One of the biggest selling points of Swiftech’s all in one cooler, the H220 is it’s claim to be a fully expandable liquid cooling system. By this they mean it is possible to add other cooling elements to the self contained loop. This would mean that for the price of only $139.99 USD you can buy for yourself the complete set of core components needed for a custom liquid cooling loop, something that would normally cost around $300. The main components include; a pump, a radiator, a block for the component you wish to cool, and a reservoir. Starting off from these items you can now easily add any other element from your rig to the loop. If their claim is true, the sky’s the limit, you can liquid cool anything from your gpu to your chipset, to your ram. Not keeping cool enough with just the 240mm radiator? Throw an additional radiator into the loop as well! Follow along as we explore how to work with a liquid cooling loop, and find out just what the limits of this “expandability” are.
The first thing that we are going to have to do is break down the H220 from it’s stock configuration. This means draining the loop and the removing the tubing. You will want to have on hand a roll of paper towels, and a catch bucket of some sort that you don’t plan to use for anything else afterwards.
Draining the loop is as simple as turning a screw. In this case the screw is a plug in the fill port of the radiator. You can do this with anything slim and metal, but I would recommend a flat head screwdriver, or a coin! With the assistance of Mr. Lincoln I unscrewed the plug, and simply tipped the radiator over and poured the liquid into my bucket.
One thing I noticed is there was a minimal amount of what must be metal come out. This is typical when draining a loop for the first few times. There is a bit of junk left in a radiator after manufacturing and it takes quite a lot of flushing to get it all out sometimes..
The next thing you are going to want to do is remove the clamps holding the tubing on the barbs of the radiator. This is really easy, you just have to back the screw out and slide them back. Be careful not to let the removed tubing hang down as there will still be a good amount of coolant left in them. Once the tubing is removed from both barbs, tip the radiator towards the barb end and pour what’s left into your bucket. Now that there is more than one opening air will move more freely through the radiator allowing the rest of the coolant to come out.
With the radiator empty take the pump with tubing still connected and do the same thing you did with the radiator. Once it is empty as well you can remove the clamps in the same way from the pump that you removed them from the radiator. One thing I noticed is that the barbs are plastic and not incredibly strong. Use caution when removing the tubing. Pulling gently from side to side will allow it to break it’s grip and loosen easier than pulling on it straight.
Here is a measurement of the coolant after I removed it all. At a little over a cup, it won’t cost very much to replace at all. The coolant is Hydrx PM-2, and claims to be non toxic. I would still recommend handling it carefully, better safe than sorry!