Question Gurgling sound (air bubble) in Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240

Dec 23, 2020
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Hi all,

Recently I've been having quite disturbing gurgling sound on my AIO - sound is coming from the pump/cpu side.

From many sources, this seems to indicate there is air trapped in the pump, most probably.

My radiator is mounted at the front, with two fans pulling air inside through the radiator, with two other fans on the top and one at the rear pushing air outside. Not optimal to draw hotter air in the case (potential problem for GPU, but anyway) before it is thrown from the top, but in my case this was the only way.

The pump/cpu is sitting below the top of the radiator. And the tubing from the cpu side goes down, and joins the radiator at the bottom of the radiator. So in theory, this is the good orientation - and any trapped air should be trapped at the top of the radiator and away from the cooling loop.

Unfortunately, I had to mount the AIO on the CPU upside down, which means the little VRM fan of this AIO is towards the top edge of the MB, not towards the VRMs. This might be an issue as well, but I'm not sure.

The PC was running for the past 9-10 months like this, without any gurgling sound.

The sound was starting to appear after I went away for a month for vacation and came back. I also recently cleaned the case with an air duster, where I might turned the case in a different orientation, I don't quite remember, unfortunately.

To fix this:

  • I turned the case slowly (at first while pc is turned off, later while it's on) so radiator would face top side and be at the highest point.
  • After that, it somehow made it worse, CPU temps spiking to 90° and higher
  • Which put in me the panic mode, I quickly shut it down.
  • Then I removed the AIO mount on the cpu, cleaned the residual paste, put new thermal paste (Noctua), put the AIO back on.
  • This didn't fix it, however. Still gurgling like a fountain. Temps now ok as usual, ~40° idle, ~65° under load though - while playing msfs2020)
  • I turned the PC a couple of times, turned the case slowly, but still getting the gurgling sound.
My next steps will be

  • Removing the AIO with the radiator completely (which I didn't do because it's a tight fit in there) and turning it a couple of times to make sure that the pump side is free of air.
  • Contacting Arctic and returning the AIO, while it's still under warranty.
Do you have any experience with the Arctic Freezer 240 getting these gurgling sound and air trapped inside? Could it be that, the liquid evaporated somehow, in just a couple of months - which I highly suspect? Could it be that the AIO is defect?

What could be causing the 90° temps? When there is zero liquid on the pump side? How could that be if the orientation is correct and pump is running? (I never run the PC longer than 30 sec when I see these temps, btw, even if the CPU is throttling down to save itself)

Any help is appreciated.
 
The only way you are going to know for sure if the liquid has lowered is to remove the radiator and turn it upside down and back again to see if the gurgling/bubble go away. Moving the pump and cooling faceplate around while repasting it may have moved the bubble/bare spot enough to allow enough liquid to carry away the heat. If it continues after that then you know it has to be refilled/replaced under warranty and you would have to remove it anyway to ship it .
 
Dec 23, 2020
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The only way you are going to know for sure if the liquid has lowered is to remove the radiator and turn it upside down and back again to see if the gurgling/bubble go away. Moving the pump and cooling faceplate around while repasting it may have moved the bubble/bare spot enough to allow enough liquid to carry away the heat. If it continues after that then you know it has to be refilled/replaced under warranty and you would have to remove it anyway to ship it .
Hi,

Thank you for the answer. I actually rotated the whole case multiple times already, so that the air bubble should've travelled to the radiator. I didn't just move the pump/faceplate around while repasting, but the whole orientation of the kit while turning around the case.
But yes, I guess I have to remove the kit altogether from the case and try that way as well.
I'll post any progress here.
 
Dec 23, 2020
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So today, I removed the radiator first, and tried different orientations, where the rad will be higher than the pump & cpu.

View: https://imgur.com/a/FXCq57K


Like this pic above, any bubble should have resolved this in this orientation, right?

(nevermind the red light for CPU on MB, it's because I'm using a B450 MB with an updated BIOS for Ryzen 5800X)

So btw when I'm moving around the rad, sometimes the sound disappears, but at the same time the cpu temp shoots up to around 90° degrees so I manually shut down the PC before it gets worse . So at that time, it can't even cool down properly - as if there's no heat transfer.
I then have to move it around further so the temps get better, but then the gurgling sound returns.

I also removed the whole AIO completely from my case, shaked and moved a bit, and listened to the AIO, some liquid/bubble were certainly moving around .
I then applied new paste and installed it again, with close attention to the rad so it will be higher than the cpu, tbf it's a bit hard as a one man job.

Nope, still gurgling.

I guess I have to RMA it? right?
 

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