Tips For Choosing the Right Drum Pump

Liquid management is an inseparable part of most industrial plants but it’s not that easy. Even though drums and barrels are made of strong materials and usually have enough space to hold huge amounts of fluids but it can be burdensome to hold hefty amounts of fluids (anything above 50 pounds). The fluid stored in these containers need to be extracted for use but it’s a difficult task when you consider the fact that a small 55 gallon drum typically weighs more than 450 pounds. You can’t just pivot it to get the liquid out. This is a big problem and the solution lies in using a drum pump.

Drum Pump

It’s an instrument that is used for removing the liquid stored inside a drum or barrel. There is an opening at the top of every drum or barrel and this is where the drum pump is placed. This allows removal of liquid inside the drum without the need of tipping or pivoting it. Drum pumps are available in 2 major types and there are a lot of subtypes sold in many different models, materials and tube lengths.

Workings of a Drum Pump

Every drum pump has a narrow tube attached to it which is placed into the opening of a barrel. This tube contains a vertical shaft and a small motor is attached to this shaft. A DC or AC electric motor is used to run the small motor.

A switch is used to control the motor. When the drum pump is switched on, the pumping mechanism starts removing the fluid from the base of the tube. A rotor or a small centrifugal pump impeller lies at the base.

There are also drum pumps that are run by hand with the help of a crank. A piston pump can also be used for manual turning. Drum pumps are typically removable but in some cases, these are also fixed permanently into a barrel or drum.

Use in Industries

In different industries, different types of fluids need to be handled, transported, transferred and processed which means drum pumps are used in a wide variety of industries and not only in hydro-based industries. Industries where a lot of oils, chemicals and liquids heavier and denser than water are used rely on drum pumps to a great extent.

For instance, the domestic value of pharmaceutical industry has reached $770 billion, thanks in part to drum pumps. Some of the industries that use drum pumps regularly include automotive shops, processing plants, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, chemical plants as well as cleaning jobs.

Drum Pump Types

As mentioned in the beginning, drum pumps are available in 2 main types, including electric operated and hand-operated drum pumps. The difference lies in their use, models and make-up. For pump selection, here are the key differences between the two types.

Hand Operated Pumps

As is obvious with the name, these pumps are operated by hand and no motor is used in these pumps. The main use for these pumps is in remote applications where little to no power is available. The main features of a hand-operated drum pump include:

  • Pumping is spark free, leak-free and relatively easy.
  • The size of inlet ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
  • Available in many different lever lengths and lever shapes.
  • Made from different materials including polyphenylene sulphide, PVC, polyacetal, plastic, aluminium as well as stainless steel among others.

Electric Drum Pumps

These pumps use electricity for pumping. These look similar to hand pumps but use electric power. These are designed for use in applications where high volume transfer is needed. The main features of an electric drum pump include:

  • These tend to be heavy and thick.
  • Available in many different lever lengths and lever shapes.
  • Ideal for use in applications requiring high volume transfer.
  • Sold with many different voltages.
  • Can be powered by battery as well as electricity.

Choosing the Right Drum Pump

In order to choose the right motor type, type of pump, accessories and series, you need to consider the pump’s particular application.
Make sure the motor, size of pump, viscosity of fluid, fluid type, chemical type as well as head and flow of the pump is compatible with the application for which it is to be used.

The outer tube material of the pump should always be chemically resistant to the liquid that needs to be pumped from the drum.