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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a 55 gallon barrel of water that I'd like to empty and clean. I've tried the shaker siphon hose which didn't seem to work. I then bought a hand pump that's supposed to automatically flow after a few pumps, but no matter how I tried I couldn't get it to keep draining without me pumping.

So is there a power siphon water pump that I can use for my yearly emptying of my water barrel?

Thanks,

Ed
 

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You might try looking at Harbor Freight Tools or Northern Tools for what I believe is called a shaker siphon. It is not an electric pump but merely a hose with a brass one-way check valve. To use it you just insert the valve into the barrel and shake it to prime the suction and then it works automatically. I have one for siphoning fuel and it works great.
 

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Siphons don't do well if the air intake is less than the volume going out, in other words make sure the tank is vented so the siphon doesn't ... suck.. or lack air.

55 gal isn't a large tank, why not just turn it upside down?
 

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I assume you are use one of the bung holes to try and get the water out. Since the siphon out flow end needs to be lower than the end in the barrel, you might need to use a very long hose that can be stretched out to a place that is lower than the bottom of the barrel. Barring that, don't let the end of the hose in the barrel go all the way to the bottom. It won't drain very fast, but it will drain. Eventually the water will be low enough to tip the barrel on its side.
 

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Sounds like it's time to practice your siphoning skills. Use a piece of garden hose or air hose and suck. Will be great practice for when you need to scavenge fuel. Its better to get a few month fulls of water than gas or diesel in an emergency. After a few times you'll catch on and learn yet another valuable skill. Electric pump really?
 

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It will take a real pump to get fuel out of the ground but unless you plan to bury the 55 gallon drum it will be easy to siphon it out. The siphon uses the weight of the liquid flowing through the hose to pull more into it so you only have to make sure your drum is higher than your point of consumption. The higher it is above that point the more pressure you have. If you have a slope on your property (I hear that some people actually have flat land) then bury your sistern at the top and run buried lines, down hill, to your point of use.

With a siphon you never want to let the level get to the inlet of the hose or you will have to restart the siphon again. That is easier if your sistern has a fill pipe that is above ground. You also need a vent tube to let air into the sistern as the water flows out. The vent should be covered with a screen and turned toward the ground to keep untreated water out. The ideal situation is to have your well feed directly into the sistern without a vent. that way the water doesn't need to be treated.
 

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Take a long piece of hose stick it all the way in the barrel and let it fill up with water, then put your hand over the mouth of the hose and pull it out at the lowest level below the water level in the tank and remove hand and gravity will siphon the water out as long as the other end is at the bottom of the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Siphons don't do well if the air intake is less than the volume going out, in other words make sure the tank is vented so the siphon doesn't ... suck.. or lack air.

55 gal isn't a large tank, why not just turn it upside down?
A 55 gal tank fully loaded is pretty heavy, and mine is stored in my garage as my home's lot size is pretty small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like it's time to practice your siphoning skills. Use a piece of garden hose or air hose and suck. Will be great practice for when you need to scavenge fuel. Its better to get a few month fulls of water than gas or diesel in an emergency. After a few times you'll catch on and learn yet another valuable skill. Electric pump really?
The shaker siphon and the hand pump are fine for quick spurts, but not enough to drain the entire 55 gal barrel, at least the way I'm doing it (which may be wrong).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It will take a real pump to get fuel out of the ground but unless you plan to bury the 55 gallon drum it will be easy to siphon it out. The siphon uses the weight of the liquid flowing through the hose to pull more into it so you only have to make sure your drum is higher than your point of consumption. The higher it is above that point the more pressure you have. If you have a slope on your property (I hear that some people actually have flat land) then bury your sistern at the top and run buried lines, down hill, to your point of use.

With a siphon you never want to let the level get to the inlet of the hose or you will have to restart the siphon again. That is easier if your sistern has a fill pipe that is above ground. You also need a vent tube to let air into the sistern as the water flows out. The vent should be covered with a screen and turned toward the ground to keep untreated water out. The ideal situation is to have your well feed directly into the sistern without a vent. that way the water doesn't need to be treated.
I probably should have mentioned that my 55 gal barrel is above ground, sitting in my garage...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You might try looking at Harbor Freight Tools or Northern Tools for what I believe is called a shaker siphon. It is not an electric pump but merely a hose with a brass one-way check valve. To use it you just insert the valve into the barrel and shake it to prime the suction and then it works automatically. I have one for siphoning fuel and it works great.
Thanks, I did have that but it doesn't work, likely because as I just read from another poster here that the hose part isn't long enough maybe?
 

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You can take any garden hose, slowly fill it with water from the faucet and keep the end up in the air so you can put your hand over it or close the nozzle. Drop the end to the same height as the faucet, and remove the hose carefully so as to lose as little water as possible. Keep both ends the same height and take to barrel. Put the faucet end into the water about 12 inches and then lower the nozzle end and remove the nozzle. Water should start flowing immediately unless you lost a lot of water. Have some drag the hose end out to a low spot while keeping the end below the end that is in the barrel. Treat this as any siphon, making sure the drain end is always lower the the end in the barrel. If the hose on the faucet will reach the barrel, put the end inside turn on the water and as soon as the air is out of the hose, turn off the faucet and remove the hose from the faucet, then treat as any siphon.
 

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A 55 gal tank fully loaded is pretty heavy, and mine is stored in my garage as my home's lot size is pretty small.
Yes it is 490 pounds but 2 men can lay it on its side, roll it to the door and pull the plug. I can also think of several ways to tip it on its side with only 1 man, though I am amazed how few preppers own a block and tackle or even a weight reducing pulley(hoist)
 

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Yes it is 490 pounds but 2 men can lay it on its side, roll it to the door and pull the plug. I can also think of several ways to tip it on its side with only 1 man, though I am amazed how few preppers own a block and tackle or even a weight reducing pulley(hoist)
Engine hoist would work to lay it over also.. A floor jack with a couple blocks on it with a saddle cut into the top block also works... Get your buddy to help you tip it over..
 

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A two wheel hand truck works too.

From another post, I put 2 and 2 together. An acquaintance tried using compressed air to pump hyd. oil out of a drum and popped it's top seam while it was lying on its side. Used too much pressure. Anyway, what he was doing works. On the 3/4 inch bung, build a pipe with 1/2 inch pipe welded or some how fasten and sealed to a short piece of 3/4 inch pipe. Put a hose adapter on this pipe. Get a 2 inch bung adapter and neck it down so you can put an air hose male coupler fitting on the the 2 inch adapter. If the drum is plastic, it can only handle 2-3 PSI or so, if steel, you can go higher with PSI but i'd stay below 30. Pressurize the drum and out comes the water. Will also work for flammables, since there is no spark.
 

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Knock a whole in the side, close to the bottom. Plastic or metal? then replace the barrell. remove top of old punched barrel, and add a spigot. Just kidding. I would syphon it also, its just rainwater, I've had lots worse in my mouth, and by the time you get done, you'll be an experienced syphoner, and with a clear hose, will be able to syphon without getting a mouthfull.
 
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