You are on page 1of 11

*******Component Cleaning and Set-Up********

*********************Cleaning************************
While most components may seem clean we like to disassemble them and look for crud
in them. Some may have hanging metal shavings. These can be cut off with a razor
blade. Some may have loose packing materials in them or other things. Some may still
have machining oil on the surfaces. As Dryadsoul has pointed out with his pictorial the
Fuzion O-Ring has a massive amount of molding slag on one of the O- Rings that should be
removed.

Most water blocks have an O-Ring to seal the top and bottom together. Be sure to put this
in a safe place where you wont lose it. Look carefully for any hanging metal shavings if you
have any cut them off with a razor blade. If you have a magnifying glass it doesn't hurt to
use it. After you have inspected it and made sure that its clean soak it for a few minutes in
a mixture of 90% distilled water and 10% white vinegar. That will help to kill any bacteria
that is in it. Rinse well several times with clean distilled water. I t wouldn't hurt to toss them
in a bowl of rubbing alcohol also to make sure if there is any machining oil on it will come
off also.

Radiator cleaning. I like to fill my rad with the 90% distilled water and 10%white vinegar
that I use to clean the water blocks. Fill your radiator full and let it sit overnight. Shake it
several times with your thumbs over the barbs. Rinse several times with hot distilled
water. You want to get all the vinegar residue out.
Thats basically it. You may want to rinse your new loop several time with plain distilled
water to make sure its totally clean before you add your coolant.

I drain and flush my loop every three or four months at least. Some guys go longer with no
problems. I run 10% white vinegar and 90% distilled water in it for an hour or two and then
drain and run straight distilled water in it 3 or 4 times to get all the vinegar residue out of
it,you want to make sure you rinse it well vinegar is acidic and could cause corrosion if any
is left. I'm just a little freaky about keeping it clean. I figure if I get slime growing in the
blocks it will interfere with thermal transfer.

A drain-line is a great thing to cut into your loop. Just put a T in your lowest line
and put a length of tubing on it. I use a brass Fil-Port on the end of mine but you can plug it
with almost anything. I know I keep mine much cleaner now that it is so easy to drain and
refill. Just take the plug out of the res or T-Line so it will drain. You may have to tilt your
case around some to get it all out. No need to run your pump to get it all out it will flow right
through the pump when its off so there is no reason to risk running your pump dry.

I also remove the rubber O-Rings from my barbs then I use Permatex Red RTV sealant on
the top 2/3's of the barb threads. Clean the threads off well with alcohol to get any oils off
them. You need to screw them down snugly into the blocks or rad and let them cure for a
couple of days before you use them .Be careful and don't turn them after it is cured or you
will break the bond. By doing this you you are able to tighten the barbs down fully and
lessen the chance of leaks. I snug them down finger tight and wrench them down another
1/2-3/4 turn. I just leave the little circle of sealant that comes up around the barb as an
extra washer. Be careful doing this in pexi-glass parts as they may crack out on you. Don't
get any down in your blocks or rad either just coat the top 2/3's of the threads to avoid
this. You can get the Permatex Red RTV at any Auto-Store.

******************Loop Order************************

I like to keep my res at the highest point to aid in bleeding. The pump underneath it so
that it will be gravity fed this will help keep you from having dry-starts. Dry-starts will ruin
the longevity of your pump if it doesn't just kill it out right. Always have the res or T-Line
right before the pump. In the case of the res if its not right before the pump you will starve
it for water and kill your temp's. In the case of a T-Line it will make filling and bleeding
much easier.

Res or T-Line?...
T-Line? They both have advantages and dis-advantages. A res will bleed faster
but may slow down coolant velocity when it hits the res. But when velocity slows the coolant
will give up the small air bubbles also so it bleeds faster.

A T-Line while slower to bleed will not slow down coolant velocity and it takes up much
less room in your comp.

I like to use a bay res. I can put a thick phone book under the front of my case lay the rad
over on its side and be almost completely bleed in 5 minutes. Doing that keeps water over
the barbs in the back of the res. Just keep adding water as the foam dies down. Fast and
easy. I really like the big 2 ounce syringes they sell at DD. I just stick one in my res and
squirt a little in as needed. They are great for topping off a res.

I run my loop res-pump-rad-cpu-any other blocks. I drop 1.5C-2.5C across my rad in the
loop I'm using now. I want the coolest water possible hitting my CPU first. If you have to run
several extra feet of tubing to get this order just run it however you need to. The extra
tubing would just cause restriction and higher temp's it would defeat the purpose.

****************Leak Testing***********************

I like to hook up all my components outside of the comp and leak test for at least 24
hours before I put it in my case to leak test. I'm not testing the unions for leaks at this stage
I'm testing the components themselves for failure. Just cut your tubing 3 or 4 barbs length
overlong so you can still use the tubing in your case. If you have a spare PSU to test with its
great. If you don't just jump the PSU in your comp to test. I know it sucks not having your
comp but this is a very important step as far as I'm concerned. Much better safe then
sorry. O-Rings in blocks can fail. Seals in pumps can blow out. You res may have a crack in
it. All you are doing at this stage is pressure testing your components.

After you leak test your components its time to put it all in your case and jump your PSU
and leak test again. This time is more for the tube to barb connections. You can lay pieces
of paper in the bottom of your case and in other strategic positions to help catch smaller
leaks. I always use an UV additive and a 4" cold cathode light to check for leaks. Even the
dreaded small weeping leaks will show up under the UV lamp. I do this leak test for at least
another 24 hours. At least this 24 hours will be productive since you are bleeding your
loop. For this second leak test go ahead and fill it with your coolant mix.

It will take you a while to bleed out your loop. You can tilt your comp around to help get
the air out. Bubbles like to hide in fittings. Tap your finger or something on the tubes to get
the small bubbles off. If your coolant is milky looking you still have a lot of air in it. It will all
work out. A res will bleed faster then a T-Line.

Leave your rad loose until the loop is bleed if possible at all. The majority of air will be in
your rad and if you shake it up and leave it lower it will help to get the air out.

*******************Coolant**************************

If you have a VW or Audi dealership near you Pentosin can be bought pretty cheap. All
Pentosin is is VW anti-freeze. I t comes in "VW Red" or VW Blue" add a few drops of "Tracer-
Line" UV dye that you can buy at most auto-supply stores and your set for a while. It just
take a few drops of the Tracer-Line for your loop. The Pentosin can be bought on Amazon
also but I would think the shipping would be expensive for a liter and a half of it. Its only
$10.00 or so for a liter and a half .The G11 is blue and the G12 is red.

For every 40 ounces of distilled water I add on ounce of glycerin This helps in the thermal
transfer of the water and is a pump lube. I also add 1 or 2 drops of "Dawn" dish-washing
liquid this helps to break the surface tension of the water helping temp's some. Then the
following.
Pentosin w/UV additive mixed at 4 ounces to 40 ounces of distilled water.
Then 2 drops of Petra's Tech "PT Nuke" biocide. It is really a good copper based biocide.
The Pentosin w/UV and the "PT Nuke" can be found at Petra's Tech. Com

The glycerin is a surfactant and pump lube. A surfactant actually makes the water wetter
by breaking the surface tension of the water. That will let the water get down around all the
pins in your block. It will also help to get rid of all the little bubbles that can become
trapped on the surfaces in your block. It can also help to lower the viscosity of the water
helping flow and hopefully lowering temp's.

The "Dawn" dish-washing soap is also a surfactant and helps as the glycerin does. Don't use
to much of either one or you will hurt your thermal transfer instead of helping. A little goes
along way.

The Pentosin is nothing more the Volkswagon anti-freeze. It helps as an anti-corrosive


additive. I mix mine at a 10-1 ratio. I like the UV component of Petra Techs Pentosin
because I use a little 4" cold cathode UV lamp to check for leaks with.

The PT Nuke is a really good copper based biocide to help kill off any nasties trying to
grow in your loop.

Just remember the more you add to the distilled water the more you will hurt temp's. If
you just use regular ant-freeze 5-15% is about right anything more then 15% and you will
get your coolant to viscous slow down the flow and hurt temp's.

I always mix a new coolant that I would like to try out in a sealed plastic container for a few
days before I try it, shake it set it in hot water, try to see if its going to separate out on you
or precipitate any particulates out.

I have had several that would layer out and some that would cause a lot of little flakes to
precipitate out.

I started doing them in a container after one mix I tried caused me to get all kinds of
white flakes in my loop. It was really hard to get it all cleaned out. That was a good lesson
for me, I never mix in my loop.

But basically the less you can add to your distilled water the better your temp's will be. I
only add small amounts and for specific reasons. Well its fun to play with to and hopefully
get better temp's then your last batch.

I pretty well stick to the above recipe any more, it does what I ask of it.
*****************Optimization************************

The secret to a good cooling WC'ing rig is this over pump (with a acceptable heat dump)
over rad, over fan and get a good block. Its as simple as that. Follow basic WC'ing principles
on your first loop and you will have a good cooling rig.

You will have plenty of time to experiment later on after you get it going. The old ways, the
tried and true ways are usually the best ways. They are used for that very reason, they have
been used countless times and with good results.

Head/Energy/Velocity & Flow.. Are what I try to keep in consideration with all things
WC'ing. The more turbulent you can keep your flow the more heat it will pick up in your
blocks. The more turbulent you can keep your flow through the rad the more heat that will
be scrubbed off.

You can keep your velocity up by using as few blocks as possible and keeping your tubing
lengths short as possible, use as few fittings as you can.

When a loop losses its Head/Energy/Velocity the flow can turn laminar on you. Laminar
flow is when the heat pulls back into the core of the coolants flow, that can be as much as
several C difference from core to what is touching the tubing walls.

I like to keep my flow above 2gpm in a CPU only loop for that reason. But 1.5gpm is
probably plenty for an average loop. You can still really hurt your temp's even with good
flow by adding a lot of unnecessary things to the loop.
Any turbulence caused by anything but your blocks or rad is head/energy/velocity & flow
lost. So always keep that in mind, keep your fittings to a minimum and tubing lengths short
as possible. As Martin210 has shown beveling or chamfering pumps inlets and outlets can
have a very real difference in flow.

There are quite a few things you can do to get all you can from your loop. All the little
one and two C tricks add up very quickly. I would suggest that you remount your water block
several times just to see how much of an effect it can have on your temp's. That is the first
thing I will do if I think my temp's are to high. I have gotten a 4-5C difference in temp's with
a remount.

One thing I would like to add here is this. Buy parts that will perform best in your
budget. Bling is fine if it has the performance to back it up. If I have the choice of buying
something that looks good as opposed to something that works good I will buy the
performance piece first. I wouldn't be WC'ing if I didn't want to push my rig to its limit. It
may take a little more research and time to buy used parts or economical parts but you
can have a better rig then most who just buy theirs on looks alone.

Fans...
Fans I like to use 120x38mm fans on my rad. I feel they more effectively scavenge
air through a rad due to the higher pressure they have. Sunon and Panaflo are
the fans I use.

Rad Shrouds.
Shrouds ..I would suggest using one. They are good for several C .If I only use
fans on one side of the rad I will use them in a pull configuration. Push-Pull
is good for another C or two in temp drop. The optimal depth for a shroud
is supposed to be 1.5".I make mine out of 3/4" aluminum channel and
they seem to work fine. A shroud is the cheapest temp drop you can get
water cooling. Temp drop will depend on how loaded up your rad is to, the higher the load
the more your temp's should drop. Shrouds will always make your rad more efficient since
they spread the air flow over more of the rad. Gutted 120x38mm fans make a great shroud
also and they are the optimum 1.5” thick.

Loop Order..
Order As stated before I like to have my CPU block directly after the rad. This will
have a couple of C lower coolant temp hitting the CPU first.

Extra Airflow..
Airflow When you remove the CPU HSF you are also removing the extra cooling
that it provides to surrounding components. The Volt. Reg. the ram. You
need to add extra air cooling to these areas on your mobo. Small fans
are cheap and easy to attach. You can go simple and use zip-ties or rubber
bands. Or you can make metal mounting brackets for them if you would
like. The main thing is to get some air blowing on them.
The first thing I do when I get a new mobo is take off the volt. regs. and
NB blocks and straight-edge them lap if needed and use AS-5 when I
remount. Some of them are really warped.

Case fans are important even when WC I stuff as many in my case as


practical. You need to keep the air moving in and out of your case. When
I have a side on my case I usually have an 80mm side fan ducted over
the top of the CPU block.

Tubing..
Tubing Try to keep your tubing length as short as you can. I like to leave a barb length
or two overlong that way if you need to cut into it for some reason you have a
chance of reusing it. I would suggest going with 1/2" fittings for all of it and
either using 7/16x5/8" Masterkleer tubing or full 1/2x3/4" tubing. I'm fond
of the 7/16x5/8" Masterkleer it is easy to route around in your case and it
will flow about as well as the full 1/2" I.D. tubing. The I.D. of 1/2" barbs is
7/16" so thats going to limit your flow to that anyway. For an external loop
I would go with the full 1/2"x3/4" to make sure I had every bit of flow I could
get with the longer tubing lengths you will need to run. The 7/16x5/8" can be
hard to slip over the barbs sometimes. I found that putting a little glycerin and
water on the plastic barbs helps it to slide on easier. On metal barbs dipping
the end of the tubing in some rubbing alcohol for a minute or so makes them
slide on much easier. You can also just soak it in some fairly hot water for a
minute or so it helps .Once it starts going on don't stop pushing or it will
stick in that position.

A lot of guys use Masterkleer on the straight runs and ultra soft Tygon for
tight bends. Tygon is soft and will bend with-out kinking as much.
Try to keep from using any 90 degree fittings. Every 90 is like adding an extra
ft of tubing to your loop. Some tight bends can be made by using Ultra-Soft
Tygon and if needed Swiftec "Cool-Sleeves". Zip-ties can straighten out a
lot of kinks.

Clamps.....
Clamps I like automotive worm-drive clamps zip-ties work great also. McMaster-Carr
has a stainless steel "Pinch-Ear Clamp" that I use its the "Oetiker" brand
you can get a installation tool for it that crimps in both vertical and
horizontal and removes them also for around $20.00. If you know all your
unions will be out in the open and easy to get to a pair of dull tile nippers
will crimp them just as well. I just use a pair of heavy side-cutters to remove mine.
Rad Sizing..
Sizing .I like a 240mm rad for a CPU only or a 360mm rad with a CPU and GPU.
You can probably get by with smaller if you use high cfm fans but the
larger rads will give you a more even temp range it wont spike up so
much. Overkill on the rad is a good thing. The thicker the rad the more
effective the rad and in general the higher cfm fans it will need. When
bleeding your loop it helps to set your rad on its side and shake it a little
That will make sure you get all the air out of your rad. Higher fin per inch
rads also require higher cfm fans.

If you mount your rad on the back of your case make sure the air from the
PSU or GPU are not blowing into the rad. I just made air diverters out of a
plastic rectangles cut from an old bleach jug and painted them black. Just
make large half circles and mount them over the PSU exhaust and the GPU
exhaust so the air will blow out to the sides.

If you have you rad in the case avoid putting it at the top where hot air will
naturally collect. Try to have fresh room ambient air coming through the
rather then the hotter case air.

I use a can of compressed air and blow it through the intake of my rad
while the fans are running a couple of times a week to help keep it clean. It
will blow dust all over but it helps to keep the dust build up down. Don't be cheap
with the canned air or you will just pack it into your rad instead of blowing it out.

Every 3-4 months I will take my rad off and either wash it out well or blow it out
with a compressor or do both.

Rads....
Rads Heater-Cores are an economical alternative to rads. What they lack in
bling they more then make up for in performance. You can use zip-ties or
all thread nylon bolts to attach the fans and shrouds to them.

Pumps....
Pumps To me the pump is the heart of the loop. Pump flow and head will determine
what kind of blocks you will use. Restrictive blocks require more head to
achieve good flow. Buy the best pump you can afford it will last for several
years. I always leave my pump loose till I fill the loop then shake it some to
make sure it has water in the pump before I fire it up the first time. I flip my
my pump PSU an and off several times until it picks up water. You will know
when it picks up it will quiet down.

Also never put 90 degree fittings or any type of restriction in the suction line
of the pump or you can cause cavitation or just kill your flow. The only thing
you want right before the pump is the res or T-Line.

******************************************************************
*****************On-Line Retailers********************

These are some of my favorite on-line sellers. I have made quite a few orders from each
one of them or I would not recommend them to you.

SVC....They
SVC have great low priced shipping and a decent variety of WC gear. I have
made a lot of orders from them with never a problem.

Sidewinders...Another
Sidewinders great place. They have a great stock of fans including Delta's.

Petra's Tech...An
Tech enthusiast owned business. I really like them.

Danger Den....The
Den great grand-daddy of them all. Great gear. The only thing I don't like is
if I order just one thing the minimum shipping is over $7 bux. Ouch. Other
then that its a great place. If you have any questions about any of the gear
just E-Mail them about it. They are very friendly and helpful people.

McMaster-Carr...A
McMaster-Carr Wc'ers and modders hard-ware store dream. A large variety of often
hard to find parts. They don't give you the shipping charges when you
order you get it with the invoice the next day but I have always found
them to be very reasonable.

Jab-Tech...They
Jab-Tech have some really good sales at times. A good place.
Well thats it for now. Read all the stickeys and learn as much as you can about WC before
you start buying parts. A little research now can save you a lot of time and money on down
the road. When you get all your components in front of you it will start falling in place. It's
hard to visualize something like this if you have never done it before. Its really easy after
you set up a loop or two.

Take your time setting up your loop and have some fun with it. When I rush I generally
screw up something. I really enjoy this hobby and hope you will to. The temp's are great and
I enjoy that. But I really enjoy the nuts and bolts work with it. There is always something you
can make something you can improve on. You are only limited by your
imagination....................ira-k.....

*********Have Fun With It !!!************


****************************************************