Cleaning March pumps

I’m starting to piece together my new all-grain setup, which will include a March pump. HOWEVER, I noticed the impeller on these pumps is made of teflon, and the label on my favorite cleaner (PBW) SPECIFICALLY states DO NOT USE ON TEFLON. So…what cleaners do others use to clean their March pumps (and the lines that connect the pump to other parts of the brewing setup)?

I run two pumps in my system and have ran a reduced rate PBW solution through them for a few years without any issues.

Could you be so kind as to post what “reduced rate” you use for this purpose? I’d greatly appreciate it.

All I’ve ever done to keep it clean in the 8 years I’ve had mine was to run hot water through it for about 10 minutes at the end of each brewing cycle. I took the head apart about two years ago and there was no buildup whatsoever. I have no plans to run a cleaner through the pump or take it apart ever again. My pump only ever moves mash/sparge water and sweet liquor and never sees post boil wort, so keeping it spotless is not really necessary to me.

Problem is, I will be using it to pump post-boil wort through a Blichmann Hop Rocket and Therminator, so I do feel I will likely need to clean it with something more than hot water alone.

I have a March 809 that I have run “One Step”…basically oxyclean…through for years. It cleans it thoroughly and I’ve never had a problem with any performance degradation. Dis-assembled it looks great. Does a good number on the plate exchanger as well.

troutguy- Thanks for the tip. From the info on the NB website, it looks like a less expensive but essentially identical product called Easy Clean would probably do the trick as well.

Brewing with a friend on his Sabco, every couple of brews he will run about 5 gallons of water/PBW through the Chill Wizard for 10 minutes after it reaches a boil.

I recirculate wort through my march pump for 15-20 minutes during the boil to sanitize it. After chilling I pump the cooled wort into the fermentor. To clean, I just back flush with hot water, that’s it. It’s been working for me for roughly 30 batches.
Note: I did recirculate hot PBW through it just recently, but it’s not a part of my every brew day clean/maintain schedule.

.75 oz per gal. through my pumps.

Baratone- Thanks for the response.

I run PBW and 160F water through my system after every batch. My March pump seems just fine. I have been doing it this way for about 6 years and hundreds of batches. Hmmmm, now you got me wondering. I use 2 oz per 5 gallons.

Whoops, me too. I use hot oxy after every batch, recirc for about 20 min, and don’t always measure the amount I’m adding.
Just found this document
on March’s website. They don’t have sodium percarbonate listed, but they do list sodium carbonate and it seems ‘ok’. The hydrogen peroxide, however, is listed as ‘not recommended’ for the Ryton/glass impellor or the Ryton-Teflon bushing. Given that we haven’t had any problems, either the amount of H2O2 is small enough that it isn’t an issue, or the amount of exposure time is low enough that we don’t notice the issue.

It also doesn’t help that: (1) can’t find out exactly what is in PBW that supposedly interacts with teflon (no data from Five Star as to composition of PBW- proprietary company formula), and (2) “chemical interaction” data sheet from March Pumps site doesn’t include more detailed info with regards to what concentration/exposure time is required for the various “not recommended” chemicals to cause a significant adverse reaction with the Ryton/teflon component of the impeller.

That may be a warning to not use it on Teflon coatings such as cookware. There may be bonding materials in the cookware application used to fused the PTFE to the metal that PBW doesn’t play well with. PTFE material (impeller) alone may be just fine with PWB. Sounds like plenty of evidence from others not to be a problem.

I know for a fact PBW or Oxyclean doesn’t like aluminum because of some pitted aluminum trays at my house. oops I think either PBW, Oxyclean or both state not for use on aluminum. Not my fault I can’t read.

So I don’t start some misinformation about PBW or Oxyclean. Fivestar states it has been used on industrial aluminum but I am sure applied for the proper time and solution.
I soaked some aluminum bakeware way too long (over a couple hours) and got the pitting.
My mistake.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]I run PBW and 160F water through my system after every batch. My March pump seems just fine. I have been doing it this way for about 6 years and hundreds of batches. Hmmmm, now you got me wondering. I use 2 oz per 5 gallons.[/quote]+1, I pump hot PBW through my system after every brew without a problem.
I think they are referring to the fact that if you soak your teflon-coated pans in PBW it will separate the teflon layer from the pan.

Good. I think you are right. I really like to keep my equipment clean and I spend a few extra bucks on PBW because I want the best.

Right after chilling I usually have 3-5 gallons of OneStep/Oxy/StarSan around with nothing to do. After pitching, immediately dump the kettle break and hops, hose out the remaining major gunk in the kettle and pour that sanitizer into the kettle. Reattach the hoses and equipment that just got done chilling your wort and pump the sanitizer through it all for 10 - 15 minutes while you clean other stuff. Then when you break it all down, make sure liquid is drained and all valves are open before you store it.

Disassembled one of my pumps today to look inside and still looks close to new. After looking over my notes, I have been using my pumps for longer than a couple of years. My how time flys!
Here is a pic of one of my impellers.