Gas cans — The NO good, the bad, and the ugly
Spare gas cans recently moved to the top of my prep list. What I learned was amazing.
Long ago I had a metal Jerry can like this. http://www.blitzusa.com/products/fuel/Containment/pfc5mc.htm It safely stored five gallons of gasoline through a temperature range of 130 degrees without leaking fuel or vapor. You unscrewed the metal cap, then the long metal flexible nozzle that was stored inside. You screwed on the nozzle pointing out, unscrewed the vent cap, and poured. Simple, strong and durable.
The no good. Today this is what you often find. http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/car-truck/garage-tools-accessories/briggs-stratton-gas-can-5-gal There are two small plastic hooks at the end of the nozzle. These engage the filler opening and you must push down on the spout while you rotate the green ring at the base to get gas to flow. Reviews are very critical because the hooks often don’t engage, or break. While pouring from the full 40 pound can and depressing the nozzle, the balance often shifts and the nozzle is broken. The vent is built into the nozzle so the flow is extremely slow, and a lot of gas usually leaks from the mounting no matter what you do. The can is plastic too. Price $8 and up.
The bad. This choice seems a little better http://www.blitzusa.com/products/fuel/Containment/ef2pg.html The lever eliminates the need to compress the nozzle, but it still has other awkward “child-proof” features that must be engaged. It also leaks and is slow. The can is plastic. Price $10 and up. Neither nozzle seems long enough to depress the flapper valve in an automobile fill pipe, so you also need an extension spout as shown in the last photo, and often sold separately, or a big funnel.
The ugly. You can still buy a metal Jerry can for $45 and up, but they only come with the crappy plastic nozzles. This photo looks like it may have a separate plastic storage cap. http://www.blitzusa.com/products/fuel/Containment/5GMEF.html Here is another source that has a metal cap for storage. http://www.britishpacific.com/BPSite/landroverparts/NATOjerryCans.html#carb Price $50 plus $20 shipping. Expensive, but seems to fit my needs.
As an alternative to the crappy nozzle I think you could place a gas can on the trunk lid our tail gate of a vehicle and use a siphon like this to fill the tank. http://www.amazon.com/Custom-Accessories-Siphon-36661-Siphons/dp/B000BOB2KM/ref=sr_1_8?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1298874528&sr=1-8
These crappy nozzles were created to meet national standards set by the EPA and CARB (California eco-weenies Air Resources Board) effective 01-01-09. They supposedly reduce air pollution and spills. Users universally say the do just the opposite. They are rinky dink plastic. They must be left mounted in the pouring position on the can where they are subject to dirt and damage. The shut off valve is unbelievably chintzy. As far as I can tell, for the plastic cans you can’t even buy a good cap to use for storage without the nozzle. Did I mention that the threads were changed so older nozzles won’t work, and if you have an older can you can’t buy replacement spouts? These things are flat out unsafe, and a prime example of ridiculous nanny-state regulation. As far as I can tell you can’t buy an old style Jerry can or NATO spec can for love or money, as knowledgeable people bought them up years ago.
I’m sure others have dealt with this issue before me and I would greatly appreciate any further information you might have for a safe and usable five gallon gas can.
I don’t know if this would serve your purpose. I have several that work well for my needs.
and use this for pouring
Thanks for the info. Those look like a good quality plastic can. The cap looks strong and the pouring system looks good. They noted that adding a ¾ inch tube will get it into the flapper valve of a car. They sell all replacement parts including gaskets.
* Is the plastic can thick and strong?
* Does it hold up well in extreme cold like -20 Fahrenheit without cracking during handling?
* Does the vent cap in the handle keep it sealed so fumes don’t vent in hot weather? The replacement part for that looked flimsy.
The plastic is nice and thick. They bang around in my trailer and suffer other abuses just fine.
I don’t know about -20. It is fine in 105.
You are right about the vent being flimsy. It seems to seal ok, but the little plastic “hinge” is not very sturdy.
The new cans make me CRAZY.
I have one of these
I have found them listed at other retailers as well.
I saw mixed reviews before I bought one, but I have been happy with it. Mounted it on a wooden bench on large casters, mounted high enough to fuel my vehicles. A bit awkward to fill from those lousy new fangled plastic cans, but I can comfortably balance the can on top of this tank for the rather long time it takes for the badly designed fill cap/valve/spout you mentioned to dispense the gas. Makes fueling smaller gas tanks easy. Absorb the PIA of emptying the 5 gallon can once, then have the benefit of a longish fill hose and nozzle and reasonably quick fill.
After use, I turn off the ball valve at the bottom of the tank and drain extra gas remaining in the fuel line into a smaller can. By holding the clear fuel line up it serves as a gauge to judge the level of fuel in the 15 gallon tank.
Works for me.
I feel your pain. I looked high and low for NATO style military metal jerry cans some time ago and found they had shot up in price to $45 each. I bought a half dozen and 2 of these spouts. I think these spouts may be what you’re looking for. Simple, durable, and they do the job. Check out Item#1154.
I have several “Carb” approved plastic gas cans with nozzles that I bought at one of the big box stores. I know that it is possible to modify the nozzle to make it free flowing so I am not worried about the nozzle. When the SHTF there won’t be any CARB or EPA people around to tell you you can’t modify it.
Edit: For you CARB or EPA guys that are reading this, note that I said that it is possible to modify not that I did it.
You guys are terrific. Keep them coming.
I suppose my suggestion depends on what you’re going to use it for: everyday filling, or medium-term gasoline storage. If you’re looking for everyday filling, I have no bright ideas to offer.
If it’s medium-term storage and occasional filling that you’re after, I’d consider 5-gal. closed-head metal solvent drums, of the kind used by laboratory and chemical supply companies. If you work in a laboratory and order 5 gallons of flammable solvent, this is what it comes in:
They’re cheap ($10 – $20 each), very rugged, and made for transporting and storing highly flammable liquids. They are stackable, and the threads are designed to accomodate standard spouts, hoses, hand pumps, etc. I’ve seen them in red.
Downsides: they are not designed for eronomic comfort, they are usually not vented, and since they are designed to be used indoors, the protective paint layer is thin; once scratched the metal would probably rust if outdoors. I imagine several extra layers of protective coating applied around the base would easily solve that problem. Although they would be more than sufficient for containing gasoline pressure under normal conditions of temperature fluctuation, commerical gasoline containers are equipped with an emergency venting device in case of extreme temperature increase. Also I doubt they are approved by state fire marshals for filling at gas stations.
This place seems to be selling some for $12.75 each. (Note the "UN rating," noted at the bottom of the page for this container: 1A1/Y1.4/160, which exceeds the rating generally used for transportation of gasoline (UN 1A1/Y1.2/100).) Always check this rating.
Here is another good option someone told me about. http://www.uline.com/BL_8171/Gas-Cans?keywords=cans