I'm a PC Plumber#

You may recall I had a little water problem with my PC... well, I managed to find and fix the leak.

The challenge of fixing the leak was finding it. I slid some paper underneath the machine to see where the water dripped out (after removing the covers from the machine) and left it run for awhile. That led me to the pump. But even knowing the water was somehow coming from the pump, I couldn't actually see the leak. So the pump had to come out.

Now, removing the pump means breaching the water loop (technically, its already breached with the leak, but still). So now I had to figure out how to get the water out of the system without getting it all over the office. The trick is to find the highest point of the water loop, where the water naturally drains out when its not in use. Or create a high point by lifting a hose as high as possible until its full of air. Hopefully, this is on a nice, long hose that you can unplug, lift out and stick into a bucket (or in my case, a large, empty yogurt container). Now you need to fire up the pump again, preferrably without burning up your system.

I have this little plug that I stick onto the main power supply connector that does two things - it makes sure that the motherboard is unplugged so the board won't power up, and it lies to the power supply so that it will turn on while not being plugged into the motherboard. The result is that the pump fires up (and the hard drive, and anything else plugged into the molex connectors).

This is the moment where you realize whether or not you unplugged the right end of the hose - either water is going to pump out into bucket, or shoot all over the case (ask me how I know). I took a shot of the pump extracted from the case, you can see the four bolts that hold the pump in on their rubber bushings.

Now that the pump was extracted, I made a little closed loop solution, hooking a hose from the output to the input of the pump. Poured a bit of water back into the pump and fired it up.

You may notice the water looks rather white and foamy - it is. The pump is under so little pressure, the water is just ripping around the loop and swirling in the reservoir. Good thing I didn't fill the reservoir all the way up, it would have shot it all over the place like an overflowing blender.

After a few seconds, I could see drips coming out of the pump housing, right beneath the reservoir mount. Turns out I actually had two leaks. The output mount sticking out of the top of the pump (which already has silicon on it) was still leaking, and there was a crack in the pump housing around the pump pickup from the reservoir. It took several tries and lots of silicon to actual get all the leaks plugged. Pulling the pump was definitely the right solution - I would have liked to have fixed it in place, but this was the only way to get it right.

Once the pump had run over night without a leak, I drained it, put it back into the machine and refitted all the hoses. After refilling the system, running it briefly to burp air from the lines and topping it up, I left it go for the night with the paper in place to find more leaks.

And this morning it has a clean bill of health. Nothing on the paper, water temperature holding steady at 38C.

Sunday, June 6, 2004 8:52:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [0]  | 


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