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Things You Have Learned

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
In light of some very costly mistakes I made during my assembly, I think we should have a thread to share our mistakes and help make newbie watercoolers benefit from our collective wisdom.

Be as exact as you'd like, post pictures, and, if this thread takes off, put it in the sticky list of guides for all to see.

1.) The instructions to an XSPC Dual Bay Reservoir for a D5 pump are incorrect. The o-ring goes on the other side of the lip. Even the picture in the instructions is wrong.

2.) You can and will destroy your radiator if your screws are too long. The ones included are probably meant to also secure a fan to the radiator.

3.) Bitspower Compression fittings don't fit on the metal side of an HD 7970 waterblock from EK. They need to be attached to the underside where the plastic is.
Edited by Virid - 1/26/12 at 8:24pm
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post #2 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virid View Post

3.) Bitspower Compression fittings don't fit on the metal side of the waterblock. They need to be attached to the underside where the plastic is.

Wat?

My fail - Ordered the EVGA GTX 570 HD with a non-HD block originally. $60 of restocking and shipping fees later, I had the non-HD card. In the end, I'm glad I did it though. The HD card only has one block manufacturer to my knowledge, EK and their plating failed me!
 
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post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I ninja-editted before you responded.
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post #4 of 37
1. ALWAYS leak test! I learned the hard way. sad-smiley-002.gif

2. Do it right the first time to avoid costly upgrades later on.

3. A drop of dishwashing soap works miracles on lodged air bubbles.

4. Don't forget to put the compression ring on the tubing before inserting it onto the barb. Cannot how many times that's happened. redface.gif

5. Secure the compression fitting to the block, then insert the tubing and not vice versa. [Obvious, but its always tempting to place the tubing onto the compression before securing into the block]
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post #5 of 37
Get a fulltower case!
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post #6 of 37
First rule of water cooling: ****! It doesn't fit!

Seriously, I run into this one FAR too often, often by 1-2mm.
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post #7 of 37
Despite what anyone says, worrying about loop order is a waste of time (with the exception of res>pump). Build your loop to minimize the amount of tubing and tight bends
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post #8 of 37
1. Dont try to take shortcuts, you will end up going to long way anyways.

I learned this when I changed my GPUs from serial to parallel. I tried to cut and reuse the tubing on the blocks without taking the blocks off, gpus out, etc. figured I could cut existing tube and fit everything on... After a leak test, ended up tearing down the whole system to do it right.

2. Always have a plan B! You can measure a million times, then order your parts, and the 90* elbow will be a tad too tall for what you thought you could do. You may need to route things a little different!

I ran into this when I thought I would have the inlet on my parallel bridge on the bottom and the outlet on top. Well, the elbow was too big to fit because of the PSU, so I had to move things around and put the inlet and outlet on top.
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post #9 of 37
TAKE YOUR TIME
Probably the best advice anyone who is just starting out in water cooling could take: This is not a race to the finish. You need to take your time with every step of the process.

Taking your time will eliminate 99% of your problems and ensure that you have a clean, safe loop for your system.

I suggest to anyone that's building a water cooling loop, especially for the first time, plan for at the very least 24 hours of combined build and leak testing time.

I've been water cooling for years, and I still take my time with every build or rebuild. There's no point in rushing something that's both important and dangerous to your system.

Buy LOTS of tubing
Some of the special sizes and colors of tubing might get pricey (I think mine is around $2.25/ft). Don't skimp out on tubing because you think 5ft should do and you're near/over your budget.

For starters, you're never going to be able to measure exactly how much tubing you'll need. Second, and this goes out to the first timers, you're going to cut something wrong. When you do, you don't want to have to rearrange your loop or wait another 3-5 days for a tubing order because you just cut the last piece of tubing you had 3 inches too short.

Think about how you're going to fill the loop
I can't tell you how many times I put my loop together and then realized that filling it was going to be a complete pain in the butt. I've spilled water inside my case a few times filling as well. Keep in mind how you're going to filling the loop, and you should always try an use a funnel to minimize spills.


I hope those tips help someone out! Happy cooling! thumb.gif
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post #10 of 37
Lesson 1...this will cost 10 times what you think/want it to cost.

Lesson 2...as soon as you find a cool component and buy it you'll realize there's a cooler "thing" over "there" and buy it (see lesson number 1).

Lesson 3...you need to take care of your loop like you do your car...it's a never-ending deal...loops need love and care and will NOT run forever.

Lesson 4...spend more time visualizing your loop...how you are going to execute your plan...before deciding on the components. I have literally spent hours looking at my case mentally creating loops and trying to figure out the permutations of each.

Lesson 5...If you decide to go w/kit realize in a few months you'll start replacing those fittings, radiators, and other components with better stuff (see lesson number 1).

Lesson 6...Learn how to make a shortening wire for your PSU...so you can leak test without all those electrons coursing through your motherboard which could lead to a fried motherboard (see lesson number 1).

Lesson 7...Ram coolers are mostly show...they really don't do much except increase your epeen value.

Lesson 8...A great W/C setup can become crap if you screw up on Thermal compound...make sure you know how to do this.

Lesson 9...martinsliquiblab is an invaluable web site...WWMD is my usually question when I think about adding something to my loop.

Lesson 10...Realize this is a niche hobby and that people outside of this world will look upon you as a geekX3...realize these people are more corrosive than dissimilar metals in a water loop and avoid them at all costs.

And lastly...I've learned there's nothing cooler than the sense of accomplishment you get by having water rolling around and through your $2000 rig at 1.5GPM and what once was a noisy beast is now a silent killer.
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