What You Need to Know About the Drum Pump

What is a Drum Pump?

Drum pumps, such as those from Flux Pumps, are a type of pump that is used for pumping liquid into or from a drum or container. The liquid is usually water along with other liquid types. Tipping drums until they empty is impractical or difficult and can even be unsafe. The correct drum pump operates by drawing in or drawing the liquids out with no or low risks of spillage.

Drum pumps are commonly used by food-processing plants, chemical plants, along with other processing and manufacturing plants that buy pasty products or liquids in totes (large containers) or drums. These manufacturers typically require a practical method to pump low fluid quantities out of these containers.

Today many liquid types require processing, transferring, transporting and handling. The drum pumps feature designs to deal with different types of liquids. Below is a list of a few common industries and companies that use drum pumps:

  • Manufacturing plants
  • Chemical plants
  • Pharmaceutical and food processing plants
  • Automotive shops
  • Other types of processing plants.

Drum pumps come in different types. They are either pneumatically, manually, or electrically operated. These drums can also be used interchangeably but in some cases, they will be hard-wired into a barrel or drum. This type of liquid-transfer equipment is highly portable and can be hard-piped into the factory system. They come in non-metallic (plastic) or metallic materials to reduce corrosion when exposed to corrosive liquids.

How Do the Electrically Operated Models Work?

The drum pumps that are electrically operated fit inside the opening of the drum from the top through the narrow tubes, which house the vertical shaft. The drum pump is made up of a motor that attaches to a shaft, that operates on a DC or AC electric motor. The motor activates the drum pumps with a switch. Once the pump is activated, the pumping mechanism from the tube at the base sucks up the liquids.

The tube at the base requires a rotor or a centrifugal-pump impeller. The electrically-operated drum looks like drum pumps that are manually operated but they utilize electric power. These are best suited to tasks involving high volume transfers. These pumps also come in wired or battery-powered models.

How Does a Manually-Operated Model Work?

A manually operated drum pump is activated by hand with piston pumps or a crank. They are best suited for applications that require remote pumping and when there is no or little power available. The materials used to make these drum pumps range from aluminium metals, and stainless steel to the plastics like polyphenylene sulphide, polyacetal, and PVC.

The inlet sizes range from ½ an inch to 1-½ inches. The manually-operated pumps provide spark-free, leak-free, and easy pumping. They are lower in cost and suitable for low-use and low volume applications. The manually-operated pumps are usually approved for hazardous environments, yet when the use and volume linked to manual pumping proves to be impractical, then pneumatically-operated models are used.

How Does a Pneumatically-Operated Model Work?

The drum pumps that are pneumatically-operated use air motors rather than electric motors. The air-driven drum pump motor is best suited for short-term and intermittent operations. The applications that use pneumatic-air motors are used in explosion-proof environments whereby power is needed to handle larger volumes and a manual pump is inadequate. The drum pumps with tubes made of conductive stainless-steel and air-operated motors are common for transferring media that is flammable of various hazardous classes used in hazardous environments. These pumps usually require ATEX approval.