Walter, I have a question. I have one of your March pumps that originally came with the polysulfone pump head. I installed a stainless steel Chugger pump head on it several years ago. I have the pump mounted vertically with the motor on the bottom. It feeds an in-line stainless steel screen mounted vertically and a Dudadiesel plate chiller. The output from the screen is about a foot higher than the pump head (the input to the screen is about 2 inches above the pump output) and the input to the plate chiller is about 4 inches lower than the pump head. I have a ball valve on the output of the pump head with a boiler drain so that I can purge air from the pump.
When cleaning my fermenter, the impeller will sometimes stop with a thump and stops pumping cleaner through the system or will stop pumping and emit a loud squeal. I thought that the input to the pump was a bit small (3\8") so I replaced it with a 1\2" input to improve the liquid flow to the pump input. This made things worse so I reverted back to my original setup. I am wondering if this is a problem with the pump head or something I have overlooked with the configuration. I still experience the same problem but not as bad as it did with the larger inlet. I can usually alleviate the problem by elevating the input line so it is level with the pump head input (the dump port on the fermenter is also about a foot higher than the pump). Just an FYI, when I used a counterflow chiller before I got the plate chiller and stainless screen, I experienced no problems. So I am wondering if I am configuring something wrong. Maybe the chiller input needs to be higher?
Hmmm well its hard to say without seeing things first hand....And even though Chugger did copy our product almost down tot he T i cant say for sure if they have the same number of poles on their magnets as we do. First thing i would do is take the pump head apart and make sure everything inside is ok...meaning is the thrust washer there and the impeller isn't biding on the shaft. If you do have binding due to a sugar buildup etc....the easiest hing to do would be to drill out the impeller with a 17/64" drill bit and open the bore up.
If your missing the thrust washer you can go to the local hardware store and find yourself a stainless washer with a 1/4" hole that fits over the shaft where the impeller spins....just don't get one too big on the OD or you will start blocking the inlet flow of liquid. Other then that all i can say is send the pump back to us here and let Wayne in the service dept run it on our test tank to see if he can find anything that may be out of whack with it...
Thanks, Walter. I just found your reply here (looked at the wrong category). I also sent you an e-mail with a picture of my set-up. I will tear the head apart and look at it. As an alternative, I can always go back to the polysulfone head or in a worst case scenario replace the pump. I'll let you know what happens when I tear the pump head apart. Have a few brews to get through first and can get things going by playing with the inlet line height during the cleaning cycle. FYI, I have no problems when I am transferring wort. Thanks again!