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Old 12-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #111
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I've been running the March 809 with the Polysulfone body for 2.5 years and never had an issue it. I agree a stainless head is nice, but I would not make that a decision maker when buying a pump. I also have a stainless chugger and its failed for the last 4 brew sessions which is why another march is on the way. I will say, chugger has been VERY responsive and helpful attempting to remedy the problem, but right now I tired of messing with a pump during brew sessions.



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Old 12-14-2011, 07:40 PM   #112
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For what it is worth, I have two green chuggers. I replaced the impellers on both. They both work great. I pump boiling wort for 2 minutes through my chilliza to sanitize. The output of the chilliza is near boiling. I have not tried 5 minute of full boil, but why would I. The heat from the two minutes is enough to sanitize. My original pumps had issues at 180 and 200. Mike pretty much overnighted me a pump head and new impellers and things are working great. I understand all the concerns but I am one happy customer standing up for chugger. Service is great, they do everything they can to fix the problem. I also would like to add that head orientation and fittings used can affect the pump preformance. I went froma 90 on the inlet at 9 o'clock to a straight input at 6 o'clock and it really made a diff. So if you are having pump problems, post a pic of you fittings and pump connections.

Just my take.

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Old 12-14-2011, 11:15 PM   #113
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My 2 pumps just arrived. I think I'll give them a shot, but hang on to my march for a while just in case.

They do have the initials scratched in the bottom, so I assume that means they were tested at boiling temps, and I plan to have both inputs in the 6:00 position.

The rest of my camlock fittings should be in tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get to test them out before the weekend and post some results. I plan to run a test batch with just water since this is a completely reconfigured system anyway.

Wish me luck.

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:13 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterAtMarchPump View Post
I have commented on the brass quite a few times before. Our brass is cast by a big company in WI that makes allot of brass fixtures you would find in your homes. We do all of the final machining here in house. The industry standard can contain up to 6% lead in the brass. CA has not too long ago passed a resolution so brass can not contain any lead when used with potable water. Most of the 809 brass pump you would find in a home would be on the hot water side of things and you are not supposed to drink that anyway so they have any issues with our pumps. Just keep in mind that most hot water systems in the home wont get much over 135* in temp. What if any effect that will have on the lead/brass i don't know. There are MANY people that use the brass pumps for numerous food applications. In the end its up to the customer to take all the info they are given and make their own choices.

-Walter
Walter, thank you. I have not come across any info on the brass pumps and was just wondering. I'll have to tell my friend about the possible issues with using brass.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:22 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
I'm talking the standard model. The impeller paddles on the chugger are not stainless, so the wort is still contacting "plastic". It may be shinier, but adds zero benefit.
_
I have come to the same conclusion and with be getting a March plastic pump also. I think of all the plastic hose, fittings, and buckets that I have, does one on more or less piece of SS equipment really matter? Probably not. I'll go all stainless when I win the lottery, will also consist of building a brewery at that point thou.

Question: Why is the impeller not SS in the SS heads for both March and Chugger? Would the impeller be to heavy to spin and not get the GPM needed?
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:20 AM   #116
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thought i would post an update since i started the thread,

I have brewed 2 times since Mike sent me the new Black pump.

both brew sessions, the new pump worked flawless.

my process works like this, 10 gallon batches, heat about 8 gallons of water in keggle to 175 dg. pump to mash tun. heat 8 gallons water to 180 dg, pump to sparge water holding pot. gravity feed sparge for 30 minutes, while slowly pumping wort to keggle. after boil complete, pump hot wort through plate chiller, and recirculate to keggle to drop tempeture. at 110-120 dg, final pump through chiller to fermenter vessel.

I also took apart and cleaned the pump head prior to this last brew. i like the new design that iliminates that pesky rubber o-ring

you can definitely see this company is working to improve their product

I may buy a second Chugger so i dont have to constantly swap around hoses.

great product for the price, and great customer service

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Old 12-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #117
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Brewed an IPA today. Ran Chugger (pump delivered on 12/09/11) at flame out to recirculate and help with cooling. No problems whatsoever at around 210-212F...

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Old 12-17-2011, 09:56 PM   #118
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Good to hear. I've only done cold water tests so far. Hopefully I'll be brewing tomorrow. I'm still up in the air on whether I'm going to keep them or pick up a second march.

I'm not happy at how intollerant they are to any amount of air. I teed my sight glass off the output of my BK and it allowed it to suck air in for a very brief amount of time, less than 5 seconds. These things howl the second any air gets in them.

I'll either move the sightglass or put a check valve on it to prevent that, but it's not very comforting to know that if you happen to have one run dry for even a second they sound like they're going to explode. My march has never made a peep if ran dry by accident.

I may try the march head on the chugger also. A different head is cheaper than another pump.

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Old 12-18-2011, 05:27 PM   #119
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Quote:
I'm not happy at how intollerant they are to any amount of air. I teed my sight glass off the output of my BK and it allowed it to suck air in for a very brief amount of time, less than 5 seconds. These things howl the second any air gets in them.
The chugger does seem more persnickety than the March when it comes to grabbing air. And it does make the dying cat noise when doing so, unlike the March. My March is a plastic head and the Chugger is stainless--I wonder if the head material has something to do with the noise?

I run the pump with the outlet facing straight up--which I think makes the most sense for removing air as quickly as possible (air travels up). If not running that way--maybe try that.

The Chugger also has more suction than than the March--cover your finger on the inlet and you can feel the difference-- so maybe that has something to do with it too. The inlet on the head of the Chugger is larger for sure than the March.

All and all--I have to try to make the Chugger fail--in order to get it to fail. (Fail--> just means loud noise causing me to turn the pump off and than having to turn back on to restart. )

When brewing the way I normally do--> I have zero problems--> i.e. moving sparge water (160-190F typically--I don't get too exacting on sparge temperature), moving wort from mash to kettle (160-170F), and whirlpooling immediately after flameout (212/211F all the way down to ferment temp).

I have to run the Chugger at a rolling boil of wort, or introducing air to the inlet (yes even briefly = failure) to get failure.

Also, the Chugger seems to like more viscous fluid (i.e. wort). With the tests I ran, (15 gallons of) water causes failure at a lower temperature. I got partial failure at (brief noise that stopped on it own quickly) 202F with water. However, with wort--> I can run the pump up until rolling boil with no problems.

Changing the inlet from my double elbow (more restricted flow) to a (much less restricted flow) straight inlet--> made no difference in the tests I ran.

I'll be interested in seeing the issues resolved because I think people with plate chillers and the like, as stated by others, have a need for pump to move water at at or near boiling temperature.

That said, again, for me, the present issues are kind of a moot point because the pump does not fail at all when I brew the way I normally (and always have) brewed.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #120
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My march and chuggers are all the poly heads. The march is center input.

I have the output pointed up on both pumps, which does make alleviating air intake quick and easy like you said. Just a quick on/off.

I fashioned a cap for the sight glass to use while transferring to the fermenter. That's the only time it gets low enough to suck air through it. At 5+ gallons, it doesn't suck hard enough to pull air in.

I'm putting them to the test as I type. Mashing right now, but wasn't happy that pump 1 squeeled for a second with 170° strike water. It corrected itself before I could switch it off, so hopefully it was just an air bubble and not decoupling.

I'll have my final results in a few hours.



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