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Zuesacoatl

Water loop using copper tubing

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Hello.

 

  I am going to be doing a custom desk for my wife and I with both our systems built in.  We are going to be doing a steampunk theme, and copper fits real well with that so we wanted to see about making most of the loop out of copper with a few places using a green hard line for visual verification of levels and that whole green goo looking effect.

 

My main question is, has anyone used copper here? if so, what can I use for the fittings?  I have jigs for bending copper for household projects so bending and forming is no issue, I just need some advaice on how to bring that into the system because this is the first time I will be trying a water cooling project.

 

Thanks for anyone that can help or with any info or links with informaiton on this.

 

 

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Check out the local plumbing store. Millions of connections, valves and pipes to suit what you want to do, most of which are designed to carry water anyway, I would say a nice polish too but it may not suit the steampunk theme.

 

As for connecting to water blocks and reservoirs, the connections for the normal acrylic hardline tubing should be perfect, just be sure you have the right size.

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Just remember the US has a imperial based plumbing standard, while the rest of the world is 12mm OD.

 

-Takes forever to sand and polish copper pipe. You will want to look into lacquering it to keep it shiny, too.

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In my wife's computer, "Absinthe", I used the soft copper tubing you can find at Home Depot, 1/2" OD copper. It works great, though straightening it was the fun part -- bench vice, mallet and vice grips. Make sure to also pick up some Brasso if you do this to clean the tubing after making all your final fits and doing an initial leak test.

 

The fittings are PrimoChill's revolver fittings, 3/8"x1/2". These ones are the black nickel variety, but there is a pretty good selection to fit whatever you want. I've seen builds where people have used metric copper and the metric fittings, but the imperial tubing works perfectly fine with PrimoChill's hardline imperial fittings.

 

DSC_0039.jpg

 

I still need to get some final pictures of the build, but that'll happen when I get the hard drives out of the picture.

 

Links:

 

Build log for "Absinthe" -- first mention of copper tubing is in part 3, tubing begins in part 11.

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Thanks for the replys guys.  I will be doing a build in the next month or so on our desk.  We are just tired of seeing the cases and want a more functional way of storing our systems, the in-desk route just seemed so right when it came to keeping with the steam punk motif we are working towards in the room.

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Sorry late to the party, but you can also get these fittings - 3/8" OD and use tubing from your fav hardware store. These fittings, and 3/8" OD copper is the cheapest way to get into hardline loops. You can also paint your fitting as needed. 

 

Using 1/2" copper tubing with primochill or monsoon fittings is a great idea as well. 

 

Looking forward to your build. 

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To amend my previous, I learned that AlphaCool has also introduced hardline compression fittings similar to PrimoChill's, but they're listed as 13mm OD, but I don't see why they can't fit 1/2" OD copper tubing since we're talking only a .3mm difference in diameter. I'm going to be ordering a pair soon to see how well they'll work in a test loop. As they're less expensive than PrimoChill's offering, I may consider those for a full loop.

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I have built two systems using copper. The first was 12mm od hard copper tube using Bitspower C47 fittings. The second build was using 10mm hard copper tube and some black plastic Push fittings I found at McMaster Carr. Both setups work just fine and are both still in use with no issues. 

 

Any of the new fittings for rigid tube should work as long as you use the correct tube for the fitting. I used metric tubing because it was the easier to find fittings for the metric tube at the time. 

 

C47

IMG_3635_zpsa0ba8ec6.jpg

 

Plastic push fitting

IMG_4856_zps53a96726.jpg

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Seems a good place to ask:

Has anyone made an SLI-style, clampless fitting for US standard copper tubing yet?

I'm planning something that human hands can't fit in...

Can you give me an idea of what you're looking for? I'm not sure what you mean by "SLI-style".

 

As for "clampless" fittings, you can use the PrimoChill Ghost or Revolver fittings for 1/2" OD and AlphaCool HT fittings for 13mm OD -- both will work fine for 1/2" OD copper tubing. Koolance makes plumbing compression fittings for G 1/4" threads -- meaning they have the ferrule that goes over the tubing before being compressed down -- but those are also some of the most expensive fittings for copper tubing I've seen on the market.

 

In the case of the Koolance fittings, a standard wrench should work in tightening it down -- a 17mm wrench specifically for the 1/2" OD fitting. Koolance's offering is also available for 3/8" OD and 1/4" OD tubing, and they're the only fittings I've seen for imperial measurements smaller than 1/2" OD -- I don't think metric fittings are even available for anything smaller than 12mm, but someone correct me if that's not true -- I've only been looking primarily at water cooling companies, not plumbing companies, so I'm likely wrong on that.

 

Those are about the only options I've seen so far for copper tubing. Not sure how well they'd work in the tight space you have in mind. I'd say order a couple of each kind and try 'em out and see how well they'd work for you. I used the Revolver fittings in Absinthe (picture above), and I wrote about trying the AlphaCool fittings in the build log for my next build.

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Actually then the AlphaCool HT fitting is comparable. The Bitspower C47 extends 10mm out from the component, while the AlphaCool HT extends out about 12mm. The PrimoChill Revolvers are a little taller, but I'm not sure how the Ghost rigid fittings compare. And compared to the C47, which requires you to push the tubing into it, the HT is probably going to be easier for installation as well.

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Hi Zues, 

 

Speaking of copper tubing info for desk plumbing. I've linked a great video from the geforce garage, with Top Modder Richard Surroz .

  He goes into buying , fittings, straightening out the tubing when you buy in coils and then propper bending tools and techniques.

 

I hope it elucidates some aspects of this ever evolving field of Water parking

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RJN1XIs0zU&list=UUHuiy8bXnmK5nisYHUd1J5g

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Hi Zues, 

 

Speaking of copper tubing info for desk plumbing. I've linked a great video from the geforce garage, with Top Modder Richard Surroz .

  He goes into buying , fittings, straightening out the tubing when you buy in coils and then propper bending tools and techniques.

 

I hope it elucidates some aspects of this ever evolving field of Water parking

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RJN1XIs0zU&list=UUHuiy8bXnmK5nisYHUd1J5g

 

I'd heard about the straightening tool they used in the video before, Kwix, but I was under the impression they didn't make one for 1/2" OD tubing, as their website says 3/8" is the largest OD they support, but their FAQ says they can make one for larger. When I contacted Red Harbinger about it, they confirmed there is a 1/2" tool available, and I found an eBay listing selling it. I've ordered one, but since it's coming from the UK it'll be here in hopefully no more than two weeks. I'm holding off on my build till then -- it'll also give me time to burn in the second GTX 770 I have on the way.

 

And hopefully it should give me better results than the bench vice/vice grips/mallet method of straightening.

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Seems a good place to ask:

Has anyone made an SLI-style, clampless fitting for US standard copper tubing yet?

I'm planning something that human hands can't fit in...

 

Rocket Science fittings are designed for common copper pipe. They are pretty much a C47 clone in Imperial size.

Created by an Australian enthusiast after having trouble finding metric copper here.

 

http://www.rocketscience.mx/

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Much confusion on the subject.:D

Thanks, man. Those are a nice option, but US standard copper pipe is 1/2" ID, 5/8" OD.

Bitspower recently stepped up with the C89 fitting, which is 16mm. They look like they will work perfect.

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This might be an odd question, but since this is a copper tubing discussion and there are people here with copper in their systems, has anyone had any problems with dielectric corrosion?  I know in plumbing, you never combine copper and steel without isolating them from each other, didn't know if anyone had run into this or not.  Just curious for possible future use.

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By dielectric corrosion, I guess you also mean galvanic corrosion from what I'm seeing online. The risk shouldn't be any greater using copper tubing. Copper, nickel and brass are very similar on the anodic index, so while there might be a slight risk of dielectric corrosion (I can't say it's 0), it should be no greater than the risk that would already exist with copper or nickel-plated water blocks and brass fittings.

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Yup, I wouldn't worry about that with copper tubing, there's enough copper already in the system that if it was a big issue, radiators wouldn't be made of copper.

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It's good to see that I could use my Primo Ghost fittings for copper hardline, I've been debating swapping over to copper tubing from my acrylic runs as a facelift for my M8 build

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