Thursday, November 24, 2016

Liquid Fuel Transfer Pump, Battery Powered

I’ve been looking for a safe, spill-free way of filling my small engine fuel tanks. I’ve tried the gas cans with the on/off valve in the can spout. The first couple of uses it was fine but after a year of use the valve became difficult to use and it dripped gas onto the engine when filling. I even thought about making my own transfer pump using an old 12volt fuel pump and a couple hoses, but thought if the on/off switch were to spark it could be a disaster.

For a couple years now I have been looking at this Battery Operated Transfer Pump shown below but was hesitant to buy because so many of these inexpensive pumps are junk. This one doesn’t appear to be.
During Matthew the hurricane, I needed to fill the generator several times using a gas can I had a small spillage issue each time. After that hurricane it was time to order this Transfer Pump and see if it worked and was of reasonable quality.

Does it pump 5-6 quarts per minute as advertized?
Yes, and a lot more. For a flow test, I filled a five-quart jug in 24 seconds!

I used a five-gallon bucket with water and took this photo to show the stream of water the pump produces. That’s a ½ inch diameter stream that flows three gallons per minute.

Battery Life:
The pump is designed to run off two, “D” size batteries. How many gallons will it pump on one set of batteries? I don’t know, but I did empty three five gallon buckets and was still pumping strong. “D” size batteries are expensive and I didn’t want to waste them for a duration test. I’m quite happy with this limited test, I’d guess the batteries could pump 50 gallons, far more than I would ever need for a hurricane season, I hope!

Pump Storage after use:
Because the pump impeller and fuel lines have no inline valves it will completely self-drain immediately after use. Just stand or hang it vertically and you’re done

What Do I like most of all about this pump?
It works, is spill free and easy to use.
For seasonal engine storage, I am now able to pump all the gas from the small engine fuel tanks into a larger 5-6 gallon storage gas can. Then run the small engine until what little is left in the tank is gone leaving the entire fuel system dry reducing possible fuel gumming-up in the carburetor and filters.

Best for small engine tanks and Portable Kerosene Heaters.
It appears to be a quality built product but only time will tell if it will last say 5+ years.

Source to Purchase:
Sierra Tools Battery-Operated Liquid Transfer Pump:

Cost: $15.99

Manufacturers Spec’s:
Move liquids safely and easily with this convenient handheld pump.
Pumps gas, water, oil and other non-corrosive liquids.
Use in garage, aquariums, home and yard.
Pumps up to 6 quarts of liquid per minute.
Requires two "D" size batteries (not included).


  1. So what's wrong with a regular hand pump??? In a grid down environment how would you recharge them????

  2. I would prefer a manual pump but the ones I've seen look like China quality.
    As for recharging I do have a 200 watt solar system that runs everyday, so recharging batteries is no problem.

  3. Mike I used one of those back in the 90's for filling a large kerosene shop heater. A set of duracells lasted 2 winters at 10 gallons a day use.

    1. Thanks for the comment on battery life, that's good to know. I now have on order "D" Size battery cages that hold two "AA" batteries each for use in my big flashlights. I want to use "AA" batteries for everything I can because I have many rechargeable "AA" batteries and solar to recharge them with.

    2. I like the adaptors in most things. But in my big led Mag-lite I use rechargeable D cells I like the heft its like a club in hand.

    3. I know what you mean. I have 2, 4-cell mag-lites for camping and road side emergencies. They do make good clubs.

  4. I put together one of those 12V fuel pump with hoses transfer pump, and it works very well. The switch for it is on a cable placed about 8 feet away from the "business end" of things. I can stand back and control this thing. I think by the time I was done, it cost nearly $100. Well spent I think.

    1. Sounds interesting, what kind of fuel pump did you use?

    2. It was an "off the shelf" universal (heavy duty I think) electric fuel pump from Advance Auto Parts. Seems like it cost aprox. $60. Then hoses that are 'fuel resistant' and a heavy 2-wire lead to go up to the battery with clamps. And a 2-wire lead running off to the switch in a little box. Pump was mounted on a plywood 'bracket'. Quite respectable looking.