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RIP Riptide pump

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Jako

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Title says it all about 10 brews in and the propeller failed so bad I am worried about drinking the beer now. I have watched the pump every brew making sure it didn't run dry etc. Latterly in shock as I noticed as I was cleaning.
 

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Title says it all about 10 brews in and the propeller failed so bad I am worried about drinking the beer now. I have watched the pump every brew making sure it didn't run dry etc. Latterly in shock as I noticed as I was cleaning.
Worried about drinking the beer? Cmon.

Contact Blichmann with your images. If they don't fix you up, let me know by PM.
 
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Jako

Jako

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Jeeze, what the heck is that mess? Did they plate over plastic?
Sure looks like it i take good care of my things and was overly careful to make sure it didn't run dry. It had a slight grind noise once in a blue moon. Nothing to think twice about. It also ran until the end of my brew day 0 issues.
Worried about drinking the beer? Cmon.

Contact Blichmann with your images. If they don't fix you up, let me know by PM.
I will reach out to them now. Hopefully something can be resolved or at least some type of solution.
 

day_trippr

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In the second picture, is the black-ish stuff near the top a deposit then?
That would make more sense - I thought it was metal removed showing underlying black-ish plastic...

Cheers!
 

mabrungard

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Wort will plate and coat pump, piping, and tubing in any brewing system. A caustic cleaning regimen is required occasionally. I perform one every 3 or 4 batches.
 

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So, the material of that thingamajig, impeller, propeller, magnet, is that rusty steel, or brown plastic (bakelite? does that still exist?), or something else?

The worn-through shiny coating is not a deposit any of my beers would leave, I'm pretty sure about that. To me it looks more like a thin aluminum or stainless or tin cover that the manufacturer put there. It looks like it has chatter marks (vertical lines) in the lower part, and is worn through near the top. So my second question is: why? Why is there a thin apparently not too abrasion resistant cover over some other material?
 
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Gruel

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Worried about drinking the beer? Cmon.
Well, whatever that silver cover was made off (stainless?), is now in the beer. I guess it depends on how close you are already to your maximum daily chromium, nickel and iron intake... :mug:
 

day_trippr

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Yeah, I gotta say, the more I look at that second picture the more it looks like there's metal removed exposing underlying plastic. Not deposits.

Beer stone (the brown staining) definitely happens to pumps...and valves, and tubing, and kettles if one lets it build up. I do a hot PBW recirculation through my whole 3v2p rig every so often to get everything bright again, but that's not going to fix a damaged rotor...

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It's very clear in the picture that the thin stainless that encapsulates the magnet got completely worn through due to constant rubbing on the sides of the back cover. That thing had to have been making a constant noise. There are only a couple scenarios that would get you there. Bent shaft would make the impellor run off center. Bent or misformed back cover. Irregular or misaligned oring seal would cause the back cover to sit off center towards the back but that would also likely leak badly so it's not likely.

The orange buildup/coating is iron being released from the scraping and sticking to the magnet.
 

Vale71

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Second what Bobby said. The metal coating should never at any time be in contact with any other part of the pump as long as the pump is assembled correctly and everything is properly aligned. Judging by the amount of wear and tear visible in the picture I'd be surprised if the pump hadn't made a hell of a racket while running.

The brown material underneath the coating is of course the permanent magnet that the rotating magnetic field will act upon making the impeller turn without any physical contact. Except in your case there was clearly plenty of contact where there should have been none...
 

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Supposedly that pump contains a small easily lost washer; does that washer set the clearance between the impeller/magnet assembly and the housing?

Regarding the brown material: what is the impeller made of? It looks the same as the piece that apparently is a magnet, but I assume it's not the same material?
 

day_trippr

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It's a thrust washer - a stainless steel one at that while being a wear item - so it's not going to affect shaft alignment or end play. It just keeps the back side of the impeller away from the housing. My twin 815pl pumps have similar washers though they're teflon.

The impellers are basically plastic of some kind and I have no idea how the magnet/housing is attached. Again, my March pumps have very similar impellers, but I never noticed how they're fabricated...

Cheers!
 

Punx Clever

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It's a thrust washer - a stainless steel one at that while being a wear item - so it's not going to affect shaft alignment or end play. It just keeps the back side of the impeller away from the housing. My twin 815pl pumps have similar washers though they're teflon.

The impellers are basically plastic of some kind and I have no idea how the magnet/housing is attached. Again, my March pumps have very similar impellers, but I never noticed how they're fabricated...

Cheers!
Well, isn't that what happened here (impeller touching housing)?
The stainless washer on the Riptide goes between the pump head and the impeller, not between the impeller and the back of the pump.

See the drawing on page 2 of the Riptide manual (https://www.blichmannengineering.com/pub/media/wysiwyg/files/RipTide Pump V4_0.pdf)
 
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Jako

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I am going to take a bunch of pictures after I get some sleep today. The propeller was spotless, after each brew day all my gear will soak in pbw then cleaned. I love shiny gear.

It looks like it heated up so much it caused wort to scorch. What I can't figure out is why it has vertical lines.
 
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So, the material of that thingamajig, impeller, propeller, magnet, is that rusty steel, or brown plastic (bakelite? does that still exist?), or something else?

The worn-through shiny coating is not a deposit any of my beers would leave, I'm pretty sure about that. To me it looks more like a thin aluminum or stainless or tin cover that the manufacturer put there. It looks like it has chatter marks (vertical lines) in the lower part, and is worn through near the top. So my second question is: why? Why is there a thin apparently not too abrasion resistant cover over some other material?
This is exactly what it looks like to me. I checked the shaft today and if didn't look bent but thats just by looking at it.
 
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It's very clear in the picture that the thin stainless that encapsulates the magnet got completely worn through due to constant rubbing on the sides of the back cover. That thing had to have been making a constant noise. There are only a couple scenarios that would get you there. Bent shaft would make the impellor run off center. Bent or misformed back cover. Irregular or misaligned oring seal would cause the back cover to sit off center towards the back but that would also likely leak badly so it's not likely.

The orange buildup/coating is iron being released from the scraping and sticking to the magnet.
It would make a skipping sound every now and then but I checked and cleaned the pump after every use. I noticed the issue once I started to clean it. I thought it was rusty and was super angry. I wish it was that simple.
 

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This is exactly what it looks like to me. I checked the shaft today and if didn't look bent but thats just by looking at it.
The only way to be sure is to use a caliper to measure the distance from say the inside edge of the head to the shaft in several locations. It wouldn't have to be off by more than 1/16" to cause a problem. You would also see exactly where on the inside of the back stainless cover it was rubbing, but now that you've taken it apart without noting the previous location, that's a moot point.

For people talking about the thrust washer... it has absolutely nothing to do with maintaining lateral clearance. It's just a spacer between the head casting and the front of the impeller (the side with the vanes).

The impeller is a replaceable part because the bore down the middle will eventually wear out after hundreds of hours of use. If you find that the shaft is well centered, the only other answer I can come up with is that you got a piece of abrasive debris caught in the pump, between the back cap and impeller and it just went to work..
 

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Regarding the brown material: what is the impeller made of? It looks the same as the piece that apparently is a magnet, but I assume it's not the same material?
Polysulfone. It's a highly heat-resistant thermoplastic.
 

Vale71

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The impeller is a replaceable part because the bore down the middle will eventually wear out after hundreds of hours of use. If you find that the shaft is well centered, the only other answer I can come up with is that you got a piece of abrasive debris caught in the pump, between the back cap and impeller and it just went to work..
It's also not inconceivable that the debris might have come from the impeller head itself. If the coating started detaching because of some material or manufacturing defect the resulting debris might have gotten caught between rotor and housing and caused even more damage.
 
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Adding some pictures I just took. The bottom of the shaft that the washer rest on is milled wierd. Looks like someone took a grinder to it.
 

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I have sent the information to Blichmann. I hope i hear back soon. Thank you all for the ideas I plan to dig a little deeper once I am done cleaning the brewery
 

day_trippr

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I wonder if that dent at 2 o-clock in this picture is a cause or a symptom...

1599258815158.png


Cheers!
 
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Well Blichmann replied to my email, they said it looks normal and asked for more pictures. I sent the information with no reply. I kindly asked for an update with no reply.
 

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I sent that picture first actually. The customer service rep asked for pictures of the impellor shaft and washer assembly i guess you would call it. So I sent 3 pictures showing the uneven milling etc.
 

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Were you able to verify that the shaft is leaning by measuring to the circular face of the head to the shaft at various points in the circumference?
 
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Were you able to verify that the shaft is leaning by measuring to the circular face of the head to the shaft at various points in the circumference?
I was not, I don't own the tool (can't think of the proper name right now) but i am going to ask at work.

Blichmann replied to me. They provided a few things to look at so I will do that this evening and report back.
 
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Blichmann has offered to take my pump in to be serviced and repaired and sent back. I am pretty satisfied with that.
 

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That's really good because I've been waiting for an answer back from them about how to handle it. That was you that sent me an email that you bought it from me correct? I had one other customer have a similar issue, but not worn through as much as yours so I got confused about who may have emailed me. The reason I didn't just offer to swap the heads for you is that I've been out of stock on the pumps for about a month.
 
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That's really good because I've been waiting for an answer back from them about how to handle it. That was you that sent me an email that you bought it from me correct? I had one other customer have a similar issue, but not worn through as much as yours so I got confused about who may have emailed me. The reason I didn't just offer to swap the heads for you is that I've been out of stock on the pumps for about a month.
That was me, I was wondering why you didn't reply so that makes a ton of sense! I appreciate you saying something and completely understand you're reasoning. Something like this shouldn't fall on the retailer.

You're website is my go to for everything I need and will remain that way. Hopefully this isn't a reoccurring issue or I might look into modifying my brew system and going yo a gravity feed system.

Related but off topic. My friend i work with said the housing on his was not to spec brand new he replaced the impellor and housing out of pocket and it fixed the issue.

He said his new impellor housing was extremely magnet and the old one wasn't. My housing wasn't magnetic untill i put it into the pump motor.
 

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I've got a lot of brew days on mine and its still going great other than regularly losing the @#$% washer down the drain. I bought 100 from McMaster Carr so I'm good for a year or two lol. Hopefully yours will be trouble free when you get it back.
 
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Thanks for the good wishes. Things happen in manufacturing no matter how diled it i.
 

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That was me, I was wondering why you didn't reply so that makes a ton of sense! I appreciate you saying something and completely understand you're reasoning. Something like this shouldn't fall on the retailer.

You're website is my go to for everything I need and will remain that way. Hopefully this isn't a reoccurring issue or I might look into modifying my brew system and going yo a gravity feed system.

Related but off topic. My friend i work with said the housing on his was not to spec brand new he replaced the impellor and housing out of pocket and it fixed the issue.

He said his new impellor housing was extremely magnet and the old one wasn't. My housing wasn't magnetic untill i put it into the pump motor.
Please keep me updated. I do have replacement back caps and impellors if Blichmann does drop the ball.
 
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Jako

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Pump arrived today, the motor and impellor was replaced. Even though the pump was under warranty I am extremely grateful that it was repaired. With shipping the turn around was quick.

I was especially upset as soon as it happened but I quickly reminded myself that this stuff happens and it will be taken care of (most of the time). Nice to know Blichmann stands behind the warranty and to be honest very little hassle.

Looks like this passed quality control on my birthday, hah must be a good sign right?
 
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