What are Drum Pumps?
This is a type of pump that’s typically used to pump liquid from or into a container (typically referred to as a drum). Many types of liquids, such as water, can be pumped. Pumps are able to draw water in or out while avoiding spills. In contrast, emptying a drum by tipping it can create a big mess. It can also be a safety risk.
It’s common to see drum pumps in manufacturing or processing plants, such as food and chemical plants. Many of these plants purchase pasty products or liquids that are stored in drums or larger containers, which are referred to as totes. It’s important for companies to have an efficient way to pump fluids out of these containers.
Drum pumps are capable of handling a wide range of liquids and are used across many industries. For example, it’s common to see drum pumps being used in:
- Manufacturing plants
- Chemical plants
- Food processing plants
- Pharmaceutical processing plants
- Auto shops
You’ll find a wide array of drum pumps on the market, from electric pumps or manual pumps to pumps that are operated pneumatically. In some cases, it’s possible to switch between different types of pumps. In other situations, a pump is attached directly to a barrel or drum. Pumps can be hard-piped to a system, but can also be highly portable. Pumps can be made from metallic materials or non-metallic materials, such as plastic. Some pumps are specifically designed to be safely used with corrosive liquids.
How Do Electrically Operated Pumps Function?
A drum pump that’s electrically operated is connected to a drum at an opening at the top. It is attached via a narrow tube that contains a vertical shaft. There is an AC or DC operated motor connected to the shaft. This motor is fairly small in size. A switch is used to activate the motor. After the pump is activated, it starts to pump at the tube’s base. The tube is able to suck up any liquid inside the container. A rotor or centrifugal pump impeller can be used to keep the tube’s base functioning. These pumps are similar to manually operated pumps in many ways but have the benefit of electric power. They’re well-suited to any tasks that involve a very high transfer of volume. Wired and battery-powered models are also available.
How Do Manually Operated Pumps Operate?
You can activate these pumps via a hand-operated crank or a piston pump. They’re the best option in situations where electric power isn’t readily available, such as remote pumping applications. The size of an inlet typically ranges from ½” to 1-½”. The pumps are made from an array of materials, including stainless steel and aluminium metals and plastic materials, such as PVC and polyphenylene sulphide. Since these pumps are manually operated, there’s no risk of a spark while pumping. They’re approved to be used in hazardous environments. They’re an affordable option and are best suited to low use, low volume applications. Manual pumps aren’t practical in all situations. Pneumatic pumps are another option worth considering.
How Does a Pneumatically Operated Pump Work?
These pumps use an air motor rather than an electric motor. They’re best suited to short-term operations and can also be used intermittently. These pumps are often used in explosion-proof environments in which large volumes of liquid need to be pumped, meaning that a manual pump is unsuitable. These pumps can be used in hazardous environments and can safely transfer flammable media. Most pneumatically operated pumps are ATEX approved.