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Thread: Best/Lightest type pump for refueling from 55 gal drums

  1. #1

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    Best/Lightest type pump for refueling from 55 gal drums

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    Last year 4 of us headed up to Northern Quebec/ Labrador area. Six drums were flown into a base camp and additional fuel was purchased at two locations, also in drums. A pump was and is required at every location for fueling so it has to travel with you. The dual action pump we had served us well with only minor hiccups. Pump, suction, discharge hose, and nozzle weighed in at around 13 lbs. Iíve spent quite a bit of time searching for lighter pumps (housings) but everything I seem to come across thatís lite isnít compatible with fuel. If we canít get lighter I also thought about a 12 volt fill-rite and running it off an earth-x battery pack to cut refueling time down. Iím going to test just how long it will run on a full charge. Realistically speaking I still think the diaphragm hand pump to be more reliable, less chance of malfunctioning and not relying on power but everything breaks sometime.
    Iíve seen some rather cheap looking pumps out there but wouldnít take a chance on them. Finally, taking the two style pumps(housings), making sure all the hoses and such were interchangeable wouldnít add all that much more weight as a backup.

    So my question is have I missed something out there that is lighter and will do the job required as mentioned above?
    Thanks for any ideas. PJ

  2. #2

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    My electric pump is lighter than my manual one - if you don't count the weight of the generator
    A spigot for the drum, a plastc 5-gallon jerry can and a jiggle syphon would be lighter than any pump but a lot more trouble and work if you need to transfer that much fuel.
    Most operators here use a manual pump with cam-lock fittings so the hose and suction can be separated to take up less space. That's what I do.
    But that probably doesn't help you very much.

  3. #3

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    Big Gulp Super Siphon. Hereís mine next to a standard Jiggler siphon.

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poor Joe View Post
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    Last year 4 of us headed up to Northern Quebec/ Labrador area. Six drums were flown into a base camp and additional fuel was purchased at two locations, also in drums. A pump was and is required at every location for fueling so it has to travel with you. The dual action pump we had served us well with only minor hiccups. Pump, suction, discharge hose, and nozzle weighed in at around 13 lbs. I’ve spent quite a bit of time searching for lighter pumps (housings) but everything I seem to come across that’s lite isn’t compatible with fuel. If we can’t get lighter I also thought about a 12 volt fill-rite and running it off an earth-x battery pack to cut refueling time down. I’m going to test just how long it will run on a full charge. Realistically speaking I still think the diaphragm hand pump to be more reliable, less chance of malfunctioning and not relying on power but everything breaks sometime.
    I’ve seen some rather cheap looking pumps out there but wouldn’t take a chance on them. Finally, taking the two style pumps(housings), making sure all the hoses and such were interchangeable wouldn’t add all that much more weight as a backup.

    So my question is have I missed something out there that is lighter and will do the job required as mentioned above?
    Thanks for any ideas. PJ

    are you in a rush to get the job done, a 12v auto fuel pump will fit in the palm of your hand, and some of them will move some product.

  5. #5

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    Nunavit
    Thanks for the reminder on the cam locks. Something I had forgotten about.

  6. #6

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    Stewart
    Never saw that model. Definite increase in volume.

  7. #7

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    Doug
    Volume is important because the folks at the airports don’t leave you while your there. Getting done quickly seems to make them happier but I”LPL go back and recheck flowage rates. JOHN had a fuel bag with auto fuel pump rigged up. Worked well but was on the slow side. Thanks

  8. #8

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    I went through GPI pumps crazy fast. FillRite’s last forever. My hand pump is a Tuthill. It leaks. Rebuilt it. Still leaks. I have a couple in-line diesel pumps. Love them. Not approved for gas. I’ve stood in the middle of a fireball. I don’t mess around with gas pumps that aren’t approved for gas.
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  9. #9
    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    http://thrustline.com/

    Takeoffs are optional--Landings are mandatory

  10. #10

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    just like your picture, dosent seem to be anything in between this and a auto pump?. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fill-Rite-R...008.m2219heres
    Last edited by tempdoug; 03-19-2020 at 10:58 PM.
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  11. #11

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    what about a hand pump for pumping up tires, connect that to the drum and pressurise the fuel out, it really doesn't need very much pressure at all, if you use a hand pump and not a electric compressor you are less likely to push too much air in and cause problems, just an idea, never done it

    I have a ĺ jiggle pipe and a couple of 5 gallon fuel cans and that always seems to work, takes some time though.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I went through GPI pumps crazy fast. FillRiteís last forever. My hand pump is a Tuthill. It leaks. Rebuilt it. Still leaks. I have a couple in-line diesel pumps. Love them. Not approved for gas. Iíve stood in the middle of a fireball. I donít mess around with gas pumps that arenít approved for gas.
    I have a FillRite on my home bulk tank, the same one for over 20 years now. 12 VDC model, 13 GPM. I have a car battery (taken out of service because it wasn't doing the job in the car or truck) that I keep trickle charged off a 5 watt solar panel. Even with those half ass components, a very small PV panel and worn out battery, it still works perfect.
    I think the OP has about the best setup for his needs right now, keep it simple.

    I just had a thought: I know they make low pressure but high volume light weight manually operated air pumps for rafters, to blow up their boats. They move a LOT of air, it'd be worth a try using one of them perhaps to pressurize the drum.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post

    I just had a thought: I know they make low pressure but high volume light weight manually operated air pumps for rafters, to blow up their boats. They move a LOT of air, it'd be worth a try using one of them perhaps to pressurize the drum.
    excellent idea!!! and they are super lightweight
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bodumatau View Post
    excellent idea!!! and they are super lightweight
    what if the drum isnt 100 percent?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    what if the drum isnt 100 percent?
    then I doubt it would hold fuel and not leak on the way, just standing around these drums build up quite a pressure from the fuel expanding/evaporating

  16. #16
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodumatau View Post
    excellent idea!!! and they are super lightweight
    Could be that might not be a very good idea. Read through the thread on repairing the fuel tank, and realize you're also dealing with vaporized fuel. What are you using for a filter?

    Pumped many gallons using the hand pump. Usually it was so damn cold the exercise felt good. Especially after 3 or 4 hours cramped up in the plane.

    Jim

  17. #17

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    I've been considering one of these. Pump can't be too heavy as the shipping weight is only 13 lbs.

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200680794_200680794

  18. #18

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    We used a Mr.Funnel but not always. Although to my knowledge no one found any water on the trip from dumping it is my intention to have a water separator/filter after the pump this time. Although all of the drums purchased were in excellent shape, sealed, and stored indoors it’s not an excuse for not filtering. The air transfer is not a way I want to go as mentioned. We unload 23,000 gal rail tanker cars with a mineral type drilling fluid that weighs 6.5lbs/gal through 4” hose about60 feet up into interconnected storage tanks using 20 psi of air. It works but the product takes on a different look with the air especially when the car gets low. Would think the gas/vapors could get nasty as you said.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodumatau View Post
    what about a hand pump for pumping up tires, connect that to the drum and pressurise the fuel out, it really doesn't need very much pressure at all, if you use a hand pump and not a electric compressor you are less likely to push too much air in and cause problems, just an idea, never done it
    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I think the OP has about the best setup for his needs right now, keep it simple.

    I just had a thought: I know they make low pressure but high volume light weight manually operated air pumps for rafters, to blow up their boats. They move a LOT of air, it'd be worth a try using one of them perhaps to pressurize the drum.
    These two ideas when combined have merit. The OP indicated a desire to reduce the 13 lb carry weight.
    A thought using the rafting pump, a length of hose and a spare set of barrel bungs: Rig the spare small bung to connect to the rafter's pump. Adapt the large bung to accept a barrel length of hose (to reach the bottom of the barrel) and another length of hose to reach the fuel tank on the wing. Attach a commercial ball valve to the end of the long hose for safe & convenient shutoff. The rafter's pump can be hand or foot operated, it can be placed on the top of the barrel for compactness or on the ground.
    Add a bung wrench to your kit. Does this plan exceed the 13 lb restriction?

    There is no electricity involved. There will be a very low barrel pressure requirement. No fumes will be generated within the barrel.
    N1PA
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  20. #20

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    Flo-Fast pumps used to leak but I have two of their latest and they're fixed. Lotsa flow. I'm an electrical guy, but I'm not considering any more battery powered devices. Enough.
    What's a go-around?
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  21. #21

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    https://www.amazon.com/TERAPUMP-Powe.../dp/B00WZX9BPK

    My brother used something like this on his boat for fuel transfer and was surprised how well it worked.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo77 View Post
    https://www.amazon.com/TERAPUMP-Powe.../dp/B00WZX9BPK

    My brother used something like this on his boat for fuel transfer and was surprised how well it worked.
    Cute, but if you have to lift the can up on the wing anyway a jiggle siphon is faster, lighter and requires no batteries.
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  23. #23

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    For getting it out of a 55 gallon drum.

  24. #24

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    My Flo-Fast with pickup tube and output hose just under 6 lbs.
    What's a go-around?

  25. #25
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    Just watched a buddy of mine drain a fuel tank on a PA12 with one of these.
    Worked fine, just slow.
    Even if hoses etc were extended, if you're gonna pump out a 55 gallon drum,
    you'd better bring along a deck of cards or a paperwork to while away the time.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  26. #26

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    I’ve used in-line Congo pumps for fuel oil for lots of years. Great little pumps. Not approved for gasoline, though. Probably a lawyer thing? Maybe worth a try.
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