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Old 04-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
metasyntactic
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Default Aquarium pump for cooling a draft tower

Would an aquarium pump with an air stone like the one below work to cool a draft tower? Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 04-20-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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You're definitely going to have to explain how an aquarium pump and an airstone would cool a draft tower...

Cheers!

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Old 04-20-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
You're definitely going to have to explain how an aquarium pump and an airstone would cool a draft tower...

Cheers!
Pump cold air to the top, and point the air stone down to drop low velocity air down the tower.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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Do you need the stone part?

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Old 04-20-2013, 01:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metasyntactic View Post
Pump cold air to the top, and point the air stone down to drop low velocity air down the tower.
The airstone would do nothing useful, plus it's a major restriction.

How much air would this aquarium pump actually move? The only aquarium pumps I've seen up close move very little air through tiny tubing.

In contrast, I use a 40mm ball bearing fan rated for over 5cfm driving a 1" ID tube stuffed up the column into the t-box, with six beer lines tie-wrapped around the tube.

I suspect that's a lot more air being moved than a typical aquarium pump could manage - and the fan is going to be a lot quieter than a pump as well...

Cheers!
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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I have an 80 mm 12V DC computer fan that is mounted in a project box that runs a 3/4" tube up to the tower to cool it. This also pushes air up the back of the cool plate to recirculate air inside the kegerator, eliminating any temperature gradients inside it. Lastly, the fan has a nice blue LED, which just makes it look really cool when I open up the kegerator. All parts were source from RadioShack and HD, about $25 (not including a surplus wall wart to power the thing). Right now, it runs 24/7, but I plan to wire it to the compressor circuit so it only comes on when that is active. The blower works great though. Actually, it may work a bit too well, as the tower is frequently dripping condensed water when it is humid (rare around here). So, I may be making it too cold. In any event, I agree that an aquarium air pump won't transfer enough cooling air in the tower to do much of anything. To build this:

1. 4" x 6" x 3" (or similar sized) project box (RS)

2. 80 mm 12V fan (RS)

3. power adapter (just use an old cell phone charger, etc, rated for 12V DC) and matching screw in power connector (RS)

4. 3/4" female to 3/4" threaded male PVC adapter x 3 (HD)

5. 3/4" PVC cap (fits into #4 above to block flow, if needed) (HD)

6. 3/4" OD clear tubing

7. Screws, nuts and washers to immobilize fan to cover of project box.

To make, cut out hole in project box cover with roughly the diameter of the fan. Mark holes on cover for screws, drill with 1/8" bit and then secure fan to cover with the screws, washers and nuts. Next, drill holes on side of project box to fit the 3/4" male threaded to female PVC adapter, and then screw in adaptor(s) into the hole(s). When set on its side, the fan will face the front of the kegerator, with the back facing the cooling plate. Drill hole to fit power connector and wire up to fan. Plug in power adapter to test and ensure that air flows into the project box, pumping air out of the 3/4" adapter(s) on side/top of box. This may require reversing the polarity to get proper flow direction. Screw box cover on, place 3/4" tubing into 3/4" PVC adapter on the top of the box, and run this into beer tower. Place tower blower box onto the "shelf" on the back of the kegerator that covers the compressor, trim the tubing to fit your tower properly, then route the power adapter wire through the hole on the side of the kegerator that goes to your CO2 (or out the side of the front if needed). On mine, I have 3 3/4" PVC adaptors on the top with one running to the tower, one open to blow on the cooling plate, and one plugged. I can reduce flow to the tower by removing the plug and having only 1/3 of the flow to the tower. If you don't have the tools or time, similar designs are also available on eBay, etc., though they don't have the extra flow ports (3/4" PVC adapters) or blingy blue LED fan.

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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The air pump might produce just enough heat to make it pointless, but I could be wrong.

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Old 04-21-2013, 03:50 AM   #8
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Skip that pump and air stone and go with some copper pipe to cool the lines. Its very easy and cheap.

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Old 04-21-2013, 04:14 AM   #9
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I have a double output aquarium air pump cooling my large copper pass-through tower. It doesn't cool it as well as I'd like, but I think it would probably work pretty well for a smaller standard upright tower. In fact, someone on here doing just that successfully is where I got the idea. I'll eventually stick a fan in there, but the pump works well enough for now. As others have mentioned, the stone is going to be counterproductive.

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Old 04-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
I have a double output aquarium air pump cooling my large capper pass-through tower. It doesn't cool it as well as I'd like, but I think it would probably work pretty well for a smaller standard upright tower. In fact, someone on here doing just that successfully is where I got the idea. I'll eventually stick a fan in there, but the pump works well enough for now. As others have mentioned, the stone is going to be counterproductive.
Looks like that's the best option, then. That's a beautiful keezer you have in your sig.
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