Glycol pump

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TrickyDick

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Hello.


I have a DIY glycol system. The pump I used initially was a 1/4 HP superior pumps. The system sat unused for quite some time, and the pump no longer worked. I bought a replacement and it has been very noisy, and I suspect it is not going to last. I there a particular type of pump I need to be using? It is submerged in the glycol reservoir sump-pump type . The glycol is the kind used in MRI installations food grade and with additives to inhibit corrosion pre diluted. Would really be a pain to switch to a non submerged pump. The first pump I had seemed to work fine before it sat idle, this one is not even finished with its second fermentation and it sounds like it's dying.
TD.
 

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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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Not sure about the cold temp. My first pump worked well until sitting idle for a year. I have a warranty on the pump so if it dies, I'll get it replaced.
Thanks for sharing the link on the dc pump. My pump supplies a manifold and two fermenter tanks. One is jacketed the other is a diy copper coil wrapped around the tank. I suspect there is significant resistance and I sort of wonder if that specific pump would be "strong" enough to do the trick. I'm sort of curious what they would use at a brewery. Probably a commercial glycol system, but that would also need a pump, so what I'm driving at here is what is a durable pump that will last submerged to glycol.

TD
 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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Thanks for the link. I'll look into that. For time being, I think I'll ask for warranty on the pump if it fails, and get replacement if it dies and start saving for one of those.

So I did contact some Chiller makers for commercial applications. I was told that the standard pump impellers for water pumps are trimmed down because the pumps will fail with glycol sooner if they do not, because the glycol has greater viscosity.
Makes we wonder about using an OIL pump!!!

Hmm...

TD
 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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So pump did die last night.
apparently the whole issue of glycol cooling systems is vast and complex.
There is abundant research about trimming impellers, energy requirements, etc when it comes to this. Then there are pressure considerations, safety valves, pressuring limiting devices/regulators, and when multiple tanks are being cooled intermittently, variable pump output devices that switch over to a higher output state for the pump.

I think I'm probably going to just buy a replacement pump for what I was using and see about a warranty replacement. It might be the pump was running continuously because I had the reservoir temp set too low, or that the manual ball valve in my glycol manifold to adjust pressure was not adjust right. Apparently this is needed to permit glycol to flow into the jacket/cooling coil as opposed to the assumed to be less restrictive return pathway to the reservoir. I say assumed because I do not have pressure gauges installed at multiple sites.

That being said, I'm thInking less is more with the pump.
The vertical pump I think might survive longer, but I also think it costs nearly 4-5 times as much, might be noisy as hell.

What I did learn is that my apparently simple question has unraveled into a very complicated affair, which in order to answer would require more time energy and money that I care to throw at it. It seems pro brewers need to be aware of these so they don't burst their jacketed fermenters. Seems that it might be reasonable to find out what mine is rated and install a pressure gauge on that one to be sure I'm safe. Then swap the pump for something that isn't any bigger or more powerful and see how it does.
 

WPStrassburg

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you could use a traditional external pump and pipe the suction up and into your glycol vessel. you would have to prime the pump the first time, but assuming no air gets sucked in should allow the pump to work fine after that.

What does your vessel look like? are you completely against adding a bulkhead and external pump?

Mine setup is slowly coming together and we will hopefully be testing the chiller and pump this weekend.


 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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Did you remove the condenser coil from the AC unit and resolder and charge the "freon"?
Looks like a lot of plumbing work!
What kind of pump are you using? is it noisy?
I am not totally opposed to major revisions. At this point I just want to start seeing some results with what I have invested. I think a vertical pump is making more and more sense, because that is what IS used on a glycol system (for cooling dispensing lines though I believe) and would not sit in the bath which has already killed one pump. Would be easier to plumb in through the cooler lid. By the way, I hate my cooler choice. I got pigeonholed into that specific cooler because of my mobile cart design. Seems to work fine, but definitely not the most efficient cooler.

TD
 

WPStrassburg

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I started with a bare condensing unit and piped it to a brazed plate heat exchanger. The pump is a Little Giant 4 series and is relatively quiet, but I'm used to having a pump and associated noise running a saltwater aquarium, so it may be "loud" for some. About the same as a March 809 or the like if you've got one of those for a brew pump.

http://littlegiant.com/products/industrial/magnetic-drive-pumps/sc-series/4-md-sc/

The LG pumps from the cooler reservoir and through the other side of the brazed plate exchanger to chill my glycol down. I will cycle the condenser and LG based on the glycol temp. I have three individual pumps that will pull from the reservoir for each of the three fermenters above based on the individual fermenter temps.

A glycol powerpack for line chilling usually uses a small gear pump for the high pressure/low flow requirements for trunk line cooling. Commercial glycol chillers for wort cooling and fermenter temp control will normally have some version of a centrifugal pump like our March pumps, just bigger and not magnetic drive.
 
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TrickyDick

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Ah.

See what I was saying about this business being a huge rabbit hole!


So sounds like a don't want a vertical pump (trunk line chiller) because it's designed for the opposite situation I want- high flow low pressure. Why do they make the darn fittings on the jacket 1/4" if they want low pressure!!! But hey, we are getting somewhere. I think.

Seems I'll need a dry pump and a snorkel and way to prime it. Maybe just back flush it a bit with CO2.

I'll look into that little giant pump. I definitely do NOT want a noisy pump. The chugged pumps I have are plenty loud enough. Indoor brewing makes it even more noticeable.

Oh, and another thing. Putting a bulkhead on the crappy little cooler would be a big mistake, I don't think it would last and would leak. I hate cleaning up glycol...

Oh and yet another thing. Your setup sounds simplified over having a ball valve open and close, with just the pump going on and off and dedicated circuitry for each pump. Downside is cost of multiple pumps and electric use I suppose. The big boys I learned use a VFD device whatever that stands for, to regulate pump output to match the needs of the cooling equipment when they open and close the ball valves.


TD.
 

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Hi,
I don't know what your system configuration is, but my system is the BVL controls ECO-33 glycol chiller with a SS Brewtech Chronical fermenter. This fermenter uses a coil that is submerged in the wort for cooling. The pump is a 12VDC 460 LPH submersible pump. Here is one like it. http://www.ebay.com/itm/351737252434?
_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIThttp://
I am headed out soon to pick up a BVL controls ECO-33 line chiller which I also intend to use to chill my ss brewtech 14 gallon Chronicle BME, just as you are doing. My question is, does your chiller have a dial for temp control (just has 1-10 saying colder with an arrow) or does yours have the digital readout? The one I will be picking up has the dial..... Not sure that will matter much.

Secondly, and more importantly, are you using the pump the chiller comes with? What is your setup/configuration? I have the ftss heating and cooling on my fermenter and it comes with its own pump. After reading some online manual for the chiller, it states that "The pump must always run to have a constant agitation in the tank and avoid damaging the compressor." I just wanted to use the unit to cool the glycol tank and then use the ss brewtech cooling system to control and pump the liquid through the system as needed. Is that the best way or even a possible way to run this?

I am only paying 200 bucks for the unit (its like 12 years old though) so if it breaks/doesnt work to my needs, then I can get over it pretty quickly.
 

augiedoggy

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any reason why the cheap $20 style submersible dc pumps like ss brewtech supplies with their system wont work for you? you dont really want fast flow in this application its more likely to ice up the coils.. are you using one pump to power a manifold with valves? or is this for one fermenter? I have no issues using the truck line pumps that came with my chillers and im even using soft vinyl jackets and hoses on my home setup... its been about 6 years now.
 

Leblais

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any reason why the cheap $20 style submersible dc pumps like ss brewtech supplies with their system wont work for you? you dont really want fast flow in this application its more likely to ice up the coils.. are you using one pump to power a manifold with valves? or is this for one fermenter? I have no issues using the truck line pumps that came with my chillers and im even using soft vinyl jackets and hoses on my home setup... its been about 6 years now.
I am only running the 1 14 gallon Chronicle so it should be enough to power my needs, but reading the directions on the chiller, it stated that the pump must run to have CONSTANT agitation or you could risk damaging the compressor. That was my concern. Now that I have the unit, I see that I can unplug the pump itself for now and run it with the ss brewtech one, but I was just concerned that it may not circulate enough as temps are cooler now and it will only cycle on every now and then.
 

Leblais

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any reason why the cheap $20 style submersible dc pumps like ss brewtech supplies with their system wont work for you? you dont really want fast flow in this application its more likely to ice up the coils.. are you using one pump to power a manifold with valves? or is this for one fermenter? I have no issues using the truck line pumps that came with my chillers and im even using soft vinyl jackets and hoses on my home setup... its been about 6 years now.
Since you have been using it for 6 years, does that mean you have the dial temp gauge and not the digital readout style?
 

augiedoggy

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Since you have been using it for 6 years, does that mean you have the dial temp gauge and not the digital readout style?
I have digital temp control on my chiller although I dont know what that has to do with the pump? I use brucontrol to control my chiller temps.

I have never heard of having to recirculate the sump in the chiller 24/7 and am not sure how that could possibly burn out the compressor. my pump turns on at the same time as one or more of my valves are opened to direct flow to cool one of my four conicals.
 
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Leblais

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I have digital temp control on my chiller although I dont know what that has to do with the pump? I use brucontrol to control my chiller temps.

This question was a separate question from that of the pump. I was curious if yours had the digital readout on it from the factory or if it has the dial. Mine has the dial on it, and there is not a way to know what the 1-10 setting equates to. I guess I can hook up a temp controller (as it seems you have done). I tested it out today with 1 gallon glycol mixed with 2 gallons of distilled water and it got the temp down to 37 degrees in only a few mins. I was very impressed!

I have never heard of having to recirculate the sump in the chiller 24/7 and am not sure how that could possibly burn out the compressor. my pump turns on at the same time as one or more of my valves are opened to direct flow to cool one of my four conicals.
I was just quoting from the online instruction manual that I found on the manufacturers website.....I disconnected the pump that the chiller came with and I dropped in the SS brewteck one. Seems to be fine.What do you mean you have valves that open to direct flow? You use the pump it came with? How do you control the valves ? If I were to expand to more conicals, most likely they would be ss brewtech too, and they come with the pumps. I would prob. just use those.
 

augiedoggy

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I was just quoting from the online instruction manual that I found on the manufacturers website.....I disconnected the pump that the chiller came with and I dropped in the SS brewteck one. Seems to be fine.What do you mean you have valves that open to direct flow? You use the pump it came with? How do you control the valves ? If I were to expand to more conicals, most likely they would be ss brewtech too, and they come with the pumps. I would prob. just use those.
I made my own control system, everything is controlled by brucontrol and I use 12v valves along with the chiller pump since I have 4 conicals this system makes more sense for me. I actually built a larger scale version of the same thing to control temps on 4 3bbl conicals at the brewpub I own. Ive visited a few breweries that used the same set up and I dont recall any of them having the pump running at all times.

I also use heat wrap around the outside of my conicals since having the ability to raise temps for things like the dialectal rest are just as important
 

Leblais

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I made my own control system, everything is controlled by brucontrol and I use 12v valves along with the chiller pump since I have 4 conicals this system makes more sense for me. I actually built a larger scale version of the same thing to control temps on 4 3bbl conicals at the brewpub I own. Ive visited a few breweries that used the same set up and I dont recall any of them having the pump running at all times.

I also use heat wrap around the outside of my conicals since having the ability to raise temps for things like the dialectal rest are just as important
Sweet! Do you have some info or pictures on how to do that? I am thinking of buying (maybe this week) 3- 1 bbl jacketed unitanks and that build could come in very handy. I cant imagine that this small 3 gallon glycol chiller could handle that, could it? And ABSOLUTELY heat is a must. I have the heating pad on there too, but again, its part of the FTSS Heating and Chilling package.
 

augiedoggy

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Sweet! Do you have some info or pictures on how to do that? I am thinking of buying (maybe this week) 3- 1 bbl jacketed unitanks and that build could come in very handy. I cant imagine that this small 3 gallon glycol chiller could handle that, could it? And ABSOLUTELY heat is a must. I have the heating pad on there too, but again, its part of the FTSS Heating and Chilling package.
I control all four 3bbl conicals with a single 1/3hp chiller and it works fine.
sorry I dont have schematics. I just used dual contact relays so the AC pump comes on at the same time as any valve opens. there is a few threads floating around here on how to do it and there is some info buried in my build thread in my signature.
 
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