Peristaltic Pump Moves Fluids Uphill Both Ways

Here’s a skill we should all probably have for after the apocalypse—the ability to build a cheap peristaltic pump that can transport highly viscous fluids, chunky fluids, or just plain water from point A to point B with no priming necessary. That’s exactly what [Jack Ruby] has done with some fairly common items.

He started with a springform cake pan from a thrift store, the kind where the bottom drops out like that centripetal force ride at the carnival. He’s using 2″ casters from Harbor Freight mounted to a block of wood. The casters go round and squeeze fluid through the hose, which is a nice length of heat-resistant silicone from a local homebrew shop. He’s currently using a drill to run the pump, but intends to attach a motor in the future.

[Jack]’s write-up is very thorough and amusing. Stick around to see the pump in action as well as a complete tour. You can also pump colored goo if you’re out of beer materials.

44 thoughts on “Peristaltic Pump Moves Fluids Uphill Both Ways

  1. Where do you get silicone tube and a cordless drill after the apocalypse?

    One does not simply walk into a hardware store, unless one happens to live within walking distance of one.

    1. Also, I doubt they will get frequent restocking.

      The point of survival is to not depend on things you cannot actually make more of, because you eventually run out. If you’re going to push for the survival argument, something that can be made out of leather and wood would be much better than something made out of silicone and cookie tins.

      1. However, if you do know how to make something useful. you might be able to build it with what you have on hand after “the apocalypse”, even if your pre-apocalypse version was made of quality items.

          1. Good examples. Also, after rereading the post, i notice it mentions the “skill” being usefull, not the particular build.

          2. I’m not sure just any water hose could be squeezed like that. The whole point of the peristaltic pump is to flatten the tube so that a travelling constant volume is created. Otherwise it won’t suck the liquid.

            But a sort of a centrifugal pump can be made out of a garden hose in a spiral as long as you get it primed first.

      2. > leather and wood

        but what happens when you run out of trees and animals?!?!?!
        better start thinking about eating sand, thats the only way to survive!

    2. If, after the apocalypse, you have access to a wellstocked hardware store, it think you could be considred pretty well off. Infact (“infact” means that im pulling this out of my ass without fact-checking) there are plenty of people right now without access to even badly stocked stores.

      I do think it was meant as a joke though.

      1. LOL! I think no access to a well stocked hardware store is just as bad as a badly stocked hardware store. You made me chuckle :)

    3. Well just raid a college kid’s house. If you’re lucky, they’ll have both a skateboard (for the wheels) and a beer bong (for the tubing)

      Problem solved

    4. Inbetween the municipal sewage going down, and you figuring out how the hell you’re gonna replace it with bits of leather and hamsters, this hack can do the job! And there might be drills and rubber tubing still available! There’s probably more of both in the USA than there are people who can stitch leather into sealed tubes.

      Although this might need to be bigger to pump actual shit. Or need some sort of macerator, which it’s really too early in the morning to think about. I’d just take a spade with a nail in to keep the toilet paper on.

      Pre-apocalyptically, you might need a pump for all sorts of things, brewing for one. Peristaltic means none of your parts need to touch the food-grade stuff inside the tube. Perhaps his air-conditioner’s moisture-pump needs replacing. The real thing might be quite costly, if this is to be a permanent solution he might pick a better motor. But it still has lots of uses. They make all sorts of things to put on drills!

      1. Brewing was definitely the impetus for this project. Peristaltic pumps have lots of advantages over centrifugal pumps, and some disadvantages, too.

    5. Already have the tubing. You can pump it with a ‘speed wrench’ which I also have. But given now != apocalypse, I’d rather use power tools and write some code :)

        1. Next step is to cut another section of vinyl tube and wrap it over the sharp bits. The zip ties prevent the silicone tubing from moving too much, but yes, it’s a bit too sharp, even after deburring the edges.

    1. If this is your worry then you can go to the hardware store and buy a proper pump

      If you are keeping flood waters at bay then you’re not worrying about the long term health of the hose.

  2. You’re supposed to be geeks. You SHOULD have, a drill, a solar panel and an inverter of a couple hundred watts at least.

    1. Just like the A-Team ™ always get locked up by the bad guys in a storage room with full sets of tools and parts. :)

          1. The looters will simple meet their demise by throwing rocks on their skulls. They had it coming anyway.

  3. It’s all about BEER.
    Mankind first settled down to brew, might as well go out the way we started.
    Really, just pumping clean liquids around the kitchen. Sanitize don’t punk the brew.

    1. You try holding a camera, a pump, a drill, and a bucket all at once :) The second and third videos are the right way ’round though.

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