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How to Maintain Your NRS Barrel Pump

The NRS 5" Barrel Pump is “built to last, to get wet, and to get used.” It’s a workhorse that private boaters and outfitters have come to love. With an output of 1.8 gallons of air per stroke, it makes short work of inflating rafts, catarafts and inflatable kayaks (IKs). Its rugged, flexible 6.5-foot hose gives you plenty of reach, and the wide base is stable on uneven ground.

The pump is simple to maintain and keep in good working order. In this video, Josh from NRS Repairs goes over the steps for disassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and changing the pump’s O-ring. Most of the pump parts can be replaced, including the handle and shaft, piston end, O-ring gasket, hose and hose connections.

Note: The 5" Barrel Pump used for demonstration purposes in this video features a one-way check valve. However, because most modern inflatable boat valves halve built-in check valves, we’ve eliminated this part from the current 5" Barrel Pump model.

To clean your Barrel Pump, start by removing the top assembly from the pump barrel. Take out any screws from the top cap. Drape the carry webbing over the handle, place your feet on the bottom tabs and pull up on the handle. This removes the pump shaft and piston assembly. Use a rag and rubbing alcohol to clean the piston and O-ring. Then clean the inside of the pump barrel with the rag and alcohol.

Re-lubricate the pump with lithium grease. Apply it to the piston and O-ring. Also apply it around the inside of the pump barrel, about 6" down into the barrel. To avoid pinching the O-ring when re-assembling the pump, tilt the piston in at an angle as you insert it into the pump barrel. As you push the piston down, the grease you put on the piston, O-ring and inside the barrel will be distributed down along the pump walls.

If you’re not getting sufficient pressure, disassemble the pump and gently stretch the O-ring. This will improve the seal and put you back in business.