The Basics on Drum Pumps

What Is a Drum Pump?

A device that pumps liquid into or out of a drum is referred to as a drum pump or diaphragm pump. Water and other liquids can be used with the drum pump. It can be difficult and dangerous to empty a drum by tipping it. The risk of spillage is low when a drum pump is used to remove the liquid.

Plants that work with drums of liquid, such as those in the manufacturing, chemical, and food processing industries, often use drum pumps to handle pastry products and other liquids. In order to get small amounts from these drums, companies turn to practical solutions.

Drum pumps are made with different kinds of liquids in mind, as they have the ability to pump many types for transportation and processing. The following industries commonly make use of drum pumps in their operations:

  • Chemical plants
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Food and Pharmaceutical processing plants
  • Other Processing plants
  • Automotive shops

There are drum pumps that work by manual operation, pneumatic operation, and electric operation. Although these pumps are sometimes hard-wired to a drum, they can be used interchangeably for the most part. The pumps have portability and they can also be hard-piped in a factory. They can be made of non-metallic materials that don’t corrode when certain liquids are used, or metallic materials.

How Do Electrically Operated Drum Pumps Function?

Drum pumps that operate electrically use a narrow tube with a vertical shaft to fit into the open part of a drum. On the shaft is a small DC or AC motor, which makes up the drum pump. A switch is used to activate the motor of the drum pump. While it is working, the pump uses a mechanism at the tube’s base to suck liquid. A rotor or a centrifugal pump impeller is generally used for the base of the tube. The design of an electrically operated drum pump is similar to a manually operated one, but electric power is used to make it work. In situations where large amounts of volume have to be moved, these pumps can come in handy. Wired electrically operated pumps exist, as well as ones that use a battery.

How Do Manually Operated Drum Pumps Function?

A hand crank or piston pumps are used to actuate drum pumps that are operated manually. In cases where there is little power, or no power at all, such as when remote pumping is done, these drum pumps can be quite useful. PVC, polyacetal, and polyphenylene sulfide are plastics that are generally used to make manually operated drum pumps. Aluminium and stainless steel can also be used to make them. They have an inlet that is ½” to 1-½” in size. When manually operated pumps are used, there is no chance of leakage and sparks aren’t present. They’re easy to use and can pump low volumes while having low costs. When working in hazardous areas, these pumps are often used, but when they become impractical or can handle a certain volume, pneumatically operated pumps can be used.

How Do Pneumatically Operated Drum Pumps Work?

Rather than relying on an electric motor, drum pumps that operate pneumatically use a motor powered by air. In situations that require operation for a short amount of time, these air motors are ideal. In applications where manual drum pumps can’t be used and large volumes have to be moved, pneumatic air motors are used, and they’re generally in environments that are explosion proof. Flammable media is usually transferred through drum pumps with stainless steel tubes and air powered motors. These pumps need ATEX approval in order to work in hazardous environments.