CW-3000 Chiller adventures

So my submersible water pump was showing intermittent signs of failure, plus I was looking for an excuse to buy new gear, and @Luke triggered me by mentioning the CW-3000 chiller again in that thread, so I compulsively bought one (yes, I’m ashamed of myself)

First, I don’t even know if “CW-3000” originally referred to a particular brand, but I did not bother searching for hours and picked the first one I found that was cheap enough and looked decent. It’s from Asia, obviously.

It came in today, so I figured I would take a few pics and report here in case someone is interested.

First, it’s large-ish, I did check the dimensions before buying and it fits just right in the place where my old tank was, but I pictured it as being smaller for some reason:

The first thing I noticed on the back is the big-a** fan…it’s 6" in diameter. And that’s going to be my main problem, more on this below. The tubing fixtures on my model are plastic (I don’t care, but I smiled at how they bothered to make them look like metal ones, lol), and OF COURSE they did not match the diameter of the tubing I have in place for my spindle (which is 8mm OD, 6mm OD, while these things are made for 12mmOD/10mmID tubes)…

I rummaged through my box-o-stuff, found some 12/10mm silicone tubing I had left, and a couple of air line adapters:

And decided that cutting two short lengths of 12mm tubing and using those adapters (definitely not intended to be used that way) was good enough (and it was, it works perfectly, there is very little pressure in the circuit anyway):

I removed the (many) screws and took a look inside. Large thermal sink/circuit, small-ish pumps, decent cabling job.

Behind the front panel sits a buzzer, it looks small but let me tell you, when it goes off, you CANNOT miss it, I’m glad Luke’s post mentioned the LOUD beeping when turning the chiller on, I could have had a heart attack otherwise:

I noticed that label on top, but my English is not good enough to know what an anhydrous “boot” is ? My antifreeze would have to do…

You know what’s nice ? Using your old submersible pump to fill the tank of your new chiller:

Time to turn it on, and OH BOY that beeping at startup is scary.

My initial “pump in a bucket” setup sounded like this, at around 71dB:

And now for the disappointment: the chiller fan makes it louder than my previous setup, at around 72/73dB:

It does have a much more continuous and lower-pitched sound, so it’s less annoying, but I immediately knew that:
  • I must have picked a CW-3000 that is louder than others, because @Luke described his as “nice and quiet”
  • I am going to mod that fan to make it quieter. Now that I have a temperature meter on the chiller I’ll be able to see how “hot” it gets during long cuts, but I’m pretty sure that a spindle requires much less cooling than a CO2 laser (that those chillers are made for), so I think I can reasonably hope to use a lower fan RPM, I’ll have to see how to do that.

Other than the sound level, I like it so far, it’s stable and sturdy, the temp meter is nice, the visual tank level indicator is nice too. Now to find something to cut that will take a long time, and allow me to test it in real conditions.


Apparently mine isn’t either and I’m a native English speaker so I looked it up.





  1. (of a substance, especially a crystalline compound) containing no water.

Now that I’m seriously looking at a spindle, this is good information - thanks Julien


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Anhydrous buttery fat is what movie theatres in the US use on popcorn. :laughing:


“Forbidden to anhydrous boot” probably means “Forbidden to start without water”.

Or “you must moisten your footwear”.

One of those two.


Ok I couldn’t resist, I disconnected the fan, 55dB, just a gentle hum from the pump.

Well it’s not a chiller anymore you say, but a glorified aquarium pump ? well…at the moment yes.
BUT, the fan happens to be a 220V one (actually, everything in there runs directly off mains), so I just ordered a 220V light dimmer with a rotary knob, and 10 bucks says I will soon have a “CW-3000 special edition with manual cooling airflow control”


at least it’s more quiet than your other aquarium pump :wink:

you could always wire the fan control to the buzzer… turn on on overheat :wink:

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Yeah,the actual brand is S&A for the authentic Chinese maker. I think yours is knockoff, but for this radiator model it really doesn’t matter other than probably noisier fan… a lot of folks have had success with these. One giveaway is the plastic water fittings, mine are actual metal.


That is on my to do… it is incredibly loud for what it is…

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I will be running a 1h30min job today with no fan, so we’ll see whether I notice a significant increase in coolant temperature. As soon as that light dimmer comes in, I’ll try and figure out which percentage of full speed provides the best cooling vs noise compromise.

I had one of those (CW-3000, with the metal connectors on the back) spring several several leaks along its coiled pipe. Happened while idle, noticed the big puddle and assumed a hose broke or became disconnected. Fixed with some JB Weld…I’d keep some on hand.

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So my 1h30min job ended up being close to 5 hours, so this was a great opportunity to test the chiller with the fan disabled, here’s the result:



That’s at ambiant room temperature of around 22°C / 72°C, and running my spindle almost continuously at a mix of 24000 RPM and 10000RPM (but with a very light load though)

As a reference, the chiller alarm is supposed to go off at 60°C / 140°F

I’m glad I was forced to do this test, when the dimmer comes in I’ll set the fan speed to maybe 10-20% of its nominal speed, and I should be good to go for hours even if I extrapolate to hot summer temperatures and higher loads.


What were your coolant temps running with the static tank setup?

I have no idea because I never bothered to check…
But considering I reused the exact same volume of coolant (the chiller tank happens to be 9 liters, exactly what I had in my plastic box tank), I would bet the temperature was quite similar (or slightly worse, because it did not even go through the metal sink that is now in the loop, fan or no fan…)

A gentle breeze through the sink should be more than enough, but we’ll see, I’ll report here once I do some long cuts with the fan dimmer in place.

This meter can display measurements on a phone or computer. It can also log up to 10,000 programable measurement samples for transfer to a phone or computer for analysis. You’ll need to use their dongle with computers (and run the software “As Administrator”). I’m really impressed with these meters.


@gmack I’m curious about how long have you been using these meters?

I’ve been using one intermittently to monitor voltages since January. I received my second one yesterday (to monitor frequency).
Unfortunately it’s only a “True RMS” meter for waveforms without a DC component (like most/all other DMMs).
@Julien and others that want to independently monitor, log, and analyze their HF spindle currents could use the AC ammeter setting since it has adequate frequency response and can monitor continuous currents up to 10 Amps. It could probably also measure spindle RPM by measuring the frequency of the spindle voltage.


I just want to add some info since I also own a CO2 laser cutter and the CW-3000 discussion frequently comes up. Unfortunately, it is not a chiller. If your water is 60F and your garage air temp is 90F, it will heat up your water as it is just dragging the air through a heat exchanger. The CW-5000 has a compressor and will actually chill the air.

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Correct, the “chiller” term is not adequate here. It still works for me as the temperature in my garage is in the 60 to 75°C range almost throughout the year. And in the worst case it’s not worse than PC-style closed-loop circuits (which are essentially the same thing: tubes, a pump, a sink and a fan, just in a smaller form factor).

FWIW There are fish tank chillers on the place with Prime shipping that are essentially CW-5000 and much cheaper in case someone lives in a hot area.

@Clif, got a link?..