Non-60 PSI Pump for Tank Refill from 5gal Jug?

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#1: Post by Tyme »

I use a 5gal jug under my counter to refill the tank on my espresso machine (not plumb-in-able). I have one of those manual pumps that sits on top of the 5gal jug and a hose that goes to the espresso machine. Works fine but I don't want to get down and hand pump for a minute or two to refill my machine anymore, I want to get an electrical pump and flip a switch when I need water. I don't need to pay $100 for one of those 60 PSI pumps most setups on this forum use though, I want something that:
-is cheap, ideally <$30
-plugs into the wall
-isn't submersible. Ie, I can connect a hose that goes into the water jug.
-can pump at least 2L/min up 1m high
-won't make water taste plastic-y (food grade, ideally)

Any recommendations of where to look? I've seen plenty of cheap aquarium/fountain pumps that would be great except they are submersible and I don't know if they'll affect water taste or something. I've also seen USB-charging pumps that sit on 5gal jugs but I don't know if they have the power to pump up 1m at a reasonable flow rate, don't want to have to charge it, and they might be too tall to fit in my cabinet.


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#2: Post by HB »

I searched Amazon with "water pump dispenser system" and saw lots of Shurflo and Shurflo-like options, all around $70. The only cheaper option I saw that wasn't manual USB-powered pumps that mounted directly atop the 5 gallon jugs, all in the $15-$30 range. I don't have any experience with the latter, but doubt it'd able to pump up to the machine.

By the way, I haven't checked recently, but last time I looked, a Shurflo only pressurizes to ~40 PSI, not 60.
Dan Kehn

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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

I think that an ULKA vibration pump will do that, albeit with a duty restriction. However, $25 will just get you the pump; everything else is on you.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#4: Post by Nunas »

I made a gadget for racking wine that would work, and it costs nearly nothing. You need an aquarium air pump, a food grade bung to fit your carboy and two lengths of plastic tubing in different sizes. One tube is the right diameter to attach to the air pump (sorry, I don't remember what that is, but it is available anywhere). Make a hole in the bung to fit the tube and insert one end so that it just protrudes through the bung; the other end goes to the air pump. The second tube size is chosen to be easy to mate with your espresso machine. Make a second hole for the second tube and insert it through the bung far enough that it can reach the bottom of your carboy. Cut the end of the tube on a slant so that it won't be stopped up if it rests on the bottom of the carboy. Seal the two tubes to the bung with food grade silicone cement. That's it. The air pump will lightly pressurize the carboy via the thin tube and drive the water out through the larger tube to the espresso machine. You don't need a regulator, as the pressure is modest. I use a gadget like this all the time for racking wine. It allows me to rack uphill, downhill or sideways, saving lifting 60# jugs up and down for traditional siphoning. It hasn't enough oomph to lift a long way, say from a basement to upstairs, like a Flojet can. On the other hand, it runs nearly silent, just a gentle hum.


#5: Post by Pressino »

There are small submersible pumps that are used in small tabletop water fountains...they go for less than $20. I know you specified non submersible but these are quite small and could fit a 5 gal jug.

Tyme (original poster)

#6: Post by Tyme (original poster) »

Thanks for the inputs everyone. Does anyone know if those fountain pumps will affect water taste, either with plasticizers or grease or something in the pump?

Air pump idea is intriguing but I'm not too keen on relying on a good seal between the jug and bung, making sure it's good each time I change water jugs. This idea would solve the other problems though...


#7: Post by Pressino »

The fountain pumps use small magnetic impeller wheels without any grease or other lubricant in the water path. I don't know if the plastics in contact with the water are classified as "food safe," but I imagine that they are not "unsafe." There is one in my dogs' water fountain and they've been drinking from it all their lives with no apparent ill effects... :)

I'm sure you could find some "food safe" silicone or other tubing to run from the pump to the tank.