Finally got to use my new March pump on Sunday. It was (pick one: Useful | Fun | Everything I Ever Hoped It Would Be | A Religious Experience). I used it for transferring strike and sparge water from the kettle to my gravity-fed cooler tuns, and for recirculating the wort during chilling.
As this was my first experience using a pump in brewing, there was an unexpected but not inappropriate learning curve, and there are a couple of issues I'd like to ask about.
First, is there a prescribed order for opening/closing valves and powering on the pump?
What I settled on was: close pump outlet, open kettle outlet, open tun inlet, power on pump, quickly open pump outlet to desired level. After transfer is complete, close tun inlet, quickly power off pump, close kettle outlet.
This worked well except for pumping the strike water, where I completely forgot to close the valves, 2 gallons of liquid flowed back into the kettle, and I lost 5°F in the mash tun. Otherwise, sometimes I had problems getting the flow started, and it seemed like it worked better if I kept the pump outlet valve closed to start, but I wonder if that's bad for the pump.
Second, what cleaning routine do you use? I flushed the pump with cold water at the end of the brew day, and when I cleaned the kettle last night I ran 180°F water through it to kill nasties, then added PBW, then rinsed with hot tap water. That's not the most efficient cleaning routine, so I'm wondering what y'all do.