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Posted: 11/18/2008 9:20:19 AM EDT
Howdy,
Ok, I looked back few pages and didn't see anything like this.

So what kind of 55 gal drum can be used for long term gas storage? Those smaller gas cans are plastic, but I'd rather go with something big.

And how many holes do I need in my shop for ventilation? (It does get kind of warm down there) Or would I be better off keeping it somewhere else? The shop is attached to the back of the house, but one time there was a small gas leak from the bike. I could smell it in the house.

Or am I really better off trying to find big plastic ones?

Thanks,
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 9:36:27 AM EDT
First off, it is a really, really bad idea to store gas in or near the house.
Gasoline has a very high vapor pressure (it evaporates easily) and it has
a very wide explosive range.

Gasoline should be stored in open sided sheds, never in an enclosed building of
any sort.

Here's a couple posts I made for a thread we had a couple weeks ago here:



First of all, there's no one "plastic". There are lots and lots of different
types of plastics and some are resistant to almost all solvents and some
will disintegrate if you look at them wrong. MOST 55 gallons plastic drums
are made of HDPE and will hold gasoline and diesel just fine. I don't speak from
anecdotal experience, I've been storing gasoline in 55 gallon drums (600-800
gallons) in metal and plastic drums for 15 years now.

Second, not all metal 55 gallon drums are created equal either. Some have heavier
gauge steel than others and some are made of better quality steel. I got lucky ten
years ago and a friend who worked for a chemical company got me heavy gauge steel
drums that used to hold ethyl ether. These have been great, not one leak yet.
I used to use drums that held hydraulic fluid and I would get 3-4 years before they
tended to start developing pinhole leaks (though I have a couple that are ten years
strong and still going).

The weakest plastic drums I had I got about 3 years out of, these held carwash soap
and they problem wasn't gasoline but UV. The sides that were exposed to daylight
(I have open sided sheds) had significant deterioration and developed pinhole
leaks. Note that this is not full sunlight, just ambient daylight as the sheds are
in the shade. I've got some plastic drums that used to hold IPA (isopropyl
alcohol, rubbing alcohol) and they've held up for 5-6 years so far with no problem.

My heavy gauge steel drums are stored sealed, and as such have kept gasoline good
for as much as 2 years with no deterioration. My plastic drums are used for short
term storage (6 months) and are vented since the plastic doesn't handle pressure
as well.

Rust is a minor problem with steel drums, not really so if you keep water
out of them, and regardless, ALL storage can get dirt in them, so a filter
inline with your pump is a very good idea.

My drums are arrayed around 100 gallon truck mount type fuel tanks with
electric pumps and auto shutoff handles (the setup is about $200 for the pump
and handle and well worth it), so I siphon from the drum to the tank and can easily
rotate my stock that way.

BTW, I don't use stabilizer. You can, it won't hurt, but if you keep the drums
cool and sealed you won't see problems since most deterioration is caused
by heat and oxygen. ALWAYS use stabilizer for small implement fuel if you aren't
going to use the small engine every couple weeks or so. Gum and varnish
formation is rapid in those small tanks.

(old oil drums)

Get as much oil out as you can. Then take a half gallon of kero or
diesel and rinse. You can then use that to start the brush pile
or mix in with regular kero or diesel in small quantities.

A little oil in the gas won't hurt small engines or older cars, but some
newer cars can have the O2 sensor messed up.

Then you're GTG. If you have to store the cans in the open without a roof
on them tilt the cans a little to allow water to run off the top and
not pond around the bungs (this is a good idea even if you do have a roof
over them.

Good luck! Rotate your fuel regularly and buy a little more when it is cheap
and a little less when it goes way up. Make the suction tube on your pump
a little short to leave the bottom quarter of the drum untouched and this
will keep you from sucking up dirt and water and will give you an emergency
reserve. Once a year or two completely empty the drums and flush out
water and dirt.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 10:05:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shibumiseeker:

BTW, I don't use stabilizer. You can, it won't hurt, but if you keep the drums
cool and sealed you won't see problems since most deterioration is caused
by heat and oxygen. ALWAYS use stabilizer for small implement fuel if you aren't
going to use the small engine every couple weeks or so. Gum and varnish
formation is rapid in those small tanks.


How long have you kept gas stored without stabilizer?

Thanks for you experience, good stuff.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 10:28:08 AM EDT
Thanks for the info.
I don't really have any place *other* then the shop to store it....I'd rather not have the neighbors top off their cars on my dime.

Looks like I'll have to give this some more thought. I hope gas doesn't go back up before hand.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 10:34:23 AM EDT
The longest I have stored gasoline without stabilizer was 2 years in a sealed
steel 55 gallon drum. It was like new and still under pressure from the butane
content (in northern climates winter gasoline has lighter fractions such as butane
added to allow cold starting vehicles easier, winter gas stores better and longer than
summer gas). I think if it is sealed and kept cool then there really wouldn't
be much limit to storage life. Regardless, I use enough gasoline that rotating my stock is easy.

I've just bought over 500 gallons of gasoline in the last three weeks as prices
were falling since I'd run my stock down since March when prices started climbing.
I estimate I've saved something like $1200 if I'd had to buy the fuel at rates
we had this summer. It's kinda like playing the stock market :) If I'd
bought all of my newer fuel at what I paid last night when I bought another 45
gallons ($1.93) I'd have saved about $1500 (I started buying again when fuel
hit $2.35 locally).

Right now I'm scrounging for some more drums since I'm at full stock capacity
(800 gallons worth of drums and tanks) and the last step is filling
all the 5 gallon cans (about another hundred gallons). I'm going to wait
a bit and see if prices drop any further.


Link Posted: 11/18/2008 10:41:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Freelance_Bum:
Thanks for the info.
I don't really have any place *other* then the shop to store it....I'd rather not have the neighbors top off their cars on my dime.

Looks like I'll have to give this some more thought. I hope gas doesn't go back up before hand.


Speaking as someone who lost everything to a housefire a couple years ago,
is saving a few bucks worth the risk? A fuel-air explosion is a spectacular
thing and as little as a cup of gasoline vaporized in an enclosed space can
*level* a house...

You can keep a drum out in the open outside and either disguise it somehow,
or put a locking bar across the bungs. Just make sure to tilt the drum so water
can't collect and get sucked in the bungs. Even if you put a tarp on it.

You can also build a shed that has openings between the boards that can keep
people out but allow free ventilation.

Link Posted: 11/18/2008 11:06:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shibumiseeker:
Originally Posted By Freelance_Bum:
Thanks for the info.
I don't really have any place *other* then the shop to store it....I'd rather not have the neighbors top off their cars on my dime.

Looks like I'll have to give this some more thought. I hope gas doesn't go back up before hand.


Speaking as someone who lost everything to a housefire a couple years ago,
is saving a few bucks worth the risk? A fuel-air explosion is a spectacular
thing and as little as a cup of gasoline vaporized in an enclosed space can
*level* a house...

You can keep a drum out in the open outside and either disguise it somehow,
or put a locking bar across the bungs. Just make sure to tilt the drum so water
can't collect and get sucked in the bungs. Even if you put a tarp on it.

You can also build a shed that has openings between the boards that can keep
people out but allow free ventilation.



Yeh, like I said, I'm going to have to sit down and re-think how to do this. My yard isn't really all that big, and the people on either side of me get happy with their burn barrels. To the point where they break down furniture to fit inside. So I was looking at keeping it away from open flames. If I didn't have pyromaniacs living all around me. The yard wouldn't even be an issue.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 11:35:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 12:05:42 PM EDT
since were on fuel storage can anyone tell me if a fuel oil (275gallon) tank is ok to use for gas storage?

thanks, brian
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 12:22:30 PM EDT
Yes it is.

While I keep my 55 gallon drums in two sheds, if I have a leak,
at the most I lose 55 gallons. The bigger the tank the worse the
consequences of a leak.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 1:09:55 PM EDT
thanks, thought so just wanted to check
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:42:43 PM EDT
I keep two 55 gallon drums of gasoline. I have them about 50 yards from the house just inside the
wood line in the back of our house. What I do to keep the water out is take a 5 gallon bucket and put
it on top of the drum upside down. Then drape a tarp over the top of both drums and secure the tarp with
bungy cords. Tarps will allow setting water to seap through. The buckets create a tent. I also
use drum vents. To prevent the tanks from over pressurizing. Not comfortable with cracking the drum
to the hissing sound. I get them from Sharpe Safety.

Drum Vents

I just refilled at current prices. I usually use Pri-G but everyone in our area was out. So I used Stabil
with additives for ethanol. I have never had a problem with bad gas. (Storage that is)

Also a non sparking bung wrench and plastic bungs to eliminate the spark hazard. Good Luck.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:27:37 PM EDT
FWIW: My parents had an old Subaru that sat in the driveway for 5 years with a full tank. When my car got totaled I borrowed it. To my amazement, after installing a fresh battery it started right up. I ran through that tank without incident. I asked my father if he had put anything in the gas and the answer was no. I did install a fresh fuel filter after the second tank for peace of mind.

I keep about 50 gallons of gas on hand in smaller containers. I dont go through it often as it is for small gas operated yard machines. I have yet to have a problem. +1 though on not leaving fuel in small engines, My Xr400 sat over a winter full and the carb was a mess come the following season.

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