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Old December 31, 2011, 03:31 PM
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sswilson sswilson is online now
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 17,319

My System Specs


Got around to setting up the loop for leaktesting. On the left is what I meant by being able to take the res out in order to make it the highest point in the loop... I can either do it this way with the case on the side, or if I wanted to, I could leave the case upright and put the res up on a box or something. Either way it's a lot easier to fill the loop when the res is at the absolute highest possible point.

This is a slightly different config than the roughed in loop from last night. The threads in the acrylic base of the res did not mate well with the shorter threads on the fesser 45 deg rotating adapter (seems to me I ran into something similar the last time I set up a loop with that res.... wish I would have remembered that.... ;) ). After cleaning up the water from the leak, and swapping in a longer threaded straight barb we're back in business and have been leak testing in place (R/H pic) for the last 7 or 8 hours.

For those of you who haven't built a loop yet, the process of initially filling it is fairly simple, but for safety's sake must be carried out without any kind of power being applied to any hardware other than the pump itself. Another thing to keep in mind prior to applying power is that the pump must not be allowed to run dry... there must always be a supply of water from the res otherwise you might destroy the pump.

With this in mind, either get yourself a second PSU, wait until your loop is done before you install your PSU, or (if your PSU is already installed in the case) ensure that you disconnect all other power connections to the motherboard, and every other piece of powered hardware other than fans... you don't want to fry the rest of your equipment on the off chance that a leak causes the PSU to short out.

Easiest way is to get a second PSU... having a switch on it makes it a lot easier, otherwise you'll be unplugging it every time you want to refill the res, or will need to get a power bar with a switch). You'll also need a fan power adapter if your pump doesn't connect directly to a molex connector.

Once that's done, you'll need to enable the PSU to operate without being plugged into the motherboard (ensure the power switch is off first, and leave it off for now). This is done by shorting out the green wire on the 20/24 pin PSU plug with any of the black wires on the same plug (there's one right beside the green wire) which tricks the PSU into thinking that it's got a functional motherboard plugged into it. A metal paper clip works perfectly.

Now that power is available to the pump, we're ready to fill the loop and leak test it.....
  1. Ensure that the res is as high as possible WRT the rest of the loop, and that its outlet is feeding the pump.
  2. Fill the res ensuring that liquid flows down to the inlet of the pump.
  3. Power on the PSU, and be ready to turn off the switch as soon as the res starts to run dry.
  4. Refill the res and repeat until water starts entering the inlet of the res from the rest of the loop.
  5. Close the res and start running your leaktest (I do about 20 minutes in situ, and then put the res into it's normal position for the full leaktest)
  6. After a period of time running your leaktest (I typically do a minimum of 4 hours worth of leaktesting on a new loop), check the res levels and top up if necessary... you'll be forcing out air from the system so it's normal for the res level to drop.
On a side note... some of you might notice the blackened / burnt pins on that PSU plug.... that's what happens when you fold 4 non PCIe plug powered GPUs on the same board 24/7. The current draw for the PCIe slots apparently goes though those pins... and it's not designed for it.... ;)
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