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I think I have a leak - how to find it ?

post #1 of 4
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I have a bit odd problem. I think I have a leak but for the life of me I cant find it. Why do I think I have a leak? Well, the water level in the res is dropping veeery slowly and there is always some small bubbles in the res. The loop has been going for about a week. I topped it up full on friday and now I have again nontrivial amount of air in the res. One of the fittings on the res was leaking when you applied some pressure to it - probably bad O-ring in the middle, it was rotary 90 degree one. Thats not leaking anymore as I switched it out when I topped up the res.


That is the visible amount of air in the res. That air has collected in there over the past 4 days as 4 days back it was full.


There is snapshot of the cooling setup externally and internally, internal shot was taken while I was filling the loop so no PSU, GFX cards, etc in there yet in there.

There are 2 phoyba quick connects on top of the rad - I cant find signs of leak around them at close inspection, but can quick disconnects leak easily ? They are there so I could remove the sidepanel with rad without having to drain the loop. The loop is following. Alphacool 5.25'' bay res with 2x DC-LT pumps (rotary straight compression fittings) -> CPU Block (45 degree rotary fittings) -> G1/8 bulkhead at the top of the case (non rotary straight fitting at the bottom, 90 degree rotary fitting at the top) -> Phoyba quick disconnect / bulkhead -> Nova 1080 radiator (2x 90 degree rotary fittings) -> Phoyba quick disconnect / bulkhead -> 150 mm round res (Phoyba, 2x 90 degree rotary fittings, 3x G1/4 plugs) -> G1/8 bulkhead (90 degree rotary on top, straight non-rotary at the bottom) -> back to pump/res combo.

I have checked all the connections I have access to and there is just no residue visible anywhere. Can it really be a radiator that somehow leaking somewhere - that rad has served me well for about a year but as this is mobile system which I drag with me on regular basis in my car trunk then perhaps there is some micro-crack evolved somewhere which I just cant spot at visual inspection? I use car antifreeze so it leaves kinda sticky residue when it leaks so I should be able to find the leaks easily but I just cant atm.

So the question is - how do you guys find leaks? Or you just don't find that kind of leaks and start switching out the components one by one until it does not leak anymore? I must admit I'm not particularly keen on switching out the rad as its only a year old and is not particularly cheap for me (9x120 mm rads are usually not the cheapest ones around) but if I must then I must. What I'm particularly - not-enthusiastic about would be redoing the loop completely - have busy schedule and I just don't have the full day it takes at least until mid august so if I must do that it would have to come at the expense of other things I must do.
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post #2 of 4
If you don't see any dried up coolant or spill spots any where, you don't have a leak. If the leak was in the radiator, you would know straight away.

A pretty easy way to find a leak though, is to open a reservoir and just blow into it. If you blow air into your reservoir, you will be able to hear the coolant splash out, and find where that spot is. I'm sure their are more simpler ways, but when I had a small leak in my system, and didn't know where it was, this is what I did.
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post #3 of 4
Have you tried putting tissue paper on every joint and along the rad? That can help detect a leak especially as you're using coloured fluid. I recently had the same experience as I was losing small amounts of water. In my case it turned out that a tiny crack had opened on one of the rad seams but it took me quite a while to find it.
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Elf View Post

Have you tried putting tissue paper on every joint and along the rad? That can help detect a leak especially as you're using coloured fluid. I recently had the same experience as I was losing small amounts of water. In my case it turned out that a tiny crack had opened on one of the rad seams but it took me quite a while to find it.

Thats a good trick. I have atm the bay res, pumps and connections down there wrapped in paper towels to see if it could be anywhere there. The liquid leaves pink stains which are pretty easy to spot on white paper towels. So far I have done the paper towel wrapping inside the case but have not found anything. Radiator is a bit trickier as its hard to get access to it bcos its mounted pretty firmly on the side-panel and is rather hassle to remove.

I'll have to probably wrap some more joints in paper towels for few days to see if its somewhere there.

Blowing into res does not work that well, bcos it must be very small leak and if it would be coming gushing out if I apply pressure difference it should be doing also that when i put on the pumps. It must be something really slow that leaks somewhere.
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Kohver v.4
(25 items)
 
Kohver v.3
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Soliton
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Corsair LE 480HB Sythe big shuriken rev B 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Nexxos 280mm radiator DC-LT Alphacool GPX 390M04 Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Significantly modded Jupiter .. something alumi... Logitech G700s 
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3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Sythe big shuriken rev B Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
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9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i 
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