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Old 07-30-2010, 05:42 AM   #1
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Default March pump underwhelmed... am i doing it wrong?

So i was really excited to use my new march pump. got it all hooked up to pump water from the HLT to the MLT. Worked ok but i wasn't really impressed with the flow rate.

but when i hooked it to the boil kettle to whirlpool, it barely dribbled out. i tried priming it a couple times, but it just didn't seem to have the oomph to actually pump over it's head.

the march pump was maybe 1-2 feet under the ball valve on my boil kettle. when i open the valve it filled the hose with wort, but it never really got into the top of the kettle, let alone fast enough to whirlpool.

should the march pump be farther down from the valve? did i get a dud? is that really all the juice this thing has?

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Old 07-30-2010, 06:27 AM   #2
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March pumps are not self priming and can be a real pain. I still get frustrated with mine sometimes. Read this thread for a ton of suggestions:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/march-pump-head-orientation-138467/

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Old 07-30-2010, 06:32 AM   #3
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Getting it to prime can be a little tricky sometimes. Once you get that figured out you shouldn't have any worries about it not having enough power.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
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a bleeder seems like a good idea, i seemed to have a little air in my line from the keggle to the pump that never went away so i'm sure i wasn't getting a superb prime... guess i'll have to find something like that. maybe a splitter that goes to open air and then to the march pump to allow free flowing liquid...

i guess i really just thought this would be easier.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:38 PM   #5
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They can be a pain, the simplest way to prime for me is to lay the output hose out, down below the pump flowing into a pot. Once it really starts to shoot out I pinch off the hose and connect. You can dump the collected liquid back to where it came from. When someone comes up with a self priming reasonably priced pump I would be a buyer.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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samc, i think that's going to have to be my plan... i need some longer hoses and some quick disconnects of some sort to make my life a little easier as well.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:59 PM   #7
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The input to my pump is connected to a rigid copper manifold so that I can direct BK, HLT, or MLT into the pump with out moving any hoses (I just open the valve on the appropriate vessel). I also put a spigot on that manifold that I could connect a garden hose to in addition to all of the other vessels.

To prime, I just open the garden hose valve for a second and push tap water into the copper pipe and pump head. Smooth sailing after that.

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Old 07-30-2010, 04:09 PM   #8
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Walker, do you have pics of this contraption?

it sounds like priming with the hose would make my troubles go away... cept depending on what i'm pumping to where doesn't it start the risk of infection? i guess it'd only be pumping cooled wort to the fermenter i'd have to worry about huh.

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Old 07-30-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slakwhere View Post
Walker, do you have pics of this contraption?

it sounds like priming with the hose would make my troubles go away... cept depending on what i'm pumping to where doesn't it start the risk of infection? i guess it'd only be pumping cooled wort to the fermenter i'd have to worry about huh.
I'll see if I have on on my phone.

I actually fill my vessels with water at the start of the day by pushing the tap water through the pipe and up through the open sipgots on them. This primes the pump at the same time as measuring out the water.

After that, the hoses and pipe are always full of some sort of liquid being pumped somewhere (strike water going to MLT, wort circulating through HERMS, wort pumping to kettle, etc, etc.)

The only time I ever need to re-prime it is when I want to dump the MLT. I have to drain the plumbing, remove the MLT and go dump it out. Then I re-connect the MLT and re-prime with a quick blast of water.

For sanitation on the final pumping.... I pump the hot wort through the whole thing (and then right back into the kettle) at the end of the boil for a few minutes to sanitize the pump, hoses, pipes, etc, and then I start chilling after that. Pump is primed and clean when it comes time to send cooled wort to the carboy.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:35 PM   #10
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Not the greatest pic because of the hoses and stuff hanging on there and blocking the view, but here's the pump input manifold I built and strapped to my brewing table.

Garden hose connects to the copper pipe all the way on the left via a ball valve.

Each vessel connects to the copper pipe via their respective spigots.

All the way on the right is another spigot that I use as a drain valve to clear out the copper pipe when I need to.

Copper pipe is connected to the pump inlet below. Pump output then goes out to wherever.

Lots of valves, but I am very happy with the way it works. If, for some reason, I ever lose the prime on the pump, I can always open the valve all the way at the left and send a short blast of tap water into the pipe to re-prime the pump.

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