Wel-Bilt Air-Operated Barrel Pump - 12 GPM
Air operated barrel pump?
I was paging through my latest Northern Tool catalog and noticed this ultra-cool pump, and it was also on sale. Since I empty 55-gallon drums of methanol regularly, I figured it was time for an upgrade from my trusty ( but laborious ) manual drum pump.
The pump arrived in just under a week from when I ordered it, and that's not bad considering I chose the lowest ( and cheapest ) shipping tier and also that I live in a rural area! The pump ships nearly complete; the only thing you have to do is apply some teflon tape to the threads of the sections of suction pipe included and screw them all together; then you are ready for business.
I had a fresh, full barrel of methanol that I wanted to drain down into multiple 5-gallon pails. The pump body slides along the suction pipe assembly, which is beautiful in that it can accommodate variations in barrel depth. Additionally, it can fit large AND small barrel bungs, which increases its utility as well.
With the regulator of my air compressor set as low as possible, I screwed on the pump and opened the delivery valve. I increased the pressure to around 2-3psi, and methanol came out in a very thick, controllable stream, no spraying! Within a short time, I had emptied the barrel completely and the work was done; what a difference from the "old days," when I had to do this same chore by muscle power instead of gentle air pressure! I am certainly not going back...
The pump also operates dead quiet, and is extremely efficient, using a very small overall volume of air to move a relatively large amount of fluid. In contrast, my Husky/GRACO 716 dual diaphragm pump moves fluids fast too, but eats an awful lot more air, causing my compressor to cycle many times to move a barrel of fluid. This pump does the same work with NO CYCLING AT ALL...
About the only thing I can fault the pump for is not even a fault on the part of the pump itself; rather, it was a defect in the operator! I unintentionally left the air valve open in between pails, and unknowingly allowed the constant action of the regulator to apply 2-3psi to the drum I was emptying. Withing just a few minutes, the barrel puffed up like a marshmallow, ballooning the top and bottom out a few inches! I shut the air valve and used the emergency pressure release valve on the pump to halt the inflation, and now I know not to do this again! ( I was able to save the barrel by squashing it back into shape using my tractor's front end loader and some wood ) Lesson learned, and since then I know to shut off the air valve and bleed off the pressure whenever the pump is no longer in use.
To summarize: buy this pump if you have access to a modest air supply and need to move large volumes of light fluid fast. The pump is light, strong and sturdily built, and comes with a detailed owners manual as well. Additionally storage is simple, since all you need is a nail on the wall to hang it from; no cables, clips, hoses, handles, etc. etc. to hang up on everything and take up precious space in the shop. These things, coupled with the excellent sale price and Northern Tool's legendary customer service helps to deliver an unbeatable deal for those in need.
September 26, 2014
The little pump that can
I would rate this air barrel pump at 5 stars without question.
Out of the box it performed easily with heavy weight oil. Real easy to set-up and use.
May 14, 2012
Works great. I use mine in a 55 gallon drum for race fuel. Works great almost no fuel left in the bottom of the drum when done.
November 13, 2011