5 Tips for Effective Chemical Drum Pump Selection and Use

5 Tips for Effective Chemical Drum Pump Selection and Use

Myriad manufacturing processes rely on a chemical drum pump. These pumps make it simple and safe to transfer harsh substances from barrels, tanks, drums, and IBCs/totes. They range from modest to highly-engineered devices and are used for pumping a wide variety of chemicals. Across the spectrum, regardless of the application, selection and use of a chemical drum pump is most effective when specifiers and operators follow five key principles.

1. Choose the best pump for the application.

Effective use of a chemical drum pump requires selecting the right pump for the job. Several factors are important to consider.

• Flow rate

What is the required head and flow for your application? If your process involves unique operations, you may need to choose a pump that is designed for higher flow and pressure rates.

• Size/portability

Will you need to transport pumps throughout a facility? Do you need a pump with a small footprint for tight spaces? Keep any portability needs and space parameters in mind for the most effective use of a chemical drum pump.

• Chemicals

What substances will the pump need to handle? If any corrosive or toxic chemicals will be involved in the application, select a pump with appropriate materials of construction for these harsh conditions.

• Temperature

Each chemical drum pump features tubes that have temperature limits. Consider the maximum temperature of any fluids that may travel through these tubes and choose the appropriate pump construction to safely handle that temperature level.

• Specific gravity/viscosity

If you will be pumping fluids with high specific gravity or viscosity ratings, you’ll need to select a specialized pump that can handle your application.

• Motor

Each chemical drum pump is compatible with specific motors for optimal functioning. In addition, certain motor types are better suited for some uses than others. Common motor styles include electric, explosion-proof electric, and air. Cordless styles are also available for maximum flexibility. Be sure to consider the environment in which the pump will be used when determining whether a particular motor is suitable for the application.

2. Select the right accessories.

One or more accessories may enhance a chemical drum pump performance or make it more suitable for a specific application. Pump manufacturers offer complete lines of accessories to make your chemical drum pump as effective as possible, including:

• Barrel/bung adapters

These are available in a variety of materials. Adapters help create a tight tube fit in the barrel allowing the tube to maintain a vertical position in the barrel.

• Nozzles

Various nozzles allow pump operators to control the flow of the liquid.

• Filters

These accessories protect pump operation by preventing damage by dirt and debris.

• Flow meters

These helpful tools allow pump operators to measure and control the amount of liquid that is pumped, to precise amounts.

• Static protection kits

When flammable or combustible liquids are involved, these kits are used to ensure safe transfers.

3. Follow appropriate safety protocols.

The effective use of a chemical drum pump requires adherence to proper safety standards. Follow these protocols to reduce risk and increase production.

• Training

Any personnel that will be installing, operating, or maintaining a chemical drum pump must be properly trained and qualified to perform these duties.


Before using or servicing a chemical drum pump, always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. This may include goggles, faceshields, gloves, helmet, and other garments to protect the operator from injury.

• Positioning

Always use and store the chemical drum pump in an upright position.

• Power

Before operating a chemical drum pump, ensure the power supply is appropriate for the motor and the motor is in the off position.

• Cleaning/neutralizing

When pumping is complete, or if you will be switching chemicals, it is highly recommended to flush the chemical drum pump with clean water or other neutralizing fluid compatible with the pump materials and fluids being pumped.

4. Optimize performance.

For optimal performance from a chemical drum pump, always follow manufacturer specifications for installation, operation, and maintenance. While various pump styles may require different handling and care, the following tips will help optimize chemical drum pump operation in most applications.

• Never allow the pump to run dry

If the pump operates dry (without fluid), this can cause overheating. The pumping elements may seize up, and the pump may fail.

• Check discharge hose before operation

Always make sure the pump’s discharge hose is properly secured to the pump tube and is being held near the open discharge end before operating the motor.

• Use proper adapters

Prior to starting the chemical drum pump, insert the tube into the fluid to be dispensed and the hose into the container to be filled. If the fit is not tight, use a bung adapter to secure the tube and ensure a safe transfer.

5. Look for a reliable manufacturer.

You can follow all the best tips for effective use of a chemical drum pump, but if the pump is not a quality product, it still won’t deliver optimal results. For top performance, look for a manufacturer that offers reliable pumps.

Important manufacturer qualities include durable product construction, a complete line of pumps and accessories to serve diverse applications, an established reputation in the field, and industry-leading warranties. Finish Thompson meets all of these qualifications and more.

Finish Thompson Offers a Chemical Drum Pump for Every Application

Our complete line of robust drum pumps can handle the toughest transfers, and our pump accessories meet the needs for a full range of applications.

Finish Thompson PF Series Pump

PF Series Chemical Drum Pump

  • High performance, sealless design
  • Unique double suction impeller for high flow and high head
  • FDA-compliant options
Finish Thompson SF Series Pump

SF Series Chemical Drum Pump

  • High performance, sealless design
  • Dual impeller provides high flow or high head options
  • 40 mm (1.6”) diameter tube for smaller bungs
Finish Thompson EF Chemical Drum Pump

EF Series Chemical Drum Pump

  • Economical sealless design
  • Light-duty transfer applications
  • Ideal replacement for hand-operated pumps
Finish Thompson BT Chemical Drum Pump

BT Series Chemical Drum Pump

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Up to 15,000 cP for viscous fluids
  • Sealed design
Finish Thompson HVDP Chemical Drum Pump

HVDP Chemical Drum Pump

  • High viscosity progressive cavity design for up to 100,000 cP
  • Unique camlock feature for quick disassembly
  • Stainless tube and shaft with FDA-compliant options

About Finish Thompson

Finish Thompson Inc. designs and manufactures pumps for the safe transfer of a wide variety of corrosive liquids. Products include centrifugal sealless magnetic drive pumps with run-dry capability, mechanically sealed pumps, drum and barrel pumps, vertical mag-drive pumps, multi-stage pumps, and the FTI Air line of air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps. For durable solutions for your applications, contact Finish Thompson Inc.