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Watercooling Discussion Thread


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#1

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:09 PM

...::: Watercooling Discussion Thread :::...


Watercooling has typically been regarded as a taboo for computers, mainly as electronics and water aren't the best of friends... :blink: , but with the introduction of closed kits, such as the Corsair Hydro and Antec Kuhler series, watercooling has become more popular.

While this thread will (And rightly so, in my opinion) focus on "open" or custom loops, any questions about these closed kits are also welcomed :D


So a basic warning...

Now first off a custom watercooling loop is not for the faint-hearted, lazy or budget constrained individual. They undoubtedly cost more, require more effort and care, in terms of initial installation and continued maintenance, and failure in setting up a cooling loop is best to be avoided.


So why would you watercool?

If you are after better temperatures, a computer that doesn't sound awfully similar to a turbine, and something that looks awesomely ridiculous, then watercooling is blatantly where it is at!

Noob guide to watercooling:

So first off a quick video to show the basic idea behind WC'ing in all it's glory, followed by Clunk's WC'ing guide
for beginners, which I reckon to be the best written guide there is at the moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk3V64ZSsEI

So hopefully that made complete sense. Here is the most comprehensive guide to watercooling for beginners that I have found to date;
Clunk.orgs Watercooling guide for beginners
There is another good WC'ing guide that described the principles behind everything really well, can't find it for the life of me though :(


Setting some Terminology fore-warning:

-With Radiators there tends to be two ways of describing the size of them. Either the length of the radiator, e.g: 240mm. Basically mean that it will fit two 120mm fans. The other way is writing this same sized rad as 2.120. This latter example seems to be an older form of WC'ing jargon, but you may see it come up in some threads on the subject.
-Secondly ID (Internal Diameter) and OD (Outside Diameter) are not the same thing. What you want to do is have the barb or compression fitting size match the ID. Otherwise it won't fit. Common sizes for tubing tend to be 1/2", 3/8", and 7/16". (All ID's)

Basic CPU and GPU loop.

So here is a basic loop that features a 240 rad, a CPU waterblock and a GPU waterblock. Why a 240mm rad? Because this is the radiator that most cases will accept without any modification. Most cases, for example the CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced, will allow 2 x 240mm rad.

CPU block: XSPC Raystorm.
GPU block: EK GTX 670 Acetal cover. Reason that I choose a 670 block because it is the best high-end (In terms of price/performance card (and excluding the idea of heavy overclocks)) available for purchase at the moment.
Reservoir: XSPC Dual 5.25" reservoir-pumptop combo.
Pump: Swiftech 655 (D5 Vario) pump.
Radiator: Black Ice GTX 240mm Rad.
Fittings: 8 x Bitspower Shiny Silver Compression Fittings.
Tubing: PrimoFlex Pro LRT 3/8 ID Tubing.

Pump: Which one will suit me?

So not a lot of thought goes into the purchase of the pump for the loop, however this is where some care should be placed.

You want to pick up a pump that is able to sustain a flow rate of around 1.0GPM (Gallons/ Minute). And when trying to figure out which pump is best for sorting this, is determining how much restriction (Typically measured in pressure (PSI)) is within the loop and comparing to the output pressure of the pump.

For help with this, see this informative guide.

Fittings

So for some reason I find fittings the less intuitive thing out, so figured I would give a real basic spiel about them then, then post a video from DazMode (Canadian WC'ing store) on the subject.

So with fittings, you can get two main types:
  • Barb Fittings, just a simple fitting, that you just slide the tube over, and the 'barb' restricts the tube coming off. This is the fitting that comes with most watercooling kitsets, such as the XSPC Rasa/ Raystorm kit. With these, you just need to make sure the fitting is the same size as the Internal Diameter of the tubing, and therefore it will fit snuggly on the barb.
  • Compression Fittings, are the other fitting type. They are essentially a barb, with a metal sheath over top. They are more expensive, but confer a few benefits. Mainly being; Easier to remove, and looks. Now with these fittings, you will need to take into account both ID and OD when making your pics in this. So you need to make sure that the ID matches the barb, and that the OD matches the compression sheath. (So that you don't get too thick a tubing to get the sheath over it.
I know that maybe sounds a touch confusing, so here is a link, to a fairly solid video that goes more indepth, and has pictures :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htJKdFyo_PA&list=PLC6EA48744A9A954D&index=3&feature=plpp_video

Places to by WC'ing Gear

There are many places to buy WC'ing Gear, but what I will try and do is give you a heads-up of the better known ones.
  • Computer Lounge - NZ
  • OverclockersNZ - NZ
  • Sidewinder PCs - USA
  • FrozenCPU - USA
  • Koolroom - AUS

This is not an exhaustive list, but contains the sites that I would commonly look at. My personal opinion, is that is far cheaper to look overseas for parts, sad as that may sound :(

Installation

So you've got your gear huh?
So installation is fairly basic, and if you built the computer in the first case then it shouldn't be too difficult. But this an area where you need to pay attention to. So here is a series (3 videos in total) that details more about the installation process:

Linus's Ultimate Watercooling Guide.

Hopefully, that is all. If you need more info, or just want to throw ideas around, drop a comment in the thread or anywhere else on the PriceSpy forum, and I, among others, will do our darnedest to help you out.

Chur,
S0up2up
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#2

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:26 PM

Sounds like a turbine? O.o

The whole reason I wanted to watercool is for silence. The TJ08B-E build will have to wait, I'm not really comfortable spending $800 to cool a CPU and GPU. Maybe I'll build a WC setup to celebrate my first Post-Grad job :D

Instead I'm being a poof and having a two Kuhler 620's one on my 2400 and one on my 670, with 20db Noiseblocker fans and possibly a fanless PSU in the future.

#3

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:35 PM

Sounds like a turbine?

The whole reason I wanted to watercool is for silence. The TJ08B-E build will have to wait, I'm not really comfortable spending $800 to cool a CPU and GPU. Maybe I'll build a WC setup to celebrate my first Post-Grad job :D

Instead I'm being a poof and having a two Kuhler 620's one on my 2400 and one on my 670, with 20db Noiseblocker fans and possibly a fanless PSU in the future.


Cheers bro, well spotted I thought something didn't look right. Silence is enviable, my aircooled budget rig is way loud at the moment.

Haha I know that my first grad position paycheck is going completely into a computer. :P
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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#4

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

Good idea with this thread.

Just be aware that we are having some batch issues with the Corsair water coolers at the moment, H80 and H100 with noisy pumps we have had to RMA quite a few. (Corsair have been fast with RMA’s though) (They will also help repair a machine if it leaks causing damage to other parts – I think we have had one case of this – You need to make sure you take high quality pics straight away though As you will have to prove it clearly for them to help - Needs to be done as soon as it happens)

Also remember if you are just cooling a CPU you can also nearly achieve the same results with Noctua and Prolimatech Coolers. But it wont look half as cool or quiet :)

The big payoff is when you start water cooling the whole machine including the graphics cards. That is where you can notice the biggest drop in temps.

Oh it is also mandatory for you to post pics of your water cooled beast too. :D
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#5

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

Ordered my GTX 670 Kuhler bracket from OCN's dwood :)
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#6

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:55 PM

Good work bro. There will need to be pictures of that on here when you get it!

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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#7

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

There will be, don't you worry. They'll be rubbish though lol.

The black/grey them is going to be so nice. Gentle Typhoons with this board and pretty much black everything else. Grey SSD too lol.

#8

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:59 PM

Was looking at getting a PSU cable kit from Corsair. Then I thought wait a minute, I could use the $129 to buy a custom loop parts. So here I am with my mind made up. I'm taking the plunge. :D Thanks for the thread, S0up! Very educating.

Going to ditch my Antec Kuhler H2O 920 and 2 x stock GTX680 ref. HS and fan for XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 Kit, XSPC EX120 Radiator, and 2 x XSPC Razor GTX680. I think I'm gonna buy most items from CL. It's time the NZ economy gets some of my hard earned money. lol

Any comment/suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Ta.
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#9

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:14 PM

Was looking at getting a PSU cable kit from Corsair. Then I thought wait a minute, I could use the $129 to buy a custom loop parts. So here I am with my mind made up. I'm taking the plunge. :D Thanks for the thread, S0up! Very educating.

Going to ditch my Antec Kuhler H2O 920 and 2 x stock GTX680 ref. HS and fan for XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 Kit, XSPC EX120 Radiator, and 2 x XSPC Razor GTX680. I think I'm gonna buy most items from CL. It's time the NZ economy gets some of my hard earned money. lol

Any comment/suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Ta.


Razor's are nice waterblocks from benchmarks. See if CL can potentially get the Heatkiller 3.0 blocks in. They perform better and overseas seems to be cheaper than prices for XSPC, EK gear etc.

One thing of note, I hope you realised that you won't snag all of that for $129.
And in terms of the tubing, get 3/8" tubing. Looks the best, rather than that mega thick 1/2" crap.
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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#10

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

na get 7/16 id tube

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#11

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:24 PM

na get 7/16 id tube


Yeah but then you have to find fittings that cater to that ID, and have the G1/4 thread.

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#12

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

They're basically exactly the same, and fittings are easy to find for both.

You wouldn't notice a lot of difference between the two ><

Thicker tubing looks better too IMO :)

#13

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:48 PM

They're basically exactly the same, and fittings are easy to find for both.

You wouldn't notice a lot of difference between the two ><

Thicker tubing looks better too IMO :)


Depends how many items you are cooling, I don't like the look of 1/2", it just seems too big!

And yeah hardly any difference unless you use compression, you might find that the OD of 7/16 might be a touch to think for 3/8 compressions. But if you are using barbs and heat the tubing you should be sorted.

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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#14

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:49 PM

Yeah that's why you'd buy 7/16" fittings :P

#15

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

so whats better looking 3/8" or 7/16"

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#16

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:18 PM

One thing of note, I hope you realised that you won't snag all of that for $129.


I know, I mean that $129 along with extra $$$ can get me something useful and practical compared to just a bunch of cables that's purely for aesthetic IMO.

And in terms of the tubing, get 3/8" tubing. Looks the best, rather than that mega thick 1/2" crap.


I'm thinking the same. I'm still digging through tons of posts on different forums just to cover the whole aspect of WC.
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#17

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:22 PM

And yeah hardly any difference unless you use compression, you might find that the OD of 7/16 might be a touch to think for 3/8 compressions. But if you are using barbs and heat the tubing you should be sorted.


Is ID the same for all tubing? ATM, I'm thinking 3/8 with compression fittings.

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#18

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:28 PM

No it's not. Check the ID's and OD's of any fittings or tubing you buy

#19

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:29 PM

Nope ID is not the same for all internals.

IMO fittings are the most confusing part of it all. Check out this DazMode video. Should clear it up a touch. But pretty much the ID is the one you want to worry about, make sure it matches the size of the fittings.

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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#20

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:53 PM

All this talk of WC is making me...

Posted Image

Thanks, S0up. Will look into it. Cheers.
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#21

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:59 PM

All this talk of WC is making me...
[Picture]

Thanks, S0up. Will look into it. Cheers.


Haha that is awesome! Picture = Win!

If you need any more help, chuck down another message on this thread.

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#22

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:12 AM

Is it possible to carry watercooling kit components accross different builds? As in will the GPU/CPU blocks fit different sockets? Or would you need to change several components when you change your CPU/GPU?

#23

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

S0up2up in your build in the first post you have a drive bay reservoir with an inbuilt pump , and a separate external pump

Is that deliberate , and is it needed to move the water through the two separate cooling blocks?

The XSPC 240 mm kit was the first time I have seriously considered water cooling as an option . I can see it fitting in nicely at the top of an Antec P280 .
But whether it would be quieter than a scythe Ninja on low .........Im just not sure

#24

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:03 PM

Is it possible to carry watercooling kit components accross different builds? As in will the GPU/CPU blocks fit different sockets? Or would you need to change several components when you change your CPU/GPU?


Yes it is. Most blocks come with hardware to support different sockets.

GPU and Chipset blocks are really the only ones that have to be replaced for new components.

S0up2up in your build in the first post you have a drive bay reservoir with an inbuilt pump , and a separate external pump

Is that deliberate , and is it needed to move the water through the two separate cooling blocks?

The XSPC 240 mm kit was the first time I have seriously considered water cooling as an option . I can see it fitting in nicely at the top of an Antec P280 .
But whether it would be quieter than a scythe Ninja on low .........Im just not sure


The bay reservoir isn't actually a pump, it's a pump top. Tops are attachments to pumps offering such things as alternative nozzle configurations and in this case, a reservoir.

Cooling solutions are only as quiet as the fans you have cooling them, so if you used the same fans from your Ninja I'd imagine the noise to be very close. The noise-reduction technology of the P280 would dampen pump noise.

#25

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:23 PM

I assumed it was the same unit as in this kit

http://www.computerl...sp?partid=17081

where the pump is inside the reservoir .
I assume that helps dampen the pump noise a bit ?
Maybe the CL poster can tell me a little more about the kit

I have read reviews that say pump noise is an issue

#26

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:50 PM

It may be a similar bay/res but the one you linked comes with a pump.

The new Raystorm kits from XSPC have higher quality pumps, Laing D5's, and also an ever better performing waterblock, so they're definitely worth a look, although they might cost a little more.

#27

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:22 PM

S0up2up in your build in the first post you have a drive bay reservoir with an inbuilt pump , and a separate external pump

Is that deliberate , and is it needed to move the water through the two separate cooling blocks?

The XSPC 240 mm kit was the first time I have seriously considered water cooling as an option . I can see it fitting in nicely at the top of an Antec P280 .
But whether it would be quieter than a scythe Ninja on low .........Im just not sure



I assumed it was the same unit as in this kit

http://www.computerl...sp?partid=17081

where the pump is inside the reservoir .
I assume that helps dampen the pump noise a bit ?
Maybe the CL poster can tell me a little more about the kit

I have read reviews that say pump noise is an issue


Like Josh alluded to there will not be two pumps but rather one. That kit comes with one already. It is the same unit, but in that poster/ product page, it is preinstalled. And that drive bay reservoir has a top that you just literally screw the pump into. Saves space and looks cool as well. Whether it comes pre-installed in that Raystorm Kit, I wouldn't know, never brought a Raystorm/ Rasa kit.

Also in terms of pump noise, just make sure you seat the pump in correctly and tightly, you shouldn't find that much pump noise, at all.

Is it possible to carry watercooling kit components accross different builds? As in will the GPU/CPU blocks fit different sockets? Or would you need to change several components when you change your CPU/GPU?


It is possible but it depends what you are moving too I guess.. Most CPU blocks tend to support a universal mounting system for the brand of CPU you have, i.e. The Intel Raystorm supports 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011 etc. While the AMD supports the majority (if not all) of the AMD chipsets. So a move from Intel -> AMD, means you will need a new CPU block, but otherwise you are sorted.

In terms of the GPU blocks, you can get fullcover blocks, such as the Heatkiller 3.0 79X0, in which case you are effectively have to replace the GPU blocks whenever you change GPU's, provided you don't go from a 7950 to a 7970 (AKA a board with the same PCB), then you would be sweet, but IMO who would do that?

In terms of GPU Chipset coolers, such as the Swiftech Universal GPU chipset cooler, you can change them from GPU to GPU, however you will just need to get heatsinks for the boards VRM's as a chipset cooler (GPU) don't cover them.
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Cooling: EK Supremacy Full Nickel (Mounted direct die) | EK 290X full block (Acetal/ Nickel) | Acrylic hard tubing | XSPC PWM D5 | Corsair SP120 PWM fans - Quiet Edition | Bitspower C47 fittings
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#28

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:49 PM

Man... WC is taking off on this forum. :D

S0up, can you elaborate on the plasticizer problem (e.g. seeping)? I understand that it's normal but for some brands: Primochill and Tygon, it seems to happen at a much faster rate (e.g. weeks).

Also from what I read, people are saying that you need to stick with one type of block either nickel or copper, and don't mix them.

Lastly, I'm planning to just use distilled water with silver coil and corrosion inhibitor as I aim to have a practical loop and nothing else. What do you reckon? Cheers.

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#29

S0up2up
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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:12 PM

Man... WC is taking off on this forum. :D


Haha it's great! Really need to start moving along on my Mod, so I can get in on this WC'ing action!

S0up, can you elaborate on the plasticizer problem (e.g. seeping)? I understand that it's normal but for some brands: Primochill and Tygon, it seems to happen at a much faster rate (e.g. weeks).


Okay so this plasticizer problem... So when most clear tubing is processed, aka created, its done via a process that uses plasticizers, however, due to lazy/ cost reduction practices you are seeing that most companies are increasing their level of plasticiser use. Plasticiser eventually gets free of the tubing, and goes forth and deposits white solids on your tubing. Thereby causing it to become 'cloudy'. For certain batches of the PrimoChill, you seem to happen tonnes. Supposedly its been sorted, but from what I understand on it, it can be sorted from cleaning the tubing heaps before you setup the loop. But a better suggestion is to just buy tubing that is Plasticizer free. (Have seen some good stuff about Duralene (or something like that haha.) lately which looks promising.)

In terms of Tygon, its not really a different brand as such, it is but regardless, Tygon is technically rather a different type of tubing in itself. (Think it is a different composition of plastic.) However, Tygon become notorious for their 3909 branded stuff, which had platisizer problems galore. You can also get plasticizer free Tygon.

Saying all that, plasticising problems seem to be a very case-by-case problem. Some people get it and some people don't.

Also from what I read, people are saying that you need to stick with one type of block either nickel or copper, and don't mix them.


Kinda, an anti-corrosion additive should stop this, but your best bet is just to go copper plating all the way.
Saying that EK has problems with their nickel plating processes. So just avoid Nickel plated EK stuff, this includes their EN revisions.

Lastly, I'm planning to just use distilled water with silver coil and corrosion inhibitor as I aim to have a practical loop and nothing else. What do you reckon? Cheers.


A Silver Kill Coil sounds good. Some dyes contain corrosion inhibitors as well. To the best of my knowledge, some of the Mayhems dyes contain inhibitors. But aside from that, a Kill coil, a drop or two of corrosion inhibitor and distilled water should be sweet.
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#30

JoshHunter
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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:02 PM

Norprene/Neoprene tubing is where it's at...
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