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Old 10-03-2011, 03:24 AM   #1
lgoolsby
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Jan 2011
Columbus, GA
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I like my current rig but it has some fundamental issues that are driving me nuts. First off, the pumps are near impossible to get primed. I blame this entirely on how they are positioned and mounted. That is easy enough to fix. However...my primary beef is with the silicon tubing I am using. I find it to be fragile and irritating. Half of my tubing is being held together with electrician tape because I keep popping leaks.

Can I get some advice from other who have setup a rig that is hard plumbed? I am thinking of hard plumbing my system with stainless to cut down on the frustration of crimped silicon and poorly priming pumps. Any thoughts from those who have been there would be helpful.

My primary worries are A) ease of use, B) cleaning, C) fit and finish and D) easy priming of March pumps and E) practicality.

I know I may be wining after a sub-optimal brew day, but I am really tired of spending 30 minutes trying to get my pumps primed. I eventually want to have a push button brewery, so bear in mind that any suggestions should take into account that eventually the pumps, burners, and water intake will be automated one day. My biggest concern right now is figuring out a practical means of connecting a keggle to a hard lined system that doesn't require Playstation-perfect alignment. I would like the system to have a little leeway but the plumbing that matters be all rigid stainless.

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:34 AM   #2
Bobby_M
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You need thick walled silicone, quick disconnects and pump priming practice.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:32 AM   #3
eastoak
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Jan 2011
oakland, california
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how do you get leaks in silicone tubing? i never encounter anything sharp when brewing...

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:48 PM   #4
BargainFittings
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Post some pictures of your setup. I'm sure you will get plenty of advice on how to make it more functional.

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
lgoolsby
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Jan 2011
Columbus, GA
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My rig
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
enohcs
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Jan 2008
Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgoolsby
My rig
Your hoses appear to be too long. Shorten them up and youve likely solved the priming problem.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
Surly
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Like you, I was frustrated with my March pump and the priming issue. Some practice as Bobby suggests is a good idea.

That, as well as stepping back and examining the pump, how it is mounted and how it needs to be mounted may help.

I ended up placing a release valve on the think and that helped a great deal. The pump needs to be below the liquid it is to pump. Look at all those little things, read some of the treads here and I predict that part of your life will get better.

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
lgoolsby
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Jan 2011
Columbus, GA
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The problem I keep running into is clogs in the line from the MT and vapor in the BK lines during the boil. The problem with the MT seems to be with the false bottom because I can take the line from the HLT and 'blow' it loose. I have some theories on the BK but they are educated guesses at best.

I know the pumps aren't ideally mounted, they were that way when I bought the rig. That is one of many changes I want to make. Not shown: I have replaced the small pot on the left with a keggle and have a second keggle that will replace the cooler and a 40 plate Duda Diesel chiller.

Here is a list of things I want (and need) to change so I can maybe save some of you some typing.

1) I want a third burner where the MT is and make it a HERMS/RIMS system (haven't made up my mind but am leaning to RIMS)
2) I want to horizontally mount the pumps and add a water shield
3) I want a bottom tray that I can use to hold stuff such as my plate chiller
4) While I am still doing 5 gal. batches, the end goal in all of this is to start doing 10 gal. batches
5) I want to move the switches for the pumps to somewhere where I don't worry about getting shocked.

Basically, I have a solid foundation for a really sweet rig. It just needs a little more to really get to where I want it.

As for the silicone tubing, it always seems to tear right around where the fittings are. Of the four lengths I have, I have had four leaks. I am somewhere around 15 brews with those hoses so its not like they are old and getting brittle.

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgoolsby View Post
My rig
I believe they recommend putting the output of the pump higher than the input.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
lgoolsby
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Jan 2011
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I should probably also add that after a couple of home brews my frustration subsided greatly.

 
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