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Tubing and fittings advice for first time custom WC loop

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by argent, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. argent

    argent Member

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    Hi guys,

    Thought I'd hit up the Knowledge Bank about tubing choice for a beginner in this area. I've been itching to take a step towards building a custom loop but it'll be a bit of a baby loop without a reservoir/res+pump :) This will be for my Shift case which has some interesting challenges.

    So far, I planned to get the following:
    - Eisbaer LT for an 8700k
    - Byksky GPU block for the 1080ti turbo
    - 2x Black Ice Nemesis 120mm rads (25mm to fit)

    So far all these items use G1/4 fittings as standard. Do I require 'compression' fittings etc? I'm a bit confused by the tubing nomenclature a well. Would they be referring to the 'flexibility' of the tubing? Obviously i'll be just going for soft tubing and not hard tubing.

    Cheers in advance!
     
  2. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    The Shift does present a whole other world of usability and fitment limitations mate, but well done on your baptism of fire! :thumbup:

    Here's Tazor's build thread, where we discussed a few relevant things.

    As far as tubing and fittings, for soft tubing (a good choice for a first-time, space-limited build) you buy by the ID/OD (Internal Diameter/Outside Diameter). This is usually in inches, then millimetres. The bigger the tube the easier to kink in a bend (assuming no rigidity assistance - braces, coils, ribs) - common sizes for PCs are 7/16" ID / 5/8" OD, 3/8" ID / 5/8 " OD (my own preference) and 1/2" ID / 3/4" OD.

    As for fittings, there's two types for soft tube - compressions and barbs. Barbs are a little 'pipe' you force the tubing around (and optionally use a hose clamp to secure). They're the cheapest fitting, but rely on a stronger clamping force to be provided outside the fitting - either that, or you buy barbs a size smaller than your tubing, and heat the tubing to force it over the barbs. Buy barbs based on the ID of the tubing you select - 3/8" barbs fit 3/8" ID tubing and so forth (noting the 'size down' trick above here, you'd actually buy 7/16" barbs for 3/8" tubing).

    With compression fittings, there's a barb up the middle but the clamping force is provided by the outside of the fitting - like a garden hose. You put the compression ring over the tube, mate the tube to the barb, then screw down the compression ring to squeeze the tube hard onto the barb. You buy them based on the OD of the tubing you've selected - if you pick 3/8"-5/8" tubing, you'd want 5/8" fittings and so on.

    To compound the issue, and particularly relevant for the Shift, is that you can also buy these fittings in angled (as the name suggests) and rotary (allows the secured tubing to rotate without compromising seal) options. Price goes up accordingly, but you may find 90 Degree angles and rotary fittings make tubing runs a lot easier in a little box.

    Ping me with more questions, I'm between sites but will do my best :thumbup:
     
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  3. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Thanks man! I'll read through that post and see what I can discern :) unfortunately stocks for the Eisbaer LT are out for at least 4 weeks at this stage so I might need to delay a bit. The Byksyk GPU cover was going to either come from Primochill or eBay.. i'm trying to check if they are in fact the same model or not currently. My Shift has ventilation grooves cut into the front panel so I plan to have both rads at the front - do you foresee any issue, performance or otherwise, with chaining 2x 120mm rads together in sequence? ie. Flow goes from CPU to first rad, to second rad, to GPU, back to Eisbaer LT.
     
  4. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    None whatsoever. Order of loop is largely irrelevant, other than something (reservoir, distribution block etc.) keeping the pump well-fed all the time. Water's a very good conductor of heat, the heat dissipates throughout the whole loop very quickly. You could plumb in sensors at every in/out and never see more than a couple of Degrees difference at any of them.

    Worth double-checking Bykski to be sure, their compatibility lists are a bit hit-and-miss.
     
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  5. arasta

    arasta Member

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    ive always considered you shouldnt dump heat into the loop before the cpu tho, just on the basis of keeping it at the lowest water temp possible. theres not too much heat a pump can dump but they can put in some. so ive always routed mine with the pump going into the radiator from the cpu. again personal preference really :shrug: and some loops might demand it otherwise. it may only be worth a degree or two at most (and probably less ) but its free, so why not.
     
  6. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Yeah, much of a muchness mate. A lot of it is personal preference and what the case layout allows at the time, too. Do what works best for your loop at the end of the day :thumbup:
     
  7. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Coolios! Ended up ordering the Bykski from aliexpress instead. Was over $70 cheaper. Anyone know which port is the inlet and which is the outlet on the eisbaer lt?
     
  8. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    [​IMG]

    :thumbup:
     
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  9. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Eisbaer LT solo and 2x EK Classic SE 120 rads ordered. The Black Ice Nemesis unfortunately was not going to fit being 30mm - luckily I checked the specs properly as it came up when I filtered my search to 25mm rads. Now I just need to work out what fitting config I need which I'll get locally.
     
  10. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    If you'd like a good recommendation for cost-effective (and still good quality) fittings, I suggest Hugh at MyDIY on eBay. I've been buying Barrow fittings, reservoirs and meters for many years and haven't run into problems yet. Service is good, stock is good and he's a generally helpful fellow. My latest order is sitting right here beside me - they've updated their packaging and chamfered the leading edge on their compression fittings, and the silver is now silver instead of Nickel, but they're otherwise the same gear.

    I'm not sure if it's still true, but Barrow apparently used to OEM for Bitspower.

    EDIT: Bitspower have a statement on their website saying the relationship doesn't exist. The new Barrow fittings closely resemble Bykski ones. Make of that what you will!

    :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  11. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    How are you mounting the SE 120's?

    The Shift has extremely tight tolerances with dual bottom rads.
     
  12. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Thanks! I'll have a look see. I was thinking I'd wait til the 2 blocks arrive before figuring out what I need as I figure some of routing may not work out as I am thinking in my head...

    My Shift has vents milled into the front panel so I can fit both rads in the front. https://www.overclockers.com.au/pix/index.php?page=gal&id=xumpf
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  13. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    That looks great, but is the radiator you bought less than 160mm wide? Because you only have about 154mm if space on those sides.
    There is exactly 160mm at the bottom where the case flanges don't eat up 2-3mm a side.
     
  14. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Yeah I could BARELY get a H60 (2018) rad into the front. I made sure :) Unless they send me the 'non-classic' which is 160mm. https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-coolstream-classic-se-120
     
  15. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    juzz86 Quick question if you may :) If I don't have a reservoir, is there a 'preferred' way of making sure the water is flowing through the loop? Aside from listening for pump noise etc?
     
  16. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Without a reservoir mate you can do it a couple of ways:

    1) With a Flow Meter or Indicator. Meters aren't really necessary but can look very cool and satisfy the inner nerd. An indicator is a handy addition if you're 'running blind' - stick it somewhere out of the way and just keep an eye on it.

    2) With pump noise, as you say. When your pump's full and happy you'll lose the cavitation noises - the air bubbles whooshing through and getting blown down the line.

    3) With clear tubing. You'll see the bubbles (and hear the noise) if the pump's not happy.

    When you're filling your loop, you're probably going to have to stop/start the pump a few times to bleed air through ('priming' the pump) - and you're going to need to let the air out and top water up somewhere!

    I use one of these cheap ones personally, got a third connection on it - works well as an air relief when you're priming.
     
  17. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Reckon this would be the choice really - must look for a nice one to match the install hehe

    Might be too quiet - I heard the Eisbaer is a really quiet pump and my Shift is a TG case so may not hear it above the fan noises etc.

    3) With clear tubing. You'll see the bubbles (and hear the noise) if the pump's not happy.[/quote]

    I was going with EKWB ZMT matte black :p I didn't want clear tube degradation to be a factor...

    Thanks so much for all your advice by the way as I'm researching this stuff!
     
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  18. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Ah, happy to help mate. I love seeing new (and old) hands come through and start a new journey - watching other people's progress is more rewarding than my own a lot of the time.

    Plus it's always nice to see what 'big money' gets to play with. I miss my days of big disposable income :p :thumbup:

    Go the indicator - they're just a handy bit of kit to have. Can't go wrong with ZMT - love it.

    You'll still hear an LT, but not over a system. For filling, I normally run just the loop from a separate PSU so I can hear what's going on - and so if it springs a leak, it's not pissing all over live electronics.
     
  19. OP
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    argent

    argent Member

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    Hehe I can hear you on that one - this is more an "I need a project that I can get into that will help maintain my sanity - plus I was considering this ages ago as I can carry on gear to next upgrade 3 years from now" kinda thing :p

    I found this on eBay ... kill two bird with one stone? Get temps and also flow indication? https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1-54-OL...081542?hash=item2cdb328286:g:HXcAAOSwaf1bmdFd

    Looks like it's a Barrow product even if it's not labelled as such.....
     
  20. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

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    Yeah I think I've linked the very same - doesn't look like it does temperature though, despite that one advertising as such. Just flow.

    If you want to go fancy and have money to burn you could always pop an Aquero in there. Aquabus lets you monitor pumps, temps, flows, fan and LEDs all together. You can build custom dashboards in the software and all.

    It's amazing, but you need a loan to set up. I've played with pumps and fans on it, good stuff :thumbup:
     

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