Here is the skinny. I recently went against my better judgment and lots of bad reviews and got the 2013 Corsair H60 model. I have seen too many people post about leaking issues than I am comfortable with. One of my fail safes, as poor as it may be, is to dry run the H60 for six to twelve hours before installation. My questions is, what is the best way to do this?
Should I set everything up in the desktop and only have the H60 plugged into the power supply and just let it run with towels underneath the whole cooling system? I know I shouldn't have the CPU powered on with no heatsync on it.
I would also like to acknowledge that I am fully aware of the benefits of the hyper 212, noctura model, H80i, H100i. I got the H60 for a reason.
When you get all your new components, take some time to inspect and rinse all components; you'd be surprised how much debris, flux, gunk, etc that gets left inside components. A little time now can save you headaches later due to a piece of plastic or metal that might get lodged somewhere it shouldn't. Hot water and soap can help clean all your goodies; rinse VERY well with clean tap water- final rinse (or 2) with distilled. Hot water and vinegar can be used, but typically vinegar soaks are reserved for your teardown and inspections to remove oxidation or any other gunk that might be present.
You'll need to install your blocks by following the directions that came with each component. For the most part, if you've come this far, you already have an idea of your loop layout, understanding of how to install and where. If not, ask or Google your case with watercooling...you'll find a lot of examples. Also, YouTube is an excellent place to see step-by-step videos on how to do stuff. Give it a few minutes and see what you find. Most CPU and GPU blocks have a walkthru on how to remove the stock cooler and install the waterblock.
When installing fittings- do not over-tighten! Almost all fittings use O-rings, so you should only need to get them finger tight. No tools, or you might end up with some micro-fissure cracks...not good, especially in acrylic reservoirs.
Assemble your blocks with fittings and then begin to route your tubing. Give yourself some room and don't sell yourself short. It's better to trim a couple inches of tubing than have to order all new tubing because you cut it all too short. You want easy bends, if at all possible. If that isn't possible, you have a few options. 1. Rotary fittings or different connector fittings to make bends. 2. You can get the bends to stay at permanent tighter bends by filling the tubing with something that doesn't allow it to kink or flatten when making the bend. Salt, a large spring, smaller diameter tubing...these all work. Simply insert into your tubing and bend...then dip into boiling water for several seconds. Then dip into ice water and repeat a handful of times. Once done, your tubing should be set in a tighter bend without a kink. This takes a little practice.
Once tubing is routed, make sure all fittings and clamps are tight. Begin filling your reservoir with water and cycle the pump via power. Most people unplug the ATX plug from their board (highly recommended) and jumper any green to black wire with a paperclip. You can also buy some specialized power supplies that provide minimal power to a single molex, these also work great. Regardless, you don't want any power going to anything other than your pump, if possible. Your fans might spin up, but that's fine. Cycle power on until the pump sucks the water almost all the way down, power off. Refill the res, repeat as necessary.
Make sure to note the location of the ATX tab in relation to each wire. Jumper the green wire (ATX tab up, 4th from the left) with any black wire. Personally, I jumper the adjacent black wire (ATX tab up, 3rd from the left) since it's closest, but green to any black will work:
Once you have the loop filled, you'll want to let it run in the above manner for several hours, checking every 15 minutes or so for the first hour. Overnight running would be good for the first time user, but only once you are sure there are no immediate leaks. Keep paper towels handy and around fitting areas...check for dampness. If none and you've leak tested for at least a few hours, you are likely good to go.