Air displacement drum pump

Edit: don’t try this at home or anywhere else. Please see PSA:

Edit: I have put a basic parts list below in post 17.

Who’s done one? I’m looking for a quick parts list. I made a quick and dirty one last year for my 5 gallon carboys, but today I’m getting my first 55 gallon barrel of bleach delivered. (Woot, woot!)

For those not in the know: the idea is to pump air into your barrel, forcing the liquid up the drop tube, through a hose, and into whatever tank or container you’re using.

I’ve used barrel pumps for 275g gallon diesel tank for my tractor, some of them are quite crappy. If you get the rotary kind, geez, that is a lot of cranking, just make sure it is geared right or you will crank forever. Most of those aren’t rated for chems, so I would think they would need to be priced at the disposable level. I went to electric for my diesel, and it is so much nicer. What I plan on doing is going with a transfer pump from drum to tank, i’ll probably just go 12v and keep it simple.

If you build a platform, you can do what the farmers do and gravity feed your tank. I have a tractor, so this wouldn’t be an issue to move a 600lb barrel, I don’t know what you have available.

Yeah, that’s not quite what I’m talking about.

Kevin Enderle used to have a demonstration of one on his youtube channel. Can’t find it now, though.

Basically, the only parts it consists of is:

2” npt adapter
Air hose quick connect
PVC down tube

You hook your air compressor up to the quick connect, and pump air into the drum. The fluid is then pushed up the downtube and out the hose.


Something like this?



what elmeromero posted looks like what you are talking about.

You could still put the drum on a small platform to fill 5 gallon containers using gravity. 2 bungs on a drum, one to empty one to air.

I use this screwed into one of the caps and a normal hand pump style barrel pump screwed into the other top cap

Exactly like that. Looks super simple. I could probably piece one together for ~$10 out of what I can find at the hardware store. I was just hoping for a parts list to simplify my shopping trip.

The ‘hardest’ part will probably be tapping a 1/4” hole into the side of it for the air nipple. And that’s really not hard at all.

I will definitely have to shoot some video when I get this up and running. Straightforward instructions for this basic device are sorely lacking on the interwebs.

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I think I would tap the hole in the cap like mentioned above. Then you won’t have to repeat the process on your next barrel. Then again, you might be first transferring from the new barrel to your original barrel with a 12v and then using the air to transfer smaller quantities. That’s what I do instead of unloading the barrels from my truck. I like the air idea. Would keep me from having to mess with the 12v when filling tanks each night. It’ll be interesting to see how fast it flows. I guess transfer rate just depends on how big of meatballs you have…lol


My friend who’s letting me use his shop space for deliveries has a pretty beefy air compressor in there that he leaves on. So flow rate should be awesome. I’m guessing it’ll take a couple minutes to fill my 20 gallon house wash tank. I’ll have to be really careful not to overflow it :laughing:

Is there a reason you’re going this route instead of a 12 volt transfer pump?

I know you’re asking Alex but I think I like the idea too. I currently use a 12v to transfer when at home to get ready for the next day. I think it would be nice to not have to worry about pulling out a pump and then having to mess with flushing. I’d still have to use the 12v when transferring a new 55 gallon drum out of the back of my truck to unload it but would be nice to just be able to hook up an airline and dispense however much I need for the next day. I have a retractable air hose reel hanging from my garage ceiling so would be quick and easy.


I’m kind of a minimalist, and the idea of the bleach not having to pass through any moving or degradable parts tickles my fancy.

The compressor is already there. The drum is staying in one spot in the shop. I’ve got about 30’+ from the drum to where I can park my truck, so it wouldn’t make sense to try and use an on-board 12v pump.

A flow rate of double or more than a 12v is hard to beat, as well.

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I’m very interested in this as well. Would love to see what you come up with.

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We use one of these 115V pumps from Pressure Tek to transfer SH. Has worked great for a year.

Those air transfer pumps air meant for water. I have seen videos of guys using them for SH but stopping and starting the flow looks pretty tricky. Plus the obvious scary thing is the risk of the drum exploding. They swell up pretty good. You never know if you have a defective one that has a thin spot.

Here’s an older pic of our setup. We set it up so we can rinse it out with water each time we use it. Got it cleaned up a little since then.


Putting it together this afternoon. Will share shortly. Essential parts came to roughly $15. But I never walk out of Runnings without spending at least $80 :thinking:


Deleting parts list for this. Too dangerous.

please see PSA:


How’s it going after having it for a week?

I hope when you cleaned up your setup you fixed the problems in the background on the wall. Something was terrbily wrong there. Lets Go Pens!

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I would post the pens pics, but don’t want to fill up the server. Chicago’s pics would likely be mostly black and white other than the one you posted :crazy_face: