Chugger pump issues.

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fishy

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Hi blokes. Just wanted to check with anyone one using the 230v version of the chugger pump, the new variety. I bought a 230v centre inline stainless version from brewhardware in the states along with a bunch of camlocks etc. Have finally got around to assembling my HERMs rig and the pump has been cracking up big time.

At first it was recirculating 70 degree ish water and then stopping after about 15-20 minutes, no noise nothing just stopping. Then today checked the magnet coupling alignment (something I'd seen elsewhere on the net) but it was all good. So then I ran the pump through the HERMS coil starting with tap water temperature to ramp up to mashing temps. Stopped after about 20 mins when the water was around 40c.

Mike at chugger told me to check the pump with the stainless head taken off and see if it overheated, and unfortunately it still did. Also tried plugging directly into the wall (not through my control panel or extension cord) as i was told that sometimes the voltage drop can affect the pump, and it still overheated. I'm in contact with both chugger and brewhardware and I think they are sending a replacement - cant fault their responsiveness or service - but now I am very reluctant to wait for it to arrive and perhaps have the same issue happen again. Might just offer to send the pump back and either grab a keg king pump or maybe the new gryphon one?

This happened to anyone else? Or am I just lucky!!

Cheers

Fishy
 

fishy

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Thanks Yob, might drop him a line even if just to see how their 230v pumps have been going. I guess if they are the official Oz distributor they might be able to help out?

The boys in the states didn't mention anything about them so maybe its dependent on where they were purchased?

I'll soon find out anyway!
 

fishy

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Still keen to hear from anyone who's been using them for a while and had great success with mashing, boiling liquids etc.
 

angus_grant

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Sorry Fishy, have nothing to add, but just thought I'd post so I can keep track of this thread.

I bought one of the 230V inline pumps from the Aussie distributor but yet to plumb the pump in, let alone run it. I guess I can plumb it up temporarily to my current BIAB system and run it up to boil temps so see how it goes. That is hardly long term evaluation though.
 

fishy

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Cheers Angus but don't rush to get it plumbed for me - The more I think about it the more I decide that it is most likely a lemon, the fact that it is overheating without moving any liquid etc. As well as the fact that the issues with the old pumps were pretty well documented but I can't find any issues relating to the new variety.

Just gets you down when you spend so much time planning, scheming, waiting for parts and you then have to put it off again!
 

Online Brewing Supplies

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Does it have a thermal switch that may be faulty ?
The supplier should replace it as its obviously a manufacturing problem.
Nev
 

angus_grant

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I will be getting the plumbing parts this weekend to hook it up to the pot so hopefully at least the pump will be connected to the pot. Will still have to get the pump wired up but I've got a mate that does that stuff for beers so hopefully next week sometime.
 

fishy

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I'm assuming it is something like a faulty thermal switch, but in saying that, the pump does get very hot before it shuts off. I'm not sure how hot working chugger and march type pumps get in their operation so I can't make any comparison.

I think brewhardware and chugger have a partnership type agreement and that's maybe why brewhardware will be sending the replacement? Not exactly sure though.
 

WarmBeer

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Ran my March for the first time on the weekend. An hour recirc during the mash, then another 15 mins recircing the wort back into the whirlpool chiller at the end of the boil.

It got warm, but at no stage would it get to the point it was either "hot" or painful to touch.
 

fishy

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Hmmm maybe even sounds like something is causing it to run so hard that the thermal switch is kicking in, cause the pump is too hot to hold your hand on when it shuts off.

It doesn't make any grinding or straining noises while running though and I've checked that the magnetic coupling is centred etc etc.

Is a mystery...
 

angus_grant

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Have you checked the impeller for binding marks or scratches, etc?

Any grain trapped under the impeller which would make it hard for the pump to run?

Shaft in pump is free of obstructions?

But if there are no grinding or unusual sounds I would be thinking it is an electronic problem.

Sounds a bit fishy, if you ask me... :p :blink:
 

fishy

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As of yet it has only had water running through it, and not even boiling water!

While troubleshooting it, Mike from Chugger pumps told me to take the pump head off in case the coupling was hitting it or something, but made no difference. The last few times running was with the head taken off so it was under no load and just spinning the magnetic coupling - would happily go for about 15 mins and then whir down and stop all of a sudden. Let it cool down, would work again etc...

Is it possible 120v motor mislabelled as 230v? Or would it blow up if that was the case!?
Very fishy indeed!
 

nathan_madness

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Hey, I got the same center line chugger. It runs really hot, but it is just the same temp as my friends March inline. I made a shroud to protect the pump and then it overheated and shut down but ran fine once I removed the shroud. I also made a shroud with a PC fan in the end of it to hopefully keep the pump cooler but the pump still gets just as hot.
 

Cocko

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I have run mine for a few months now and not an issue, in fact, I love it... It does run hot but the website says they do run a little hot, due to the stainless head.

How do you have it set up? Any shielding or anything restricting airflow, as nathan_madness mentions?

Agree with Nev, sounds like a manufacturing fault and if they are sending a replacement - you should be fine.... the perils of buying OS, I guess.
 

fishy

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Cocko and Nathan, you've both got me thinking airflow might be issue here. My shroud was a piece of wood probably about 10cm above the pump and after taking it off I realise how much air the pump actually pushes! Running now with a PC fan over the top and has been going for about 15 mins. Gonna start putting some water through it now and ramping the temp.

You might have a) saved me some heartache and b) made me look like a fool for not considering this before. Will report back soon, but already feeling like kicking my own ass.
 

nathan_madness

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Yeah, the shroud will have been the issue. Mine was about 30mm clear all the way around the pump and it still made it over heat but it worked fine with the shroud with the same air space with the PC fan running blowing in the same direction as the in built fan.
 

fishy

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Its looking the goods the longer I go, water up to 50c and rising steadily. Talking about the shroud, is it possible (or safe) to leave the pump unshrouded? Or will a sizeable spill fry the pump? Either way I think I'll keep a cooling fan somewhere in the mix at all times.

Man I feel like a hypochondriac now, so quick to assume the worst.
 

nathan_madness

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I am planning a new 3v system now and I will be using a shroud with a PC fan. It is just a safety precaution as the vessels will be above the pump.
 

angus_grant

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Huh, looks like I better factor in some form of cooling for my brau-clone to keep the pump nice and happy. Cheers guys.
 

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