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PC Water Cooling servicing

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

New to the forum and not exactly sure where to post so I hope this one is ok. I bought a custom watercooled PC from Cyberpower back in 2012 and I've just noticed that there is some sort of buildup or scale in the tubes. One of the tubes doesn't have any water flowing around it at all (which is very worrying), so I guess I need to get the system flushed out and water replaced ASAP.

I'm a complete novice when it comes to this and I would probably do more damage then good trying to replace things.

Does anyone if there is such a person who services and fixes this issue? I've contacted a couple of computer shops in the area and it seems like they really don't want to know or the one guy who did wanted to charge a fortune in labour!

I live around the Gatwick area and if anyone knows or can recommend someone who can help me i'd be more than grateful.

Thanks for the help in advance.
post #2 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobblynight View Post

Hi guys,

New to the forum and not exactly sure where to post so I hope this one is ok. I bought a custom watercooled PC from Cyberpower back in 2012 and I've just noticed that there is some sort of buildup or scale in the tubes. One of the tubes doesn't have any water flowing around it at all (which is very worrying), so I guess I need to get the system flushed out and water replaced ASAP.

I'm a complete novice when it comes to this and I would probably do more damage then good trying to replace things.

Does anyone if there is such a person who services and fixes this issue? I've contacted a couple of computer shops in the area and it seems like they really don't want to know or the one guy who did wanted to charge a fortune in labour!

I live around the Gatwick area and if anyone knows or can recommend someone who can help me i'd be more than grateful.

Thanks for the help in advance.
the issue with water cooling is that it is very much an item that only enthusiast do, and with good reason. taking over a few hours to even assemble a small simple loop properly it's no wonder that shops want an arm and a leg to service it, especially when it sounds like you have either some sort of algae build up or corrosion. That my friend takes a lot of work. If you don't have a clue about water cooling switching to air cooling might be a good option for you.

Also you bought it in 2012? was the fluid ever changed? if not some of those parts might be too far gone to save. also have you been running it with no liquid flowing? I certainly hope not.
post #3 of 42
Sounds like that cooling loop is way overdue for maintenance. Do you have any pictures? Any idea what coolant they used? What does the fluid in the reservoir look like?

I have helped people local to me before with servicing water cooled PCs but you are on the other side of the ocean tongue.gif

Most likely you just need to replace the tubing, check the condition of your water block(s), and replace the fluid. I know this can sound intimidating to some one without much experience but it really is easier than you think. This forum and youtube has a wealth of knowledge.
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post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by The EX1 View Post

Sounds like that cooling loop is way overdue for maintenance. Do you have any pictures? Any idea what coolant they used? What does the fluid in the reservoir look like?

I have helped people local to me before with servicing water cooled PCs but you are on the other side of the ocean tongue.gif

Most likely you just need to replace the tubing, check the condition of your water block(s), and replace the fluid. I know this can sound intimidating to some one without much experience but it really is easier than you think. This forum and youtube has a wealth of knowledge.

Doing a full cleaning service on what is at this time assumed to be a full loop when you have not touched water cooling before certainly comes with a high risk factor of screwing something up. We got our work cut out on this one for assisting thumb.gif
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Here are a few pics (please don't get angry that its dusty)

When the system was built they used this block to connect all three graphics cards (http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/p/EK-Water-Blocks-EK-FC-Bridge-TRIPLE-Parallel_38281.html) but then it was sent back and changed to tubes as it was leaking.

On closer inspection it is the lowest loop connecting to the bottom and middle graphics cards which has the most build up.



and the tube coming from the top radiator into the top graphics card.




Here is the fixing which slightly leaks which is on the bottom card.




I couldnt get a clear pic of the reservoir but I did shine a torch in it and it is completely clear with none of this build up in it. Its a XSPC Dual bay reservoir, model 750. From my conversations with them they used EK or Mayhem watercooling liquid, which is deiionised water, dye and biocides that should prevent algae build-up somewhat.
post #6 of 42
Thanks for the pictures. It looks like you have a build up of algae in your loop which can happen if you don't flush and clean the loop and ensure that you have a anti-microbial agent in the fluid. That tubing definitely needs to be replaced and I would imagine that the water blocks needs to be taken apart and given a good cleaning as well as the reservoir.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you start keeping up with your maintenance in the future. Especially when it comes to cleaning the inside of the case. Excess dust can create its own problems as well.

  1. Unplug your system from any sources of electricity.
  2. Locate the lowest part of your cooling loop and remove one section of the tubing by cutting the zip tie holding it onto the barb and gently twist and pull the tubing off the barb.
  3. Allow the fluid to drain into a bucket, pot, sink, whatever you choose. Have some paper towels nearby just in case you spill some.
  4. One the fluid stops draining, locate part of the loop that was used to fill it. Open up the fill port or valve to allow air to begin entering the system. Make sure you are ready for more fluid to drain out as this will remove most of the fluid that is left.
  5. Make your away around the loop disconnecting the tubing like you did in step 2. Place a wadded up paper towel below each connection to catch the small amount of fluid that is left over.
  6. Now remove your CPU and GPUs with the water blocks still attached.
  7. The water blocks are actually very simple in contruction. They will have a top that is mated to the bottom with an o-ring and a couple screws on the plastic (acetal) part. Make your way around each of the blocks removing the screws and placing the o-rings and screws aside in a safe place.
  8. Use a soft tooth brush to scrub the blocks with a mild cleaning agent like a vinegar and water mix. Some people even use a little bit of ketchup as it helps to clean the copper and nickel. You can also pick up some copper polish as well and use that to clean the blocks if you wish.
  9. Once the blocks are clean, replace the o-rings and tops. The screws do not need to be tightened a lot. Over tightening can cause the acetal and acrylic to crack. Using a screw driver or allen key, go as far as hand tight and then add one quarter turn.
  10. Inspect your fittings. Do they look like they need to be replaced after cleaning them like the water blocks?
  11. Reinstall your PC components.
  12. I'm sure you don't know the dimensions of your tubing so before you throw away the old stuff, measure the inner diameter of the tubing and the outer diameter. Once you have those, pick up a box of Primochill Advanced LRT tubing in the color of your choice. This is some of the best tubing available for computers at the moment. Lots of PC watercooling stores stock it and I know the ones in the UK and Europe normally have some.
  13. Since you already have your old tubing, measure the lengths of the tubes and cut your new roll of Primochill tubing to the same lengths and use your pictures as reference to where they go. Pick up some zip ties and secure the tubing to the barbs.
  14. I think your #1 choice for fluid should be Mayhems since you are in the UK. Mayhems coolants contain biocides to prevent growth like what you are experiencing and also have corrosion inhibitors to protect your blocks, radiators, and fittings. His shop even has his new lines of tubing which are also great to use if they have your size! Look into his X1 series of coolants that are already premixed here:
    http://mayhems.co.uk/store/coolants/x1-coolants/x1-pre-mix-1ltr/
    I would also contact them if you have any questions. Their support is GREAT!
  15. To keep it simple, make sure you get a premix so all you have to do is pour it into your cooling loop. 1LTR should be enough.
  16. Make sure all your connections are snug and open your fill port again, fill up your res and ONLY plug your pump in to the power supply. NOTHING ELSE should be plugged into the power supply. I also recommend placing a few towels over your PSU in case you have a drip you need to address. Cycle your pump on until the res is almost empty. Turn off the power to the pump and fill the reservoir and pump up again and repeat. Continue this cycle until the system doesn't need any more fluid. Once the fluid level stays constant, tilt your PC to the left, right, front and back, to help dislodge the air bubbles. You may need to add more fluid after this as you will release a good amount of air. Be sure your fill port is closed before you start moving the PC with fluid in it though.
  17. Keep an eye on your fluid level for the next few days and top off as necessary.

    That is a rough guide. You can also remove and flush out your radiators to be extra clean but that is up to you.
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post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
Incredible; thank you for the reply! Look's like I'm going to have to get my hands dirty biggrin.gif

I was doing some searches on Google and Mayhems came up a few times, with one product being the "Pro cleaning system" by removing build up from inside the radiators. Is this something you have seen before and is it something I should look into doing?

With regards to removing dust from the system I'm guessing the use of a cloth, dry bush and air spray (one for keyboards) should be ok?

Thanks again for help! thumb.gif
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobblynight View Post

Incredible; thank you for the reply! Look's like I'm going to have to get my hands dirty biggrin.gif

I was doing some searches on Google and Mayhems came up a few times, with one product being the "Pro cleaning system" by removing build up from inside the radiators. Is this something you have seen before and is it something I should look into doing?

With regards to removing dust from the system I'm guessing the use of a cloth, dry bush and air spray (one for keyboards) should be ok?

Thanks again for help! thumb.gif
Mayhems is a very reputable product. their blitz kit is very helpful at cleaning your system. check out the users club on OCN to discuss more.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1286896/mayhems-users-club/0_20
post #9 of 42
The Mayhems cleaning system is composed of two parts.

Part 1 is a very powerful acid that should ONLY be used in radiators and only once at that. Part two is a surfectant that is good for cleaning loops that are already assembled. If you can swing the money, I would pick up Part 2 of the kit and run it in your loop after you have put it back together with fresh tubing and clean blocks. The cleaner will ensure your loop is ready to go for years and will pick up whatever you may have missed while cleaning. Afterwards, drain the cleaning solution it, do a couple flushes with distilled water,drain, then add your coolant. After all this, your system should be good to go for a year. After that time, drain the system again and do a couple flushes with distilled, then refill with new coolant. I normally recommend a full loop tear down and tube replacement at the 3 year mark. thumb.gif.

For the dust, I wouldn't recommend rubbing your electronics with a cloth as you can generate a static charge that can kill components. A couple cans of compressed air every now and then will make sure it doesn't get this bad again.
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobblynight View Post

Thanks for the replies. Here are a few pics (please don't get angry that its dusty)

When the system was built they used this block to connect all three graphics cards (http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/p/EK-Water-Blocks-EK-FC-Bridge-TRIPLE-Parallel_38281.html) but then it was sent back and changed to tubes as it was leaking.

On closer inspection it is the lowest loop connecting to the bottom and middle graphics cards which has the most build up.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

and the tube coming from the top radiator into the top graphics card.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


Here is the fixing which slightly leaks which is on the bottom card. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I couldnt get a clear pic of the reservoir but I did shine a torch in it and it is completely clear with none of this build up in it. Its a XSPC Dual bay reservoir, model 750. From my conversations with them they used EK or Mayhem watercooling liquid, which is deiionised water, dye and biocides that should prevent algae build-up somewhat.

hate to sound blunt here but... WHO THE HELL PUT THIS THING TOGETHER?!?
All memory is stacked on 1 side of the socket for a 2011 build, therefore not optimizing the memory config for quad channel
Way too much tubing used to look decent, (it looks like a spider was starting to spin a web)
And the studs holding on the waterblock looks like they were purchased from the hardware store because the builder lost the originals. UGH!!!

I'm not saying you need to clean up the tubing right now, but it would allow you to use less coolant by eliminating quite a bit of tubing length. if you want help with this take pics of everything with the tubing stripped out and we can help you do that too.
Also let me get something put together to fix your memory configuration.

EDIT:
here are some diagrams to follow for installing your memory into the proper dimms. For bigger images right click and open in new tab or window.


I have higlighted the config you want to use for 4 ram sticks

images sourced from the motherboard manual
Download link> CLICK HERE
Edited by XanderTheGoober - 11/5/15 at 1:38pm
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