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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How to clear lines with a non self priming pump.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:43 AM   #1
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Default How to clear lines with a non self priming pump.

I'm working on building my HERMS system. One question I have is how do people clear their lines of wort if they use a pump that can't run dry.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
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All I do is run everything downhill, and adjust my recipes for the half gallon of wort I leave behind.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. This sounds like a great back up plan. But there has got to be a valve you can use the will bleed the lines for you. I guess the other option is to get a self priming pump.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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I run my sparge water through my HEX till the lines are clear, after I do a mash out. I then stop adding the sparge water once the lines are clear, and wait for the grain bed to settle for 1-5min, before starting the sparging process. I continuously sparge, if you are batch sparging you can skip the settling step.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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No reason you can't sparge through the hex the whole time. I think I may be missing the point of the original question though. Most hex coils are mounted so that they will gravity drain if ends are open to air. Why do you need a self priming pump to make this happen? If all goes well, you prime the pump once at the start of the brew day and then you're always feeding liquid of one type or another into it. During dough in, it's hot water. During mash, it's mash wort. During sparge, it's hot water and as Bsquared said, you can leave the pump output hooked up to the HEX and you're just moving the pump input over to the HLT to pull water from. By the time you've collected all your wort in the boil kettle, the HEX is clean. You throw the lower valve to trap the water in the coil and then the next thing your pump and lines sees is wort while you're cooling.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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I plan to sparge through the HEX the entire time. I'm a software engineer by education and trade and never really worked much with plumbing, please excuse my ignorance.

As i run though the scenarios in my head i figured there would be a point where i run out of sparge water and the empty air hits the pump head before all of the water is pushed to the sparge arm. Or when i'm done cooling my wort through the HEX and turn off the pump i have lines full of cooled wort.

as i write this and think about it more, i guess i will need to account for some loss in the system. and/or simply pour the wort back to the BK for the chilling scenario.

Bobby_M, on a side note. I want to thank you for the Keg polishing thread. I'm almost done with the HLT. Also, Brewhardware.com is making things simple and enjoyable, keep up the good work.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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The pumps can run dry for several seconds with out a problem, especially when you are pumping water through them to start with. there will be enough residual water in the pump head to protect the impeller. My first march pump if 7-8 years old now and has not had a problem, and I run it for a while some times after the hlt runs dry( the response time with the BCS controller is a few seconds from telling the system to stop and before it will shut down power to the pump). You really just don't want to run it for extended periods of time with out any liquid running through the head at all.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
The pumps can run dry for several seconds with out a problem, especially when you are pumping water through them to start with. there will be enough residual water in the pump head to protect the impeller. My first march pump if 7-8 years old now and has not had a problem, and I run it for a while some times after the hlt runs dry( the response time with the BCS controller is a few seconds from telling the system to stop and before it will shut down power to the pump). You really just don't want to run it for extended periods of time with out any liquid running through the head at all.
Awesome. That is exactly what i was hoping to hear, thanks for the information.

All of the websites i look at say not to run the pump dry. Was not sure if a few seconds while the line clears would be okay. The last thing i want to do is break a new pump when i get my system up and running.
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