Ask LH: How Can I Dry Out My PC’s Cooling Tubes?

Ask LH: How Can I Dry Out My PC’s Cooling Tubes?
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Hey Lifehacker, It has come time to flush out my PC water cooling, and it’s also in need of some modifying. I’ve bought some fittings that should help my flow and get rid of some ridiculous loops I’ve created. But my question is this. How am I going to be able to do this? How am I going to get rid of ALL the water? Do I need to pull all the hardware out? And because the tubes go outside the case does that add to the degree of difficulty? Thanks, Cool Loops

Dear Cool Loops,

Being a console gamer, I’m not an authority when it comes to PC watercooling systems. From what I can glean online, most PC cooling enthusiasts recommend draining the whole system and cleaning it every six months or so. This is a fairly complicated process that involves removing each component cooling block and disconnecting/draining the hoses.

There are plenty of informative video demonstrations on YouTube — you can check out two examples here and here. You should also be able to pick up some tips from our beginner’s guide to water-cooling which includes links to the best enthusiast and specialist sites on this topic.

We’re going to throw this question open to our readers — are there any foolproof steps Cool Loops can take to effectively drain his system? Share your routine in the comments section below.


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].


  • I’m no expert either, but can’t you siphon 99% of the coolant out of the pipes?
    After which you then just carefully disassemble?

  • surely Lifehacker or Kotaku have got an expert in the matter that could answer the question properly for the person..

    • There are only so many hours in the day hitmanaus; we sometimes post Ask LH articles with the specific intention of opening the discussion up to readers.

  • I’m not an expert, but wouldn’t using some water and flushing it through the pipes displace the left-behind water that you have a problem with?

  • If you used an appropriate coolant solution you wouldn’t need to flush. For starters you have to use distilled/deionized water then use a 10% coolant solution, preferably one with anti corrosion. My asetec system is running 3yrs straight no flushes and 3x CPU upgrades. If your setup is done correctly, all you need to is top up the reservoir (you have one right?) from time to time with water (the coolant will NOT vaporize).

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