The 10 Best Fuel Transfer Pumps

Updated October 20, 2018 by Chase Brush

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you've ever tried to pour gasoline directly from a can into another vehicle or a generator, you'll know how dangerous and messy it can be. That's where these fuel transfer pumps come in. One of the models on this list will let you keep anything topped up safely, from farm equipment to lawnmowers, motorcycles and even your car, should you be unfortunate enough to run out of juice. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fuel transfer pump on Amazon.

10. TeraPump TRDRUM20

9. Roughneck 8GPM

8. TeraPump TRFA01

7. Gastapper 12V

6. Koehler Enterprises RA990

5. XtremepowerUS X1114

4. Fill-Rite FR4210G

3. Gastapper Siphon Pro XL

2. Fuelworks Electric Diesel

1. Sierra Tools JB5684

Why Use A Fuel Transfer Pump?

The vapors of gasoline actually have a different makeup, though they come from the same product.

Most obviously, using a fuel transfer pump aids in transferring fuel from one container to another. This has its own inherent benefits. Manual siphoning is impractical in many cases, and large containers cannot be easily lifted to funnel liquids into smaller containers. In these cases, a fuel pump is a definite need.

There is another important factor which many people overlook, however. Using a fuel pump also limits your exposure to gasoline vapors. This alone is reason enough to make the switch. Liquid gasoline is actually a combination of over 150 hydrocarbons, paraffin, and alkenes, among other compounds. The vapors of gasoline actually have a different makeup, though they come from the same product.

Gasoline vapor emits a great number of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere around it, making it a problem on both large and small scales. Globally, these hydrocarbons lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to a depleting ozone layer. But on a localized scale, the effects are just as dangerous.

Regularly inhaling the volatile compounds which are heavily found in gas vapor leads to a higher risk of tumors, as many of these compounds are carcinogenic. Gasoline and its fumes are also associated with many other negative health risks in humans. Oxidative stress and haematotoxicity have been noted in subjects who were regularly exposed to petrol fumes.

In a study determining the long term effects of gasoline vapor inhalation on health, a team of researchers exposed subjects to daily doses of ambient gasoline vapor. At the end of 11 weeks, blood samples were run to determine the effect gasoline was having on the body. The team's findings indicated that gasoline reduced the amount of normal weight gain that occurred in test subjects. It was also associated with a reduction of healthy red blood cells and an increase in red blood cells which were malformed or under-functioning. The inhalation of gasoline was also associated with an increase in bone marrow abnormalities.

A fuel transfer pump can be easily employed in order to reduce contact with gasoline vapors and limit their release into the environment.

How to Use A Fuel Transfer Pump

Fuel transfer pumps are useful for everything from cars, planes, and tractors; to snowmobiles, dirt-bikes, and even small motorized tools. Fuel transfer pumps work just as well with diesel fuel as they do with gasoline, and can be operated by hand pump, crank, or various motored options. Fuel transfer pumps can also provide a safe way to transfer various chemicals and hazardous materials without touching them.

Just as important as proper operation of a fuel pump is adherence to safety precautions when using them.

To get the most out of a fuel transfer pump, it is important to understand how to best use it. Many fuel transfer pumps offer a simple design and relatively straightforward use. The three basic parts of a motored unit will be hosing, the motor, and the power supply. In manual units the motor and power supply are the same; usually a crank or lever for hand operation. While the exact operating instructions vary, the basics are to insert the inbound hose of the unit into the tank or can to be drained, and insert the outbound hose into the tank to be filled. After this step, simply supply power to the pump and turn it on; keeping an eye not to overfill the tank or can you are transferring to.

Just as important as proper operation of a fuel pump is adherence to safety precautions when using them. Combustible liquids can be lit by hot surfaces, static electricity, and electronic devices in some instances. To control the amount of flammable vapor in the air, be sure to only use pumps in well ventilated areas. Avoid using any fuel transfer pump in a closed garage.

Electricity is also a concern when using fuel transfer pumps. Even a very small spark is enough to cause a fire, which is evidenced by the 15 to 200 cases of static fires each year when fueling vehicles. While the pump is in operation, be sure not to unplug or plug anything into power sockets. Avoid turning lights on and off when the transfer is happening as well. Always maintain distance from any sources of electricity when using a fuel pump. Connect a motored fuel pump to a grounded outlet only. Very importantly, always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and hearing protection when using any sort of fuel pump.

Types Of Fuel Transfer Pumps

There are a few different types of fuel transfer pumps available for use. Depending upon your individual needs, one pump may be more suitable than another.

Centrifugal pumps are commonly seen on the marketplace. They offer a wide variety of uses, and are favored by many industrial companies as well. They can achieve high flow rates at a relatively low cost, and are often used to transfer to and from delivery vehicles and bulk tanks in the transportation sector.

Manual pumps are also available, and are perfect for emergency use.

It is also common to see positive displacement pumps when searching for appropriate units. These pumps can achieve great suction, and can attain a high pressure output, up to several hundred PSI. Their flow capacities can greatly fluctuate as needed, from nearly a trickle to many gallons per hour. This high powered option does generally come with an increased cost of operation, however.

There are a couple different types of positive displacement pumps. Rotary vane pumps and hinged vane pumps differ in operating mechanics, but the results are the same: high powered hydraulic pumps which commonly make their way into heavy circulation. Power steering, transmission pumps, and even air injection pumps all use a type of vane pump.

Manual pumps are also available, and are perfect for emergency use. If the use of the unit will be limited to siphoning gas to a car that has lost its fuel or cleaning up a water leak in the home before it causes any damage, manual or battery operated pumps can achieve this easily. On the other hand, if the pump will see heavy use, it is better to steer clear of manual units and opt for high-powered motored units.


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Last updated on October 20, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.


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