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EKWB Issues Recall For All First Edtion XLC Predator Coolers (Update)

It has come to the attention of EK Water Blocks that all Revision 1.0 EK-XLC Predator coolers have a critical flaw that can cause the fluid to leak out all over your PC components. EKWB has issued a warning to all customers who have purchased either the EK-XLC Predator 240 or the EK-XLC Predator 360 with QDC fittings. The company is urging Predator owners to discontinue use of the cooler immediately and contact customer service for a solution.

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EK Water Blocks said it noticed the issue in a small run of Predator coolers after receiving feedback from customers about leaking components. The company said it had originally narrowed the problem down to a batch of CPU block O-rings that were produced in November. The issue later proved to be more widespread and is, in fact, affecting one out of 10 XLC Predator coolers produced between October 2015 and December 2015. EKWB issued a new edition of the EK Supremacy EVO CPU block used with the Predator coolers on January 4. All Predator coolers produced going forward will be revision 1.1 and include the new block, which has been improved and retested for potential leaks.

EK Water Blocks said it is taking full responsibility for the failed components. Anyone who owns a Revision 1.0 XLC Predator cooler can contact EKWB customer service for a replacement. The company will also take responsibility for any damage caused by a leaking cooler. The company said it will refund the cost of replacement parts if your Predator cooler has leaked after installation.

Left: R1.0 - Right: R1.1

EK Water Blocks is offering two options for the recall. You can get a full replacement, or a full refunds will be offered to those who don’t want to continue using the Predator cooler. Customers have until February 29 to return the coolers for a refund.

A.1) If customer would like to get the unit replaced by EKWB directly please fill out the return form at and EKWB service department will initiate the process within 24 hours of received claim. All shipping charges will be covered by EKWB.Please note that you must create a new account on our RMA site as this system is not the same as our WEB-SHOP. Simply resetting the password will not work.A.2) If customer would like to return the unit through reseller where he bought it, he needs to contact them for instructions on how to return the unit. EKWB has informed all resellers of their obligations to help out the existing customers with replacement without any extra cost to customers.

The company noted that refunds can be issued only where the cooler was purchased. EKWB will not issue a refund on behalf of the retailer the unit was purchased from.

Update: 1/13/16, 11:10am PT: We reached out to EKWB for clarification because the wording in its post was somewhat unclear. EKWB confirmed that customers will have no upfront cost for this recall. Retailers have been instructed to replace or refund hardware and EKWB will reimburse retailers for the replacement costs.

Follow Kevin Carbotte @pumcypuhoy. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • Gam3r01
    Interesting, I would have expected a bit better quality out of them. (Obviously it happens sometimes)
    Good on EKWB for offering full refunds or exchanges on the units (And especially damaged components)
  • clonazepam
    Yeah, EKWB was great. They replaced my CPU block's plate, and 3x GPU block plates, as well as one GPU's acetal cover, free of charge. They were all out of warranty too. Issues come up and they work closely with the reseller and get them handled quickly. Great bunch.
  • Shankovich
    Good on EKWB for acknowledging this. Considering the time frame they narrowed down, it's not going to be a massive recall. I'm sure other companies would try to bury this instead.

    Case in point, I have a Gigabyte R9 390 G1 Gaming that has an issue with preventing shut down and sleep; seen the complaints on new egg, amazon, etc. Called Gigabyte and they kept ignoring my concern, returned my RMA, etc.
  • kcarbotte
    17315278 said:
    Interesting, I would have expected a bit better quality out of them. (Obviously it happens sometimes)
    Good on EKWB for offering full refunds or exchanges on the units (And especially damaged components)

    Defects will happen. It's how the company handles things that makes the big difference.
    EKWB seems to be handling things in the best possible way. Covering all damages, and replacement costs, and being transparent and up front about it.

    any reasonable person couldn't possibly ask for more.
  • Gam3r01
    If I owned one of those coolers I would not be upset in the slightest.
  • chicofehr
    This makes me want to buy one of their coolers. This is something that makes you trust a brand.
  • problematiq
    "Good guy EKWB"
  • synphul
    Kind of a mixed bag. I would have expected more in terms of quality control from ekwb and can't help but wonder how such an issue happened. It's not like they were caught off guard as a first time venture, water cooling is literally what they do.

    I still give them props for the handling of it and the swift action to admit fault and provide full damage coverage to their affected customers. That's still an important aspect and yes it's true, bad things can happen with any company/product.

    Proper and persistent QC should have caught this ahead of the customers rather than just a confirmation after the fact.
  • Turb0Yoda
    EKWB looks like the EVGA of the watercooling level.
  • Scotty2307
    I actually do own one of these coolers. I am not particularly upset by the recall, though I would most likely have been very upset if it had leaked, and damaged my computer. What bothered me far more, was finding out two weeks after purchase, that they now offered the 240 series cooler with quick disconnect fittings. I have an email in to EKWB to see if I can pay the difference to upgrade to the unit with QD fittings.
    I can say that I have been happy with the performance of the cooler, as it has allowed me to get nearly 4.6Ghz out of my 5820K on an Asus X99 Sabertooth board.
    The only negative I have for the unit is that the pump whines a bit at idle, and it is at a frequency that makes it sound even louder when I put my headphones on, It is only at a certain pump speed that this happens, and it is completely covered by any audio I am listening to.