Water cooling can be quiet and efficient, but it also requires a lot more maintenance than regular fans. Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with problems and maintenance of your water cooling system.
Bacteria and AlgaeThe biggest problem with water cooling is that any untreated water will start to grow algae and/or bacteria. While this might be a good thing if you're conducting a science experiment, it does not help water flow in a water cooling setup. However, there are a few things you can do to curb this problem:
EvaporationEvaporation doesn't sound like a big problem, all you have to do is add more water, right? Well, this is not entirely true, because salt and other chemicals in your tap water does not evaporate. This means that if you keep adding water to your system, soon the water in there will be more salty than sea water, and when that happens, salt will start to deposit in big chunks. This can of course cause reduced water flow... Here's what you can do:
Rust & CorrosionRust and corrosion can be a problem, especially if you use copper or steel parts in your system. I don't have a good solution for this really, so don't use copper or steel parts in your system. (And don't put chlorine in the water.)
LeaksThis is a problem I haven't had yet, but I definitely recommend testing your setup outside of your computer before you install it to make sure that it does not leak. If you do have a leak, don't freak out, turn off your computer and mop up the water. Let the computer dry out, fix the leak and start it up again, most of the time a little water will not cause a problem. If your computer seems flaky after a leak, you should try cleaning affected components/cards with non-acetone nailpolish remover or oil-free gasoline.
NoiseAll pumps make some noise, some more than others. (And some a LOT more than others..) However, you can reduce the actual noise by isolating your pump from direct contact with anything that could convert the vibrations to sound. An easy way to do this is to simply use some rubber or silicone tubing and wrap it a twice around the pump. (Once around the front, and once around the back). There are probably better ways, but the tubing trick works very well for me.
Last modified: April 6th, 2001 - Design by Monica & Fredrik Hübinette