Thursday, November 1, 2018

How to Choose the Best Fuel Transfer Pump for Your Application


With so many fuel transfer pump options, how do you pick the right one? This series of simple questions will narrow down your choices and lead you to the best fuel transfer pump for your application.

What type of work will you do with your fuel transfer pump?

First, you need to determine whether you need a Standard Duty or Commercial Duty/Heavy Duty fuel transfer pump. Will you be refueling small equipment like lawn mowers and recreational vehicles, or will you be fueling heavy equipment out in the field?

What power source will you use to operate the pump? Will you use a mobile or fixed tank installation?

Will you have access to your building’s electrical service to run your pump? Or, will you need a battery-powered pump to refuel out in the field?

Electric fuel transfer pumps come in two basic types:

12V DC power for mobile applications (like a tank in a truck bed)
115V AC power for fixed applications (like an above-ground fuel storage tank)
In commercial duty lines, you will also see mobile 24V DC and fixed 230V AC pumps.
The fuel transfer pump you choose MUST match your power supply. You can’t power a 115V pump effectively with a 12V battery. On the flip side, trying to power a 12V pump with a 115V power supply will not only damage the pump, but is dangerous.

If you don’t have access to a power supply, you need a hand pump. These simple-to-use and economical pumps transfer fluid safely and cleanly. Choose the method of transfer you prefer (lever action piston pump, diaphragm pump or rotary action pump) and check the features to make sure it works with the type of fluid you want to transfer. The GPI HP-100 is a premium hand pump for gasoline and diesel fuels that generates twice the flow of other models.

What type of fluid do you need to transfer?

Now that you know the basic type of fuel transfer pump you need, it’s time to look at the features of individual models to see what types of fluids they transfer. Not all pumps work for all fluids. Here you can buy the best transfer pumps.

How often will you use your fuel transfer pump? What size of equipment fuel tank will you be filling?

Will you use your fuel pump occasionally or every day? Is time a factor when refueling? Will you be filling a 3-gallon tank on a riding lawnmower, or a 300-gallon gas tank on a combine?
Your answers to these questions will determine the flow rate you need for your pump. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM)—the higher the GPM rating, the less time it will take to refuel. If your pump’s GPM rating is too low for your tank size, it will take a long time to refuel. Get one that’s too high, and you can have spillage or frothing when refueling.

Also consider whether you want a manual or automatic nozzle. An automatic nozzle has an automatic shutoff feature for hands-free refueling. This feature costs more than manual, but may well be worth it in the long run if it frees you up for other tasks.

Looking for specific fuel transfer pump recommendations?

This Easy Selection Guide gives you specific fuel transfer pump recommendations for your application, power source and tank size. It even offers recommendations for corresponding meters and fuel storage tank sizes.


Determining the best pump solution for your application requires some investigation into some of the operating parameters of the application. These five questions will help steer you in the right direction when it comes to determining what fluid management solution is right for you.


The distance gasoline must travel is a major determining factor when choosing a pump. You need to fully understand how far you are pushing the fuel or how far you are pulling it, and any vertical lift that needs to be accounted for.


The flow rate is a measure of how quickly the fuel is dispensed. The size of the pump chamber and the power source play a role in the maximum flow rate attainable. Pumps that produce higher flow are typically more expensive, so the goal is to balance flow rates with productivity while not over-sizing or under-sizing the pump.


Certain features make a fluid transfer pump suitable for a particular environment. While some transfer pumps are manufactured to operate with hazardous fuels, you want to consider the operating environment, such as if the pump is located outdoors and exposed to extreme weather. Also, consider if you need the flexibility of a mobile pumping unit.


Most transfer pumps operate from single phase AC, 3-phase AC, and DC power sources. Each power source has its strengths and limitations, but be advised that pump head performance may vary depending on the available power and power quality. If you are operating in a remote area, you may consider engine-driven pump models, with the added benefit of throttle/pump speed control. There are also pump drive options for truck-mount applications where hydraulic systems or PTO connections can be used.


Every gasoline transfer pumping application has constraints and restrictions. Items such as hoses, nozzles, reels, elbows, and meters add pressure, which can potentially slow down output. By taking all of these factors into consideration, your pump will operate as expected after installation.

Author: verified_user