Installation (Cont’d)

Cut and install tubing


With the two waterblocks securely mounted the next step is to cut pieces of tubing to length and plumb up the system.  A PCI slot bracket comes with the Reserator 2 kit for passing the tubes and control wire thru the back of the PC chassis.  Make sure you route the tubes neatly, making sure to avoid sharp bends, which could result in kinks in the tubing.


Zalman Reserator 2 Fanless Water Cooling System Review - Cases and Cooling 61


Hint: Once the pieces of tubing are cut to the desired length soak the ends for a few seconds in hot water to soften the plastic.  This makes it much easier to install the tubing onto the barb fittings!


Locate the Reserator 2 main cooling unit


The Reserator 2 main cooling unit is designed to stand upright beside (or behind) your PC.  Zalman strongly recommends against placing the Reserator 2 on top of the PC or on the floor below the PC.  Be sure to install the two support legs — they both stabilize the system and raise it up slightly for better airflow.


Zalman Reserator 2 Fanless Water Cooling System Review - Cases and Cooling 62



Fill the system with coolant and establish flow


Prior to making the final tubing connections, the Resrator 2 must be filled with coolant and purged of air.  Zalman includes a short section of tubing (degassing tube) with two male quick-disconnect fittings installed that is used to establish flow in the main cooling unit and to purge air out of the system. 


Note: You must establish flow within the main cooling unit and purge out all trapped air before connecting the tubes going to the PC and waterblocks.  Not doing so will almost surely result in not being able to establish flow thru the system, which may give the appearance that the unit is defective.  The small Eheim pump has a relatively low head (discharge pressure) so it is not able to instantly initiate flow in a system filled with air.  The Reserator 2 must be filled and purged in stages.  Once the system is completely filled, the pump is quite capable of generating adequate flow. Again, this is a very important step and must be followed!


Zalman Reserator 2 Fanless Water Cooling System Review - Cases and Cooling 63


Remove the reservoir cover and add the bottle of G300 coolant along with one liter (~1 quart) of distilled water into the reservoir.  (Here in the USA, you can find distilled water at most any grocery store.)  This will result in a 1:4 ratio mix, which is what Zalman recommends.


To start the system you must first plug the AC cord into a wall outlet or power strip.  The other cord with the 4-pin Molex connector on the end must be supplied with 12 VDC to turn on the Reserator 2 pump.  You can use the PC’s power supply by carefully following the directions in the User’s Manual or do as I did and use a spare external power supply to get things started.  It may take several tries to establish constant flow and you may have to rock the main cooling unit back and forth a few times to help work out trapped air bubbles.  Pressing and holding the RESET button in for a few seconds will force a restart.


Once you have established constant flow in the main unit, you can turn off the system and connect the main tubes going to the PC.  You must remove the quick-disconnect fittings from the degassing tube and install them into the main coolant lines.  (This can become a bit of a pain if you have to switch back and forth a time or two, before all the air gets worked out and flow becomes constant.  Zalman should include an extra set of fittings to eliminate this hassle.)


The following diagram from the Zalman website illustrates how the basic components are connected.


Zalman Reserator 2 Fanless Water Cooling System Review - Cases and Cooling 64


  • Connect the tube going to the CPU waterblock inlet to the fitting on the back of the Reserator 2 marked OUTLET.
  • Connect the tube coming from the outlet of the VGA waterblock to the fitting on the back of the Reserator marked INLET.
  • Plug the 4-pin Molex connector coming from the Reserator 2 into a spare connector inside the PC

Here is another diagram from the Zalman website that shows the water flow path thru the Reserator 2 system.  (Note that both an optional N/B waterblock and V-RAM waterblock are shown.)


Zalman Reserator 2 Fanless Water Cooling System Review - Cases and Cooling 65


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