Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Why watercooling is a bad idea...

charliebruce

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
1,550
Points
48
In 2 words: Pump failure.

I've been running a water-cooling setup for quite some time now, about a year or so. Recently however, my pump had been tripping the "cpu fan speed" warning on my motherboard, but if I checked in the hardware monitor, it all appeared to be fine and the CPU temperature was low, so I ignored it (take note: this is a mistake!). I came back to my computer a few hours ago to find the screen blank and not responding at all. After a couple of times cycling the power, I got the side off, to find my graphics card dripping, and a nice pool of coolant on the case floor.

I don't use a fill-cap - the top of my loop is pretty much "open" inside the case. What I think has happened is that the pump must have jammed, and the processor started boiling the water in the block. My system is pretty close to being a convective loop, so the heat spread to the entire top half of the loop, causing the coolant to expand. This caused it to overflow, giving my graphics card a bath. Luckily, my cooling fluid is non-conductive, so with a bit of luck the graphics card should have survived. The pool also just missed my power supply and only splashed a tiny bit on the top of the hard disks, again very lucky!

What I am worried about, however, is why the thermal protection on the CPU didn't kick in. The only reasons I can think of, is that it didn't reach the 85 or 135 degrees necessary because of the coolant already in the block, or that the chip has now committed suicide. The thermal paste (AS5) appeared to have run a small amount towards the bottom, but hasn't burned, and when I got to the water-block, it was too hot to touch, but not enough to scald me. Neither the CPU nor block show signs of the heat "lines" you see on soldering irons, though the CPU top was lapped down to copper only.

What do people think my chances are of the processor having survived? I'll be able to test it tomorrow, and I was planning to upgrade anyway, but it'd be a real kick in the teeth if I can't sell it to contribute to the new parts :(

Pics will follow tomorrow, under PHR-light since Feser One (coolant) is UV-reactive as well as hopefully non-conductive.
 



roosl

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
389
Points
0
Oh, man! That sux..

Fluid cooling scares me, for that picture in my mind alone.

Dude, I sure hope you can recover it. The Beast and I will be thinking of your CPUs spirit..
:angel:
 

Rob

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
478
Points
0
Wow that's a bummer dude. Same thing happened to my friend, and not once but twice. He learned to stay away from water cooling systems after that. Processor might be ok but I wouldn't hold your breath...
 

f22warzone

New member
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
761
Points
0
Meh I kind of wish I went water cooling as my case has 17 different fans in it heck even fans for the ram modules : ) no more BSoD and its really stable..... But still
You should be ok if everything dries out.... make sure to take it all apart so all the contact dry out also and maybe even install the original cpu heat sink so you can test it to see if anything is blown.
Best of luck to you though
 

MarioMaster

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
3,642
Points
63
I had a mobo that was drenched in standard coolant (conductive) - It didn't work for a while but I set it aside and came back later. All worked fine again :)

Just give everything plenty of time to dry out, maybe set it in the sun with a fan blowing on it.
 

charliebruce

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
1,550
Points
48
Sun? In the UK? I guess you haven't seen the news about severe weather and flooding then? :p

I tested the parts out, my CPU, ram, mobo and hard disks are all alive and well (or, as well as they were before the event). The motherboard was an eBay buy and has always been unstable for me (though the seller closed up his shop before I could dispute the transaction) but has managed to last long enough for me to make a backup without hanging. The graphics card was worst hit, and still remains to be tested. Oddly enough though, I was taking apart the water block to see if there was some obstruction, and it turns out that the "flow director nozzle attachment thing" (technical terms aside for one moment) had bent and partially blocked the flow to 2 of the 4 cores. I know for a fact that it was OK when it was installed (inspected it carefully) but I can't think how it would have bent like it had, unless perhaps it was the heat? In which case, the pump failure was due to another cause altogether.

Pics may follow if my camera doesn't play up.
 

iskor12

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
2,153
Points
0
I have a processor that litterally made my mobo smoke due to it overheating..(Fan on the heat sink died)..and guess what, it still runs today. AMD1600+ (Nothing like the smell of burned electronics in the morning)

Hopefully you will be as lucky as me and it will still run.
 

Benm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
8,113
Points
113
Some older processors could fry themselves in case of cooling failure, but with the more modern series its very unlikely.

Multi-core processors usually have a build in sensor for each core, and will throttle back in case of overheating. These sensors are on the chip die, not externally in the socket like they were in the past... when the mainboard had to detect the overtemp and take measures. Problem with that approach was poor contact between processor and sensor, resulting in false-low readings with the processor actually overheating.

One risk is the whole heatsink coming off. Shutdown might not be quick enough to save the processor in that case, but as long as the heatsink is on there, it will live - regardless of a fan or liquid circulation failure. Its even quitely likely to remain operable, albeit rather slow (25% of normal speed or so).
 

charliebruce

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
1,550
Points
48
Processor survived perfectly thanks to Intel's SpeedStep (I saw a video where someone took the heatsink off a P3 or P4, it intelligently under-clocked itself until the heat-sink was restored. Graphics card hasn't fared so well however, no signal output, and the fan spins up to top speed as soon as power hits it. The damage was mostly done to the power regulatory areas, so perhaps I'll get lucky giving it a wipe with some rubbing alcohol. I'm not holding my breath though (Off topic for one second: 4890 now, or live on laptop for a few months and save for a 5870? I have a 2560-1600 screen and plans for an i7 if it makes any difference)
 

SMIDSY

Banned
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
881
Points
0
Im under liquid with a Q6600 @ 3.4 (3.6 if i can be bothered sometimes). Temps are at a nice 30C atm and 44C under 100% load. Liquid is awesome BUT it has real issues- a pipe broke recently and I had liquid everywhere... but with air I cant get a decent OC

tis the risk

smidsy.
 

charliebruce

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
1,550
Points
48
I had my setup posting @ 4 ghz, or stable at 3.6, with temps never pushing beyond 60, and fans at lowest speed, however my motherboard (Striker II Extreme) was sadly cheap and from eBay, and so hung occasionally (sometimes not for weeks, sometimes was totally unusable for a day or 2 - even at default clock-speeds, it was not my overclocking which caused the instability).

I've decided that now I need to replace the graphics, and the machine is in pieces, I may as well replace the motherboard and cut myself loose from these issues. To do so I'd want to upgrade to an i7-based system, however, which means I'll also have to buy a new waterblock (and pump too if I can't work out what was wrong with my current one). All these costs add up however, so advice on the 5870 vs 4890 debate would be useful to anyone with more experience with ATI than me. This whole incident certainly hasn't put me off WC, only made me a little more cautious...
 

MarioMaster

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
3,642
Points
63
keep the card around, set it near a window - it will probably work again, my socket A motherboard that got drenched didn't work for like a week or two before it dried out enough
 

kiyoukan

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,555
Points
48
If you comp didn't auto shut off and there are no scalding marks then everything is fine.
I ran my computer in the bottom of a fish tank for a very long time. All except optical drives. I know its scary but if you used non conductive fluid and it was in good condition you will not have any problems. As far as pressure build up that is why you should use small fountain pumps not compressor pumps. even if they do clog they don't lock up letting it build up pressure.
I myself got my new CPU out of the fish tank and made my own liquid cooling system. using self milled copper blocks and aluminum and a cars heater coil. i have everything cooled by liquid from my psu to my hard drives. and yes i had leaks when making the system but i never fried anything even with pooling. You can make you own pressure valves out of a PVC T joint and some hot glue and plastic. if pressure builds the hot glue and plastic ring will blow out.
The water cooled system of today are very safe. just never use water.
I am ocing my e8600 dual core from 3.3ghz to 6.0 ghz I run 15000rpm sata drives that also need the cooling. 1kw psu i removed fans for cooling blocks. ddr3 ram is also cooled not needed but why not. and my 2 4870x2 are both water cooled and running at there max software overclock. besides my 2 radiator fans my cpu is silent and its never had a thermal shutoff.
 
Last edited:

Dr_Evil

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
2,244
Points
63
Your cooling system isn't sealed? I don't have any openeings in mine unless I disconnect something or pull the res cap off. My sytem has been running great for a couple years. I do need to pull it apart for a good cleaning though.
 




Top