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Old 03-21-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
StMarcos
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Default CIP Pump

Getting the bits together to CIP my Brewhemoth. The basic idea is that there will be a 3G bucket under the bottom dump, with a submersible pump. This pump will be hooked to a flex tube running up outside to a modified 4''tc at the top of the brewhemoth. On the other side of the tc will be the spray ball, about 6'' down from the top. The question is about the pump. I bought a 1/4hp sump-type pump (no float switch though). I'm pretty sure this will drive my st pats rotating ball (discontinued model), but am worried that the pump will die quickly in hot pbw and starsan. It's rated to 77F and I will be using it at 120F or so. Think I'll fry it? Also worried that there could be some bits that will corrode in starsan. Should I be? I can return the pump if need be. It was about 80 bucks. The thing is, I want a submersible pump so I can just drop it in the bucket. It's also not rated for continuous duty (draining a swimming pool).

Was this just a bad buy on my part, or are the specs very conservative?

Cheers, etc.

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Old 03-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
WalterAtMarchPump
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You could probably get it to work for you, but would need to do a little investigating as to the construction of the pump. I'm not familiar with all the protocols on brewing yet but with the "starsan" (cleaning chemical I assume) you would need to check it its compatible with what ever the pump is made out of, be it plastic or metal materials. And I'm not only talking about the big parts...you need to look at the materials that would be in contact with the chemical like and screws/washers/ nuts/power cords etc... Most submersible sump-pump types have a shaft seal to worry about. For domestic use they don't have to have high temp seals as all it sees is room temp type water. So first thing I would do is see if there's a way to change out the seal to something more robust if possible. Teflon if available would probably be best all around.

-Walter

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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It should work well....just don't expect it to work forever. The PBW will damage the seals over time, but this can be helped by rinsing well after use.

About CIP- The preferred way to do it is to supply fresh cleaning agent (called a sequestrant for good reason) and then have the vessel drain the wastewater elsewhere. You'll plug your sprayball if you recirc gunk, and your stuff will never truly be clean....just recirculated debris.

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Old 03-22-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
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That makes sense, but I was hoping to be able to save on detergent by recirculating just a small amount. Maybe I can do a drain-to-waste with mains water to get most gunk, then recirculate pbw. Then a drain-to-waste rinse. Then recirculate saniclean....

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
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That's pretty much what I do...but I don't sanitize when I'm done....that happens next brew when I put the wort in. Just make sure you drain out any residual water or you'll grow mold.

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Old 03-23-2011, 12:41 AM   #6
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Yeah I guess I meant to let dry before storage, then sanitize before the ferment. Should probably run some clean water through the pump to get the saniclean out before storing the pump.

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:03 AM   #7
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Well I have it all rigged up, and it doesn't work. Doesn't spin, I should say. There is an impressive amount of water coming out the drain back to the bucket. There is also a huge amount of water coming out of the ball at the join between the rotating and stationary parts. It's hard for me to believe that the pump is too wimpy. The warning on the cord says 130F max, while the manual says 78F max. The thermal shutdown did not engage after running for 10min at 120F, so I'm good there.

The pump is a Simer 1/4hp.
Head (ft) / gpm
0 / 30
3 / 27
5 / 25
10 / 21
15 / 15
20 / 6
22 / 0

I guess I should see how long it takes to move 5G out of one bucket an into another, so I can see what sort of pressure the pump is seeing. There is about 5' of 1/2''id reinforced pvc tubing between the pump and the ball. Any advice? Kinda pissed right now (American, not Aussie).

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Old 03-26-2011, 05:20 AM   #8
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Guess my next plan of attack is:

Find the actual flow
Try city mains pressure
Call st. pats

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Old 03-26-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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I have one of these:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-3000-gph-dirty-water-submersible-pump-with-float-93819.html

Been working great for almost 2 years now and has plenty of oomph and can handle 5mm particles without clogging. Haven't worried about water temp that much, never really thought about it actually. Running the pump with straight tap water it heats up fairly rapidly and the water temp maxes out at about 100F. Another plus is that when the pump dies they are pretty cheap to replace.

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Old 04-07-2011, 01:11 AM   #10
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Bought another pump after returning the last one. This time I got a Simer 1/2hp pump - the biggest the hardware store had. Made in Italy. Still doesn't work. Most of the water sprays out from where the ball meets the body. Makes me think that there is a flaw in the design, and why St Pats doesn't carry it anymore. Sprays heaps of water, but no spinning. Maybe it needs to be mounted vertically, with the ball pointing up? If so, I'm screwed, because I need to have the ball come in from the top of the fermenter.

This thing wasn't cheap. Maybe 1/2hp still isn't enough?

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