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How do you locate very, very small leaks?

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you locate very, very small leaks?

I've got an EKWB hard tube system, custom built, that seems to have a very, very small leak someone in it. In my pump reservoir I've seen the fluid level drop by about 1mm every two months or so. It's such a small leak that I suspect it's evaporating before it ever drips. Or, is this just some kind of normal evaporation somehow?

The prior build never seemed to change its level. When I added my NVLink and the EKWB terminal bridge to cool my double RTX2080Ti's I also replaced the default reservoir from the D5 REVO 140 pump unit with a taller cylinder. So, I'm wondering if it might even be an O-ring on the acrylic cylinder that's not sealing perfectly at the top or bottom that might be causing leaks/evaporation.

Anyone have any similar experience and care to share how you solved it?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:13 AM
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Tiny drops in fluid levels I never worried about. Significant ones I would. That's when I would go through each fitting carefully...

Now, ek sells a leak test device that I'll be picking up for my next loop reconfigure

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:14 AM
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sounds like evap, not leaking. Hell, there could even still be some air trapped somewhere. depends on how long its been running & how well you bled the system in the first place. Either way, i'd put money on evap. You'd freak out with a large soft tube system. I evap an inch a month, in a 3/4 gallon loop.

What kinda hard line? I know PETG absorbs water more than acrylic, or true glass.. which would absorb the least.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:25 AM
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Yeah, sounds more like a combination of small air bubbles bleeding out of the system and evaporation

I have a pretty massive loop in terms of coolant, a bleed normally takes me 8-24 hours for me to feel comfortable with it. But in reality the system takes a long while to be completely bled from little air bubbles in all the rads and whatnot.

1mm over two months I wouldn't even be concerned about.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:37 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by deafboy View Post
Yeah, sounds more like a combination of small air bubbles bleeding out of the system and evaporation



I have a pretty massive loop in terms of coolant, a bleed normally takes me 8-24 hours for me to feel comfortable with it. But in reality the system takes a long while to be completely bled from little air bubbles in all the rads and whatnot.



1mm over two months I wouldn't even be concerned about.
My last soft tube run I saw 2 inches of fluid bleed out before it stabilized... But then again, I didn't do any serious tilting and turning on my 900D that thing is a beast to move around empty, let alone with a full build + water

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:42 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by HardheadedMurphy View Post
Tiny drops in fluid levels I never worried about. Significant ones I would. That's when I would go through each fitting carefully...

Now, ek sells a leak test device that I'll be picking up for my next loop reconfigure

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You can build your own leak tester for 10% EK or AQ charges for theirs.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 10:22 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Shawnb99 View Post
You can build your own leak tester for 10% EK or AQ charges for theirs.
I was just thinking about that lol... Time to hit the hardware store

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I won't sweat it then and just top it off every few months if I don't like seeing a waterline in my reservoir.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:27 AM
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My loop was filled 8 months ago and the level has also dropped about 4mm, which is about 1mm per 2 months.
My loop is PETG and the drop was even faster with ZMT tubing. So I think it just some evaporation or microbubles that are still bleedling.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 07:07 PM
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Best method to detect tiny leaks is still to wrap paper towels or blue shop towels around all fittings and check back after several hours. Tiny drops that would normally just evaporate will change the texture of the paper towel and make the dye run a bit in the blue shop towel. Cheap and effective.

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