Everything You Need to Know About a Drum Pump

A drum pump is a type of portable pump meant for transferring fluids from drums, barrels, or storage tanks safely and efficiently. They are also sometimes referred to as barrel pumps. You can choose from a wide variety of pump configurations. They usually differ in terms of the type and size of the container, the on-site power supply, and the media being pumped.

The Mechanism of a Drum Pump

In most manufacturing and processing plants, liquids are stored and delivered in barrels measuring 100 to 200 litres. This makes them too heavy to tip up when the liquid needs to be transferred. It’s also common practice across several industries to store feedstocks in massive tanks or Intermediate Bulk Containers. Transferring media from these bulky containers require the use of drum pumps to make sure that the process goes smoothly and safely.

The three core parts of a drum pump include the motor section, the pump section, and the immersion tube. The motor can be found outside the container sitting on top of the immersion tube. This tube usually runs as deep as the container itself. It fits through an opening found on top of the container. Toward the end of the immersion tube is the pump section. An extended shaft is used to drive the pump from the immersion tube’s other end. When the pump is activated, the liquid flows between the sleeve and the immersion tube, making its way to the discharge port located toward the motor end of the tube. It’s worth noting that you can find varying tube lengths designed for different container depths. The right tube length also proves critical in transferring certain material constructions.

In applications involving low to medium viscosity liquids, drum pumps often use extended centrifugal pumps that can come with one or more impellers. The liquid is forced up the tube and discharged out of a port through the rotation of the impeller.

What Are the Primary Features of a Drum Pump?

A drum pump features multiple components that will make contact with the liquid. Since it’s inevitable for these parts to get wet, it’s critical that they are resistance to corrosion. Additionally, they must be safe to operate at certain temperatures particularly when handling flammable or combustible fluids. In terms of materials, pump tubes are usually available in 316 stainless steel, polyproylene, CPVC, PVDF, and pure-polypropylene.

Understanding the Advantages and Limitations of a Drum Pump

The primary advantage of using a drum pump is the fact that it reduces the risks associated with the manual handling of large containers that contain liquid. These risks include leaks, injuries, chemical splashing, and toxic fumes. The lightweight nature of drum pumps makes them portable, making them easy to transfer from one container to another.

You’ll find a drum pump design for different kinds of applications. For low viscosity liquids, centrifugal pumps equipped with single or multiple impellers are best for the job. For medium viscosity liquids, many experts recommend positive displacement and screw-type pumps. For viscous fluids, it’s wise to choose a pump with small particulates and cavity designs.

Remember that you must choose a drum pump configuration according to the container size you need to work on. For instance, using an immersion tube that isn’t as long as the depth of the container means you will be unable to completely drain fluid. The good news is that the parts are interchangeable, allowing you to repurpose a drum pump with minimal hassle. Pump repair services are available to help with this.

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