Pump For Cooling

A question to those who may have some experience in running a closed loop cooling system, that is pumping water from one container through the still cooling system and back to container:

Does anyone have recommendations for pumps and also the best configuration for the plumbing, please?


  • I just use flexible 1[ garden hose hooked up to a 1 hp immersion pump that sits in my swimming pool. I know chlorine is bad for stainless but the situation is temporary as I am in my garage right now. The rule of thumb is to have 5 times the storage capacty in your reservoir than the volume of your still. That way the heat pickup from the cooling never get greater than the temp you need to cool it. I use my pool as it gives me about 40m3 of water to cool a 200l still. There are lots of discussions on this board on cooling solutions But the system is very simple. The more simple you make it the easier it is to see if youve got any problem. I put sight wheels connected up to the hoses running into my condensor so that I can see if the water is flowing. Up until about 70 deg C dont run the pump on the cooling water. After that it runs and if the pump stops then the run stops. Some guys use either truck radiators or Air Conditioning heat exchangers that are very efficient at dumping heat. I would assume your in Ireland so your not going to have a problem losing heat, because its always cold there.

  • edited November 2020

    External aquarium circulation pumps work well.

    Immersion pumps cool themselves by heating the liquid - if you have a small reservoir an immersion pump can be counterproductive. If you have a swimming pool, it doesn’t matter. Two pumps and a small titanium heat exchanger makes easy work of corrosive pool water btw.

  • @grim. Thanks for the comment on the Titanium heat exchanger. I will see if I can get one.

  • I found a couple of pool heaters for max heat exchange. A very interesting option.

  • I use march 5C pumps... they make ones with enclosed and sometimes even XP motors (TE-5C) and open air motors(AC-5C) that if you keep an eye our can get for cheap($200 on ebay), they are industry standard and will have parts available for millennia. The TE units can literally run for a decade without maintenance... I use mine in production and it is left on overnight all the time to cool my reservoir through the outdoor HX's. The open, air-cooled ones need oiling periodically, and I have had two motor windings get worse and worse to the point of me junking them...

    Here is the XP version


  • here is a current one on US eBay site for $189 Unsure if this is available to you because you do not have a location in your profile...(waving finger!)

    March TE-5C-MD 0.2HP PP Magnetic Drive Sealless Chemical Pump 3400RPM 1PH @ eBay


    800 x 600 - 43K
  • edited November 2020

    You can find similar pumps for aquariums - Iwaki and Iwaki clones - they are really industrial pumps but the aquarium industry adopted them because of the reliability.

    Iwaki pumps are similarly bombproof to March. They make some little pumps that are awesome - like mini-March. Dirt cheap on eBay too.

    Make sure you look at the pump curves - iwaki make two styles - low head high flow, high head low flow. If you are pumping through tiny poly tubing, you need high head.

  • Many thanks for your most useful comments gents, point taken @CothermanDistilling, I will add my location. Regarding the plumbing and bypass valving, anything I need to watch out for?

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