Quantcast

Li'll Red Pump Box Build

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
Here's my first pump-box build: Li'll Red!

I was inspired by so many here. Thanks for everyone's other build posts and ideas.

Now I just need to clean the outside (the damn sticker goo) and add some paint details (switch labels, pump descriptions, etc.)

Features:
  1. Portable/self-contained
  2. GFI breaker
  3. Easy face cleanup
  4. Cord storage in top tray
  5. Lit switches
  6. Master switch controls cooling fan
  7. My kid painted the face-plate for me!
See bottom of post for lessons learned and Ideas if you want to do something similar.

pump box - face.jpg
pump box - back.jpg
pump box - tray.jpg
pump box - open.jpg
pump box - wires.jpg


Lesson's Learned/Tips:
  1. For the cam-lock bulkheads holes, i used a knock-out punch tool. it worked great.
  2. For the other cutouts I used a Dremel tool with a metal-cutting blade. it worked ok. I started using the ceramic disks, but they wore out almost instantly.
  3. For the wiring, the first attempted was solid-core. NO BUENO, I switched to stranded.
  4. the illuminated Dual-Post, Single Throw (DPST) switches needed neutral wire for illumination. it took me a while to figure that out... connect to the load-side of the second pole. (white wires in pictures)
  5. in hindsight I would have mounted the bulkhead fittings lower, so the pump heads would drain better.
  6. instead of mounting the pumps down, I added rubber feet to them so they will "float" a bit.
  7. wire up the master switch loop to the top of the GFI switch to fully separate the pump outlets.
Schematic:

Pump Box.jpg
 
Last edited:

Gravitysucks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
387
Reaction score
374
Location
Maine
That's a nice looking set up. You may have trouble getting the pump on the right to prime though with the head upside down. You'll have an air pocket that will be hard to purge.
 
OP
SmokeyRydr

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
That's a nice looking set up. You may have trouble getting the pump on the right to prime though with the head upside down. You'll have an air pocket that will be hard to purge.
Great point. That pump has caused me problem during my cleanups.

I'll prolly swap it back.

Cheers!
 
OP
SmokeyRydr

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
Nice looking setup. Not to rain on your parade, but you'll have overheating issues with your pumps. They aren't designed to be enclosed.
Good point, but it seems that maintaining sufficient airflow thru the box would mitigate this.

Does anyone know how to calculate the airflow rate across a pump that would be equivalent to the normal ambient heat radiation of the pump?
 

day_trippr

Bastard-covered bastard with bastard filling
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
33,149
Reaction score
14,184
Location
Stow, MA
No doubt someone much smarter than me could take the pump motor steady state wattage to figure out the BTU input, then calculate the volume of (external) air needed to carry those BTUs away.

But until that person shows up, given you have a fan and what appear to be vents the easiest thing would be to stick a temperature probe inside, close it up and operate it, and see what happens. I'm fairly sure those motors have thermal shutdowns within so if you fall asleep in the middle of the test the motors will save themselves.

fwiw, I suspect the vents are seriously undersized for the blower you're using...

Cheers!

[edit] Suggestions, take 'em for whatever you think they're worth:

- Swap out the dual duplex box for a single...
- hard wire the fan...
- and orient the box so it's not blocking up half the blower.
- Then find a way to increase those two vents.

[edit2] If my swag is correct each pump will generate roughly 600 btus/hour. What the air flow rate into/out of the box to keep that in a comfortable neighborhood I've yet to find a method to calculate.
 
Last edited:
OP
SmokeyRydr

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
That reminds me of the box I built: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/my-pumps-in-a-toolbox-build.257388/

I don't use it any longer since I now have a dedicated brewstand.
It should... your build was a big part of my inspiration. :^) Specifically the overall layout, the GFCI and the cord tray.

From another build I saw the flipped pump orientation which is more flexible on the camlock placement and makes pulling the pumps easy.

Question for you:
Did you ever have issues with pumps overheating?
 

Spartan1979

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
1,984
Reaction score
411
Location
O'Fallon, MO
It should... your build was a big part of my inspiration. :^) Specifically the overall layout, the GFCI and the cord tray.

From another build I saw the flipped pump orientation which is more flexible on the camlock placement and makes pulling the pumps easy.

Question for you:
Did you ever have issues with pumps overheating?
I didn't, but I didn't use them that often.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
2,162
Reaction score
174
Location
Home, where the beer is
One thing that would help with air flow, would to be to reduce the size, relocate, or remove the receptacle box. Maybe mount a single under the switches in the front? Or, if you're ambitious, hardwire everything and eliminate the box. The air flow is restricted to mostly one side, and half of that is mostly blocked by the box.
 
OP
SmokeyRydr

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
Any reason you chose to put the pump with the heads towards the back of the box compared to spartan's build?
Yes, this placement allows me to not have to mount the bulkhead fittings in exact spots, and more importantly, I can easily pull the pumps out by just sliding off the hoses.
 
OP
SmokeyRydr

SmokeyRydr

BeachMonkey.Beer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
122
Reaction score
90
Location
Seattle, WA
Update: the little pump box is a champ!
Over 10 batches and no problems.

Once I learned how to efficiently fit my hoses and move them around, my brew day is a breeze.

Tips:
- only swap the upper ends of the hoses. This eliminates a lot of mess and eliminates most of the need for priming the pump/bleeding the hoses.
- add street elbows to the upper end of the hoses. It keeps them from sagging/pinching.

The only change has been to create a bleeder valve attachment shown here. This is useful for taking samples during brew day (first wort, tail runnings, and OG as the wort is being moved). Also, during CIP for bleeding air in the lines between alkali and rinses.
20200204_130813.jpeg
 

Latest posts

Top