A simple, short, and quick guide on how to install a water cooling system.
Ok, so you got all your watercooling stuff, or you are getting ready to purchase watercooling stuff, and now you are wondering into the small details… such as how to install it! If so, read on…
This guide is for setting up an inline system – if I ever get a reservoir/air trap, I’ll add in the information on how to do it with that; until then…
I will have a basic check list of what you will want to have purchased; there may be more or less things than on your list, depending on your needs. You’ll want to have…
-Waterblock, specified for your CPU type (P4, Socket A, Socket 370, etc)
-Inline pump (+100 GPH is recommended)
-Radiator or Heatercore (I prefer a H/C over a Rad)
-Tubing (rather have too much tubing than not enough – remember that!
You’ll want to stay with ONE fitting size – I strongly recommend staying with either 1/2” or 3/8”. If you mix and match, you could be restricting water flow, or not having enough of it. Also, a typical system can use anywhere from 4 to over 10 feet of tubing, so taking some rough measurements before buying the tubing might help.
Some optional things…
-Water Additive – Purple Ice and Water Wetter work great for this!
-Distilled Water – theoretically non conductive.
-Hose Clamps – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I prefer the metal screw type over the plastic type.
You may want to have some simple hardware tools available, they will definitely help – things like a few types of screwdrivers, pliers, scissors, and other locally found things work great. I also recommend having a decent sized bowl, some towels, and a funnel to pour the water in. Having everything laid out right now is a good idea. :)
Right now you should have a good idea on where you are going to place your pump and radiator. Measure the distance, so we can cut some tubing; remember to measure for each set of barbs, and you can always cut tubing if it is too long; but you can’t add tubing if it is too short.
Now, cut the tubing for each set of barbs; in a typical setup, you should have 3-5 pieces of tubing(including bleed tube); go ahead and arrange the items like they would be in the case, and then hook the tubing up – make sure it is snug on there, and hose clamps are highly recommended.
Note: I recommend going from Pump->T-Line->Radiator->Waterblock->Pump if you can. This makes it easy to prime the pump and fill it.
Next thing, we need add that t-connector in; now I personally recommend it being close to the pump; that is so when you fill it up, it goes into the pump, the pump will prime, and it will send the water throughout. My t-connector is in between my pump and heatercore, which I think is the perfect spot. Where ever you want the t-connector, just cut the tubing with scissors and squeeze it right in there. You’ll also want about a foot of tubing for the line that goes up.
Now comes the most exciting part in your life… filling the system!
Grab some of the distilled water (if adding water additive, now would be a good time to have that in the water ;), and put the funnel a little bit into the tubing. Now, start filling it until the t-line starts getting full - the water should be sitting in the pump now. Turn on the pump for a few seconds, and it should shoot the water around a little bit, and suck your t-line dry. Keep repeating this process until you notice that water is flowing throughout the whole system. Once it is… congrats! Now you want to check for leaks, and any other problems that could pose a situation.
Here is the way maskedgeek does it: Connect all your system inside your computer, WITHOUT water in it, dump the approximate amount of additives into the 1gallon jug of water, and get a 1 gallon pail or something, empty all that into it, then take everything out of the computer. Submerge the pump and intake line in the bucket underwater, take off the intake line from the pump, now turn it on (make sure water is inside the pump). Let it run for a little bit, then tilt and turn your radiator while making sure the intake hose is in the water so it does not squirt all over. Then after all the bubbles are gone, connect the line as the pump is on, then fill the bleed tube and let it run for a few minutes, dry everything off, and install, its really simple and fast, if you do it the other way, you’ll have to let it bleed for hours! This takes half hour max.
By now, you are either pumped about putting the system into your case, or cleaning up after a disaster. :) I would recommend running the system for at least a few hours out of the case.
Your radiator is going to want a fan and maybe a shroud so it can cool off; installation of the fan is a good idea at this time because these are the final steps for installing the setup in your case.
Once you are sure you can put it in, you’ll want to get your Waterblock on the CPU. This can be tricky; as you want to make sure you apply EVEN PRESSURE TO ALL SIDES when mounting the block. If not, you risk cracking the core. Take your time putting this on; otherwise you could get in a bad situation. Using some Arctic Silver is a good idea too. :) Once you are sure that the Waterblock is making good contact with the core, install everything into the case.
Once everything is working, pump is running, everything plugged in, boot up your computer and HEAD STRAIGHT TO THE BIOS! Check your temps; if they are good, then continue on to windows, with MBM5 installed (highly recommended).
If your temps are high, shut down the computer, and check the Waterblock pressure, radiator fan, and make sure the pump is on.
Congrats! You’ve now installed your watercooling setup in your computer; enjoy the low temps, PEACE AND QUIET, and good overclocking you’ll get to do. 8
I will be taking some pictures soon to compliment the guide - until then, this will have to work.