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Old 01-25-2011, 07:27 PM   #11
Aug 2010
Tomball, TX
Posts: 111
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

i have had issue when pumping boiling or near boiling temps through my chugger. The pump cavitates (basically boils the water on the low pressure side of the impeller blades) and looses prime. I've found that to overcome this i have to throttle the output back a ways and SLOWLY bring it up.

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
Aug 2010
Rockford, MI
Posts: 344
Liked 12 Times on 11 Posts

I have my entire pump rotated 90 deg. from how yours is so that the fluid comes up from the bottom; then I have a "T" on the top (out side) with a manual bleeder valve out the side of the "T" and another valve going up towards whatever. This way I am sure that any air trapped in the pump head travels upward and out.

I'll open the purge valve, with the top valve still closed, until liquid comes out the side, to ensure the pump head is full; then I'll turn the pump on, close the purge valve and slowly open the top valve. It seems to work every time.

I'm not positive this will help, but it works for me and many others I have seen on here. Four batches this way and has worked great.

Good luck.
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On Deck:--Zombie Dirt IPA --
Primary:--Kitson Kolsch--
Secondary: --nothing--
Bottled/Kegged: --Bells Oberon Clone, Autumn Amber, Lemon Light Ale, Spotted Cow Clone, Honey Bee Ale, Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Trappist Ale, Bell's Oberon Clone, Savannah Saison, Cream Ale, Fat Tire Clone, Mad Cow, Koppslam IIPA--
On Tap: Ben's IPA, Saison De Noel, Mad Cow

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #13
Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 70 Times on 63 Posts

Originally Posted by TheYoshi View Post
can you get it pumping if you manually prime it?
+1 The schematic shows a dump valve. Use it to purge the air from the input line and the pump head then give it another try. IMO, the problem is that the pump is not properly primed. I don't use an auto-vent gizmo, so I cannot advise on where to position it. You should be able to manually prime the pump with or without the autovent installed.

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
Flomaster's Avatar
Nov 2010
Orange, Ca
Posts: 2,149
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts

your pump orientation and autovent is all wrong or at least the autovent it needs to be as close to the output of the pump and positioned in a way that the air is forced out of it.

here is mine is setup and it worked perfectly on sunday when I brewed with it.


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Old 01-25-2011, 10:10 PM   #15
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,760
Liked 149 Times on 121 Posts

The side-to-side orientation is just fine and probably a bit better in fact. The water flow into the inlet at the center of the pump, not "from the bottom". This is a common misquote. The liquid then exits at the root of the outlet connection. For example, in Flomaster's pic, the exit of the pump chamber is actually on the side of the pump not the top. If Flomaster's pump were rotated 90 clockwise, the the exit would be top dead center.

Either way it doesn't matter; both configurations work just fine and have virtually no difference in performance. The only way that is less than desirable is to have the pump side-to-side with the exit on the bottom. If you have it that way change it.

Your autovent is not configured in the typical way. It should still work their though... However, there is a small chance that because of the position of your autovent it is not receiving enough positive pressure to fully close and is allowing atmospheric pressure to access the high pressure side of your pump. This would kill it.

Why are you using the autovents? If you have a dump valve just use that to prime and remove the autovent??? When you set up your system, open the ball valve fully at your kettle, then open the dump valve. Once a good flow starts with the pump off, shut the dump valve. Start the pump. Prosper.

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:35 PM   #16
DeafSmith's Avatar
Jan 2009
Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,448
Liked 34 Times on 32 Posts

I had problems with my March pump losing prime while heating water - worked fine with cold water. I removed the dip tube from my kettle and have had no more problems.

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Old 01-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #17
Jun 2008
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 88

So I've done some more investigation and it turns out the pump will work if I orient the entire pump so the head is on top. When it is oriented horizontally, the impeller just doesn't seem to spin.

Looks like the pump may is defective. I contacted the Chugger folks and am waiting to hear back.

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Old 01-27-2011, 08:56 PM   #18
Jun 2008
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 88

I spoke to Mike at Chugger Pumps and he is sending me a new head to try out.

He also mentioned that it could be a problem with the quick disconnects that I'm using. Everything in my system is 1/2", but they have 3/8" couplings.

I'm hoping that isn't the problem because I am planning on whirlpooling through my CFC using this pump and if some smaller couplings are stopping the pump, then the 1/2" copper tubing that I used in the chiller will definitely be a problem. . .

I will post my findings when I have a chance to try out the new head.

As an aside, Mike was extremely nice and helpful. You really couldn't ask for a more responsive company.

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Old 01-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #19
Dec 2009
North Pole, Alaska
Posts: 1,809
Liked 42 Times on 38 Posts

Diptubes are the bane of mag drive pumps.

Though if the machining tolerances were off for the impeller housing, I could see how it might only work if clocked in a certain position.
10 gallon electric system
Stovetop 110v single vessel 5 gallon system

Primary: saison
Secondary: nada
Conditioning: macaroon stout
Drinking: store bought

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Old 01-28-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
Jun 2008
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 88

It is admittedly a pain in the ass to make sure there is no air trapped in the dip tube. . .

I was having the same issues with or without it though.

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