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Water loop, never ending air pockets? SOLVED!

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Okay. I've spent the last two days trying to set up a water loop with no success at all. I'm a n00b when it comes to PC water cooling, but I've very familiar with water cooling as far as engines go, bleeding / mixtures etc.

I have an H60 that I wanted to upgrade. I came across a member who had a Black Ice GT 240 Stealth and decided I would give it a shot.

Installation:

- I removed the tubing on the H60.
- After that, I installed the 1/4 inch barbs w/ O rings and tightened them into the radiator.
- I then attached a 1/4 inch piece of tube to the exhaust port of the H60 pump to the radiator. /// With both ports on the top of the pump, the exhaust is on the right.
- I used the same length tube to attached the intake to the radiator, but I cut it in half to fill the system.

Priming / Filling loop:

- I cleaned and filled the kitchen sink with distilled water and submerged the radiator side hose in the water. It was secured in place underwater as well, so it wouldn't accidentally suck any air in.
- I used an automotive funnel that held 1 Liter. It also had a tiny micro filter in it.
- I ran about 5 gallons total though the entire system using gravity to force the water in / air out.
- I hooked the pump up while gravity feeding water though to help get any air out. /// My friend was tilting/shaking the radiator and pump getting any and all air bubbles out.
- After I ran 5 gallons through and seeing no more air bubbles, my buddy held the funnel while I attached the hoses. The funnel was submerged underwater where the hose was attached. I then connected the hoses and secured them with clamps all underwater.

I then connected the pump to check for any leaks. All was good, so I attached it to the CPU and booted. Instantly I noticed temps were much higher than the stock H60. Under Prime95 temps almost instantly shoot up to 50c and I got a BSOD......
I then noticed I had several large air bubbles in the loop. ***? I just ran 5 gallons of water though the system (while tilting / shaking and running the pump mind you) and did not see a single bubble. So I checked again for leaks with the loop off the CPU and everything looked good. No leaks.

Oh well. I said screw it and decided to try it open loop.

Since I didn't have a reservoir, I made a make shift res with a milk jug.... Yeah, I know I'm a cheap ass. Anyways, I pretty much the same as above. Gravity feed most of the air out and ran the loop for 24 hours.
The milk jug was filled all the way to the top almost (using distilled water of course) and secured the hoses so they stayed submerged underwater. I tilted / flipped / shook the pump and rad numerous times during the 24 hours period to get all the air out.

After the 24 were up and I didn't see any bubbles or leaks, so I carefully and gently carried the setup to the PC and hooked it up. I booted to BIOS and temps were okay, so I booted to windows. I ran Prime again and noticed that the temps didn't ramp up like they did the first time, but they were very high compared to the stock H60. About 5 minutes in P95, temps at 50c again.....
That's with x2 120mm puller fans.
I shook one of the water lines and what do I see? AIR BUBBLES! How can air still be in there after gravity flushing with water AND running for 24 hours non stop? So I once again removed the loop and ran it for another 12 hours. After running 24 hours + 12 hours non stop while randomly shaking the pump/rad around to removed trapped air, I once again connected it and booted into windows.

Again, Prime95 temps shoot up to the 50's and the radiator isn't even remotely warm. Simply amazing.

With the stock H60, I never saw 45c under full load.

Any tips or suggestions of what I could be doing wrong? I'm honestly ready to say say F it and go back to air cooing.

Also, the pump RPM never dipped below 4200 RPM.
Edited by *ka24e* - 3/19/12 at 12:17am
post #2 of 68
I know when I setup my current system, I had to literally tip the rad every single way; upside down, upside down backwards, lift every hose, shake the rad, etc. to get the bubbles out.

Tbh most of the air is in the rad, just try actually turning it upside down, especially tilt it so the end that the barbs are on are the highest point in the loop. Even maybe try the opposite, make it the lowest point - tip the whole case upside if you have to I guess thumb.gif
post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 
I honestly don't think there was an angle the rad wasn't at. I raised it high above my head, put it on the ground etc.

Btw, it wasn't in a case. The entire system in on a make shift test bench.
post #4 of 68
Well i have just done my first watercooling build and just tilted each part of the loop, apart from the RES, every angle and it then ran clear.

I then stupidly put it in the case and turned the case on the side so the pump got some air in it... mad.gif Had to rebleed the air out to get temps down. So if you did that it would need bleeding again.

Alternatively you may have a small hole which air is getting in?? Although i would expect water to leak rather than air get in.
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post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 
I'm almost thinking its the radiator. I felt the exhaust hose of the CPU block/pump get warm while in P95, but I never felt any heat on the radiator. It was Ice cold. I reconnected the original H60 radiator up after the 36 hours air bleed marathon failure, and that radiator did get hot. I was up and running in about 20 minutes btw.

With the H60 radiator, there were small air bubbles but it didn't really seem to matter. I had okay temps (still higher than the stock H60) but much better than with the Black Ice GT Stealth 240.

At first I figured the pump was just too weak to move that amount of water, but I did find a guy who modded his H60 with an H100 radiator (closed loop no less) and it worked fine. Could the radiator itself possibly be the issue?
post #6 of 68
As I said I'm new to Water Cooling, however it is similar to car systems tongue.gif

All I can say is that I would think the rad would leak, rather than create bubbles by drawing air in. Could always pressure test it with a compressor and a plug in one end. I wouldnt go nuts on the PSI you put into it, probably 10-15PSI tops. If i were to do that, i would fill it with some water and block one end. Then get the airgun and a rubber seal and push hard and pull the trigger thumb.gif

If water bubbles out, the rad is plop.
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post #7 of 68
Thread Starter 
Update:

Today I broke everything down and tried again. I picked up some more hose (new 1/4 inch hose) to rule that out, and some fresh distilled water. After running what seemed like 10+ gallons of water gravity fed though the system, I once again disconnected the funnel underwater so no air could be sucked in.

This time I used a large pot full of water as a make shift reservoir. This way I don't get that tiny bit of air going from the funnel to the milk jug. While I was filling it gravity feeding the water in, the pump was running as well. So, after I had both lines underwater (open loop) and not seeing one single bubble in the entire loop, I then plugged in the pump. Anyone guess what I saw next? AIR BUBBLES! After that, I highly pissed and needed to get out. I left the pump running while I was gone, which was about 6 hours or so.

I come back and much to my surprise I did not see any bubbles and the pump was humming along at 4400RPM. Awesome. So I very very gently installed the block/pump over the CPU and tightened it down. Using AS5 of course, lol.

I booted to BIOS and tempers were around the 30c mark so I booted to windows. Again, temps were higher than what the stock H60 was, but nothing too bad. Maybe 2-3c higher. I ran Prime Large FFT and temps started climbing pretty quick. Before It was on the second pass, the CPU was reading 48c..... I feel the radiator and its ice cold. I looked through all the tubing and didn't see any air bubbles at all.

At this point I'm at a total loss. Granted, the pump is pretty small but I can feel pressure if put my finger over the exhaust hose underwater. So I know the pump is moving water. The tubing is all brand new tubing that I just picked up today, and every fitting is properly clamped. There are no leaks what so ever, and I see no air bubbles.

Could the radiator be the problem then? Possible blockage or pinched tube internally?
post #8 of 68
Thread Starter 
Yet another update:

After failing miserably AGAIN on getting this loop to work, I decided to try a smaller reservoir. Thinking the pump didn't have enough "vacuum" to get things moving along. I used a small water bottle filled with distilled water and a very small amount of red line water wetter that I had left over. I combined everything together, bled the loop and fired it up. Instantly I noticed the hoses and rad getting warm, which It never did before.

As I'm typing this, my CPU is at a toasty 42c. The only programs open are Waterfox (only one window, OCN), AIDA64 and AiBooster. Oh, and I'm only running the Vcore at a very conservative 1.28v..... The exhaust hose on the pump/water block is warm all the way to the rad, while the exhaust hose (rad exit to reservoir) is ice cold. The Reservoir is also ice cold, and for fans, I'm running x2 120mm Pushers at full speed.

I don't see any air bubbles at all. Not even little tiny bubbles.

Loop order:

Reservoir > CPU Block / Pump > Radiator > Reservoir.

Anyone have any possible suggestions? Would using a submersible pump be worth a shot, or do you guys think the problem is elsewhere?
post #9 of 68
I think you need to try a different rad to rule in or out a problem with the Black ICE GT. Any rad will do for the testing. Air pockets are not difficult to remove even with a weakish pump it just takes longer. You just need to get the res or fill point to the top and let gravity do it's job.
    
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post #10 of 68
I believe the issue here is the H60 itself, it was not meant to push against that much pressure into a 240mm rad when it was only designed for a thin 120mm rad. that corsair custom design specifically for that pump.

Also, even with the H100, the pump that came in that is no where as good or offer the enough flow/pressure to push the air bubbles out.

All in all, you got weak flow rate /head pressure, and no where for the air bubbles to go to due to no reservoir or T-line.

I highly recommend you getting a real W/C kit like the rasa which would offer much better value.
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