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BrainEater July 31, 2013 06:57 PM

Monitoring a watercooling setup
Please read carefully.....

I'm helping to build a little glycol loop/cooling system.....prolly in the area of 500 GPM , half-million BTU load....35 feet of head pressure , many different loops.


We're running 4" mains to the loops . each loop goes down to 2" lines .


We are trying to design a 'cheap' monitoring setup.We've got primary pressure and flowrate covered ...Caveat : each main loop expands to 3 sub loops.
.....it's when we start to try to monitor each loop/sub-loop that things get really expensive.

Anyone ever made flow indicators ( just indicator , not measure) ??

How about actual measuring devices ?


This is the watercooling section , lets see what yah got !!!


clshades July 31, 2013 07:35 PM

There's a couple ways this can be accomplished but I'll need to ask a couple questions.

question 1/ Is this strictly flow indication?
question 2/ is all the other information just to send me on a wild goose chase? ;-)

A cheaper flow indicator in smaller diameter piping like half inch. Basically you get two 2" x 1/2" tee and build a small loop that can be isolated from the main 2" line with 2 half inch valves. The main reason why I would do it this way is so the flow indicator can be changed out easily if it fails down the road. Then you can use a 1/2 inch flow indicator instead of a 2"

You will see flow through this even if it's branched off the 2" line and its a far cheaper solution to installing a flow indicator and 2x 2" valves. While you'll lose a small amount of pressure in that area you'll gain it back right after the 2nd valve.

BrainEater July 31, 2013 07:53 PM

Question 2 first : No goose chase at all . This is important.


Question 1 :

Each tank has 3 loops....visual indication at this level is fine , we just need to have an indication of flow for each of the 3 zones , because we need to balance flow.Every single jacket/loop has isolation and flow control valves.

We've gotten a 1" line flowmeter for 60$.....It's in testing.

"measurement loops" require calibration , and that's extra cash....We are totally willing to do that in the long run , but ...... discussion time.


This might belong in the modding section.......has no-one ever made one of those 'ball' flow indicators ?

How about hall-effect sensors ?


clshades July 31, 2013 07:55 PM

if you are planning to add this stuff later then you need to add some future tee's and extra valves to ensure it's easy... threaded pipe ain't easy to just add stuff. Welded is so ******* expensive you wouldn't bother.


clshades July 31, 2013 07:59 PM

Flow Indicators - Google Search=_

BrainEater July 31, 2013 08:05 PM

Yes , that's exactly what I want.

That 'paddle-wheel' indicator is 350$ for the 3/4 inch NPT version.I've priced em out........let alone anything over 1"...so at minimum that's a 15 thousand dollar outlay.

Srry that wont fly.

I think I can make a 'ball' indicator for 1-2 inch line for 50$ each.....any advice ?


edit :

Cole parmer :

Flowmeters from Cole-Parmer Canada

That's a good place to start........so much cash it's sick.

clshades July 31, 2013 08:15 PM

I'll see what I can find out this week man. Pretty sure I can get a deal on those things for you.



enaberif July 31, 2013 08:19 PM

making a inexpensive flow indicator would be quite easy for something like this.

get a pvc "t" and from this you could do two things. glue a clear piece of glass onto the t part and let something hang into the fluid.

get a pvc "t" and cap the "t" but drill a small hole so a metal rod with a prop on the bottom would spin and add a small flag on top that will turn

BrainEater August 1, 2013 06:42 AM

I've been thinking along similar lines.A tee assembly flow indicator would pretty much be ideal....the problem I'm hitting right now is reliability....if you were to just hang a piece of string for example , it would eventually mold up/fall off/clog pump....I can't have that.....I'm playing aroung with a bunch of stuff today , we'll see what happens.


Yep , those ball indicators would be perfect deano . 1" npt thread size.

I have't been able to find 1" ones for less than a couple hundred bux , and those are plastic.....It's a ball indicator I was debating about making , basically you just drill 3 holes into a square block of plastic.....


Here's the "best case scenario" :
If I could , I'd want electronic monitoring of all 60 zones with actual metering.


b1lk1 August 1, 2013 06:48 AM

Far better off measuring pressure than flow, should be significantly cheaper as well. Gauges should be cheap, drill and tap holes. Should be low cost sending units available somewhere too for setting up wired guages for electronic monitoring. My $.02.

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