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New to water cooling please help

By jezreex · 38 replies
May 30, 2006
  1. two weeks ago I bought corsair cool water to cool my system because I was using air cooling and overclocked my amd x2 3800 cpu to 2.3 ghz and the temp shot up to 75 degrees at load. so I bought the corsair cool water and now my system is doing OK I guess I was able to overclocked the cpu to 2.5 ghz and at load it hits 50 degrees this time. however I got a little problem and I really need your help. I noticed that the water from the reservoir occasionally comes out the opening where you put water into it. when cpu is idle it does not spill but when at load i noticed that there are a lot of water bubbles and it comes out the opening where you put water in and in fact two days ago it was really dripping but thank God my system was not fried. is there a way out for this problem? or do I need a better reservoir or another type of liquid to use in the water cooling system? please I need your help.
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    This really supports my argument on why you shouldn't use reservoirs in watercooling setups in the other thread....

    Anyway, that aside, before installing any watercooling system into a computer, you should run the whole water circuit outsside the computer for a couple of days straight to check for leaks. No matter hoe careful you are, leaks are generally bad for the system.

    And if you already had your comp dripping with water, I don't think there's going to be permanent damage to your computer. Just put it aside for a week or so to dry, and it should bounce back into working order. Or thats the theory anyway, a few people online said this for their systems, but bear in mind there are some that said their comps are permanently fried too. 50-50 chance.

    My opening statement said that you don't really need a reservoir, and I stand by that. There was a whole discussion on this in an earlier thread, read up on that for my reasons why (and links to support it). If you really want to use one, just make sure its watertight, use some sealant to ensure it is, if its not.
  3. jezreex

    jezreex TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks cmh

    cmh thank you very much for your response I never thought you could use water cooling without the reservoir I will check on that thread right now I hope I can find it. Last night I finally got the problem, there is something wrong with the fill hole lid because no matter how much I tighten the lid it still spill off water specially after I turned off the computer. I probably will buy a sealant and seal the hole but I don't know which sealant to buy. do you have any idea?

    my other concern is I have read people claiming that their cpu temp dropped to 30-40 degrees at load with water cooling and was able to overclocked over 3ghz while my amd x2 3800 temp is at 50-55 degree at load and 45 degrees at idle and was only able to overclocked it at 2.5ghz. is there away that I can go cooler than 50 degrees with my cpu? I just want to mention also that with air cooling, I overclocked my cpu to 2.35ghz and the temp soared to 75 degrees at load. With this alone, 75 degrees dropped to 55 degrees and still overclocked it some more is good but is there I was I can still make my cpu cooler probably 40 degrees at load or is amd x2 cpu generally hot?
  4. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    It seems to me you have too much water in the system. It should not overflow the reservior unless you have run the water through the piping and then refilled the reservior. Now when the pump slows down or is turned off water drains back to the reservior and overflows it. Try removing some of the water with a straw when the pump is running (via the fill hole).

    If this does not work, then sealing the fill hole cap with Silicone glue (any hardware store like Home Depot) might be you're only option.


  5. jezreex

    jezreex TS Rookie Topic Starter

    kirock thanks for your response I really appreciate it. you know what I tried taking off some of the water inside the reservoir up to a point that the system stops working due to low water in the reservoir so I have to refill it. I think there is something wrong with the thread of the fill hole lid so I just go ahead and buy a silicone glue at home depot tonite.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    how to reduce your temps further, I hear you asking?

    Well, most of the time kits don't perform as well as pick your own parts, and those don't perform as well as DIY. I'm talking well made stuff of course.

    I haven't really made my own watercooling system, but I've done extensive research on making on in preperation for my next system, which is going to be watercooled. But I found among the best waterblocks are made by swiftech and dangerden. Also, you might want to look into a bigger radiator, and/or pump. There is a max size for pumps before it doesn't make any difference in terms of cooling, and in fact heats it up (bigger pump produce more heat). I think the flow rate is 1Lmin or something for the lowest temps. Not very sure how you'd check a pump for that before buying, since its giong to be limited by your equipment, and even then, how you link it up.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Yeah, I have a DangerDen TDX watercooling kit I installed about 3 weeks back. It's good quality(I asked around and googled up for it too) and hasn't given me problems since. U might want to opt for the same in case u aren't able to fix ur problems.
  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    the fact that he used a reservoir was not the cause of the problem, so it does not support CMH's anti-reservior theory. you don't need a reservoir, but they are benificial, not harmful

    a properly set up water cooling would not produce bubbles or leak out reguardless of whether or not a reservoir was used.

    you got bubbles because your system had air in it because the fil cap didn't seal, you cannot bleed the system (get rid of air pockets) if it's not air/water tight.

    I have no experience with that system you have (or any pre-built system for that matter), but I will assume that the reservior is plastic. chances are that you overtightened the cap. plastic caps/plugs can easily be over-torqued using just your hand (no tools).

    aquarium sealant would work, but will not allow you to flush the system out later so it's really not the right fix. go down to your local hardware store and buy a $1 roll of teflon thread seal tape. tightly wrap a couple layers around the thread and tighten the cap until it's snug, do not overtigten it. this should seal it up air tight and allow for future flushing of the system.
  9. jezreex

    jezreex TS Rookie Topic Starter

    guys I really appreciate your help I have learne a lot of stuff just by this thread alone. kingcody you are absolutely right, my reservoir is plastic and I guess I over tightened the lid. I thought about returning the system to corsair but the hassle of taking it down and packaging it is just too much for me right now. actually last night before I read kingcody's suggestion, I used a teflon tape to seal the lid I never thought it would work but I think it worked water does not come out of the fill hole anymore but there are still water bubbles and when I turn off the system, I can hear air coming out of the reservoir so I guess it is still not tight I will work on it tonite. by the way kingcody how get rid of the air? because I can see in the hoses that there are small air bubbles.

    regarding my temp, so the only way for me to cool down my system some more is to buy a better waterblock and bigger radiator. I almost bought the swiftech system but because of the cost of buying swiftech I opted for the corsair that is probably a mistake I made.
  10. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    well normally the air will bleed itself out just by running the pump, then you simply top off the reservoir and seal it up.

    you can start and stop the pump a few times to get rid of air pockets that "stick" in the system.

    I have never had bubbles in my systems because i have never used anything but distilled water. you are obviously using another liquid. might i suggest flushing it out and using distilled water instead??

    if the teflon tape still does not seal it, then use a flexible silcone sealant. one that will seal the opening, but not permanently bond the cap to the resi.

    why do you think you need even lower temps? the advantages of water cooling are consistant temps and low noise, if you're within your CPU's safety margin then you're fine.
  11. jezreex

    jezreex TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Kingcody your suugestion helped me a lot. I am using the coolant that comes with the corsair kit and added water (purified drinking water) since I don't have distilled water when I installed the system and I don't know where to buy one. now you know how naive I am when it comes to water cooling. I was thinking of buying a new reservoir I found that the thermaltake aquabay m3 looks great at a great price too I don't know if you advice this idea of mine. another thing is that I need to change my coolant and flush my system how do I flush it without any accidents that might happen. what is the best way of flushing the system and where can I buy a distilled water? I need your input.
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    His problem does support my theory: he ran into problem while using a reservoir. As I mentioned, any extra components in the system will increase the risk of a leak.

    Either way, reservoirs don't serve alot of functions, and most of them are very basic functions. They basically store water, and in the process help you with the removal of bubbles and stuff.

    To flush your system, just run the system and make sure there's no water input I suppose. Just make sure your comp isn't running at the same time.
  13. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    haha, that's just plain rediculous.

    when did you mention that? ;) anyways, that is true however that is not a good reason not to use one.

    don't do that! running a pump dry will most likely cause permanent damage to the pump! never run a pump without a water input.

    if your reservoir has a drain plug, use that. otherwise disconnect the return hose from the reservoir and make it drain into a bucket instead of the reservoir, keep filling the reservoir up with water as it pumps out all your old liquid, remember do not allow the pump to run dry. once all your old liquid is flushed out, reconnect the return hose to the reservoir, fill it up and bleed the system.

    as far as avoiding accidents... just be careful. it's never a bad idea to keep a cloth or a roll of paper towels handy just in case. if the water level in the system is higher than the point at which you will disconnect something, then obviously water will flow out, hold a cup or bucket to catch the water and lay a small towel over any components under it to catch anything that you miss with the cup.

    you can buy distilled water at any grocery store or drug store. it is usually sold with the spring water (gallons only), or at the pharmacy.

    the point of using distilled water is that it doesn't conduct electricity (well it actually does, but very little -not enough to short circuit anything if it leaks).
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I think I did mention about the risks in the other thread, I should've said it again.

    I'll say it again: The more items you add into a watercooling system, the more chance of a leak.

    Never needed to worry about draining a system.... But I would've thought a pump can run for awhile (like 3 secs) without water :D Lol

    About using super-pure-water for a watercooling system, no matter how pure you get it, it will be contaminated when you put it into a watercooling system. There's no practical way to keep water uncontaminated, which is why in any application where there is a need for pure water, its made on the spot.

    Also, there are systems which use pure water for cooling, but these also have purifiers which constantly keep the water pure and non-conductive. Not for home or SOHO use.
  15. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Thats a good point, I forgot to mention the contamination factor.

    Even very small amounts of regular water (including spring water) mixing with the non-conductive distilled water will make it highly-conductive again. As CMH said, there is no practical way to keep water uncontaminated.

    There are non-conductive liquids which are very resistant to electrical conductivity even when contaminated, but they are very expensive. usually about $30, and you may need 2 bottles :eek:
  16. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    lol just for fun now I am going to be running plain watter for a week. lol
  17. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    if you run tap water (or "watter" as you call it... haha ;)) for a week, then you might as well just keep using tap water afterwards as well, because you will have already contaminated the system.
  18. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Hmm, I have a little knowledge in the area of water purification and contamination from my years as Engineering Physics Lab Supervisor, where we made semi-conductor devices.
    CMH makes a good point, contamination probably can't be avoided, but the generally concept of using DI water or distilled water is sound advice from KingC. BTW, DI aqua would be much less conductive then distilled and is really what you want. If I was still working there I could mail a few gallons for shipping costs.

    Anyway, back to distilled water (DW): Fill as instructed and run the system for a day. Now Completely drain and refill with DW and run it thru the system for 10 minutes. Drain, refill and seal. That's the best you're gonna get.

    The idea is: in 24hrs with DW, it leeches out any stuff that WILL leech out. This means the plastics, the metals etc have films and other contamination which is somewhat dissolvable in water. 10 minute rinse to flush out and dilute contaminated DW. Fill and seal with refresh DW. Seal is important, not just for leaks but to keep gases and ions from the air from dissolving in the DW.
    DW is better then tap water, so might as well try your best to get it as clean as possible.

  19. jezreex

    jezreex TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you guys for the help. Kingcody the teflon tape solved my problem I didn't have any water coming out from the fill hole last night. I run the computer for 3 hours rendering videos, editing photos and the system remains dry. But still there are still bubbles, I do need to change my water. however, my question is if I only use distilled water don't you think it is more susceptable to algae and bacteria growth? do I need to add anti-algae chemicals?
  20. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    No algea problem if you keep your fingers out of the DW. Even algea needs light and food to live and thrieve. There is no light inside that sealed recirc system and if you do the procedure I suggested to make it as clean as possible, there will be no food. Chemicals like that will just nullify using DW.

    See what KingC says.

  21. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    personally, I would not recommend adding anything to the water, just use the DW alone. use the metheod that kirock suggested to flush/decontaminate your water, that's some darn good advice :)

    as far as the bacterial growth is concerned, it can be minimized, but not completely avoided. that is why you should flush the system every 6 months to 1 year IMO. you also need to clean the pump when you flush it as well if you want it to last.

    also Kirock, am I to assume you mean de-ionized water when you say DI? I have always heard that DW and DI have pretty much the same conductivity levels? is this not true? I am curious as to what would make DI better than DW? and also, where can you buy DI water, I have never actually seen it in a store?? (you'll have to excuse my water-ignorance :D)
  22. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    You can't get 0 algae in the water, it'll grow sooner or later. Cleaning out the system would be recommended once in a while.

    I probably will throw in anti-algae crap into my system.

    This is why buying good parts are important. Getting parts that will work with contaminated water would make things easier for you, since you don't have to make sure your water is always clean.

    Everyone is concerned about keeping water uncontaminated. Does anyone know why contaminated water is considered bad? Its not. Being conductive is bad. And its not because it gets over all your components and blow it up, because its not supposed to get onto your components. And even if it did, there's strong evidence that drying it out completely (leaving it out unused for 2 weeks) will fix it (depends on what it gets on). The main reason you don't want the water to be conductive is so that your parts do not rust. Chemistry 101: 2 different metals in electrical contact will degrade one really really fast. This causes blockages which is bad.

    Now that thats out of the way, lets look at how we can tackle the real problem: the blockage.

    1: making sure its not in electrical contact. This means you keep non-electrically-conductive water in the system.

    2: Use everything from 1 metal. This is not very viable, since you've got screws and crap made out of steel/iron/etc. But what you can do is to make sure every component thats in contact with water is made of copper (or whatever your waterblocks are made of). Do research on the pump you want to use. Pumps which have only plastic on contact with water will be great, since chances are they won't be using copper in there.

    3: reduce the chance of getting something stuck in the waterblock in the first place. This means staying away from waterblocks which have mazes and squeeze water through small openings. Easier said than done, since getting huge surface areas and getting good heat transfer depends on turbulence and water getting into contact with surfaces.

    Since you can't do anything about that without compromising your temps, the other solution is a waterblock that can easily be dissassembled and any clogs removed. Stay away from acrylic tops tho, they tend to crack, sending water into your system.

    I hope this helps in the "lets keep the water pure" discussion.
  23. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Yes that's what I mean, DI is de-ionized water, it's an industry jargon. DW (distilled water) is a much lower quality semi-DI water. DW is water that is filtered, then boiled to steam. The steam is collected and condensed back into water, just like the process of making liquor(Liquor/alcohol manufactures have the trade name of "Distillery"). The resulting water is much better in terms of ions and particulates but the process is not perfect. Alot of the ions simply evaporate with the water and of course recondense with it and therefore are still present in the finally product. The resultant conductivity is in the range of 500-700K ohms/cm.

    DI water can be much higher then this (in resistivity, which is what we want).
    My first experience with DI water system was in a Dialysis ward in a hospital.
    I was a Dialysis Tech and we maintained all the equipment etc. That system was capable of running 20 dialysis machines simultaneously with each machine having a flow rate of 2-3L/min. The conductivity was in the range of 1-2Megaohms/cm. In the semi-conductor lab I spoke of in my previous post, the system was much smaller but capable of 18-20Mohms/cm. If the conductivity fell below 10Mohms/cm it was time to change the cartridges. ;)

    Resistance per centimeter is the standard for measuring DI water pureness.
    It's literally a high impendance meter with the probes physically seperated by exactly one centimeter.

    I thought that IS what we are talking about, contamination(of whatever kind: minerals, ions, bacteria)=conductivity, which is bad. You make excellent points here about the water cooling and have the experience. It's you and KingC that are really helping jezreex, I'm just adding a little knowledge to the mix in a limited capacity.
    What I was recommending is called "Pacification" and is used in chem and physics labs the world over. The process is to use the substance you WANT to system/container/object to be filled with to "clean" the system of other unwanted substances. Heating the system during the process increases the effect. Also applying negative pressure (vacuum) encourages degasing (micro pockets of air). This is based on the basic principle of particles moving from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.

    I'm not sure about the rusting point you made CMH. I would hope the system is made from copper pipe, plastic parts and either aluminum or copper cooling block, thus rusting is negligeable. I though the real point here about water quality (DI and DW) was more of a safety/insurance thing just in case the system sprung a leak! :eek:

    Finally, I'm not sure where you could buy DI water, you might be able to get some from a local hospital. Their labs would have many DI system in them. If you had a contact or just asked real real nicely they might give you a bucket.
    If they do, make sure you pacifie the container with at least DW first. ;)

  24. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    great info kirock. I learned alot today :)It would seem that DI is best, but is not available to most of us. so distilled is still the way to go (as far as water is concerned).

    One important thing to note is that products are marketed to make it seem like you set up a water cooling system, fill it up, and forget about it. this simply isn't the case. all cooling systems require maintenance at certain intervals to keep them working efficiently. air coolers require the least amount by just removing the dust accumulation. water cooliong systems require a bit more (removing dust from radiator, flushing all water passages, pump cleaning). you cannot just set up your water cooler and forget about it, if you do then you will find that it either stops working as efficiently or just stops working all togther.

    In my opinion it is not worth buying expensive cooling liquids either, because you will still have to flush it out like a water filled system and you'll just be wasting your money. a gallon of distilled water ususally costs about $1, where a small 500mL bottle of PC cooling liquid costs about $30, you do the math.

    algea and bacteria will grow over time, while this will not damage anything, it will reduce the overall effectiveness of the system by reducing the flow. this is why you should flush the system and clean the pump's impeller and rotor
  25. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Don't worry I didn't. LOL
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