Water Loop Setup and Maintenance Guide
Congratulations on getting your very own Apex Water Loop! While the novelty of owning one of these configurations is excellent, some basic maintenance precautions are reasonable to know to ensure that a loop lasts a significantly long time. This guide will cover the ABCs of Water Loop ownership and proper maintenance.
Part 1: Unboxing and Inspection
Once your PC arrives, there are some concessions to consider when unpacking. While we have securely packed a PC to withstand most forces imposed by shipping logistics, there are exceptions from more than tolerated outside forces. Taking it slow and analytical is the most sensible.
Apex Box condition and Instructions
Often with water loop packaging, there are directions on the box stating the proper orientation and opening side for the best experience taking the PC out. Within the box, there will be some accessories like the distilled water bottle that will later go into the loop and an Apex Box containing manuals, spare parts, and other documentation.
Case Box and Internal Packaging
On each side of the PC, there are Styrofoam or foam cutouts. Flip the case box to make getting the PC out easier. Once the package is off, it's time to open the glass panel and take out the internal packaging!
Packaging for water loops consists of bubble wrap and foam to ensure components dependent on weight do not move during shipping.
Take the bubble wrap out slowly and place it inside the case box for storage.
Now that all the packaging is off, ensure that no fittings have come loose during transit. Fittings can appear to be secure but can often become unseated during shipping. Three main O-rings keep water from escaping the loop, with only one being removable.
Please Note: Improperly seated O-rings can cause catastrophic pressure differences while in operation. Please make sure all fittings and O-ring are secure before extended operation.
Image source: EKWB
To check if a fitting is secure, grab and turn each fitting to the right to ensure it is hand-tight. If all fittings are hand-tight, you are ready to start the loop filling process!
Moving The PC To Its Position Before Filling
After hand tightening the fittings, move the PC to a position near or on your desk. You should work so close to the PCs final resting place because when filled, the entire PC can weigh 50 to 60lbs(22.5Kg-27.2Kg). This added weight inherently makes moving the PC difficult for some.
Once your PC is situated, we can move on to the filling process and leak check.
Filling and Leak Checks
Before filling, let's get a few things ready.
These tools are needed to access and maintain a water loop efficiently. Investing in these tools over time is best if you do not have them when you first receive the water loop.
1. To start, open the plug on top of the pump reservoir with the provided tool like so:
Image Source: EKWB
Or our Corsair Pumps variants:
Image Credit: Corsair Labs
2. Once the reservoir is open, take the 24 Pin jumper included in your accessory kit, unplug the 24 Pin motherboard connection, GPU Power Connector(s) and CPU connector, and attach the jumper to the 24 pin motherboard power. This ensures that no power runs through most components while filling.
Please Note: Paper towels and extra distilled water are encouraged for this part to catch any excess water that could spill out. Topping off the reservoir is also essential and can be done with extra distilled water.
Image Source: Bit-Tech
3. Once the Jumper is on the 24 pin, fill the reservoir with the Apex premixed distilled water to the top.
Image Source: EKWB
4. Cycle the water through the system by switching the PSU on. Turn the PSU switch off once the water reaches near the bottom of the reservoir and then refill.
Please note: The pump must have a constant supply of water, no water will cause the pump to “dry run” and burn up the motor. Please keep your finger on the PSU switch to turn the system off if this occurs.
- Repeat Step 4 till water can no longer fill the loop.
Image Source: EKWB
- Let the Loop run for 30 minutes to one hour and inspect the system for leaks. Keep the paper towels on hand in case of sudden pressure changes around the fittings.
- Once the system is leakproof, shut off the PSU, disconnect the 24 Pin jumper, and plug the Motherboard, GPU, and CPU connections in, ensuring that the reservoir cap is secured!
- That's it! You now have a functional Water Loop
Maintenance and Water Loop Resources
Now that the water loop is filled, you can focus on what you do best, gaming!
Water loops require new liquid regularly. For the best results, we at Apex have found Liquid Utopia System Reboot as a cheap and effective cleaner to be applied before new fluid every six months to a year.
Before committing to that, let's review how to drain a Loop.
Here is everything needed.
- Paper Towels
- 24 Pin Jumper
- Pump cap tool
- Liquid Utopia System Refresh
- Liquid Utopia System Protection(For distilled water loops only)
Draining A Distilled Water Loop
1. To start, position your PC where there is ample space to lean and rock the PC back and forth.
From this point, If the loop has distilled water in it, please proceed with the following instructions. Please go to the next section if the system has pre-mixed color coolant from EK, Thermaltake, or other brands.
2. Take the 24 Pin jumper included in your accessory kit, unhook the 24 Pin motherboard connection, GPU Power Connectors and CPU connector, and attach the jumper to the 24 pin motherboard power
3. Undo the reservoir cap to insert the Liquid Utopia System Refresh into the loop.
4. Let the Pump run for 24 hours.
5. Drain the loop into a container by undoing one of the fittings attached to the pump.(The side facing is the most accessible)
6. Once most of the water is drained, users can access other fittings for continued draining.
7. Resecure the fittings with their included compression O-ring by placing the singular O-ring on the pipe and screwing to secure. Example Below:
Image Credit: XSPC
8. Fill with new treated distilled water.(One gallon mixed with Liquid Utopia System Protection) /coolant of choice.
9. Your loop has been refilled and is ready to game!
Draining A Premix Coolant/Color Coolant Loop
1. Take the 24 Pin jumper included in your accessory kit, unhook the 24 Pin motherboard connection, GPU Power Connectors and CPU connector, and attach the jumper to the 24 pin motherboard power
2. Undo the cap or fitting at the bottom of the pump and drain the coolant into a container.
3. Once all coolant from that section of the loop has been emptied, resecure the fitting or cap and begin to add distilled water.
4. Continue step 3 until the color of the coolant has been flushed from the system leaving only distilled water.
5. Follow Steps 3-8 in the previous section.
We hope that this guide has been useful. If you require any further information or assistance please contact email@example.com or call +1(215) 565-1069.
Guide By William Wilson
Cameraman and Editor- Pavan Bhakta
Header Photo by Macon Leiper