Introduction: Home Made PC Water Cooling

Picture of Home Made PC Water Cooling
One of the most enjoyable things to do in your spare time is to make gadgets and mods to your computer. This DIY project shows how you can add an efficient water cooling system to your computer using affordable stuff and with lots of fun.

Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools
You will need the following:
1.A drill.
2.A normal CPU heat sink.
3.A copper tube. (like the one used in refrigerators)
4.A plastic tube.
5.An aquarium pump.
6.A glass or plastic Jar.
7.Distilled water.
8.Epoxy - Plasticsteel

Step 2: Preparing the Water Block

Picture of Preparing the Water Block
The water block is designed to cool the CPU. The block which water runs through is made out of a normal heatsink which is normally attached to a fan that comes with the CPU.

The process of preparing the water block begins with deattaching the fan from the heatsink and then making two holes in the middle of it. The holes end must reach each other to allow water to pass through and that was achieved by drilling holes in diagonal drilling procedures

Step 3: Preparing the Water Tank.

Picture of Preparing the Water Tank.

Use a normal glass or plastic jar and fill it with distilled water to be your coolant tank. Insert the aquarium water pump in that jar after attaching a plastic tube to it to allow water to run and reach the water block. Make three holes in the jars cover one for the outgoing water tube and another for the incoming water tube and the third for the pumps electricity wire.

Step 4: Preparing the Radiator

Picture of Preparing the Radiator

An efficient radiator can be made using a copper tube allowing the water to be cooled by going in circles. You can add a normal fan to get air through the circles of the tube which will provide a better air flow and cooling.

Step 5: Bring Everything Together

Picture of Bring Everything Together

After finalizing your radiator, attaching everything together is easy. By attaching the heat sink (water block) to its original place and positioning the glass jar (coolant tank ) in the PC case  in my case I choose to put it under the HDD.- and you should also weir the pump with your power supply, you can use a relay to start the pump when the PC initialize.

Step 6: Final Project

Picture of Final Project
As you can see you can make your own water cooling system from almost nothing and using none of the original tools used in preparing a water cooling system.
The block is an original heatsink from an original Intel fan.
The tubes used are the ones you can find in a hospital or pharmacy.
The water pump is an aquarium water pump.
This project is easy yet efficient as the temperature after installing the system reached only 24c.
This project was made by Waseem Abusalem and Essra Hourani.


AndreasH17 (author)2016-11-24

Wich CPU do you have? And what are the Temps under load? I'm sure not soooo great, i have milled myself an cpu block made out of cooper with much much more surface and have still 55°C on it. (Core i5 6600k @4,7 ghz 1,34V)

elmoutakafE (author)2015-08-05 me

elmoutakafE (author)2015-08-05

elmoutakafE (author)2015-08-05

silentx (author)2015-06-20

This is a horribly bad idea.!!!

Copper+Aluminium+heat+PC=DEAD PC and Wet Floor!!!!!!!!!!

Copper is a strong corrosive for Aluminium!! Copper ions will leach in water and It will eat away at the aluminum and eventually water will leak out. Heat will accelerate the process. You can add additives to delay the corrosion but you will only delay the inevitable. The process is called electrolysis.

Never combine Aluminium with copper or its alloys (brass)

Techmov (author)2015-01-11


twitsl (author)2012-10-28

This system would work if you have a low power system and just want quiet. Don't wreck up a 1000$ gaming machine trying this. It would be better to get a more squarish heatsink drill holes all the way through it's sides and feed lengths copper tubing through and solder them together at the ends so you have the water passing through all of them. You'll probably also want to somehow solder the copper tubing to the heatsink. But if you're looking for a cooling system for a high end machine just by one from you'll get better performance without wrecking up your computer. Although the blacklight and whatever is in the water that responds to it was a nice touch.

ianmcmill (author)2012-04-22

this step needs definitly more pictures.

does this heat sink have a solid core ? your are just drilling in two holes that connect inside the core to let the water flow ?

helios5993 (author)ianmcmill2012-06-22

I guess thats what it must be done, maybe like a "V" inside the heatsink. That seems pretty dificult...

Sky Graham (author)2012-06-21

People keep asking bout anti-freeze.
Anti-freeze has a lower boiling point than water under pressure.
If the pressure is removed both will boil very rapidly.
So if your vehicle has a vacuum leak, and air gets into the system, both the water and antifreeze will boil rapidly, the radiator fan wont be able to cool it down, and then your engine will overheat and explode/die.

This is not a radiator under high pressure with high temperature water, so the anti-freeze is not going to help in that respect.

Anti-freeze is poisonous, it also smells sweet and tastes like sugar, one or two tablespoons will kill your dog/turtle.

If you want it to look cool, toss a highlighter into the blender with water and use a black light.

glacier24 (author)2012-04-12

what pump should i use?

air pump or water pump?

glacier24 (author)2012-04-12

what inside the plastic jar?

and hot do i drill the heatsink??

Graffstar (author)2012-04-10

i still cannot understand how to drill holes in the heatsink and how to pass water though it...... Can anybody help me ??

Minifig666 (author)2010-07-13

Is there any way to find the CPU temperature on the phoenix BIOS, or from my OS (Vista)?

kedwa30 (author)Minifig6662012-02-04

I like Speccy. But if your hardware isn't designed to find out, the best way is with a candy thermometer. :-)

try speedfan

B.F.L.M (author)2011-03-19

Just for clarification: The purpose of the 'radiator+fan' is to circulate cool air inside the machine? (would increasing the # of coils cool the air faster?) and the 'water block' is to keep the cpu cool?

kedwa30 (author)B.F.L.M2012-02-04

I think it works best to put the coil and fan outside of the case. The water block transfers heat to the water so that heat is move away from the cpu quickly. Water can absorb and carry more heat because it is denser than air. The coil is where the heat dissipates, aided by the fan blowing air over the coil that is cooler than the water. The flexible clear tube does not transfer heat as well as the copper tube, otherwise you could do without the copper tube and just run a long enough stretch of tube to allow the heat to dissipate. If you wanted to, you could run the tube through a refrigerator. Just keep in mind that the longer the tube, the more friction there will be and thus the stronger the pump you will need. Another improvement might be to solder copper tube to the heat sink rather than drilling a hole in it. Ultimately you want to move the heat out of the case rather than allow it to accumulate.

rahimosahra (author)2011-03-29

oh gosh!!! I made it but .. how can i make the lighting water? please show the way to do it!!

kedwa30 (author)rahimosahra2012-02-04

He is using a fluorescent black light which makes the tubing glow because the tubing he used will fluoresce under a black light. There is no need to add dye to the water in this case.

dog digger (author)rahimosahra2011-04-28

You fill the coolant with a florescent dye to achieve that effect

timator6 (author)2010-08-20

Can it run crisis?

_Scratch_ (author)timator62011-04-13

Crysis isnt really the best test for computers anymore, I can run it max detail with my AMD Athlon 64 x2 5000+, 4gb ddr2 400mhz ram, and a Nvidia GTS 450. It runs at an average 30fps id say

snowluck2345 (author)_Scratch_2011-04-20

I''m just going to call BUL L SHI T. Unless your resolution is 800x600, there is no way you had it maxed out.

_Scratch_ (author)snowluck23452011-04-25

Actually, I have a widescreen 1440x900 19", it's an old game, considering the best graphics card then was a geforce 9000 series, I think my 400s series wins out.

_Scratch_ (author)_Scratch_2011-04-25

I do get some fps spikes when it loads a new area, but after it loads, it runs on very high at 30-45FPS

snowluck2345 (author)_Scratch_2011-04-25

I'm pretty sure an 8000s series was the highest. The 9000 series was not more powerful than an 8800GTX or Ultra. Also, people, were running 3 of those in sli and still not maxing out the game. A GTS 450 realy isn't that powerful. Your graphics card is considered similiar in its processing ability to a 8800 Ultra or GTX. Even though it is many years newer, it is a lower model, so it doesn't compare favorable to an older model card that is higher on the heichary chart. I bet that my computer would still outperform yours even if I switched in my old 8800GT. The important specs are 2x2.8ghz Nehalem quadcores, 10gb ram, a ATI/AMD 5870, a 500gb and 2tb hardrive.

_Scratch_ (author)snowluck23452011-04-27

And i know someone will say "well just becasue its overclocked doesnt make it equal to a 460" benchmarking-wise, its pretty close, off by maybe 5FPS on a game, not too noticeable.

snowluck2345 (author)_Scratch_2011-05-29

It takes alot of overclocking to make them similiar, and the reason I don't overclock is because of the amount powerconsumption increases in relation to your speed increase, its insane. Also, the hardrive arrangement does matter when you put them in stripping raid/raid 0. I added a second 500gb and they are running in raid 0, so speed is increased.

_Scratch_ (author)snowluck23452011-06-05

For loading the games....

snowluck2345 (author)_Scratch_2012-01-03

what else would it improve?

but those are just storage now, I have dual 256gb ssds now. My dad gave them to me bcause his old laptop, a sony z series, was by a sony technition twice, so sony refunded his money and let him keep the broken laptop. So I got its ssds. Needless to say, I was very happy.

snowluck2345 (author)_Scratch_2011-05-29

460's are not outperforming 5870s in any common games or benchmarks

_Scratch_ (author)snowluck23452011-05-16

Also, the 5870 can be outperformed by a gtx460 and mine comes pretty close to that. A 500gb/2TB hard drive isn't important for playing games, unless it has a higher read speed.

asmith433 (author)_Scratch_2012-01-03

I think the gxt 7800 sires is the best it can run minecraft peace o cake

snowluck2345 (author)asmith4332012-01-03


asmith433 (author)2012-01-03

very nice have you thought about making the cooper tubing go around the CPUs heat sink it might improve the cooling performance but very nice set up. I would not recommended using a RAID controller because if the RAID gets wet bye bye computer. (past experience) :)

mayur.phadte (author)2010-12-09

I think ur motherboard looks very small for your case

Ragenule (author)mayur.phadte2012-01-02

Looks like he is using a Micro-ATX form factor Mainboard in a case capable of ATX form factor.

rimar2000 (author)2009-08-23

Seems easy, simple, fast and cheap. I will do it, thanks. Maybe I'll do some reform, such as encapsulating the heat sink and make the water flow within the capsule. I think too it is a good idea to use antifreeze liquid.

legless (author)rimar20002010-03-05

Using antifreeze is a bit unnecessary if the liquid is never likely to freeze. Chances are it won't happen inside a house. If your house is that cold then you probably aren't going to have much problem keeping your PC cool.

You could maybe replace the water with something like mineral oil as long as the pump could handle it.

I guess one could "gut" a bar fridge and use the mechanicals to cool the PC.

username299 (author)legless2010-11-14

antifreeze doesn't just stop the water freezing, it will improve heat transfer and most importantly stop corrosion of any reactive metals in your project, avoiding particles which damage the pump.

snowluck2345 (author)username2992011-12-26

antifreeze decreases the waters heat transfer. fail.

snowluck2345 (author)legless2011-05-29

not enogh wattage. A fridge isn't meant to take that kind of load. Use an ac unit or a dehumidifier.

SmAsH! (author)legless2010-03-27

Wouldn't condensation be a problem with this?

cocodog13 (author)SmAsH!2010-11-03

condensation cannot happen if the liquid dosnt drop below ambient room temperature. therefore in a system with an air cooled radiator condensation insn't possible.

rimar2000 (author)SmAsH!2010-03-28

I think not. Why do you say it?

rimar2000 (author)legless2010-03-05

Antifreeze liquid in this project is not for water don't freeze, but for enhance the heat transfer.  

menahunie (author)rimar20002010-09-15

I agree; but the main reason for anti freeze is to control critter growth in the water - USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY; warm water and you get all kinds of fuzzies growing in it like alge.
Copper is a way better heat conductor than aluminum.
I used a block of copper and milled it with slots inside to slow down the water flow a little; then put a top on it with hose barbs.
This radiator shown is not very good; I used a copper heater core from a 60-70's car and 12v fans to push and pull air through it. I used a "regular" water pump a 12v type. The fans and pump run off a power supply I had sitting around for cb radio's.
What isn't mentioned is assemble the system and fill it; run it for a day outside of the computer. Any leaks won't kill your computer; been there before. THAT was from a store bought "sealed" water cooler that due to cheap design the thin plastic hose barb broke off the radiator and dumped coolant all over the mobo, two vid cards and took out the cpu and memory. Damages were around 800.00.. Finally got the company who made it pay for new parts after I served them court papers..

rimar2000 (author)menahunie2010-09-15

If you use fans and electric pump, isn't the noise very audible? I think one the better enhances of a water cooling system is the quiet.

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