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Old 02-25-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default Discuss: Pump Priming

So I'm pretty much where I want to be with my recirculating IC whirlpool chiller setup, and love it to death so far, but the one area where I feel like I could use some improvement is priming the pump. Several times, I've been able to prime it by simply closing the valve at the kettle, turning the pump on the try to start a vacuum, then opening the valve and letting it pull. That works probably 70% of the time. The rest of the time, I have to suck on the output end really quickly, which isn't a big deal because the near-boiling wort will quickly sanitize it again, but I'd rather not have to bother with this crap. I've seen talk of bleeder valves and stuff, and something about a wort wizard, but I'd like to figure out what the best way to upgrade here, before I make the move. So...whatcha got for me?

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
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I brew in the basement now so what I've started to do is to use the vinyl tube from the faucet (used to clean/fill HLT) and push water through the pump into the HLT, turn off the pump once water is flowing. Then I try to never loose prime... cause then I end up squeezing the hose a whole lot to get it started again. This is with a modified taco-bronze circulation pump.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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I built a fitting that converts my garden hose QD style to my brewrig QD style so that I can quickly push tap water through my pump lines/housing. Water under that kind of pressure just blasts the air out of the pump housing.

I know others have mounted the pump vertically with the motor up, pump head down. I can see how this would help, but it requires you to disconnect when you want to oil the bearings.

Finally, putting a TEE on the output of the pump prior to your ball valve and installing a pull-vent valve might help and it's something I've been thinking about trying. I was also thinking this would be helpful on the pump input side, but at the QD where I attach to the "from vessel". The reason is, even when the pump is primed already and you just connected to a new vessel, you'll get a pocket of air in the line when you first open the valve. I'd like to be able to vent it so that the pump doesn't lose prime.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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I don't use mine for transferring water from the HLT, I just use it to recirc the wort after the boil, and then to transfer that wort to the fermenters once it's chilled. So I don't think pumping tap water through it would be the best idea. I recirc some star san through before brew day, then recirc'ing the near-boiling wort does the rest.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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I just place the end of the OUT hose lower than my fluid level, filling the pump and hose, turn off the valve at the pump (to lock in the liquid) then connect the QD... tada, instant prime. Prime once like that and I am good to go.

Since I use the same hoses for input and output through the entire brew, once I have a prime, I never lose it. Simply using gravity seems to work for me.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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How do you have your pump head oriented?

For easiest priming, the input should be down, and the output should be up.

The next best thing is to have the input on the left, and the output on the right. I use this orientation, because I can't physically mount mine using the "proper" orientation.

I use a bleeder valve:

The bleeder valve is the needle valve hanging off to the right.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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Well you could put a Safety Siphon on the wort in side or have it pull from the ice water to get that pump primed.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
I just place the end of the OUT hose lower than my fluid level, filling the pump and hose, turn off the valve at the pump (to lock in the liquid) then connect the QD... tada, instant prime. Prime once like that and I am good to go.
This is what I do currently as well, but I feel as though there is a better way... I want to try the vent valve idea.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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Steve,

What are the part #s for the bleeder valves that you're using? I have my pump mounted input on left, output on right so your system closely mirrors mine.

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Old 02-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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Evan!,

This is my set-up

I have no problems with priming. The HLT is on the right and the boil kettle on the left. Each vessel has a dip tube inside that goes almost to the bottom. For easy priming, the water/wort level in each vessel must be above that vessel's valve. I open the valve on the pump (with the pump off) and then open the valve on the vessel. Water/wort travels down to the pump by gravity, into it and then up the outlet. Then the pump gets turned on and if the flow isn't strong enough due to air pockets, I turn the pump off, let the air rise out of the head for a couple seconds and turn it back on. It's usually good to go but sometimes I have to turn it on and off 2 or 3 times. I use it to pump HLT water to the cooler MLT and to pump through a cfc.

That was the last time that traceable is getting used if you can see it there on the right of the cooler

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Last edited by dstar26t; 02-25-2009 at 02:07 PM.
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