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Question Watercooling soft tubing question.

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
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306
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I know this may sound dumb but I recently built my first loop. For the most part it worked out great. I had no tubing so went to Home Depot and bought some clear vinyl tubing. Problem is it is stiff and easily kinked and was hard to get on the barbs. The I.D. may be slightly too narrow. My fittings are G1/4" to 3/8" barb fittings. I am having a hard time finding the right diameter tubing and a place to buy it. Can anyone provide me with a link or any direction? Thank you.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,193
395
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Vinyl will soften up and go on easier if you heat it, and/or lube it. Heating is usually better if the size difference isn't extreme since lube stays slippery later. A hair dryer is probably enough, but personally I don't like using vinyl on anything valuable because vinyl gets brittle from UV exposure. Then again I'm paranoid about any tubing made in China as they can't even seem to get rubber right much of the time. Out of direct sun in a case, quality vinyl might last more than long enough.

What was the size spec for the tubing you bought? 3/8" is ~9.5mm so if you go with metric ID tubing you can go up to 10mm. Is it possible the barbs were made in a metric oriented country and really are 10mm not 3/8" even if someone listed them that way?

Amazon has several tubing choices, though they may be cheaper on ebay but again I'd be paranoid about Chinese material quality.
 
Last edited:

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
596
306
136
Vinyl will soften up and go on easier if you heat it, and/or lube it. Heating is usually better if the size difference isn't extreme since lube stays slippery later. A hair dryer is probably enough, but personally I don't like using vinyl on anything valuable because vinyl gets brittle from UV exposure. Then again I'm paranoid about any tubing made in China as they can't even seem to get rubber right much of the time. Out of direct sun in a case, quality vinyl might last more than long enough.

What was the size spec for the tubing you bought? 3/8" is ~9.5mm so if you go with metric ID tubing you can go up to 10mm. Is it possible the barbs were made in a metric oriented country and really are 10mm not 3/8" even if someone listed them that way?

Amazon has several tubing choices, though they may be cheaper on ebay but again I'd be paranoid about Chinese material quality.
I agree. Chinese and quality are mutually exclusive lol!. Thanks for the advice.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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these are normal barbs right and NOT compressions?
If they are compressions, you must match tubing exactly to spec of compression barbs, otherwise the compression will fail.
 
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Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
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Is plasticizer leaching still a thing? I think it was an issue back when I was into water cooling...a few years ago...back when the HeatKiller 3.0 was something.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Is plasticizer leaching still a thing? I think it was an issue back when I was into water cooling...a few years ago...back when the HeatKiller 3.0 was something.
it will always be a thing unless you buy it without.

most tubing specialized for our hobby now, and yes we have tubing specialized for it, will be free from plasticizer.
Even then, there are tubing cleaners now, which restore your clouded tubing or your money back! (amazon terms and conditions)
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Normal barbs with hose clamps.

my personal favorite brand...

3/8ID - ID, you have really no flexibility with this as it must match barbs.

where you can custom path is tubing thickness.

5/8OD outer wall, will offer better bends.... meaning u can bend a slight bit tighter without kink
1/2OD outer wall, will be a bit thinner, but will kink if you make a bend too hard.
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
596
306
136

my personal favorite brand...

3/8ID - ID, you have really no flexibility with this as it must match barbs.

where you can custom path is tubing thickness.

5/8OD outer wall, will offer better bends.... meaning u can bend a slight bit tighter without kink
1/2OD outer wall, will be a bit thinner, but will kink if you make a bend too hard.

Thanks, being a beginner I didn't realize you could get ID diameter with different OD diameters. I did notice that the OD of my Swiftech Drive X3 was noticeably larger than the tubing I bought. It is more pliable also. Thanks! I might try some Tygon tubing they gave me from work see how it goes. I am building a loop for a second Ryzen machine.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,039
4,997
136
I used rubber tubing on my first build. No complaints, no leeching, and it's impervious to nearly everything wrt chemicals used in a loop. It bends well and doesn't kink easily. It's ugly. Hooray!
 

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