Question Would you trust inexpensive fittings?

Mar 17, 2019
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If I go with knurled metal compression (for soft tubing) I would need almost $200 worth (CPU, GPU, 2 rad...).
There are cheaper chrome-plated ones under $3 each, but are they somehow inferior? Would they galvanize with nickel-plated copper/brass?

What about Nylon/Polypropylene black plastic kind like these barbed fittings? I'm concerned about them breaking.

(I don't have to buy from the above store, they just had a wide selection.)
Any experiences?
 

Gmoney06ss

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Jul 3, 2015
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I went compression fittings, also soft tubing, and didn't spend $200. And that includes a couple 90 degree, as well as a drain setup. All xspc fittings for straight and deepcool for 90 degrees. All purchased from ppc as well. Which fittings were you looking at, and how many do you need? I used the xspc coin fit http://www.performance-pcs.com/fittings-connectors/xspc-coin-fit-g1-4-to-3-8-id-1-2-od-compression-fitting-matte-black-v2.html, they work well for me. I have 2 rads, cpu, gpu and pump/res combo with a fill port setup. 8 straight, 3 90 and the drain setup, all in about $100. Maybe $120 with tubing, and I have a lot of extra. Ordered like 15ft @ .50c a ft.

The barbs will work fine, but you may want to add some zip ties for extra grip. I like the compression for both aesthetics and extra grip.
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
If you use larger barbs for smaller tubing, you can dip the tubing in very hot (boiling is good, just be careful) water and then immediately slip them on, so that when the tubing cools, it will snug over the barb and likely not need clamps or ties. Just be very, very, very, very careful not to break anything with excess force pushing them on. Silicone spray also helps, but if the tubing is still wet from the hot water dip, this results in the same effect.

Ex: 3/8" ID tubing but use 7/16" ID or 1/2" ID barbs

I have done this on multiple occasions, but seriously, be careful not to break anything in the process of pushing the tubing over.
 

truegenius

Distinguished
I have used ek's compression fittings and some 1$ barbed fittings.
For barbed fittings i would recommend to use clamp as it leaked without clap even though it was very tight fit even after using boiling water to fit.
also you will need to check the diameter of barb to make sure your tube will fit
Btw i will recommend to go for compression fittings
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I've used those plastic fittings in a pinch, but would recommend just avoiding them. There is also the difference between them being tapered threads (most nylon fittings are, and this is how they seal) vs. BSPP (the standard used for watercooling "G1/4" thread) or even NPT threads (American thread). There are, however, some G1/4 nylon fittings on PerformancePCs that do work - I have used them, they work fine and if you absolutely need to utilize them, you can.

Most watercooling gear uses G1/4 threaded fittings although some older components did see some support for G3/8 and NPT.

I think your question comes down to one of longevity and preference: consider the use of plastics vs. metals in any other application - which is often preferred to last longer?
 
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Gmoney06ss

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While I'm all about saving money, I don't think in a custom loop is the place to do it. If you must have barb fittings, use the metal ones. Do you really want to trust hundreds of dollars worth of pc components on a $2 piece of plastic?
 
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Ideally go for compression fittings, or METAL barbs with hose clamps. Chrome plated fittings are fine, just read some reviews to make sure its got a decent chrome plating.

I am using EK chrome plated fittings with a nickel gpu block and a copper CPU block and have had no issues for over a few years. I do not use a killcoil, rather just some sort of glycol solution added to my distilled water.
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
While I'm all about saving money, I don't think in a custom loop is the place to do it. If you must have barb fittings, use the metal ones. Do you really want to trust hundreds of dollars worth of pc components on a $2 piece of plastic?
I agree with this statement...no one ever said that custom watercooling and low cost were synonymous.

If you need to cut some costs, use barbs, but I would recommend the metal ones for $2.50 or so.
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I don't even know if frozenCPU is even a legitimate retail site anymore. They've had some 'internal issues' that dated back almost a decade and I don't know that their site page is even updated (correction, it looks relatively recent with RTX and Threadripper blocks).

Ever since they had their internal meltdown and a lot of people lost money on orders (A LOT), I've spent every watercooling dollar elsewhere... I used to buy exclusively from them before.
 
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glytch5

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Mar 22, 2017
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FrozenCPU is absolutely a legit business! I have been employed there for a little over a year... they really get some unfair negative attention online. The people who caused the drama back in 2015 are not part of the company... and really have not been for years.
The folks at Frozen including my self are very friendly, and very dedicated to customer service. We spend hours on the phone and emails helping people out!
Do not be afraid of FrozenCPU! It simply is NOT the same people who used to be there!
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
That's great news, but I likely won't buy there again. I lost an order, albeit it was a small dollar purchase that just disappeared, but I know of several others who claimed to have spent several hundred dollars and those orders just vanished. Everyone just chalked it up to the events unfolding at the time, and there didn't seem to be anything that came out after the dust settled to correct these issues, inform the community what took place and what has changed or that the site was even back up and running.

My recommendation would be an attempt to correct this issue with some sort of ad/press release as this has been a topic of unknown status for quite some time. The more sites that carry watercooling and customization gear, the better. Maybe there's an opportunity for Tom's to do a short news article around this...unless I'm mistaken and all this has already been done, I apologize.

I used to buy exclusively from FrozenCPU. Full stop. I'm also the guy that wrote the watercooling sticky on the Tom's Forums here and I do all the air and liquid cooler product review testing. For example, right now, I'm going through the giant box of stuff Hydro X that Corsair sent me.
 

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