There are a good number of manufacturers making compressed air operated drum pumps, some to only fill a drum and some “reversible” to both fill and empty a drum. The reversible units tend to be most popular due to that increased flexibility in use. Compressed air operated drum pumps offer a great deal of advantages in that they last longer than electric pumps on wet and dirty environments since they have no moving parts except for a knob to direct the flow in or out of the drum, increased safety with zero electricity in wet locations, simplicity, easy and lack of a lot of maintenance, ruggedness, and portability.
What is important in choosing a good unit?
These are the key things to look for:
material – this becomes more important if handling corrosive materials. Some are made in aluminum, some 304 stainless, and some 316 stainless. 316 or 316L stainless is usually optimal to choose.
safety relief – compressed air operated drum pumps should have a safety relief built in, in the case of emptying, so it does not over pressurize a drum causing deformation and damage. This is sometimes not considered adequately in advance of a purchase.
built in float – in the case of filling to prevent overfill. This “float” should be cleaned regularly as it can get dirty and “stick” from some liquids pumps. But when new, it should move freely and not get stuck. The float us typically plastic and the material is important to make sure the chemical handled does not “swell” or otherwise deform the plastic. PTFE (teflon) is usually a good material to have.
Once the above are addressed, the correct drum pump chosen should provide for long life and relatively trouble free operation.
Nex Flow Air Products Corp. manufactures specialized compressed air technology for blow-off, drying, cooling and moving.