Author Topic: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!  (Read 2583 times)

Offline stankonia

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Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« on: December 05, 2011, 09:31:40 PM »
A couple weeks ago I brewed for the first time on my new single tier, 3 vessel system. It was also my first time using the march pump.

The pump worked fine for me as far as transferring from HLT to MLT, and MLT to BK.

I brewed using all leaf hops without a bag for them. I used a SS scrubby on my dip tube to filter them. I've done this before with no problem when using gravity to drain.

I installed a second ball valve on my BK with a side pickup tube (The SS one from BargainFittings) with the idea to whirlpool for the last 5-10 minutes of the boil, and during cooling. The inlet of the 2nd valve is installed at the same level of the outlet valve..just to the side of it. However, it doesn't have anything filtering it.

When I had everything hooked up to get it stated and turned the pump on there was instantly nothing going through the pump. I think what happened is when I opened the inlet valve (before turning the pump on) it sucked up some hops and clogged the hose coming from the outflow side of the pump. Could it have been anything else? Here is basically what I did:

1. Open Outflow BK valve
2. Open Valve on Outflow of Pump
3. Open Inflow BK Valve
4. Turn ON the Pump


This is my first time using a pump, so let me know if that looks wrong..

From reading around it sounds like I can run the pump while having the valve on the outflow side closed. Is that correct? Assuming that, maybe what I should have done:

1. Open Outflow BK Valve & Open Valve on the Pump
2. THEN turn the pump on
3. Open Inflow BK Valve.

Would that prevent anything from getting sucked up the tube I'm using on the inside of the BK for the whirlpool??


I REALLY appreciate any help! I want to brew again this Sunday...but I really need to figure this out before I do.

Offline dshepard

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 02:33:44 AM »
If this was boiling wort, the pump may be cavitating. When I start my whirlpool I have to crack open the valve downstream of the pump to allow just a little flow. Once the flow starts I can open it a bit  more. Until the the wort actually starts to cool below boiling I can't have the valves full open.
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Offline PSUhomebrewer

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 04:27:38 AM »
Also remember march pumps are not self priming. When I start to whirlpool I open the pump outlet, then the bk valve and allow the air to escape before connecting to the whirlpool arm. To start pumpin I then shut the outlet valve turn the pump on and slowly open the valve, usually I stop at 1/2 open. Like said above when pumping boiling wort you can get a steam pocket and stop the transfer. Don't worry about picking up some hops also, it will likely not make it to the pump, but clog the pickup tube or ball valve first before making it to the pump, just keep listening to the pump, if the motor seems to speed up or squeal and you still have full prime, then you have a clog somewhere, and there really isn't much that can be done while the wort is that hot.

wildknight

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 06:33:00 AM »
It sounds like you opened the valves in reverse, allowing the sides without the screen to fill the pump hoses.  However, since it was on the outflow side, it should have pushed the hops right back out without ever making it to the pump head. 

I clogged my system once while adding a very large addition of flame-out hops.  They got sucked right in before they had time to break apart.  They never actually made it into the pump, but clogged the hose instead.  It happens...

You should definitely open the valve with the screen first and then just slightly crack open the valve without the screen.  I think the most important thing when using the pump is to make sure all of the air leaves the pump head and tubing before you turn the pump on.  If you suspect air int he lines, you can cycle the pump on and off until you get the air out.  Then you will have smooth sailings. 

Offline bo

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 06:39:56 AM »
I think your problem was the leaf hops, but here's how I do it with pellet hops in a bag.

Open both the input and outlet valve, You should see some bubbles. If you're like me and your hoses are longer than they need to be, pick up the slack to remove even more bubbles. Turn on the pump. It may work at this point or you may just see more bubbles. If so, stop the pump and repeat the above, until it starts to flow. It will. Don't run your pump dry for any length of time.

One other thing I do sometimes is I connect my inlet pump hose (male OD's on both ends) to my faucet via a short piece of silicone tubing, turn on the water and then the pump. Once I'm sure the pump is full, while holding the hose ends up, I connect them to the BK. I get a shot of water into my wort, but it's not that much.

I really think you need to bag your hops or clogging will continue to haunt you. The pump can handle some pellet hops that escape from the nag or even those that you dump in for aroma at the end of the boil.  It just can't handle a massive amount of them.

Offline stankonia

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 08:36:29 AM »
Thanks for the help guys..I really appreciate it.  It sounds like I didn't get all of the air out of the pump.

PSUhomebrewer,

So what you do is open up the outflow BK valve, and outflow valve on the pump to get all the air out of the pump.  Then close the outflow valve on the pump and connect the hose that is going back to the kettle.  Turn the pump on while partially opening the outflow pump valve, AND partially opening the inflow valve on the kettle?  How long can the pump run with it's outflow valve closed, or is it kind of a simultaneous action of turning the pump on and slowly opening it's valve?


Offline stankonia

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 08:37:49 AM »
Do you guys think if I were to put a similar filter on the recirculating dip tube it would prevent it from really creating a whirlpool??



Offline Gribble

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 11:32:40 AM »
Thanks for the help guys..I really appreciate it.  It sounds like I didn't get all of the air out of the pump.

PSUhomebrewer,

So what you do is open up the outflow BK valve, and outflow valve on the pump to get all the air out of the pump.  Then close the outflow valve on the pump and connect the hose that is going back to the kettle.  Turn the pump on while partially opening the outflow pump valve, AND partially opening the inflow valve on the kettle?  How long can the pump run with it's outflow valve closed, or is it kind of a simultaneous action of turning the pump on and slowly opening it's valve?




Because the March 809 Pump is magnetically driven, you can let the pump run with the outflow valve closed 100% without worry of burning the motor up.  I regularly start my pumps with the valves closed and open according to my flow needs.
Low Mo Brewing Company
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Offline euge

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 12:57:54 PM »
Whole hops loose in the boil watch out for the seeds- they can jam the impeller in the pump.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline PSUhomebrewer

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 01:07:13 PM »
Like was already said, it can stay that way if you wanted. I usually start opening the out flow valve within 30s (sill in the process of wiring a box up with a switch). The real problem is if you loose prime and run the pump, then it starts to heat up and wine like nails on a chalk board.

If you connect the system to the recirc tube and open the kettle valve, little or no fluid comes out. Same issue if the out flow is closed.

I can post a picture of my system(little dated) later, just can't from my phone.

wildknight

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 01:41:23 PM »
While there is no risk to the motor, you can cause damage to the impeller by running it dry, especially if it was just at boiling temperatures.  The liquid is what lubricates the impeller.  Don't sweat closing the outlet valve for a few seconds, especially if there is liquid in the head; however, try to develop good habits such that you rely on this method as little as possible. 

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 01:09:11 PM »
Other than whats been mentioned in this thread I can recommend a mash boil screen with the 1/2 in MPT connection.  easily installed into your ball valve on your boil kettle.  It works great for whole hops(its useless for pellets) but whole hops its great.  Its also cheap(like 17$ on most homebrew sites).

I actually use exclusively whole hops in the boil with this, and run my BK into my plate chiller, into my pump back into my BK.  Works great.
Jason
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Offline denny

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Re: Whirlpool Problem with Pump!
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 01:41:35 PM »
Interesting to hear that.  I've been using a Bazooka T in one of my kettles.  I've found that if I skip Irish moss or Whirlfloc it works great, but either one of those causes so much coagulation that the screen clogs in a minute or 2.  Maybe the fact that I'm using a pump exacerbates things.
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