After some research, I found that diesel is my choice of fuel.

Now I need a way to pump it to the engine. My main constraint is price.

So my question is can I use a water pump like one of these, to pump the diesel?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Does its datasheet say it can pump diesel? Some pumps data say they can, others don't. I tend to assume the former can, the latter may have unspecified material compatibility problems. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ If its a single use short time duration application (like say a rocket) you might use something outside of its design spec. I'd suggest you seek out a forum dedicated to home built rockets, I'm sure there are plenty. $\endgroup$
    – agentp
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


With pumping diesel, your main constraint should be safety, not cost. There are very good reasons diesel pumps aren't for sale for $5 on amazon.

The main things you want to look at are 1) whether the wetted materials are compatible with diesel (EDPM and silicone for example will dissolve) and 2) how it is grounded. Many pumps can build up static charge which can cause the diesel to explode in the pump. You'll also need to be careful to avoid cavitation which could easily lead to explosions also.

Edit: Explosion proof motors (and intermediate ratings like totally enclosed) are also worth investigating. If your plumbing leaks, is the vapor going to find its way to the motor and explode?

I would also recommend reading more about explosion-proof pumps and reading up more generally on what types of pumps are used for diesel.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank for making me realize this! I think this one shoulb be safer : amazon.ca/fuel-pump-SODIAL-submersible-diesel/dp/B019YV7GQG/…. $\endgroup$
    – Dat Ha
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't an explosion require an air-vapour mixture? A pump should only ever have liquid fuel in it, I guess. $\endgroup$
    – Joey
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Joey Certainly, but are you willing to bet that if the manufacturer hasn't bothered to ground the pump head that they have also made the pump head perfectly hermetic and deaerated the supply line? You don't need much explosion to expose the diesel to plenty of air by ripping the pump head apart. $\endgroup$
    – ericksonla
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 13:44

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