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Old 02-08-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
StMarcos
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Default Advice on cip spray ball

A couple of years ago I bought a small rotating spray ball from St. Pats. Never used it. Now, with a brewhemoth on order, I'm thinking of ways to implement the ball. St. Pats doesn't stock this particular ball anymore, and I'm wondering if maybe there was some problem with it. It is pretty small, has a 3/4''fpt connection, two slits, and one small hole pointing roughly towards the side of the fpt connection. I don't know the specs for it (pressure, gpm, etc.).

It's tough to see how it works, because if you can see it, you pretty much get sprayed with water. I have a danner model 7 mag drive pump from another hobby, and rigged it up with some 1/2'' flexible pvc through a bulkhead in the lid of a 25G megapot. The pump inlet is connected to the kettle drain. Put some water in there and plugged it in. It doesn't spin reliably - always sticks in the same spot. The water seems to hit most of the side, but not with any appreciable force. The thing is, this pump costs about $100, and I was hoping to spend not more than this for a pump for my planned cip system. I'm thinking the pump is underpowered, and that the ball might have some defect. I haven't lubed it, but didn't think I would need to as it is new. The initial plan is to have a 5G bucket under the conical with the cleaning/sanitizing solution in it, pump via flex pvc to a modified 4'' TC blanking plate on the lid with the spray ball mounted a little under it. Solution will just drain back into the bucket. So, some questions:

-Is there a submersible pump that is cheaper that will be likely to give enough pressure? Sump pump seems too bulky, and I'm not sure about it holding up with cleaning/sanitizing chemicals, and possibly leaching shaft oils into the final sanitizing rinse.

-Might it possibly be a poorly designed ball?

-Should I try lubing it to see if I can make the mag 7 work, and with what? Won't PBW clean off silicone lube? I can tell there are ball bearings in there, but don't see anyway to take the ball apart.

-Anyone have experience with using commercial spray balls in small (22G) vessels? What problems did you come up against?

Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StMarcos View Post
A couple of years ago I bought a small rotating spray ball from St. Pats. I don't know the specs for it (pressure, gpm, etc.).
Quote:
Anyone have experience with using commercial spray balls in small (22G) vessels? What problems did you come up against?
I do use commercial fixed spray balls from St. Pats and according to my saved catalog page for the Revolving Spray Balls,304 stainless.

Pressure: 15-30 psi
Flow: 2” Ball, 40-20 GPM. 2.5” Ball, 60-30 GPM
Max Cleaning Diameter: 2” Ball, 5’ diameter. 2.5” Ball, 10’ diameter.

Spray balls have a range of pressures/flows over which they operate effectively. The greater the pressure, the less flow is needed to maintain the same cleaning efficiency.
All the spray balls have an upper pressure limit. At excessively high pressures, the water turns to mist and is no longer effective.

Quote:
It doesn't spin reliably - always sticks in the same spot.
The water seems to hit most of the side, but not with any appreciable force.
Does the spray ball spin by hand without sticking?
Connect directly to the city water, if the problem goes away its your pump pressure.

Quote:
The thing is, this pump costs about $100, and I was hoping to spend not more than this for a pump for my planned cip system.
My CIP pump is a 1/2 HP and can produce the required pressure and flow for my system.
Quote:
I haven't lubed it, but didn't think I would need to as it is new.
No need to lube it, your cleaning solution is the lubrication.

Quote:
Might it possibly be a poorly designed ball?
I don't think so.
Quote:
I can tell there are ball bearings in there, but don't see anyway to take the ball apart.
St. Pats used to sell three types of spinning spray balls.
1. Revolving Spray Balls
2. Dual-Bearing Spray Balls
These spray balls have a dual-bearing design that allows them to work at any angle.
3. Cleaning Head with Dual Nozzles
•Polished 304 Stainless Steel
•1” FPT connection
•Heads spin in vertical plane while entire assembly spins in horizontal plane.
Pressure: 20-40 psi
Flow: 35-15 GPM.

Keep in mind spray balls are best used in a closed environment.
If you use the spray ball with an open tank you need to change the spray pattern, and a good seal for tank and lid.
I had to do both mods.

Cheers,
ClaudiusB
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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Good advice from Claudius, as always. I bought a very nice sprayball that I later found out needed to be driven quite hard to spin. Couldn't afford to buy a high pressure pump, so I sold it and went with the stationary "golf ball with holes" style. It works well.....trick is not to clog it so you need to be sure you're introducing fresh cleaning solution vs. recircing.

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for the thorough answer. The ball doesn't 'stick' when rotated by hand, but I can feel a spot where it takes a little more force to turn past this spot. I'm going to rig it up to mains pressure (60psi here) and see if it works then. I might even have an irrigation pressure reducer that I could try. Think it's 20psi. Hopefully mine won't clog. Should be just yeast and krausen.

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Old 05-08-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Good advice from Claudius, as always. I bought a very nice sprayball that I later found out needed to be driven quite hard to spin. Couldn't afford to buy a high pressure pump, so I sold it and went with the stationary "golf ball with holes" style. It works well.....trick is not to clog it so you need to be sure you're introducing fresh cleaning solution vs. recircing.
Which "golf ball" did you end up going with? Can you share how you are using it?
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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Sorry, no pics right now. Will take a few next time I wash a bunch of kegs.

It's actually a plastic egg from my kids' farm playset I just drilled a bunch of holes in it, and made a large hole at the bottom that accepts 3/4" threads. The design is really simple...any hard plastic or metal ball can be used.

It's supplied with water by a Little Giant submersible pump.....which is WAY overkill. Can't remember the specs, but it's designed to drain an entire basement.

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
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Rotating spray balls require alot of pressure to operate properly. Most of us smaller micros 10 BBL & under, use stationary sprayballs in our uni-tanks. I have seen some mini-rotator's that can work okay at lower pump pressure's
(10-15psi), but think that the stationary golf ball type is your better bet for a price of around 40$. Check out this link at G.W. Kent. Cheers!!!
http://breweryparts.com/index.php/equipment-and-supplies/cleaning-equipment-amp-chemical/cip-spray-ball.html

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brewerforlife View Post
Most of us smaller micros 10 BBL & under, use stationary sprayballs in our uni-tanks. I have seen some mini-rotator's that can work okay at lower pump pressure (10-15psi), but think that the stationary golf ball type is your better bet for a price of around 40$. Check out this link at G.W. Kent. Cheers!!!
That GW Kent link has a rotating nozzle for $69, that doesn't seem so bad.

If smaller micros are OK with non-rotating balls, what are the advantages of rotating nozzles? My impression was that the rotating nozzle can direct a higher pressure flow against the vessel wall and still achieve the same coverage. I assume that higher pressure would buy you time savings, and therefore water and chemical savings as well. Seems like a smaller micro would be willing to shell out a couple extra C-notes to save even a little bit of time, water, and chemicals.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:59 AM   #9
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I did get the mcmaster one suggested. I can't tell yet if it's rotating (but I'm pretty sure it is), as there is way too much spray coming out of the top port when I try to sneak a look. Don't have it in front of me right now, but it might even be able to fit inside a carboy. That way I could check visually. Still have to sell the old one. Can't remember if I paid 69 or 79 bux for it.

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Old 08-18-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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Which McMaster Carr one? I am looking for a sprayball that will fit through the 1.125" diameter port on the side of my conical. The port is a 1.5" TC. Any suggestions?

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