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Using ball valves and quick disconnects in a loop

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello

I am designing a water cooling loop to use in a new build, and am trying to figure out the best way to incorporate the use of ball valves and/or quick disconnect fittings.

I will have the blocks inside the PC case, however the rest (pump, rads, res etc) will be in an external unit.

I would therefore need something that would allow me to separate the two units easily if I have to. I am planning on having the blocks on one side of some sort of disconnect point, and the external unit on the other side.

In addition, I would prefer to have the pump (in the external unit) itself be separable from the rest of the equipment in case it fails. That way a pump replacement would be very quick (I have spares) and would mean little downtime.

The obvious way to do it would be to have 4 pairs of quick disconnects. 2 pairs on the pump to separate it from everything else, and 2 pairs on the inlet/outlet of the external unit in order to separate that from the PC. I may even require 6 pairs, as I will probably end up having a flow meter inside the PC with the blocks, and would want another 2 pairs of quick disconnects to be able to separate that from the blocks.

The problem with that is the restriction of the fittings. I want to be able to stick to one pump in the loop, and adding up the numbers it seems 6 QDCs would eat up most of the pressure available from a Laing D5 for a resulting flow rate of 1GPM.

I could instead replace some QDCs with ball valves and extra standard fittings to achieve the same functionality. Obviously a lot more fluid will be spilt when disconnecting components, but in the case of an external unit that isn't a problem at all. The only thing I am concerned about is the restriction of these ball valves, and if using two of these instead of two male/female pairs of QDCs to achieve the same effect will actually be any improvement.

Is there any data available on this? For reference, I am looking at the EK ball valve fittings in comparison to the Koolance QD4 fittings (which I understand have the lowest restriction among QDC fittings).

Thanks

Odai.
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post #2 of 5
Ball valves are near zero restriction because their inner diameter when open is essentially the same as any normal extension fitting.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Had a look at some photos and I can see what you mean - that's good, it means I can have 2 ball valves on the pump instead of QDCs. It will still be a lot easier to remove the pump in case of failure yet restriction is much reduced. As the pump is also at the lowest point in this loop, it also serves as a decent drain point too.

I would still need 4 pairs of QDCs though. As I understand it, from Koolance's website, at 1GPM flow that totals about 1PSI of pressure loss. Has anyone compared these QDCs to other products available to see if anything out there has lower restriction?

With my particular setup I am not going to be mounting these to any blocks directly and where I will be mounting them there is plenty of space, so I am not constrained in that sense at all. I could therefore go for something even bigger if it means lower restriction - maybe some industrial parts. I wouldn't know where to start looking though.
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post #4 of 5
You can find a pretty thorough review of several brands of QDC fittings here: http://www.xtremerigs.net/2013/07/02/2013-quick-disconnect-roundup/

Each one also gets it's own expanded review, linked in the first page of the roundup article. Worth a look since more detailed info is available in the item-specific reviews.

Although the article is from 2013 most, if not all, of the data remains valid as far as I know.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
That's great, thanks for the link.

Unfortunately the graph of restriction isn't too clear as the scale is so small at the lower end of flow rates. From what I can see, it looks like 4 pairs of the QD4 fittings would give 0.5 PSI and not 1PSI of pressure drop as I interpreted from the data on Koolance's site.

I might have to contact the author of the review, the actual data points that went onto the graph would make the situation a lot easier to understand.
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