warning: this tubing is waterproof and will contain all water, except when it doesn't, and in those instances, you don't actually have a leak, but the tubing is functioning as designed, which is to be waterproof and contain all liquids....except when it doesn't, which still does not mean you have a leak"


Whoa...
Quote:
2 weeks bleeding and checking for leaks?

Really?

2 weeks?


I'm not the posterchild for following good leak testing procedure...so 2 hours might be more than I actually wait...maybe 45 mins tops.
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June 29, 2012 6:14:40 PM

If I have a leak, it's being amazingly good at hiding where it's coming from.

I'm running my fingers over every fitting, every piece of tubing. I can see under my reservoir.... not a single drop.

As for the tubing quality, it's XSPC High Flex PVC Tubing is designed specifically for water cooling systems.... or so it says.

I don't know what else to think other than air pockets in my horizontal radiator.

I'll rock it back and forth over next few days and hopefully the levels stop dropping.

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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 6:27:42 PM

Quote:
I'll rock it back and forth over next few days and hopefully the levels stop dropping.


That would help, just make sure you do so while the pump is running.

Another method is to detach the radiator from where it is mounted, have the pump running, and rotate the radiator slowly in all directions; stopping briefly with the I/O ports oriented vertically for air to move out.

This should quickly move any excess air out of the rad. If you do this for several minutes and discover that you still have dropping water levels in your reservoir, you likely have a leak.
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a c 224 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 6:29:56 PM

If you are running clear tubing the rocking back and forth usually you can see the air bubbles running through the line, and entering the reservoir, if you are seeing the air bubbles it's definitely trapped air.

It took me about 20 minutes to get all my air out of my RadBox system, but I had 2 radiators in the system horizontally mounted, once you stop seeing any straggler air bubbles flowing through the tubing you should be safe to top off and seal the reservoir.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 29, 2012 7:32:30 PM

+1

Having multiple rads tends to make this a little longer process, much like trying to maneuver one of those marble-maze games, except you have 2 boards and 2 marbles on each board.
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a c 224 K Overclocking
June 30, 2012 1:38:48 AM

^ Exactly!
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 30, 2012 1:46:51 AM

I felt that was an applicable analogy for the concept in discussion. :) 
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a c 190 K Overclocking
June 30, 2012 7:16:30 AM

And a very appropriate one mate :) 
Yup, the RX's can be a pain to fill, but thats a drawback of thicker rads, can we get a pic of the suffering system please Op?
if you make sure everything in your case is secure/taped up temporarily,
lift the case with the pump running and rotate it on all axis' to work the bubbles out, knock the tubing to persuade stubborn bubbles firmly,
It can be a pain if your Pc weighs 30Kg but no pain no drain hehe :p 
@Ryan, benefit of the way my radbox is set up, it can be run separately from the main Pc so fill, run rotate, top up and walk away while bubbles make their way to the res, I seriously love it hehe, main rigs a pain though hehe
Moto
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a b K Overclocking
July 1, 2012 6:48:40 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
are you using tubing form the hardware store? if so this is the answer! the water is evaporating in the system and the water vapor is escaping through the tubing.


I know im hijacking this topic a little bit but is there a problem with using vinyl tubing from the hardware store? I bought some this morning and am using it at the moment. Still leak testing and rinsing components and stuff though.
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a c 190 K Overclocking
July 1, 2012 7:25:44 PM

I would say start your own thread chrome to get the best responses to your query,
but no, no issues from hardware store tubing that I've heard of
Moto
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a c 324 K Overclocking
July 2, 2012 1:59:03 AM

This topic has been closed by Rubix_1011
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