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Old 06-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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Default March 815-PL vs. Chugger (SS Inline) real world flow test

I recently built an eBrewery. I followed most of Kal's plans but what I didn't follow was the pumps. I went with the latest edition of the Chugger Stainless Steel inline pumps. After two batches I found my flow rate in my mash/tun a bit subpar. Some research led me to believe that the flow should be a bit stronger and my ramp up times for mash-in and mash-out should be better. Also, I found that between the two Chugger pumps (Water & Wort) my Wort pump was anywhere from 5-10% slower.

So I ordered an 815-PL for some comparison testing. My testing showed the 815-PL beat the Chugger each time. Not by a great margin but enough to make a difference in my setup.

According to the Chugger website they are rated at 7GPM with an 18 feet maximum head. According to the March website, the 815-PL is also rated at 7GPM with a 18 feet maximum head.

I performed these tests against my "better" Chugger pump. (Again is some previous testing I found one pump to outperform the other by 5%-10% depending on the test)

I would give the results a +/- 2 seconds for accuracy. I repeated a few of them to get my testing down.

No Coil Test Details:

1) Filled HLT with water
2) Pumped 3.5 gallons into Mash/Tun
3) Connected 2x4' hoses
4) One connected from the HLT into the pump inlet
5) The outlet connected directly to the connection on the top of the Mash/Tun (The inlet on the mash/tun is connected to a 5' long piece of hose. I placed the outlet of the host on the bottle of the kettle (under 3.5Gallons of water). I did in order to add some resistence in the pumping. During my mashing process the host is under 1 inch or so of wort.
6) Prime pump and verify no air in order for a consistent test
7) Close pump valve and turn pump on
8) Open valve and start timer
9) Let the pump move 5 gallons of water into the Mash/Tun and stop timer.
10) Reset

The results between the two pumps. The test consisted of pumping 5 gallons of water directly without the 50' coil inline:

March 815-PL: 1min:17sec
Chugger: 1min:30sec



With Coil Test Details:

1) Filled HLT with water
2) Pumped 3.5 gallons into Mash/Tun
3) Connected 3x4' hoses
4) One connected from the HLT into the pump inlet
5) The outlet connected to the bottom inlet of the HERMs coil
6) The outlet of the HERMs coil is connected to the inlet of the Mash/Tun
7) Prime pump and verify no air in order for a consistent test
8) Close pump valve and turn pump on
9) Open valve and start timer
10) Let the pump move 5 gallons of water into the Mash/Tun and stop timer.
11) Reset

The results between the two pumps. The test consisted of pumping 5 gallons of water with a 50' HERMs coil inline:

March 815-PL: 2min:48sec
Chugger: 3min:10sec



In summary:

The Chugger performed at 85.5% of the speed of the March in the no coil test and 88.4% with the coil. Almost linear. The Chugger pumps ~.5 gallon less per 5 gallons. Again, as this was tested with my better performing Chugger pump, I'm a little curious to what these would numbers would look like against the other one. In my original testing I found a 5%-10% difference in performance.

I'm a bit dissapointed at the performance with the Chugger. I plan to keep the March and use the Chugger as a spare.

As an extra tidbit I also found the March to be better with priming and avoiding cavitating, hands down. It was also quieter.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the actual head curves of the pumps. That is going to determine your actual flow rate. Just because the pump is rated at 7 gpm (max flow) and 18 ft TDH (max head) (Not an operating point), doesn't mean that is what your system is running at.

Chugger
http://chuggerpumps.com/pdf/chugger-curves.pdf

March
http://www.marchpump.com/site/files/966/112279/382929/524649/Performance_Curve.pdf

Edit: Looking at the pump curves, you are pumping around 3.33 gpm with the chugger and 3.9 gpm with the march Pump. That falls right in line with the pump curves with everything else being held the same.

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Old 06-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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As an extra tidbit I also found the March to be better with priming and avoiding cavitating, hands down.
That's interesting since the March 815-PL is known to have priming issues. That's why I went with the stainless head version of the 815-PL-C myself.

The difference is the 3/4" center inlet instead of 1/2" bottom inlet. It makes all the difference in the world. Had someone recently switch their old 814-PLs out to these center inlet pumps after having nothing but problems and all their priming problems went away. They didn't believe me that they'd make a big difference but it did.

The 815-PL-C 3/4" center inlet are also rated at 8 GPM instead of 7 GPM like the "regular" 814-PL 1/2" bottom inlet. How that resolves to real world numbers would be interesting to test ...

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Have you looked at the actual head curves of the pumps. That is going to determine your actual flow rate. Just because the pump is rated at 7 gpm (max flow) and 18 ft TDH (max head) (Not an operating point), doesn't mean that is what your system is running at.

Chugger
http://chuggerpumps.com/pdf/chugger-curves.pdf

March
http://www.marchpump.com/site/files/966/112279/382929/524649/Performance_Curve.pdf

Edit: Looking at the pump curves, you are pumping around 3.33 gpm with the chugger and 3.9 gpm with the march Pump. That falls right in line with the pump curves with everything else being held the same.
I had thought I compared the curves and they were exact (apparently not). How did you calculate 3.3 and 3.9gpm against the curve graphs?
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:28 PM   #5
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That's interesting since the March 815-PL is known to have priming issues. That's why I went with the stainless head version of the 815-PL-C myself.

The difference is the 3/4" center inlet instead of 1/2" bottom inlet. It makes all the difference in the world. Had someone recently switch their old 814-PLs out to these center inlet pumps after having nothing but problems and all their priming problems went away. They didn't believe me that they'd make a big difference but it did.

The 815-PL-C 3/4" center inlet are also rated at 8 GPM instead of 7 GPM like the "regular" 814-PL 1/2" bottom inlet. How that resolves to real world numbers would be interesting to test ...

Kal
Are you referring to the 809 model? The 815 model apparently helps with priming issues while increasing the base flow rate.

See:

http://morebeer.com/view_product/11622/103556/March_High_Temperature_Brewing_Pump_-_High_Flow
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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I had thought I compared the curves and they were exact (apparently not). How did you calculate 3.3 and 3.9gpm against the curve graphs?
5 gallons over 1 minute 17 seconds (5/1.28 minutes = 3.9 gpm) and 1 minute 30 seconds (5/1.5 = 3.3 gpm).
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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5 gallons over 1 minute 17 seconds (5/1.28 minutes = 3.9 gpm) and 1 minute 30 seconds (5/1.5 = 3.3 gpm).
I meant to ask, how did the curves confirm my results? I see the different in maximum pump head but am unsure how to calculate that down to flow rate over a distance (if even possible).
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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look at the pump curves for 14ft of head (y axis)

chuggers is about 3.33 gpm, march is about 4 (60hz). which confirms the data.

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Old 06-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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I meant to ask, how did the curves confirm my results? I see the different in maximum pump head but am unsure how to calculate that down to flow rate over a distance (if even possible).
The general curves for headloss are going to follow a general system curve (see picture below). So based on how the two pump curves are stacked on eachother, you would expect a slightly higher flow. You could back calculate your friction factors to be able to develop your own system curve.

I might have to build the model I use here at work to my brewing system to compare.



And I attached the two pump curves over top of each other with a "theoretical" system curve. It may be flatter or steeper, but you can back calculate all the fun friction factors based on fittings, tubing length, difference in water levels, etc.
pump-curves.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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look at the pump curves for 14ft of head (y axis)

chuggers is about 3.33 gpm, march is about 4 (60hz). which confirms the data.
It won't be completely flat since the higher flow will cause higher headloss but in this case they are pretty close it seems.
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