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Fixing My March Pump

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Frag_Dog

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I'll preface this by saying do it at your own risk. This may violate warrenty and you could electricute yourself, so be careful and I take no resposibility ect...

I don't know if others are or having issue with their March pumps but I was, so I did up this quick guide. The issue I was having with my march pump was it wasn't starting. I tried giving it a tap / shake but couldn't get it to start up. There was power going to the motor, and I could hear a soft buzzing of an electirc motor trying to start but unable. It cracked the shits on that brew day and did a manual transfer using a bucket rather then try and sort it out in between sparges. Not fun! After the brew was done I pulled the motor off the housing. I thought that the bearings in the motor or the brushes had gone. This is pretty easy to do, just remove the 4x flathead screws with washers on the front of the pump housing.

Once removed the I checked the motor and it spun freely. Connecting it to power saw it spin up no worries with no noise at all. I checked the inside of the pump housing and there was no signs of wear, or any indication of contact between the motor flywheel and the housing.

Next step was to check the internals of the pump itself. I didn't think this could be the issue because its a magnetic drive. Removing the 4x phillips screws from the housing gets access to the 4x flathead screws which hold the housing togeter.

Be careful when removing this backplate as the seal is contained on it. Mine came apart pretty easily.

Once apart the impeller can be accessed. I tried to rotate it and found it supprisingly difficult. I pulled it off the spindle it sits on. Once off I noticed a bit of gunk on the spindle. A clean cloth with some water and it cleaned up nicely. I also used a philips screwdriver with the same cloth to clean the inside of the impeller. Once re-installed the impeller spun freely. It did squeek a little, so I gave it another clean and that seemed to fix the squeek.

Reinstallation is the reverse of assembley. One thing to be mindfull of is when reinstalling the backplate with the seal, tighten the screws up one at a time. This way you don't squish the seal on one side, and have a gap in the other.

Once I had it back together I did a dry run and found it squeeled like a stuck pig. So I pulled it back apart and used some Keg Lube on the spindle. This seemed to stop the noise but it was sounding a lot louder then it did previously. Once I ran some water in it however it seemed to quiten right down. The lube could probibly be done without.

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Note:

You don't need to remove the coupler that joins the motor to the magnetic pump asselbly. For my installation I had to remove 2x of these screws so i just removed the whole thing. Depending on how you mount yours, you might be able to just remove the 4x phillips screws.
 

fraser_john

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<snip>
Once I had it back together I did a dry run and found it squeeled like a stuck pig.
<snip>
For others using this process, running the pump dry will cause the squeeling pig sound as the impeller runs plastic against plastic! Try avoid this when testing your pumps as it can cause scoring inside the impeller housing or damage the spindle the impeller spins on.
 

QldKev

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Not sure how old the pump is, but I was always told to remove the impeller for a full clean once every 6 months. I assume this applies to all pumps used within he brewery.
 

kevin_smevin

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Hi All.

I've had a similar problem with 2 march pumps. Apparently the specs for the impeller and shaft have a bit of give and take in terms of size. If your shaft is on the larger side of the specs and the hole in the impeller is on the smaller side this problem will happen more often.

My first problem was with an 809 pump. March pump man said this:

Hello Kevin,

It sounds like the I.D. of the impeller has built up with some debris which is blocking lubrication between the impeller and the shaft. My suggestion is to open up the I.D. with a 17/64" drill bit.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you require additional information.

Regards,
Bob Estabrook


I had a similar problem with my new AC-5B-MD 230V. The conversation with March pump folks went like this:

Kevin, the problem we have run into with the beer brewers is that they dont clean these units out properly and the sugars build up between the impeller and the shaft. The best thing you can do to remedy this situation is to drill out the hole in the impeller that the shaft goes through with a 17/64 drill bit to open it up a bit. That will help with your problem and at the same time help with the cleaning/buildup of the sugars.
Also, if you dont have a 1 line feeding that pump and are trying to pump through a 1/2 line on the output side then you are starving the pump. You would need to have a valve on the outlet side of the pump and choke it down a bit to help balance out the flow rates as theres not enough liquid feeding the pump to operate properly. Check the front side (inlet) of the impeller....where the shaft goes into it, there should be a slot across the face of it that looks like you can fit a flat head screwdriver in there. That our wear indicator. if its there then it should still be OK...if its worn down then the impeller is probably contacting the pump walls now and causing the problems


my reply:

I'll check out the wear indicator. I cant imagine cleaning would be an issue. Every time i use the pump, I flush it with 90+ degree C water until the liquid runs clear. This is followed by 20 minutes circulating hot PBW, and another hot water rinse. If this isn't enough to clean it then the only way is to open it up and manually clean the impeller and shaft - is the what you recommend.

I do have a ball valve on the outlet of the pump which is never opened fully. Actually, when the pump is running well it barely gets opened at all so as to not starve the pump.

If the wear indicator is worn down do i have to replace the impeller. Is it unusual for the pump to wear out so quick. Like I said, i have only had the pump since August. I've probably used it 10 times


March pump reply:

If that wear indicator is not there, then yes the impeller would need to be replaced. As far as cleaning goes, its not so much the cleaning afterwards...but getting rid of the sugar buildup between the shaft and the impeller. Most times what you do to clean should be enough to keep the pump happy. In some instances a person may get a pump that has tighter then normal tolerances internally. We have min/max specs for all the parts. If you happen to get a shaft on the max side and an impeller on the min side then it would be tighter then normal and it would have trouble cleaning the sugars out/off the shaft. When you inspect the impeller....if the wear indicator is there then just drill it out with that 17/64 drill bit and you shouldnt have any more problems

All this is correspondence from the folks at March pump (who are very quick to respond and helpful). Hopefully it might help anyone else who is experiencing similar problems.

Cheerio
 

razz

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Good info on the wear indicator yum yum yum, thanks.
 

the_new_darren

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Did you try dropping a few drops of sowing machine oil in the lubrication holes?

That would probably have been easier :D

tnd
 

Frag_Dog

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Did you try dropping a few drops of sowing machine oil in the lubrication holes?

That would probably have been easier :D

tnd
I couldn't see any lubrications holes. I didn't want to use any 'oils' because I didn't know what the oil would do the the plastics, and the food safe aspect.
 

QldKev

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Originally Posted by WalterAtMarchPump View Post
Oiling the pump is not 100% necessary unless its being operated in a bad environment like very dusty or very humid where it can start to rust. The motor Mfg have told us they are lubricated enough to last the lifetime of the pump for continuous duty operation. (according to them that would be between 3-5 years of nonstop running)
If it makes you sleep better at night I just recommend to all that call here to get some sewing machine oil (that 3-in-1 oil is perfect) and put a few drops in once a year for the average person operating it inside their home. Anything else would be your own judgment call.

-Walter
Taken from another forum

Hope this helps
 

fraser_john

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Did you try dropping a few drops of sowing machine oil in the lubrication holes?

That would probably have been easier :D

tnd
Sheeesh, did you actually take the time to read the original post? Quite clearly he indicates in the original post that the motor spins freely and those lubrication holes are for the motor shaft. "Once removed the I checked the motor and it spun freely."
 

brettprevans

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Ive fine all this and my march pump is still screwed

And this info is already on ahb. Raven has posted it. Its useful info and tge pics r good, but it would have been better if it continued tge march pump issues thread as its a bitch to trael tgrough so many threads that have bits of info.

Glad ur issue is solved. I continue to scratch my head about my issue
 

the_new_darren

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Sheeesh, did you actually take the time to read the original post? Quite clearly he indicates in the original post that the motor spins freely and those lubrication holes are for the motor shaft. "Once removed the I checked the motor and it spun freely."
Sheesh, I did. I also note he did not even know there were lubrication holes.

I had this problem years ago "including screaming like a pig". A couple of drops of sowing machine oil and away it went. Havent had to do it since.

tnd
 

the_new_darren

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Ive fine all this and my march pump is still screwed

And this info is already on ahb. Raven has posted it. Its useful info and tge pics r good, but it would have been better if it continued tge march pump issues thread as its a bitch to trael tgrough so many threads that have bits of info.

Glad ur issue is solved. I continue to scratch my head about my issue
I didn't see your issue. What is it?

tnd
 

raven19

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Ive fine all this and my march pump is still screwed

And this info is already on ahb. Raven has posted it. Its useful info and tge pics r good, but it would have been better if it continued tge march pump issues thread as its a bitch to trael tgrough so many threads that have bits of info.

Glad ur issue is solved. I continue to scratch my head about my issue
Did I post it on here or just on BA?

My BA thread with pics: Pump Maintenance Issues

Mine gummed up likely due to me being lazy and the lack of cleaning of the pump after use! I have learnt my lesson...
 

brettprevans

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I took a drill bit to the impeller as per post 4 (as per my last post) . unfortunately it was after 4 pints and i used a slightly too large drill bit or i was just a bit overzealous.

anyways the impeller shaft now spins freely (a bit too freely) around, however it now seems to work. now it could be due to widening the impeller shaft or as a result of moving to a ss braid and no grain getting in there whatsoever, or a combo of both. either way im happy enough that marchy is working again. I did test it during a brew (double batch) so i know it works at high temps so really the problem should be fixed...other than a slightly noisy impeller wobbling around.
 

pk.sax

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Had mine squeal like a pig all on its own 2 brews ago, shit me no end. Pulled the impeller housing apart, light cleanup and food safe lube on the shaft the magnet spins around. Running it with fluid in it, problem solved.
The only problem I do have with mine is that it runs too fast, even with outlet throttling it seems to starve itself somewhat at times. Just have to check it every now and then during recirc. Never had a problem wih the occasional grain going through it.
Mine isn't the normal 'beer' march pumps, it is a different model rated to 75C or something but all the materials check out as food safe to much higher temps. The impeller arms are a bit longer than those pictured above, going to almost the full radius of the casing, also, centre inlet so the shaft the impeller sits on is on the othe side.
 

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