A fuel transfer pump can come in handy in many different situations. Whether you need to move fuel from a container to your vehicle or from one car to another, a fuel transfer pump is the exact tool you’re looking for.
Types of Fuel Transfer Pumps
Fuel transfer pumps come in all shapes and sizes, from small pumps for emergency purposes to large, industrial sizes for farms and construction sites.
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Siphon pumps rely on gravity to move fluids from one tank to another. Essentially, a siphon pump is a huge tube where each end is placed in different containers – one containing a fluid and the other where the fluid needs to go. The container with the fluid needs to be at a higher elevation than the empty one for gravity to do its thing.
To get the fluid flowing, you need to pump the suction a couple of time. After the fluid is flowing freely, you can leave the suction alone and wait until you’ve siphoned enough. Simply lift the tube up to prevent any more fuel from moving from one container to the other.
The way to create a suction depends on the siphon pump. Some models require that you use a mouth while others have rubber squeeze pumps for a more elegant way of transferring fuel.
This is the most cost-effective type of fuel transfer pump out there simply because it’s a basic tool. There aren’t any motors or doodads to help make the fuel transferring process quicker, but for emergencies, a siphon pump can be a great tool to have.
This type of fuel transfer pump employs the use of a hand-operated rotary crank to create the suction to move liquids. Most crank-operated pumps are made of metal and have metal tubing which is inserted into a container. As you turn the handle, the pump will suction up the liquid inside of the container and move it via a rubber hose to another container.
Crank-operated pumps usually have fasteners that allow you to mount the tool onto the lid of a barrel or pail. This tool moves a significantly greater quantity of fuel than a siphon pump could do per minute, but it can be quite labor-intensive having to pump the crank all day. If you’re trying to pump out bulk fuel from a drum for a lawn mower or lawn truck, this would be the most cost-efficient type of fuel transfer pump to get.
Electric pumps are the quickest type of fuel transfer pump. They come in a wide range of different speeds and voltages. They look similar to crank-operated pumps, but instead of tiring your arm out by turning a handle, you simply plug the device in to activate the motor, automatically creating a suction to move fuel.
Electric fuel transfer pumps are favored by construction workers and large-scale farmers. Their large fleet of heavy machinery and trucks need to be provided fuel while in the field in a time-efficient manner. Mounting one of these puppies onto a fuel truck creates a mobile fueling station, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. This type of pump can be used in commercial settings or even at home, depending on the size of the motor and its voltage rating.
Are There Budget-Friendly Fuel Transfer Pumps?
The least expensive fuel transfer pumps are manually operated – i.e., siphon and crank models. There are even some inexpensive electric transfer pumps, but they move fluid at a much slower pace than their commercial-grade counterparts. If you need to transfer large quantities of fuel in hardly any time at all, we recommend going for a budget-friendly electric transfer pump.
Fuel Transfer Pump Under $200 Buying Guide
The cost of a fuel transfer pump can range from around $10 to more than $1,000. We understand that not many of you guys out there are looking to move more than 25 gallons per minute, especially if you need a pump to transfer fuel from a drum to your lawn mower. In this section, we’ll describe each of the specs and features that you should keep an eye out for if you’re in the market for an inexpensive fuel transfer pump.
Manual vs Electric vs Battery
With a $200-budget, you can afford one of the mid-level electric fuel transfer pumps. However, if you prefer cranking it by hand, thus saving a few hundred bucks, there are several high-quality siphons and crank-operated pumps to choose from.
The decision to get either a hand-operated pump or an electric one should be based on how long you plan on waiting for the fuel to move from one container to another. If you can’t afford long downtimes or are simply impatient (like us), we recommend getting an electric fuel transfer pump.
Battery fuel transfer pumps are the portable version of the electric models. The only thing you need to consider when purchasing a battery-powered pump is whether you want to continue purchasing AA or AAA batteries. We recommend getting rechargeable batteries to save money in the long run.
There are two things you need to be aware of when looking at the delivery hose – durability and length. Working in the middle of a field or even in your garage can cause the hose to bend at an awkward angle. Make sure that the hose is durable enough not to rip or tear since you don’t want to waste precious droplets of fuel.
Take a look at the length of the delivery hose. If you’re getting a manual pump, then just know that a longer hose means needing to create a more powerful suction to move fuel. As for electric models, the hose should be long enough to reach the two containers while being plugged in.
Pay attention to how many gallons per minute the transfer fuel pump can move. When refilling lawn mowers, you don’t want something with too high a GPM rating since you’ll most likely end up spilling a majority of the fuel. Manual pumps usually produce up to 3 GPM whereas budget electric models deliver around 20 GPM.
There are several budget-friendly fuel transfer pumps to choose from nowadays. You don’t even have to risk accidentally pumping fuel into your mouth anymore if you have a budget of around $200. Some great electric models, battery-operated and corded, can transfer a huge amount of fuel in no time at all.
When looking at potential fuel transfer pumps the take home with you (or have delivered to your doorstep), check how durable the delivery hose is. Leaks and cracks in the hose can waste fuel, adding up to a huge sum of money in the long run. Also, check to see that the pump moves the right amount of fuel at the right speed (GPM). Too quick and you’ll waste fuel; too slow and you’ll need to babysit the pump all day.