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Drum Pumps & Barrel Pumps

At Michael Smith Engineers, we stock a comprehensive range of Drum Pumps from Finish Thompson to cater for a wide variety of containers – including barrels, containers, canisters, tanks, carboys, IBCs and drums – and differing media types and viscosities. These can be purchased via our webshop  Multiple pump options are available depending on the size and type of container, the media being pumped and the on-site power supply.

As their name suggests, drum pumps, or barrel pumps as they are also known as, are used to transfer media from containers in a safe and effective manner, without the need to tip the container. Different tube lengths are available to cater for varying container depths and different material constructions are on offer depending on the media being pumped.

Drum pumps typically comprise a tube – which is as long as the container is deep – that fits through the opening on the top of the container. Inside the tube is a vertical shaft, with a motor at the top and an impeller at the bottom. The rotation of the impeller pumps the liquid up the tube and out of the discharge port at the top of the tube.

Before users can specify which pump variant to deploy, they must consider multiple variables in order to successfully match the drum emptying pump or barrel pump to the application. The first variable is the media being transferred, in terms of its chemical formulation (corrosive, flammable, oil, solvent, etc.), specific gravity/viscosity and temperature. The user must then consider the container type – barrels, containers, canisters, tanks, carboys, IBCs and drums – and the container size. 200 litre barrels make up the majority of applications, but barrel emptying pumps can also be used for 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 1250 litre containers. The third consideration is the required head and flow, i.e. how high does it need to pump and how fast. Finally, the user must look which motor power source is available on site (air or electricity), does the motor need to be explosion proof and, if electric, what voltage is available.

Once these parameters have been confirmed, the first step is to select the most appropriate outer tube material, while also considering the fact that there are other components and materials within the barrel pump body that will be in contact with the media. Outer tubes are available in polypropylene (PP), 316 stainless steel, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and pure polypropylene/PVDF. Chemical resistance guides on our Useful Info page can be used to ascertain which material best suits the media being handled, while background technical documents on Finish Thomson Pumps will detail other internal components and materials.

Once the pump body has been chosen, the user needs to examine what on-site power supplies and restrictions there are in order to select the appropriate motor. The user has a wide choice, but not all motor variants can be matched to all tube/body types. Users can choose from either electric- or air-driven motors, with electric motor options including splash proof design for light indoor use, totally enclosed fan cooled options for industrial applications and ATEX explosion proof motors for use with flammable liquids or in hazardous locations. Electric motors can be supplied as fixed speed or variable speed units and air-driven motor options include ATEX certified designs for use in hazardous locations.

These many considerations make it essential for a supplier to have extensive experience and to be able to offer a wide choice of product configurations.

In many instances, the motors and tubes give users the flexibility to mix and match in order to build their own pump sets. This also helps with in-field maintenance as individual components can be easily replaced. Michael Smith Engineers also offers features that set its barrel pumps apart from others on the market. These include: robust metal couplings that are far less susceptible to wear and breakage; variable outlet orifices to cater for different flow rates in the same tube body; universal impellers, which offer both high flow and high head from the same tube; and a 12V lithium-ion cordless rechargeable drum pump motor, designed to allow the transfer of fluids from drums, barrels and carboys when an electrical or air supply is not available.

Michael Smith Engineers also offers a range of accessories to increase the capabilities and usability of its comprehensive range of drum pumps and barrel pumps. These include: flexible PVC hoses, static protection kits, drum adapters, flow meters, filter/lubricator assemblies, nozzles and strainers.

Please click here for more information on our specific ranges of Finish Thompson Drum Pumps


Contact us today to see how we can help with your pumping requirements