Just When You Thought You Knew Everything About Drum Pumps

Anyone in pumps and systems will know that the drum pump name comes from the container that it is used to pump into or transfer liquid from, usually a drum, barrel or storage tank. Drum pumps are also called barrel pumps. Drum pumps come in many different models, designs and configurations depending on the type of container and its size, the fluid you need to pump and the power supply available.

Imagine tipping liquid out of a drum. Most manufacturing and processing plants receive their chemicals or other liquids in 100 or 200 litre drums, making them heavy and difficult to handle. Tipping them over can be done manually, but this can be impractical or even unsafe, with considerable risk of spills. Drum pumps can safely be used to pump small amounts of liquid in or out of the container, without any danger of spillage.

This guide will share more information about drum pumps, what they are suited for and the industries that use them, as well as how they work. Read on for more than you ever thought you needed to know about drum pumps, along with the 6 crucial things you need to check before choosing a drum pump.

What industries use drum pumps?

Any company that purchases any type of fluid in a drum or container or that needs an uncomplicated way to pump fluid in or out of a container can use a drum pump. These include chemical plants, food and pharmaceutical processing plants and other manufacturing and processing facilities.
Several drum pump models also meet high flow and pressure needs, for example, when emptying larger tanks, where liquid needs to be transferred to an elevated position, or where high viscosity fluids must be pumped. However, most drum pumps are used for applications that require simple fluid transfers without high flow and head pressure.

How does a drum pump work?

There are two different types of drum pumps, either manual (hand or crank-operated) or electric/gas operated. In most cases, you can use these types of drum pumps interchangeably, although sometimes they come hard-wired into a drum or barrel.

A manual or crank-operated pump uses a hand crank to transfer fluids from a container. They are mostly made from metal and have a metal tube that hangs into the container they’re mounted on. As the hand crank creates suction, the pump sucks up the fluid from the container and transfers it through a rubber hose into the designated container. They’re also cheaper than electric or gas-operated pumps.

An electric or battery-powered drum pump comes with various voltages and pump speeds. It works much like the rotary crank pump, except it runs on electricity to power the pumping. Here, the motor is on top of the immersion tube on the outside of the drum.

As it pumps, the liquid is drawn from the other end of the tube to the discharge port at the motor end. The electric drum pump is often thick and heavy with immersion tubes that come in different lengths to meet the demands of different containers and depths. They are great to use for tasks that require high volume transfer or large quantities of drainage.

Whether you use an electric or hand-operated pump, the main advantage of drum pumps is their adaptability and portability – they can used within an existing system and can be made using a variety of materials (whether metal or plastic) to reduce the chance of corrosion.

If you’d like to find out more about drum pumps, call our toll-free number 1-800-367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you choose, install, maintain and monitor a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.