the great 1/2" watercooling swindle

CPU Cooling tricks and techniques.

Moderator: The Mod Squad

the great 1/2" watercooling swindle

Postby eatshawn » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:35 pm


to prevent possible leaks in a 1/2" watercooling system, would it be a silly idea to go with slightly smaller tubing? say...7/16" vs. 1/2".

i didn't give this much thought until i picked up some 1/2" tubing at the hardware store, hooked some things up & had leaks all over. measuring the ID revealed it varied from 9/16" to 5/8"! :o poop! fortunately i'd only hooked up the pump, reservoir, & radiator so nothing got fried. but still...not a good scene.

i ran around to 2 other hardware stores & found a variety of 1/2" tubing with a variety of snugness on the barbs i brought with me. also most of it was either so stiff it'd be impossible to work with, or it was way, kinky. so i went home, tubeless.

as much as i don't like shelling out $3.50/foot i want something that won't kink & is relatively soft; there's two severe bends i'll have to make for this to work. i suppose those SmartCoils are something to consider as well. can anyone vouch for their effectiveness?
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:16 pm

Postby eatshawn » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:29 pm

143 views and no one has any advice on this? poop.
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:16 pm

Postby ajrox » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:15 am

your asking a very direct question that requires a very direct answer. you might post a diagram or pic of what your working with.
i would look into solid tubing, be it copper or plastic. this will allow for the bends your looking for with out kinks or leakage.
a very long time ago, i was a CNC machinist. i ran mills and lathes. i built my own water cooling set up useing copper tubing and a copper block i machined myself. worked pretty well actually. i had the same problem you had, kinks. well, unless i looped a bunch of loose tubing in the case. i wanted a cleaner look. so i took a small hard drive case {external SCSI case} and made it my water rig enclosure. i used copper tubbing and braised my connections together and had it slip through a small hole in the back of the case.
it was a pain to get connected to the CPU, but once it was on there, it was solid. i then used plastic hose to connect from the nipple on the back of my case, to a nipple on the back of the water enclosure.
the beauty of this, 2 tubes slipping through a small hole in the back of the case means a clean look. because i braised the copper tubing and pipe together, no way was it ever going to leak, nor would it ever kink. the only place it could ever leak, where i coupled the 2 hoses on the back of the case and the enclosure. btw, i used machine coolant for the lubricating properties as well as the non corrosive properties. the pump i used was pulled from an old mill as was the tubing. the elbows i used i had to purchase.

if you decide to go with the copper tubing, just buy twice as much as you think youll need. do not bend it too much or it will break and or kink. you might try a length of copper wire and bend it first to make a guide. one that will fit just where you want it to. then use the guild you made to create the tubing design.
they also make different fitting types as well. you might find some easy to use couplers / adapters that are braisless with no torching involved at all. i did it that way because i had the materials on hand.

most important, be sure you talk to someone who knows the material properties that you plan on using.

with that said, go forth and kick ass my good man!!!
coming soon to an over clockers dream near you:
EVGA 790i tri SLI
intel core2 quad 9550
6gb G.SKILL DDR3 16000
3X EVGA 8800gts video cards
water cooled fo sho
the rest when i get paid
PS... im gonna break 4ghz easily....
Black Belt 1st Degree
Black Belt 1st Degree
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 4:04 pm
Location: las vegas nevada

Postby eatshawn » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:09 pm

unfortunately, tools are limited. i don't have any torches or copper bending stuff. still, i like reading about situations where someone just started making something outta metal rather than horsing around with some crap they bought on the internet. i think i've rearranged my case to accomodate things, but we'll see. i'm no tribaloverkill.

thanks, man!
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:16 pm

Postby YouGiveMeRash!!! » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:44 pm

The right tubing and hose clamps is key to getting zero leaks.

Tygon tubing is high quality and it'll be easy to work with since it has lots of flex with little kinking, but it's expensive.

I use Clearflex 60 (from and Primoflex tubing. I think they are the best for the money. Masterkleer is good too for economy tubing, but definitely not as good as the other two.

The vinyl tubing you get from most hardware stores is terrible for water cooling in PCs. It's too stiff to get a good seal and it kinks easily.
Main rig: 1/2" ID Water Cooled Lian-Li V2000B, Abit IP35 Pro, Intel C2D E6750@ -3.4ghz 1.3375v, Mushkin 2gb DDR2-800 996576, one terabyte storage, evga 7900GS KO w/ Zalman VF700-AlCu cooler, Swiftech Apogee GT water block, Ultra X2 550w PSU
Laptop: Asus Z70VA, Pentium M 725 1.6@ -2.13ghz (pinmod), ATI X700 Pro, 1680x1050 native res., bluetooth, the works...
Black Belt 5th Degree
Black Belt 5th Degree
Posts: 6772
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:48 pm
Location: Fast, Cheap, and Reliable- You can only choose 2

Postby bmaverick » Mon May 12, 2008 6:58 pm

I'm using ClearFlex60 as well. The real question to ask is how well are the fittings on the components for the tubing?

A good fitting will have a distance of 1/2"~3/4" of neck to allow the tubing to slide over the fitting and down that neck. Then a clamp to hold it in place. Don't put the clamp too close to the fitting head. This is a no-no that can cause a leak since the fluid pressure behind it can swell. A little distance to hold the tubing from the barb head is ideal. :P
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:53 pm

Return to Cooling Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests