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 Post subject: Alleviate my fears on Watercooling
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 9:38 pm 
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Help me alleviate my fears on watercooling. I'm reaching the point where watercooling is starting to look like a reasonable idea. But I've tried to outline my exact fears and anxieties on why I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I don't think I'll be the only one in this position yet, but I'm the only one I know of now.

So the following is my list of fears.

1) Mess == Death to CPU/GPU/Motherboard/PSU/Etc. This is probably my biggest fear. I've sunk a lot of money into my system and I'd rather not see it go up in smoke due to a squirt of water.
2) Few good external interfaces. If I had room inside my case for a watercooling system, I wouldn't NEED a watercooling system. But taking it outside the case makes it nearly impossible to move. Are there any good ways of elegantly connecting tubes to or through a case?
3) Draining the system. Are there ANY guides on this? How is it done carefully?
4) Pump Death == CPU Death? If my fan dies, my CPU will get hot slowly and the motherboard should shut it down (in theory). With watercooling, it seems like the CPU will heat up VERY quickly and possibly die a gruesome death.
5) Respected Resources. It's hard to seperate the serious people from the chuckleheads out there. What are good watercooling resources available out there?

Is there anything that you Watercoolers can say that will help me alleviate these fears/problems?

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 10:58 pm 
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I've not actually tried it, but can answer some anyway...

2) Eheim quick disconnects? http://forums.procooling.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=9482
4) Unlikely unless you're using Peltiers. If a Peltier dies, it acts as an insulator. If a pump dies, remember that you've still got the water in the waterblock that you've nearly got to boil before you can kill the chip - in addition to the metal of the block. Simple watercooling is probably more resistant to pump death than normal heatsinks are to fan death.
5) www.procooling.com, particularly the forums. They are to watercooling what SPCR is to silencing. I've started going there recently (having followed Gooserider in) and at least one forum member has come from there recently.


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 Post subject: Re: Alleviate my fears on Watercooling
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 8:37 am 
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
I'm no where close to a resident expert (but I'm learning... :lol: ) but I'll toss out responses to a few of your fears:

1) Leak testing is your friend. Running just the WC system, with the PC off will show any leaks in your system without risking anything. Properly installed, leaks are very rare. Even if there is a small leak, it rarely results is destroyed equipement.

2) As pdf27 pointed out, there are commerically available disconnects. A trip to Home Depot will net you even more. The Reserator comes with a pretty elegant disconnect feature.

3) Draining is simply a matter of clamping, then disconnecting a hose at the lowest point in the system. As long as the system is un-powered, a little spillage isn't a disastor.

4) The waterblock and the standing water in the tubes will provide a thermal mass that will slow the runaway heating. As long as the CPU over-temp protection is working properly, its no riskier than having a fan fail.

5) Yup, what he said....procooling.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 2:18 pm 
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Location: North Billerica, MA, USA
Quote:
1) Mess == Death to CPU/GPU/Motherboard/PSU/Etc. This is probably my biggest fear. I've sunk a lot of money into my system and I'd rather not see it go up in smoke due to a squirt of water.

My observation of reported failures is that nearly all can be accounted for in terms of "user error" in either the design, build, or operation phases. Design your system with sufficient 'idiot proofing' to prevent errors and catch them early. Build using solid conservative techniques, using good reliable components. Operate the system in a way that keeps it running (for instance don't forget to turn on the pump; designing so you can't forget to turn on the pump is part of idiot proofing)
Quote:
2) Few good external interfaces. If I had room inside my case for a watercooling system, I wouldn't NEED a watercooling system. But taking it outside the case makes it nearly impossible to move. Are there any good ways of elegantly connecting tubes to or through a case?

You can get quick disconnects, the problem is that most add flow resistance, especially the ones that have check valves in both parts to reduce the need for system draining. However McMaster Carr does offer a few good ones. (I am NOT impressed with the Innovatek approach)
Quote:
3) Draining the system. Are there ANY guides on this? How is it done carefully?

This is part of design in large part. Avoid loops that will trap fluid, Make sure there is a more or less straight up / down flow path so water can run out. Remember that to drain you need a discharge point at the lowest point in the system, and an air bleed point near the top. Also keep in mind that it is difficult to do a TOTAL drain, but it shouldnt be to hard to get most of the coolant out. However you are better off to minimimze your draining, since each time increases your chances for contamination.
Quote:
4) Pump Death == CPU Death? If my fan dies, my CPU will get hot slowly and the motherboard should shut it down (in theory). With watercooling, it seems like the CPU will heat up VERY quickly and possibly die a gruesome death.

As mentioned earlier, not a big issue, or at least not worse than with fan cooling. Some folks have reported pump failures that led to enough convective circulation that the processor reached equilibrium at a much higher than normal, but still safe temp and was able to stay running.
Quote:
5) Respected Resources. It's hard to seperate the serious people from the chuckleheads out there. What are good watercooling resources available out there?

Pro-Cooling.com....

Gooserider

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Building Dual Athlon MP system, Tyan mobo, U160 drives, Server Cube case, Linux ONLY, lots of other goodies. Will water cool, attempting to make as silent as possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 9:00 pm 
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Location: Oklahoma
Use good components and assemble them well. If you do the homework upfront, you shouldn't have any problems with watercooling. Do a 24 hour leak check everytime you redo or change something.

Draining seems to be a high priority. Unless you are planning to change components often, don't worry about it. You don't have to change the water every month. I'd be comfortable letting mine run for years without changing anything except keeping the case air filter(s) clean of lint and dust.

The important thing is to understand what goes into your system and what makes it a good choice. I learned most of what I know about overclocking and watercooling from the ocforums.com (overclockers.com forums) especially the watercooling section. There is alot of experience, but realize that silent computing isn't a high priority for most people who post. Procooling is also a good place. The key for me was to search and read many postings about watercooling. After reading every thread for the first 25-30 pages or so, you start to learn who knows how to do it well and what are good water components and those to avoid. Don't overlook this forum for knowledge either, there are several people who post and really know watercooling.

If you want fast AND quiet, then watercooling is for you :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 11:14 pm 
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First of all ask yourself what do you want to get out of watercooling?

For silence? Think again, without some serious tinkering and knowledge your watercooled rig will most likely be noisier than a much simpler aircooled setup.

For performance? Well now you're on to something. To me watercooling is the only viable way to have a high spec overclocked system without going deaf.

1) Like previously stated, do your homework, choose components that will fit together properly, test properly and this shouldn't be a problem.
2) I've used Festo quick connectors internally and they would withstand a suprising amount of abuse. I think they have bulkhead connectors too.
4) If I'm not mistaken there are pump relay thingamajigs that will power off the entire system should the pump fail. Either that or you can use a flow switch to detect pump demise.
5) Procooling is a very good place to start.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:20 am
Posts: 55
Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
Okay, how about this... hypothetically...


You have a PC and it has a cooling loop like my little diagram below

Code:

  Used Coolant   ==================\   
  Exit      \\  //                 \\
  __________[]_[]_______________    \\
 |          l   l               |    \\
 |         l     l              |     \\
 |     =====VALVE======RAD      |     BIG BOWL OF
 |    |                  |      |     DISTILLED WATER
 |    |                  |      |
 |    |                  |      |
 |    WB                 |      |
 |    |                  |      |
 |    |                  |      |
 |    |                  |      |
 |    |                  |      |
 |    =================PUMP     |
 |                              |
 |______________________________|




those things on the top ( [] ) are quick connect couplings that seal when disconnected. Would it be feasible to have tubing to plug into these lines, CLOSE the valve and then use the pump to draw in new fresh water and spit the old water out? Then once the system has flushed itself out, just open the valve and pull the external tubing?

I don't think this would work with your typical fill and bleed style thing so I was thinking of making two mini resevoirs to act as air traps that would also accomodate this design, something like this

Code:


       QC               QC
     __| |__          __| |__
    |       |        |       |
    |       |        |       |
    |/\/\/\ | ___    |/\/\/\ |<- Water Level
   _|       |___||___|       |_____
-> _         ________         _____  -> ->
    |_______| valve  |_______|



See what I mean? I shoulda used Paintbrush I guess :) BTW: the QC is for quick connect couplings. Any thoughts on this?

Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 2:17 am 
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Posts: 1413
Location: Sydney, Australia
having 2 reservoirs would probably take a toll on your flow rate. i'd imagine a 3-tap fill and bleed system would work, although i could be wrong.

to respond to your initial post, last month my cpu block leaked coolant onto my radeon 9800. the system was on 24/7, and no damage was done. i just wiped/picked it off (it had partially solidified) and that was that. i put this down to the fact that i use a radiator coolant mixture as opposed to plain distilled water.

i'm currently working on designing a watercooling kit, similar to a corsair hydrocool / thermaltake aquarius 3, with the exception being that it'll be no-holds-barred high performance. none of that building it down to a price crap.

user friendliness will also need consideration so i plan to use quick disconnect couplings, although those things are ridiculously expensive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 3:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:20 am
Posts: 55
Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
what if the reservoirs were itty bitty?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 3:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 1413
Location: Sydney, Australia
hmm then i guess you might as well just use t-fittings with shutoff valves connected to their 'stems'. and then you would have a classic 3-tap fill and bleed system :)

the problem with reservoirs is that they give the pump the extra job of having to accelerate still water. the water entering the inlet of the pump isn't under any positive pressure. with a t-fitting, with the stem blocked off by a shut valve, then the water would be forced into the inlet of the pump and thus boost flow rates.

i haven't actually verified this myself, but it seems to make sense, and is true according to cathar (an aussie 'legend' watercooler)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:20 am
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Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
Thanks for the feedback, my original motive in the reservoirs was to provide a better air trap but keep the advantage of a fill and bleed kit. From my understanding, a T fitting may not work well due to the velocity of the water holding in the air bubbles... not sure tho.

Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 1413
Location: Sydney, Australia
yes that's true, hence why a lot of people struggle to bleed t-line systems :)

but in a 3-tap system, you don't have that sort of problem because you're not trying to use the t-piece as a 'reservoir' anymore - know what i'm saying? you're not trying to catch air in the t-piece anymore, you're using the t-piece as a part of a flowing loop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 7:04 pm 
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Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
Oh! I think I understand now. That's good, I didn't really want to build something like that anyways :)

Bruce


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