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Fuel Transfer Pump Buyer’s Guide

fuel transfer pump
When used with a portable fuel tank and a fuel nozzle, fuel transfer pump allows you to refuel a vehicle or piece of equipment in the field or on the job site.

A fuel transfer pump can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. A motorized fuel transfer pump can be a very useful tool to farmers and construction contractors. Anyone who has a fleet of trucks or heavy equipment to maintain knows how useful it is to have a fuel tank and a fuel transfer pump in the back of their pickup to serve as a mobile fuel station.

Different types of fuel transfer pump

Manually-operated pumps

Use a hand-operated transfer pump for smaller jobs such as oil changes, or removing small amounts of water from narrow or difficult-to-reach areas.

Siphon pumps

A siphon pump uses the power of gravity to move fluids from one container to another. Siphon pumps are essentially a long tube, usually made from rubber or plastic. One end of the tube is placed in one container, which must be raised up higher than the container that the fluid is being transferred to. The other end is the end that the fluid will come out of. Suction must be generated on this end of the tube in order to get the fluid flowing. Once the fluid is flowing through the tube, the siphon will finish draining the fluid on its own. Basic siphons may require you to generate the suction with your mouth or a separate suction device. Other siphon pumps feature a rubber squeeze bulb to generate suction and allow for faster pumping. Siphon pumps are very flexible and versatile.

A siphon pump is the cheapest fuel transfer pump, but it is also moves liquid the slowest of all the pump types. Use these as an emergency pump for filling your gas tank from a gas can, or for removing smaller amounts of fluid from hard-to-reach places.

Crank-operated pumps

A crank-operated pump uses a rotary hand crank to generate suction and move fluids. Most rotary pumps are metal, and have a metal tube that hangs down into the container they are mounted on. As the handle is cranked, the pump sucks up the fluid from the container and moves it through a rubber hose and into another container. These pumps usually mount to a barrel or pail, and are able to transfer fluids much more quickly than siphon pumps are. Since you must crank it by hand, a crank-operated pump is one of the most labor-intensive pumps to use. These pumps are ideal for transferring fuel from a drum or a fuel tank at a fixed location. Crank-operated pumps are cheaper than electric and gas-operated pumps. If you are pumping bulk fuel out of a drum in your garage for your truck or lawn mower, this crank will work well.

Electric fuel transfer pumps

An electric fuel transfer pump may come in a variety of different voltages and pumping speeds. They are similar to Rotary crank pumps in their basic design, but they use an electric motor instead of a hand crank to generate suction. These pumps are favored by construction contractors and farmers who have fleets of trucks and heavy equipment that need fuel on the job site or in the field. By mounting one of these pumps on a fuel tank in the box of a pickup truck, you can create a mobile gas station to bring the fuel to your fleet. These pumps are ideal for commercial and farming applications where a large amount of fuel needs to be transferred quickly. Depending on which model you buy, an electric fuel transfer pump may be powered by 12-volt or 115-volt electrical systems, and can pump 25 gallons or more per minute. 12-volt models can run off of your truck’s electrical system, while a 115-volt pump can be plugged into a home or garage current.


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