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Liquid Cooling Update

Recall that back in July of last year I posted a long blog post about a liquid cooling loop that I installed in my desktop PC. I was so proud to join the elite ranks of PC “super-users” with liquid cooled CPU’s!

Disaster

A mere few months after installing the liquid cooling loop, disaster struck. From what I could tell, the most common problem that liquid cooling users experience is leaks within the machine. Leaks can quickly spell “GAME OVER” for the machine affected because water + electricity = bad (in most cases). So, I kept a close eye on my system for leaks. However, I noticed that over time, the pump for the loop started to… dwindle in performance. The noise the pump made became softer and softer. I checked my CPU temperatures, and everything seemed to look OK.

I came home from school one day ready to fire up my PC and work on homework (…alright, we both know I was going to play video games…) and the pump did not turn on. I inspected the pump and found that there was a weird few drops of brown liquid beneath it. The liquid-carrying components were still connected and didn’t seem compromised. It almost looked like it was burned underneath the pump. Thankfully, not too much of the brown liquid made it into my PC. I wrote the whole incident off as the pump literally burning out. I cleaned up the liquid, and immidiately removed all components of my adored liquid cooling loop from my PC.

Reality

Liquid cooling is a very fun hobby. And my hat is still off to anybody willing to endure the pain associated with setting up a loop (especially if you use hard tubes). After one “bad” experience (I have “bad” within quotes because, overall, my experience is pretty tame compared to the potential disaster of losing an entire PC to a leak) I am resigning myself to the gods of custom PC liquid cooling. I re-installed my standard fan-based air cooler and have been getting comprable CPU temperatures. I confess that their even a little bit better (colder) than my bottom-of-the-line quality liquid cooling setup.

If I ever desire liquid cooling in the future, I will opt for one of the pre-built “All-In-One” liquid cooling systems that comes as a CLOSED system and doesn’t require me playing around with the liquid itself. It was fun while it lasted, and it was a great experience, but I’ve learned since my naive days dreaming of an awesome liquid cooling setup.