View Full Version : Building TEC Watercooling System

03-24-2003, 06:19 PM
Today I started purchasing components for my new setup. Going straight from Air to TEC. So far I've ordered Hydro L30, Meanwell PSU, D-tek radiator, gonna order the MCW462-UHT when its instock, ordered the MCW50-T but i think thats supposed to show up at cool technica with the 462. I also picked up 10ft of Clearflex 1/2 in tubing, ordered the swiftech 1/2in fill and bleed valve setup, got some adaptors. Not sure what i Need lol. Got some dilectric grease and silicon cause it was cheap. Thats about it so far. I will need a fan, some hose clamps and random things like that. Hopefully it will all work out :)

04-04-2003, 06:18 AM
Well everything is ordered. Most of it will be here today. The 2nd radiator and tubing will come later next week :)

Method Man
04-04-2003, 06:29 AM
GL...I fryed a processor and mb after the 1st 3 days I had my pelt setup up:eek: WARNING NEVER LEAVE A PELT ALONE!!!! I went to sleep while stress testing and when I woke the tubing was almost melted threw, the water in the system was boiling and my MB was soaked and I had a dead processor...:rolleyes:

04-04-2003, 08:55 AM
Yea man i saw your threads on other forums. That sucks. I'll have to be careful.

04-04-2003, 10:23 AM
What do u think happened?

04-04-2003, 10:37 AM
By sounds of it water wasn't cooled well enough, got a bit toasty and made a mess o things... per chance switched Fans off with PC but left TEC and Pump running? Main reason I went for the ThermoChill 3x120 rad... not much chance of that happening with 3x120mm fans hardwired to the TEC PSU, that way, if TEC is on Fans are on... no way of water boilin!

Method Man
04-04-2003, 03:29 PM
I'm not quite sure what happend...All I know is I went to sleep with the computer running prime95 with the 1700+ @ 2500Mhz, 1.675V, @20C.....woke up 3 hours later? still not sure how much later with the monitor black, and non of the fans that were pluged into the power supply running....I don't think heat killed it in the beginning but I think that with the fans off it couldn't disapate all the heat just with running the water threw the heatercores.Good thing my pump was still on(was pluged into the wall) or it would of been a Chernobyl:stick:

04-04-2003, 05:11 PM
Hearing Method's story reminds me of my own bad "incident" and why judicious use of pump and TEC PSU relays is very important building a proper TEC cooled system. The key is to have the PSU which powers the TECs, and the pump, turn on and off with the system....and this means the proper use of relays. This way, the TEC and pump are guaranteed to be on when the system is on, and off, when the system is off...and nothing else in between.

Using relays to power the pump and TEC PSU, along with MBM and BIOS temp alarm settings to shutdown the system in the event of high temps, is an almost fool proof way of running TEC system.

After toasting my system (by not having the relays and forgetting to shut down my manually switched TEC PSU) I added relays and a strick adherence to system monitoring. Since then, I've been running my TEC cooled system 24/7 for months without incident. With proper precautions, there is no reason why you cannot run TEC cooled system 24/7 without having to watch it every moment.

Just for giggles, here are a few pics of the disaster which prompted me to set up everything the "right way":

Here "was" my brand new XP 2200 (2 days old at the time). Check out how the top of the cpu socket was actually liquified:

Here's a sweet shot. Check out the parts of the CPU which actually adhered to the cold plate from the intense heat:

And...not too much left of the swifty block:

04-04-2003, 05:32 PM
mdzcpa...wow that is scary :eek:

Glad you learned from it though :)

04-04-2003, 05:36 PM
mdzcpa, could you explain some more about the proper usage of relays. I purchased the swiftech relay kit ver2. I have the meanwell psu. Are there any sites or info you could share on hooking this up the correct and safe way?

04-04-2003, 05:55 PM
All you need to do is follow the wiring diagram that comes with that Swiftech relay kit. Wire up a relay for both the pump and meanwell.

The Swiftech relay is indeed a great kit and comes with everything you need. I use the same kit (2 of them) to power both my Eheim pump and the meanwell PSU. I do not recommend that you power both the water pump and meanwell PSU through the same relay....so that means two relays. The in rush current from the PSU and pump together might be too much even for the ver2 kit to handle (although the ver2 kit is plenty healthy enough to handle the inrush from the meanwell itself).

The relays are powered by a simple molex connector, so you will need two free molex connectors from your PSU to power 2 relays.

I'm not sure it will help much, but hear is an article I wrote when I upgraded to TEC units using the Swiftech relays and the meanwell psu:Swiftech Quiet Power Thermo Electric Cooling Upgrade (http://www.liquidninjas.com/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=20) Page 5 has some good pics for you.

Edit: BTW, don't let those pics scare you. It was totally my fault by not using relays. You never ever want the TECs running when the system is not, nor the system to run without the pump.

04-04-2003, 06:30 PM
Alright thanks. Actuall I had read that review a few times. Didn't know you wrote it :) I guess I'll shell out another 20 for the relay. Expensive project... lol.

04-04-2003, 06:40 PM
You know...doing the 2 relay set up, although best, is not mandatory. Some run it with one relay. I'm sure you could hook up the PSU and pump through the single relay you have now just to get you up on running fr a while. Then add the second relay when the budget affords it. My suggestion is definitely not be the cheapest, but it is the safest IMO:)

Good luck:)

04-04-2003, 06:49 PM
Yea thats true. I guess I'll end up probably buying one. The only thing I've wasted money on is the Swiftech F&B 1/2in kit. Because I'm using 1/2in tubing it won't even fit unless i found some adaptors for it. With the $600 i've spent so far..another 20 won't hurt. I was looking at how you soldered the points for the psu relay. Did you just buy those fittings at a hardware store?

04-05-2003, 04:34 AM
There was no soldering involved for the relay installation. Everything just wired into the relay with the screw clamps. For the power leads running from the AC socket to the TEC PSU, I used crimped spade connectors....no soldering needed. I beleive the only soldering I did on the upgrade to TECs was to solder extension leads onto the TEC leads.

Any other questions, feel free to ask:)

04-05-2003, 11:20 AM
lol ok yea that makes sense. It was just when you said "I crimped and soldered some nice connectors onto the power cord for a clean installation onto the relay connections" that confused me a little bit on page 5.

Sorry I'm not very electronically inclined when it comes to wiring. I'm guess you stripped of the wires for your pump also and added those little connections to hook up to the relay like you did with the cord powering the Meanwell?

04-05-2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by gtcrispy
I'm guess you stripped of the wires for your pump also and added those little connections to hook up to the relay like you did with the cord powering the Meanwell?

Exactly...stripped them and added spade connectors.

BTW, on some of the older spade connectors that do not come with a plastic shield, I do add a drop of solder for extra hold. I think that is what i was referring to in the article:)

04-05-2003, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the help. I guess tomorrow I'll make a trip to Home Depot. I got to buy my plexi so i can make a box for my radiators, pump and whatever I'm gonna use for my resivoir because the F&B kit won't work.

04-05-2003, 09:46 PM
OMG, I wished I had never read this post ! :(

I have my peltier setup on its way, now I'm scared as hell ! hehe

04-05-2003, 10:23 PM
AH nothing to be afraid of lol. Hell I'm 17 and just spent $600+ on some cooling. First ever experience with watercooling and going for one of the more harder setups possible. If anything breaks hopefully it will be rma'able :)

04-06-2003, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by Major Slaughter
OMG, I wished I had never read this post ! :(

I have my peltier setup on its way, now I'm scared as hell ! hehe

Heheh...yeah that was one expensive meltdown:
XP 2200 $280 (at the time)
KX7-RAID $130
MCW-UT $115
Hose $15

So what's that? About $540. ouch....

But....just set it up right the first time, and you'll have no troubles:) Like I said, I've been running 24/7 now for months without incident since I added relays and tweaked my system monitoring. The meltdown was 100% caused by my own stupidity:D

04-06-2003, 09:56 AM
Though you've all seen the stuff here are some pics of my comp and crap.

Just got to get off my ass and start working.

04-06-2003, 03:24 PM
Another question. I went looking for the liquid tape stuff but didn't find anything. I found this http://products3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/utilities_telecom/electrical_contractors/node_GS2ZNRF0WSbe/root_GST1T4S9TCgv/vroot_GSBCDFDZ1Zge/gvel_Q2V48VRQDBgv/command_AbcPageHandler/theme_us_electricalcontractors_3_0

Its for electronics however its packaged so i can't open it and try it out i'm guess if I want to return. It look similar to what you use? IF you hvae no idea thats fine also :)

04-06-2003, 03:45 PM
That'll do it:)

I particulary like to use that stuff on the back of the mobo just behind the socket A pins, and on the back of the vid card. After it dries, I apply the thin neoprene pads. Both together provide a great condensation barrier.

04-06-2003, 03:54 PM
Alrighty. I also picked up some those connecters for the powre cords. However got some males and females so the males have to go back. I don't have a crimper but would pliers or something work? You are tons of help. This why i love this place :)

04-06-2003, 04:01 PM
Glad I could help:)

Crimpers do work best....but some needle nose pliers might work fine. Just make sure the wire connections are good and tight.

04-07-2003, 10:04 PM
Well put it all together today just on a table. The cpu block seems to leak some. Maybe I to take some pliers to the barbs and make sure I can't get them any tighter? Took me a second to make it all work cause i had the pump hoses on backwards lol. Was wondering why no water would move. Took a few pics of it and stuff here. I have better tubing coming which is good cause this stuff has some kinks it which are affecting the water flow.

04-09-2003, 12:43 AM
Well tonight I decided to finally put it together. In the process I turned my room into a complete mess, almost electrocuted myself and got myself a computer that doesn't work. I just have the mobo out on a table with a video card and a keyboard. Got the cpu blocked hooke up. I used a screw driver to get the power for the board on. It powers up for about 4 seconds then turns off. I've tried my two powersupplies. Happens to.both :( Not sure what to do.

04-09-2003, 04:13 AM
A few thoughts:

It could be the CPU fan shutdown featured is enabled. A clear CMOS would help.

It could also be that you need to remount the waterblock. you might be overheating and having thermal protection kick in. Have you removed the block and check the thermal pasted contact on the block to make sure your seating is good (you should always do this with every waterblock to ensure a proper mount).

04-09-2003, 07:36 AM
Yea I had cleared the cmos when I first booted it up. When I wook the block off there was thermal paste on the bottom is a nice square. I guess I'll try more tonight whenI have more time.


Method Man
04-09-2003, 09:08 AM
Did you make sure to coat the socket and cpu in Dielectric Grease before you installled to prevent from condensation????

Thats one of the most important steps....must never be forgoten.


04-09-2003, 10:08 AM
Yea there is dielectric grease in both the socket slug and in the pinholes of the socket? Tonight I'll add more grease around the edge of the cpu. I don't remember but does the 462 come with a neoprene square that goes in the middle of the socket? Thanks guys. Just wish I didn't have school, track, and work so I could work on it!

Method Man
04-09-2003, 10:22 AM
Hmm...I dunno what the problem is then..strange.

And it dosn't come with a square neoprene patch....I cut one out of my extra scraps.

04-09-2003, 02:39 PM
Well I got some good news :) Came home today. Put it back together. After a few tries got into the bios. Then I watched the temps continue to rise. I was pretty sure I had the tec wired but I took it off and realized that one of the extension wires that I "soldered" last night came undone so thats why it was getting warm. After work I'll redo it. I'm just glad it works :)

04-11-2003, 06:11 PM
Well, good luck and have fun. It sounds like everything should be fine. I had to read through this entire thread to get caught up because i found out the xtremesystems was back only two days ago. I thought your reboot problem was because of a bad contact between the cold plate and the die. I had this problem with that silly invention swiftech calls the mc-462+t air cooler. The holes in my mobo were too big for the metal stands that they give you and I could never get the dang thing to mount right.


04-11-2003, 07:34 PM
Yea it seems sometimes it takes a few tries to get the computer working if i have to take it off but so far its running fairly well. At the moment I have my xp2100 doing 2652mhz@1.85v 12x220. Temps so far are ranging from 13C down to 10C right now after the computer had idled and the ran cooled down. My max overclock was 2723mhz@1.95V and ran some sandra benches but it wasn't that stable and themps were quickly rising even with the ice in the water. I

just added my 2nd radiator on tonight so I will be hooking up my MCW50-T and I hope that it dosen't hurt water temps too much more. I still have to figure out how I'm gonna store it all and I need to read up on bleeding this system and geting it working with the pump out hte resivoir because I don't want the heat from it.

04-12-2003, 06:58 PM
Well, I am envious of your overclock for whatever that is worth. I can't get mine to run stably at 2.55 ghz ever. Maybe if I chilled the water...


04-14-2003, 10:01 AM
Yea I still have yet to try some dry ice in the water.

Currently my problem are my video cards. I fried my 9500 Pro cause I was dumb, then I bought a 9700 Pro but I think thats messed up from maybe a little water so I'm gonna go exchange it. It works but then stops working so not sure whats up.

04-20-2003, 10:49 PM
Well, I am a noob with pelt but not a noob when it comes to electronics or computer (been fooling around with my comp since... when I was 7? that makes it nice 23 years... lol)

Couple of things I think everyone with pelt setup should do.

1) Put peltier on relay. If your system shuts down water pump is off, fans are off and pelt running... what an idea.

2) I uses MBM with shut down at 30c. I've tested it 10 times or so to make sure this melt downs won't happen. (unplug the pelt psu and wait wait wait...)

3) better than MBM would be relay switch with transistor and variable resistor but... too much hassle... :)

Probably mentioned somewhere else but I figured it might be worth reminding again :P