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Old 06-03-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Tubing Length for March Pump and AG Setup

I currently am using a March pump for the first time in a setup that will eventually be a single tier setup. Currently though I just have the pump on the ground and change the tubes around depending on what I am draing to and from. My question is that all of my tubes are about 5 feet long to and from the pump but Im getting fairly slow flows. My kettles are sitting about 4 feet off the ground from the pump. Im assuming that the hoses are way to long and im just not getting enough force behind the wort to effectively get enough flow uphill to the kettle? What length of hose is ideal for this type of setup where im pumping wort from kettle to kettle and thru a CFC. Thanks!

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:06 PM   #2
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I would also be interested in an educated answer to this question. I made all my hoses in my stand about 4 feet. I use them where ever as they are all the same length and its convenient.

Is it safe to say the shortest length possible is the best or not necessarily ?

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Old 06-04-2008, 12:49 AM   #3
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pumps are rated for flow at specific heights called "head" as I havent gotten my march pump yet I dont know what the flow rates are but if you want to increase your flow rate try sitting the pump on a milk crate to decrease the amount of uphill travel. when pumps are rated, they are usually give several flow rates on the chart. the less head then the higher the flow rate. the other variable you need to think about is tubing size. if you have a bigger tube on the output then the pump is lifting more weight(of the fluid) and head will be decreased. hope this helps. I'm looking forward to my new pump in a couple of weeks.
also if you are using pipe the fewer 90 degree bends the better. every time fluid changes direction it decreases flow. yes the shortest hose will flow the fastest but remember the flow chart in order to get the rated head the hose has to be that long or you will spill your beer on the floor. I would try lifting the pump close to the level of the kettle bottom before hacking up your hose.

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Old 06-04-2008, 02:43 AM   #4
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Im using 1/2" tubing in and out of the pump. Im going to try ans shorten up the tubes as well. My one big concern is not having enough down hill force into the input side of the pump in order to prime it. Is that a concern I should have or not?

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Old 06-04-2008, 03:03 AM   #5
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what I've seen done is place a tee with a ball valve at the outlet then run a hose straight up to above the level of liquid in your tun. before turning on your pump you open the valve for a moment. that allows gravity to drain down to the pump and fill it. then close the valve and start the pump. this is if you are drawing from the bottom of your tun. if you are siphoning over the side of your tun then this wont work until you get the siphon going. since my tun already has a ball valve within a couple inches of the bottom I havent checked on any of the auto-siphon devices. one note about the outflow- do not put a valve in it to reduce the flow like for lautering this puts excessive pressure on pump parts and shortens the life of your pump. take the hose from the outlet tee and direct it back to the tun you are pumping from. now you can adjust the amount of "bypass" and direct it back where it came. hope you were able to follow follow this. If I had the mad computer skills that most of theses guys had a would post a sketch to make it easy to understand. and yes running the pump dry can easily damage the pump. it uses the liquid as both a lubricant and a coolant(even boiling wort). ok I looked up the pump. assuming you have a 809 pl-hs you max head is about 11 ft. but since you had the pump on the floor and were probably pumping over the rim into the tun I figure you had a 4- 5 foot head. now at 4 ft it will pump about 4.3 gpm and at 5 ft it will pump 4 gpm. if you raise the pump to the bottom of teh tun(so the pump can still gravity fill)you can get 5 gpm. these figures are assuming you are pumping water and not drawing through a restriction (like mash on a false bottom) which will greatly reduce the gpm that the pump can produce.

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Old 06-04-2008, 03:30 AM   #6
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March pumps and other mag drive pumps don't get damaged with any amount of head pressure. You can put a ball valve on the output and completely close it without damage.

I think the OP just never got the pump primed.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=67269

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Old 06-04-2008, 04:04 AM   #7
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These pumps are a PITA to prime...but once you get the hang of it, you're golden. I like to keep a gallon size container nearby, and I have my input vessel above the pump. I disconnect the output hose from its vessel, and basically drain into this container to begin a siphon. Once the pump gets a solid flow of liquid through it, it kicks on bigtime. At that point, I close off the ball valve on the output of the pump and reconnect the output hose to it's destination (or, I just hang it over the side of the kettle to recirc/sparge). Once you reach this point, if you're disciplined in closing off your valves when you re-route your pump, and don't allow air in, you won't lose suction again in your brew session. This process gets easier each time you do it. Practice with cold water to get the hang of it, so you're not spilling hot wort everywhere....ask me how I know

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:54 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are not getting the pump primed. There is air in there somewhere. It can be very frustrating at times. With your setup, I would plug the pump into a power strip with a switch. It's really helpful if you have the supply vessels at a higher level. Orient the outlet of the pump so it's facing UP. Let the wort flow through the pump and up the outlet hose, then switch on the pump. If it's moving slowly up the hose, try switching the pump off, then on again. You should get good flow once the all the air is out of the lines. Make sure your connections are tight. Like scubasteve said, practice with some water so you know what it should look like.

You will definitely know when you are properly running. Your hose length should not be an issue. I pump through 6' hoses.

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Old 06-04-2008, 02:03 PM   #10
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with the pump 4ft below the base of the kettle, it is actually trying to lift the wort 6 or 7 ft to get it over the top of the pot. Turn the pump upside down and clamp it to your table or sculpture so the pump head is just below the bottom of the vessel you are draining. This minimizes how high the pump has to lift the wort. Another thing is priming. The pump is actually easy to prime once you get used to it. I let the mash tun or HLT drain into the pump with it turned off until I see liquid come out the out side of the pump head. When this happens, burp the pump by turning it on and then right back off again, I usually get a rush of bubbles out the output side of the pump, then turn it back on and let it rip. If you find yourself losing prime on the pump, restrict the output some and it'll hold it's prime better.

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