Water cooling pump noise - dangerous?

Somtimes, my AIO makes a lot of pump noise, when there’s some air in the pump. Besides being annoying, is this dangerous for the pumps health?

Potentially. Many water cooling pumps are designed so that the liquid in the system also acts as the lubrication for the pump itself. If that lubrication is interrupted then it’s just like if your engine doesn’t have enough oil; i.e. it will cause premature wear and eventually kill it altogether. Probably the best way to avoid this with AIOs is to keep the pump as low in the setup as possible so the air sits on top of the unit while the liquid flows underneath.


Being low on fluid could mean that the pump is actually cavitating which will destroy the impeller eventually. If you can, do as @ThatBootsGuy suggests and making the pump the lowest point in the system as well as reducing pump speed if possible.

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Thanks for your replies, I was suspecting this. That being said, my pump is as low as possible, since I mounted the radiator with the fans at the top of my case, so there is nothing I might be able to do on that front.

Concerning pump speed reduction: I’ve read that a AIO pump has to run at 100% Voltage, anything else is harmful in the long term. But I think that was when the AIO is connected at a fan header, not to a pump header

Which AIO do you have?

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This one:

It looks like it has a refill port on it, you could try to top it off. I dont see why you couldnt run below 100%. I probably would put the minimum at 50%. Running at less than 100% does mean your delta will increase but thats not a huge deal so long as the fans are halway decent.

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If it persists/increases I’ll certainly try refilling it (since it doesn’t void my warranty).

If it sounds like a box of rocks you have a problem. Just google pictures of pump cavitation, its not pretty.

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Even though this guy talks in Mordor, it’s interesting how much air is left when he is shaking the radiator.

Cold water absorbs O2 and release it when heated, that’s why restaurants make ice cubes from boiled water, boiling removes the O2 and makes clear ice cubes.

From time to time you may need to find a way to vent this.

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That sounds perfectly reasonable :smiley:

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Since I’ve shaken my PC case carefully…well in fact I did not really shake it but rather tilted it around and I’ve also set the waterpump in my BIOS settings to perm-100% the problem seems to have disappeared. I really hope I won’t have to refill water, because I’d like to avoid the hassle. Thanks again for all your info though :wink: