Which pumps for single-tier system?

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jcaudill

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Seems to me after some research that getting any kind of consensus on which pump to use is about as tough as which burner to use!

I had originally decided to go with the H315HF March pump - but from what I've read here I don't know if that's a good idea. Seems like a lot of people complain about the priming and the plastic head. I've read a bit about the Little Giants but there really was no consensus on their ability to handle boiling wort.

I just want a pump that is going to be easy to clean, easy to use and is going to last without costing an absolute fortune. I'm online doing 10-gallon batches right now.

Any advice greatly appreciated!
 
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jcaudill

jcaudill

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Hi wildwest,

Can you tell me why the 809?

Thanks.
 

wildwest450

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It's the most widely used pump for homebrewers, period. Maybe not the perfect choice, but for our application, a very good one. One of the few that will pump boiling wort as well. Also magnetic drive, so you can throttle it down without burning up the motor.
 
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jcaudill

jcaudill

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I have seen that the 809 is a popular pump - what has me concerned is seeing the number of people that are abandoning them too.

Anyone have positive comments about March? Used them for a long time?
 

wildwest450

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I have seen that the 809 is a popular pump - what has me concerned is seeing the number of people that are abandoning them too.

Anyone have positive comments about March? Used them for a long time?
Only people who don't understand how to use them or who are looking for a cheaper knockoff option. There is a learning curve. The don't self prime, which can be tricky. I wouldn't use pumps at all if it weren't for my undying need to always upgrade.
 
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jcaudill

jcaudill

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LOL.

How difficult is the priming? Is it just a matter of opening up the inlet side, making sure liquid gets down to it, turn on the pump then opening up the ball valve on the outlet side?
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Used mine for 4 to 5 years now.

They suck. What else do you want?

Abandoning? All I see is people looking to save some cash. Not dumping them in the woods like a box of kittens.
 
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jcaudill

jcaudill

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Haha, nice play on words!

I mean, given March pumps are not that expensive I can't see that being a good reason to dump them.
 

Bobby_M

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LOL.

How difficult is the priming? Is it just a matter of opening up the inlet side, making sure liquid gets down to it, turn on the pump then opening up the ball valve on the outlet side?
The best way to prime them is to make sure there is no air in the hose feeding the pump, then connect to the pump. Then open the valve on the output of the pump a tiny bit with no hose connected until the air is purged. Connect output hose and turn the pump on.

It's not enough to flood the head before pumping if you've got a 6" long air gap in the supply hose. The pump will move the water out of the head and guess what's right behind it? More air.

For a quick rundown of how it's done and a few gratuitous shots of my ass crack,

 
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jcaudill

jcaudill

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Ok this might be a dumb question - but how do you assure there's no air on the input side? Seems to me if I had it disconnected, then hooked it up to say the HLT there will certainly be air in it?
 

Catt22

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FWIW, I prefer to use a small bleeder valve on the output side of the pump between the flow control valve and the pump head. IMO, this is an easy and pretty much fool proof way to go. I hook up the hoses with the flow control valve closed, then open the bleeder valve until I get a strong flow. Next, simply close the bleeder valve and open the flow control as desired. This procedure can easily be repeated whenever necessary without the need to disconnect any hoses. The bleeder valve can be used as a dump port if you should overfill the kettle or to grab a wort sample.
 

Snake10

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March 809's will be fine for your build. Place them low on your frame, open the ball valve that feeds the inlet, open the ball valve for the outlet, wait til its full of liquid from gravity fed then turn it on. So what if it takes a couple of on/offs to get it flowing smooth. 1.5 years and going strong on a single tier. No big deal. Guys are just afraid of the unknown, get them, build your system and you'll be happy. Learning curve for a single tier with march pumps is maybe 2 brew sessions at most.
Snake 10
 

HexKrak

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The best way to prime them is to make sure there is no air in the hose feeding the pump, then connect to the pump. Then open the valve on the output of the pump a tiny bit with no hose connected until the air is purged. Connect output hose and turn the pump on.

It's not enough to flood the head before pumping if you've got a 6" long air gap in the supply hose. The pump will move the water out of the head and guess what's right behind it? More air.

For a quick rundown of how it's done and a few gratuitous shots of my ass crack,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUyifHMy9Fs
Thanks for that, you just saved me a lot of trial and error.
 

Flomaster

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just in case, I was checking on eBay and notice a drop in price on the Chugger Stainless Steel (similar to March 809). This is a very low price, $76.00 with free shipping. I pay the same for the plastic version (WTF!).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Chugger-Stainless-Steel-replaces-March-809-/220712543117?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33637e238d

Cheers! :tank:
its not a buy it now there are 12 bids on that pump price will probably end up around $100 unless some one wins that doesn't know what the pumps worth.

here is the $99 buy it now pump http://cgi.ebay.com/Chugger-Stainle...ultDomain_0&hash=item33637e1e03#ht_1260wt_913

-=Jason=-
 

Flomaster

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I have $100 bill and need a pump now to try and figure out how to get a chugger I'll give them a call see if I can pay with a debt card

-=Jason=-
 

tlael

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Just ordered a chugger for $99 shipped from usapumps on ebay (aka pumps-parts.com).
I got notification of shipment within an hour. They are a class act outfit from what I have heard. The quick response and shipment only confirm that!
 

Snake10

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How do you know there is air in the line or not? You will definitely see any and all liquid in your 1/2" opaque silicone line. Water is even easy to see.
Snake10
 

MonkeyWrench

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Why the heck does everyone mount their pump head with the inlet facing down? Sure seems like it would prime easier facing upward.

Supposedly the 809 center inlet pump primes easier, flows a little more, and is around the same price. That's the way I am leaning, fed by a 3/4" supply with 1/2" discharge.
 

bbognerks

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With the inlet down, it allows for the air bubble to travel up through the outlet. If it was the other way around, then you could potentially have an air bubble in the head and no where for it to go. Make sense? The water level will travel through the down-facing inlet up through the head, pushing any air bubbles out of the head allowing for an easy prime.
 

Randar

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Why the heck does everyone mount their pump head with the inlet facing down? Sure seems like it would prime easier facing upward.

Supposedly the 809 center inlet pump primes easier, flows a little more, and is around the same price. That's the way I am leaning, fed by a 3/4" supply with 1/2" discharge.
The 815 has the upgraded impeller. 809-C w/ the center mount inlet is rated (per March's website) for higher GPM (IIRC).

Talking to Walter at March it seems like as long as you prime them you don't really have top worry about orientation (excect if the whole thing is mounted upside down (I think that is the orientation that does not keep prime).

You don't have to mount it so the inlet is in the bottom. Walter mentioned you can mount it sideways so that inlet/outlet is L-to-R or R-to-L, but he also mentioned that it is best to have the outlet side higher than the input side since this fills the head completely with liquid.
 

Randar

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Why the heck does everyone mount their pump head with the inlet facing down? Sure seems like it would prime easier facing upward.

Supposedly the 809 center inlet pump primes easier, flows a little more, and is around the same price. That's the way I am leaning, fed by a 3/4" supply with 1/2" discharge.
This would work very well, IMO.
 

MonkeyWrench

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I suppose on certain systems you could possibly air lock it. I had thought of hard piping a standard pump with inlet facing up, then open the vessel valve and allow the air bubble between the vessel valve and the pump to flow back into the vessel and gravity would fill the pump. Maybe it would not work like I imagine. A fairly direct path would obviously be needed.

I plan on running the above setup with a bottom dump (inverted) sanke, so I really hope to not have these priming issues. Guess we'll see.

*EDIT* I had also thought of getting a SS Chugger and welding a coupler or nipple in the center as a supply then using the old inlet as an air bleed/system drain by installing a valve on it and bleeding until I got liquid. Priming would be easy-squeezy.
 

Randar

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Not sure I am following your "EDIT remarks. You should bleed on the outlet side, not the inlet side/ You want to fill the entire inlet path and the entire pump head completely to ensure it is full primed.
 

MonkeyWrench

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Well, say you have a hard piped system and you can't do what Bobby did in his video, you would just open the valve on the (old) inlet and bleed until you got liquid. At this point, the pump inlet side is flooded. If you mounted it so the old inlet faced up, the entire pump would be flooded, no air remaining.

I am just thinking out loud here. It may or may not work.
 

Randar

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In that respect, I still think the preference would be to have it on the outlet side. The orientation of the pump inlets/outlets really shouldn't matter as long as the pump assembly is completely below the kettles. Unless I am not picturing this correctly?

I also don't understand this "old inlet" and "new inlet" business. There is only one inlet on the pump head and only one outlet. You will create an air bubble in the line if you purge the inlet side (assuming the liquid runs from this point down into the pump head... that air must be displaced somehow). The dead space air in the head and on the outlet side of the pump will feed back up the line.
 

hinzer

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Has anyone used a Peristaltic pump. I use them at work on flexo printing presses. Easy to clean and can be sanitized easily. Prices are all over the place. I have not used it for brewing but do not see why not. GPM range from 0-200. You can make your own with cam followers, milled out block of wood for shaft bearing and hose. Just a thought.
 

MonkeyWrench

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Someone here did make their own Peristaltic pump. IIRC they used silicone hose and a motor with 2 rollers mounted on arms that mounted to the motor. It was all made form wood. If I get around to it, I'll look it up...I'm brewing right now.

Randar, Like I said, I was just thinking out loud. The price of the SS Chugger is inviting, but I already have my system designed and some parts bought to use the 809 with center inlet. My thought was to weld on a nipple to the center of the SS Chugger, making it a center inlet pump (which Chugger does not make at this time). It would then have two inlets, a new one (center) and the old one (side/stock). If said old inlet was positioned on top, one could bleed air from that location, and with the outlet being on the bottom, the entire pump head would be full. This is just something that I had thought about previously, and may or may not work. I might do this and hope for the best, it might be the next big thing, or a complete failure.

Another option for someone would be adding a SS Tee to the outlet and adding a valve to one side of the Tee and being able to bleed there. Your discharge to the vessel would be on the other side of the Tee. Obviously many ways to skin a cat.
 

MonkeyWrench

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Here is the one I was thinking of. There have been numerous home-made and purchased peristaltic pumps used for brewing. I'm sure if there were an off-the-shelf and affordable unit, it's popularity would grow. Most of us have a DIY list that's long enough already.
 
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