Danger Den Water Box Plus Case (Part 5)ccokeman - September 9, 2007
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Before going any further, now would be a good time to get all of your wiring installed for the board and any items on the underside of the case. Otherwise, the ability to get into the area is severely compromised when the water pump and tubing are in place.
Speaking of the water pump and tubing, it's time to get to work installing these items. The pump is held in place by a large strip of Velcro. It works to minimize any vibration, as well as secures the water pump to the case. Peel the paper off of both the male and female sides of the velcro and place the water pump where it's needed. Install the first video card into the motherboard and cut the first piece of tubing to go from the CPU block outlet to the video card. Cut to length the pieces you will need to go to and from each part of the system and connect them to their respective fittings.
Once the tubing is connected and the most appropriate route for it has been determined, the clamps should be installed to prevent a blowout or leak. While ordering the clamps needed for this job, I had miscounted what would be needed by two clamps. After a fruitless search for the clamps we are using locally for this project, I came up with a viable solution. I usually have some odds and ends around that come in handy. This time I used a couple of Oetiker clamps in the 19.8mm size. They are a full encirclement type of clamp so they worked just fine. The only issue is that to install them you need a set of Oetiker pliers to crimp the tab on the clamp. No problem here with that issue because I just happen to have a set.
Before installing the tubing onto the outlet side of the second graphics card, I used it to pre-fill the radiator and have the "T" line as a vent. This allowed me to get as much fluid into the line as possible so that the pump is not trying to push air on the intial start up. Once the radiator is full, the tubing that feeds back to the video card is connected and we are ready to fill the system.
Once the loop is complete, the "T" line is the only means to fill the system with coolant. To complete the fillup of the system, we hooked the pump to an external power supply to feed only the water pump. This way, if there are any leaks, we don't cook any component. The process used to fill the system was to power up the pump until it hit an air pocket, stop the pump, and refill the "T" line and repeat until the system was running without any air pockets. Initially, there will be some frothiness to the liquid, but as the air is completely purged from the system, the coolant will clear up. During this time, leak testing can begin. As the air works its way out of the system, continue filling the "T" line completely until there is no more air in the system.
This is the reason for leak testing!! After moving the tubing around to get into the center of the case, I discovered I had tweaked an o-ring on the fitting to the radiator and sprung a leak. It pays to leak test for 24 or 48 hours. The solution was a trip to the local big box hardware store to find a replacement.