Since a liquid cooling is all about the system, choosing the right tubing and fittings is of utmost importance. However, this process is often confusing for beginners. If you pick the wrong products, your system won’t be able to function properly.
Due to that, we have created this guide to help you learn more about tubing and fittings, especially if you are a beginner.
How to Choose the Right Tubing
One of the most common issues faced by beginners is choosing which products to use. Before you even think about product selection, you should know the two main types of tubing:
- Soft tubing. This type of tubing is often made out of silicone, rubber, norprene, or PVC. A lot of builders prefer soft tubing since it can bend easily. It’s widely available in the market from leading brands such as AirTac.
- Hard tubing. As the name implies, hard tubing isn’t made from rubber or plastic materials. Instead, it is made from harder materials such as acrylic or PETG.
How to Read Tube Measurements
After you choose a tube, you need to use it as a reference when choosing your fittings. In order to make sure you purchase fittings with the right size, it’s important to check both metric and imperial measurements along with the inner and outer diameters. If you pick a soft tubing, you will need either barbed or compression fittings. However, if you choose hard tubing, your choice will either be compression or push-in fittings.
In a metric measurement, there are four tubing diameters that are most common in the market. They are 10/13mm, 10/16mm, 12/16mm, and 13/19mm.
Meanwhile, an imperial measurement will display measurements of both inner and outer diameters in millimeters. Some examples of imperial numbering include 3/8” – ½” and 3/8” – 5/8”.
How to Choose the Right Fitting
Once you have decided on the type of tubing to use, it’s now time to choose the fitting type you’d like to purchase. The different types of fittings are as follows:
- Barbed fitting. It’s often the most preferred choice for beginners. It’s because it is relatively easy to use and affordable. In most cases, you will need to purchase clamps alongside your barbed fittings.
- Push-in fitting. A push-in fitting is available in two types and sizes. It’s also very easy to install and can get any job done quickly and easily.
- Compression fitting. Just like a barbed fitting, it is also capable of supporting various tubes. However, a compression fitting comes with two numbers, with both the ID and OD markings matching the fitting.
- Hard compression fitting. A hard compression fitting looks just like a compression fitting, except that it’s designed for hard tubing. It comes with a base and top lock to make sure it’s extremely stable.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right tubing and fitting is by no means easy. However, by knowing which types are available in the market along with the certain types of fittings that go alongside each tubing, you will be able to create a liquid cooling system without any issue.