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Chugger SS-C Priming Issues

Hi All,

I recently upgraded to a new 20gal system and I’m having a heck of time with the pump and getting it to prime. I’m using the Chugger SS-C which has the liquid in in the center then the liquid out on the top. There seems to be a lot of air bubbles which are causing it to run dry and it just screams until I try to work them all out. Any thoughts on how to prime this more effectively? Attached is a photo of my system before I raised the HLT about 2 feet above the pump. Should I shorten my tubing? Is there a vent I can make?

http://www.chuggerpumps.com/home-brewing-pumps-chugger/chugger-pump-products/item/chugger-ss-center/

[attachment=0]20140418_184135.jpg[/attachment]

You need a way to get the air out of the discharge line so the pump is not fighting so hard. Also, your suction line needs to be as short as possible to avoid cavatating the pump. I would install a tee in your discharge like my setup below.

I should mention to open the tee when first starting the pump and close it immediately when it starts pushing out liquid. It would also help to get more positive head pressure on the pump (lift your brew pot up higher).

Thanks MB, I appreciate the feedback. I’ll try those suggestions and plumb in the vent. When I bought the burners I got the ones that you can’t add the leg extensions to so now I need to figure out a better way to raise the pot higher. This was before they offered that option so that’s a bummer.

I’ll try it all out and report back. Much thanks.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]You need a way to get the air out of the discharge line so the pump is not fighting so hard. Also, your suction line needs to be as short as possible to avoid cavatating the pump. I would install a tee in your discharge like my setup below.

[/quote]

I would pay you to build me one of these :slight_smile: I’m so not handy

Matt I’m in the same boat but I think you might be surprised how it easy it is to solder dry pipe together. It becomes much more difficult if you have to sweat it. Really, with dry pipe, all you have to do is heat the copper high enough for the solder to melt. The solder will form around the pipe.

With youtube and all, I bet there would be some good informative videos to help.

There’s a lot of information now. The first time I sweated a joint was during my daughters first birthday. 14 yrs ago.
Our water heater went out that morning and I followed instructions from a book. It was also tucked in the back of a closet.

There’s also fittings that get around permanent install. Gator Grip is one, I think that’s the name. Not sure how they hold up to heat.

Shark bites another. But seriously, I learned how to solder joints in HS during a 10 minute “intro” class to plumbing. For DRY pipe all you need is the pipe, solder, and a propane torch.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]Shark bites another. But seriously, I learned how to solder joints in HS during a 10 minute “intro” class to plumbing. For DRY pipe all you need is the pipe, solder, and a propane torch.[/quote]Me too. A little flux is essential as well. The way I learned,
1 physically clean parts
2 chemically clean with flux
3 apply heat to 400F
4 at 400, solder is sucked in and flows towards the heat.
5 for that reason, apply heat to opposite side where you apply solder.

Soldering for our brewing needs is pretty simple, and there are plenty of videos on youtube to help you learn. I learned watching videos, granted mine aren’t pretty but they hold with pressure.

That was the other name I couldn’t remember. :oops:

Pretty simple process. Clean, bare pipe is important.

Hi Greg,

I just wanted to give you some props on the feedback. I added in the vent and shortened the hoses to about 3 feet and we’re in business. It takes 2 seconds to prime the pump and I didn’t run into any issues on my last 3 batches. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, it was really frustrating me and I’m glad this resolved all my problems.

[attachment=0]new setup2.jpg[/attachment]

You’re welcome hoppyguy. I’m glad it is resolved and you are brewing without issues. Cheers.

[quote=“hoppyguy”]Hi Greg,

I just wanted to give you some props on the feedback. I added in the vent and shortened the hoses to about 3 feet and we’re in business. It takes 2 seconds to prime the pump and I didn’t run into any issues on my last 3 batches. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, it was really frustrating me and I’m glad this resolved all my problems.

[attachment=0]new setup2.jpg[/attachment][/quote]
Good to hear this! I added a vent valve to mine and will be brewing with it tomorrow morning. Here’s to quick priming! :cheers:

Fired my pump up this morning to an ear shattering screeching noise. :shock:

Pulled the head and opened it up. The little Teflon washer was worn to a tiny thin scrap, maybe 1/20th it’s original size. Luckily I had a spare. Popped it in and reassembled the pump.

Fired it up and opened the relief valve, primed right up. :smiley:

Doesn’t take many dry starts to wear out that washer. Lesson learned.

Where did you get your replacement washer? Pretty sure I’m due for a new one.

I had it left over from an impeller upgrade.

You can buy the tiny white Teflon “thrust washer” that the impeller shaft slots into (in the metal face of the head) in a couple of places, like http://www.homebrewing.org/Thrust-Washe … _2498.html. I checked a month ago at NB’s Minneapolis store and they used to stock them, but no longer do.

But there’s another washer in the head, the much larger thick white plastic washer between the impeller and the motor itself. That one has gradually worn down for me on both my Chuggers, to the point where any low flow, even when the pump is well primed, causes a screech. I’ve tried to find replacements, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere. In the mean time I flipped the washer around and that fixed it, but not for long I suspect.

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