Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies website

What is a Drum Pump?

FTI drum pump in barrel

A drum pump is a portable pump that can be used to empty tanks, barrels, drums, carboys and IBCs.  As many liquids used on manufacturing and processing plants are delivered in 100 or 200 litre drums, they are usually too heavy to tip to be able to decant the liquids inside. However, electric drum pumps are useful for even a 25 litre drum or a 45 gallon drum. 

Why use a Drum Pump?

Drum pumps are designed to provide an easy and safe way to transfer virtually any chemical from drums and barrels. Many different models and tubes lengths are available to satisfy diverse customer requirements. Electric drum pumps offer a cost effective and efficient alternative to manual drum pumps. Manual drum pumps may sometimes be seen as a simpler option, but they are often less efficient than an electric drum pump or battery operated drum pump.

Drum Pump Selection

Step 1: Determine application requirements:

It is important to determine how the pump is going to be used before you can select the appropriate pump series, tube construction, motor type and accessories.

Required head and flow

Most drum pump applications are simple transfer but some require higher flow rates (to empty larger IBCs or tanks) or higher head (pressure) capabilities (transferring liquids to the top of a machine, to a second floor or to pump higher viscosity fluids).

Chemical name or type

This is very important information and is required to ensure that the drum pump tube materials are compatible with the fluid being pumped.  In addition, it is important to determine if the fluid is a flammable or combustible liquid.

Temperature of the fluid being pumped

Drum pump tubes have upper temperature limits.  The maximum temperature depends upon the tube series, tube construction and length.

Specific gravity and viscosity

Different drum pumps have different capabilities when pumping fluids that have a specific gravity greater than 1.0 or a viscosity greater than 1 cP.  The capabilities are based upon the pump design and the motor driving the pump.

Container size

The drum pump tube lengths will change depending upon the container.  For example, a standard 200litre/45-gallon drum uses a 100cm long pump tube.  IBCs and tanks can require longer lengths.  15 and 30-gallon containers use smaller lengths.

Motor Preference

Determine if the site has a particular motor style preference - electric, explosion proof electric or air.  For electric motors, check what voltage is required.

Step 2: Select the correct FTI Pump Series

PF Series - PF Series pumps are our best selling and most versatile drum pump series.  They are sealless and provide high performance with lots of options.  Outer tubes are available in polypropylene, 316 stainless steel and PVDF. 15” to 72” tube lengths are available. 

EF Series - EF Series pumps are designed to provide an economical alternative to manual hand pumps.  They are lightweight, ergonomic and are designed for intermittent use (15-minute duty cycle).  The polypropylene outer tube is available with either stainless steel or Alloy 625 inner shafts. 

Step 3: Select the Correct FTI Motor

Using the motor preference information choose a motor from the tech flier that best fits the requirements.  Not all motors can be used on all pump series.  Make sure you select a motor that is listed as appropriate for the series. Battery motors and air motors are not suitable for highly viscous liquids.


These are high-speed motors that are protected from water splashes from all directions and are open drip-proof. They are available in 115 and 230-volt, single phase, 50/60 Hz versions.


These motors include both high-speed brush type and slower speed induction motors. They are totally enclosed fan cooled motors and are sealed to protect against dust and corrosive fumes and are protected from water splashes from all directions. Use enclosed motors on fuming chemicals like bleach (sodium hypochlorite).


These motors include both high-speed and lower speed induction motors. They are suitable for use in hazardous areas, are sealed to protect against dust and corrosive fumes and are protected from water splashed from all directions.

Variable Speed

These are high-speed motors that are totally enclosed fan cooled motors and are sealed to protect against dust and corrosive fumes and are protected from water splashes from all directions. They are suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. The most powerful high-speed motors manufactured by Finish Thompson. They have speed control that allows precise adjustment of fluid flow.


Air motors are lightweight, variable speed and non-electrical operation means the possibility of igniting flammable gasses is reduced (generally considered suitable for use in hazardous locations). Customer should install a filter lubricator assembly to ensure long motor life.

Step 4:Select Any Accessories

We offer a comprehensive selection of accessories for drum pumps.

Hose - Flexible PVC

Static Protection Kit - For safe transfer of flammable or combustible liquids when used with stainless steel tube pumps and air or explosion proof electric motors. Make sure if the product being pumped is flammable or combustible (or the area is a hazardous location), that you use an explosion proof electric or air drive motor on a tube manufactured from stainless steel with our static protection kit.

Drum Adapters - Ensure a tight fit of the tube in the drum, available in a variety of materials of construction.

Flow Meters - Allows the accurate measurements of the liquid being pumped

Filter/lubricator Assembly - Ensures a dry, lubricated air supply for air drive motors

Nozzles - Allows control of liquid flow

Strainers - Protects pump from damage by foreign objects

To top

New Account Register

Already have an account?
Log in instead Or Reset password