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After doing a bit of Googling for pumps in order to circulate water through a wort chiller (it being below freezing outside in Maine, I'm worried about using our outside hose hookup for water), I saw a few people say that they'd used the Flotec FP0F360AC Utility Pump.

Picked one up at Home Depot today for ~$85 or so, got home and discovered three unfortunate things in the manual. First, it specifically mentions that the output side shouldn't be under water, which is a problem because that was my plan. Second, the output hose is supposed to be 1/2" - mine is 5/16". Most problematically, it says that the output side shouldn't have any coils in it: an obvious issue if you're using a coiled metal wort chiller.

Sure enough, I tried it out and even after being lubricated with mineral oil, it pumped literally nothing. The input hose was solidly underwater, everything should have been fine, but no joy.

My questions, then, are these:

  1. Is anyone successfully using this device? I.e. did I get a bad unit or is it because I'm using it against instructions?
  2. Assuming no one is and I return it, does anyone have a pump they recommend? I'm looking at this one instead:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Flotec-1-6-HP-Submersible-Utility-Pump-FP0S1300X/100178274

Any and all help appreciated.

  • The link you posted refers to an unavailable product – rondonctba Jul 5 '17 at 17:05
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The first pump you tried is probably just underpowered. The first one I tried was just a little more powerful than that one, and it barely gets the job done on my 20-foot, 3/8-inch copper wort chiller.

The one you linked to looks much more capable, but I'd be concerned about the operating temperature range. It lists a minimum operating temperature of 40F. If you drop it into a bucket of ice water, you'll be below that, of course. I don't know what effect it'd have, but it's a concern.

I bought this Jebao 528 GPH submersible pump, and it has performed well enough. I was trying to go cheap. The more power the better, if you're willing to pay a little more.

Here's a good BYO article about recirculating wort chillers and how to figure out how big of a pump you need for your setup.

http://byo.com/color/item/377-build-a-recirculating-wort-chiller-projects

  • Thanks! I ended up returning the utility pump in favor of a submersible Flotec FP0S1300X which did the trick. For anyone looking at these pumps, meanwhile, pay close attention to your hose diameter. My original 5/16" hose was not viable; it was only after swapping it out for 3/8" that the pump started working. Temperature did not appear to be an issue, FWIW. – sogrady Jan 5 '15 at 19:33

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