Skip to comments.gas storage options question
Posted on 11/03/2012 9:08:05 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
What are the best long term gas storage options("long" being 2-3 years)
It will be in a non-climate controlled shed with summer temps up to 100 and winter down to -30.
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thanks in advance.
Storing gasoline in +110 degree weather? You are actually planning to burn down your shed, if not blowing it apart. I live in Phoenix. No one I know here would keep gasoline in a shed. A five-gallon can in an insulated garage—but your plan should include a shed that is not connected to an occupied building, or an area that is free of overgrowth or trees.
the shed is vented, not attached , and far from the main res.
I bought some gas, put it in a 30 gallon drum about 6 years ago and literally forgot about it. When I opened it, about a fourth had evaporated out the lose drum plugs. I put it in a 1959 2 cylinder John Deere that would run on anything, and it started hard, but ran fairly well, but used more fuel than usual. I added octane booster, and it started better and ran a little better.
I believe if you use a fuel stabilizer product, store the gas in a cool dry area, it would likely last 5 years or better.
A safer bet is two years, as I have left old farm trucks sit for two years and the crank right up.
Winter blend vs Summer blend. Sealed container with over pressure vent.
Anyone remember the hell I went though about my gas storage practices I don’t store it in glass sparklettes bottles
I had some gasoline stored for several years that I forgot about. When I opened it it was separated into water on the top and sludge on the bottom.
Using a fuel stabilizer, I think you can safely store it for about a year in good storage conditions. Without stabilizer it starts breaking down as soon as it’s stored & may bee good for several months.
I think propane can be stored almost indefinitely, but I’m not sure.
About a year at most with a storage additive is about all you can expect . If exposed to the high temps, the gas will lose too many of it’s lighter ends. 100 degrees for any extended time will significantly reduce storage time, probably in half. I have stored gas here in Alaska for up to 18 months without problems, but it doesn’t get any where near 100 degrees.
I’m in MN, 100 is rare, but not unheard of. I’m thinking more of what the temp gets to inside the shed.
Maybe I’d be better off just filling an extra, rarely used truck. Storage tank on wheels :)
Gasoline won’t spontaneously explode in 100+ temps. If that were true, millions of cars would be exploding every summer.
I looked it up. The ignition temperature of liquid gasoline is 495 degrees.
Even in a hot desert, the temp stays cool and even 4-5 feet underground.
If you can dig a hole and keep it well covered, you can get better storage conditions and great safety. Just be sure to call it a shed, as underground fuel tanks have special restrictions.
Plain holes in the ground can also flood, so keep fuel watertight, and off the ground to avoid rust. DIg a little deeper sump on the side for water to drain into.
If you have anything larger than a five gallon can, like a 55 gal drum, you might also need a pump, as siphons won’t work if the source is lower.
Fuel stabilizer and rotation of the stock is necessary with gasoline. Diesel is a little better and propane is practically forever.
I routinely store non-ethanol gasoline for two years and then rotate through vehicles mixed at about 1:1 with new gas. If 100% stored gas is run then there will be pinging under load. So I don’t do that except in an emergency or I add octane enhancer (does seem to work).. Stabil is added at the beginning; some containers are plastic, some metal The plastic containers lose much more due to evaporation. Temperatures in the storage shed range from -20F to +110.
I have a motorcycle kept in a enclosed trailer. There is a generator in there also. Although I open a vent in the summer, it has to get to 135F or more at times. No explosions in 30 years now. (I rotate gas out every two years if the bike hasn’t been ridden).
100LL stores poorly.
I been known to go 2.5 times regular dose for 2.5 years. I wouldn’t push it much past that although the fuel still looks pretty good although somewhat amber. No black deposits, though, like you’d get without stabilizer.
Here is how we do it. We have 5 each 5 gallon Jerry cans which we fill with premium grad gasoline. We add twice the recommended amount of Sta Bil to it. Then we rotate it every 8-12 months by using one 5 gallon can per vehicle. Just add it to a half full tank and top off with fresh gasoline.
We have never had any problems.
I don't know where you're getting that information. I have used 100LL that was well over 3 yo with no problems.
Note, if you use any leaded fuel in a catalytic equipped vehicle, it will coat the converter and prevent it from doing what it does.
TurboZamboni, only use tightly seal-able, strong metal containers if storing fuel in high temp climates.
Using premium is a good point because you can afford to lose more octane points for regular-requiring engines. P.S. Thanks for the link the other day on the home generator setup. I still have my disposable consumer-grade 3600 rpm generators. They only have to last through the amount of fuel I have stored.
What issues are there with storage?
I like military jerry cans.
Yep, they’re great but hard to find, expensive and you need a lot of them. 15 and 55 gallon metal drums stored out of the elements have been the mainstay for fuel storage in the boonies and third world.
You are very welcome. I’m pleased you found the information useful.
I worked at a FBO in the midwest and storage of 100LL was never a problem even after years. Some people purchased it just for that reason, to store as an emergency fuel.
Liquid propane is stored in pressurized tanks and as you suspect is good as long as there are no leaks. If leaks should occur the gaseous propane is heavier than air and will collect in low places (basements??), creating an explosion/fire hazard. Therefore storage tanks should be outdoors and well ventilated.
Whatever you decide, rotate it. Add five gallons to newer end of the line and use five gallons from the older end of the line.
I’ve stored gas for chain saws for years. My experience has been that the gas just keeps getting worse and worse over the years—going back to the time before it was unleaded.
You say you have access to gas without ethanol, which is good. Gas with ethanol doesn’t work well after even a few weeks.
I've used it in my airplane, motorcycles, lawnmower, power-saws, generators and etc with absolutely no problems; storage or otherwise. But I won't use it in my trucks unless I have to.
There is another fuel probably worth investigating for unlimited storage life: butynol or butyl alcohol. And of course propane or CNG if convert your vehicle to use these.
Well, that explains those booming noises I heard in the distance last summer.
As for the butyl alcohol, I have no experience with it but most alcohols do store well. (Yeah, that kind too!)
It’s not the gasoline. It’s the vapor—remember all these posters talking about evaporation? That’s vapor. And we in Phoenix have seen enough fires from such a scenario. Don’t laugh until you get all of the facts.
Sometimes the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this is something intentionally done to limit fuel storage life for whatever reason(s).
Probably the best bet would be to “dig a deep BBQ pit”, put an outdoor 75-100 gallon plastic storage box in the hole, put the 5 gallon jerrycans in there with a gap in between them and the walls, and fill up the spaces and cover the cans in kitty litter. Waterproof paint some thick plywood as a cover and put a plastic tarp over that and it should be as safe as houses.
Don’t overfill. If you store more gas than that, dig another pit and start over.
In my one ton box van I actually ended up with almost 5 gallons of gasoline on the rubber floor several years ago, soaked in, and the rest in vapor (it is fairly air tight although I always leave a vent open a little bit now). It was really a miracle no explosion occurred when I opened it up — lots of metal-to-metal contact going on. Glad my guardian angel didn’t take that day off. Don’t ever leave the generator’s fuel petcock in the on position.
I installed an oil filter kit on the old Generac (with VW bus muffler and SA), so it should last at least a couple of oil changes LOL.
With Avgas you can’t legally add a stabilizer (unless one has been approved). So unless it is stored in the sealed steel barrels you will still have gum formation over time. Keep it totally out of sunlight at least. This is what I have found over decades to be the real killer. For example, you will see early gumming and black deposits in a clear fuel line or transparent fuel filter with any kind of gasoline.
Somewhat related question :
In a portable, gasoline fueled generator, should the tank be empty or full for long term storage?
You mean Use It or Lose It?
empty, gasoline is corrosive (especially with ethanol)
Make sure the fuel lines are clean too
Gasoline evaporation builds pressure when temps climb and you need metal containers able to withstand the pressure to prevent venting.
Commonly available plastic containers aren't strong enough though I'm not too sure about commercial 55 gallon plastic drums. I have no experience with these but they do seem to be pretty well put together and the bungs seem to be pretty strong.
I highly recommend having at least empty containers on hand. Having been through at least a half dozen power out conditions from both hurricane and ice storms, I find fuel containers are some of the first items to disappear from shelves.
What I do, is I fill 'em at the first signs of trouble knowing I have an airplane with over 60 gallons of 100LL just a few miles away. :)
I lost power during hurricane Isaac a month ago, but only for three days. I only used my little Honda 2K generator which doesn't use much fuel and I still have 4 six gallon cans of gasoline that I need to use up.
Been using that in my motorcycle and ATV mostly. The motorcycle is a KLR that gets 65 mpg so it's taking awhile to use it up. Guess I need to fire up the Harley instead and do some cruzin'... ;)
Some have steel tanks and others, like my Generac, have plastic. The metal I definitely would keep filled (that might be the only gasoline you actually end up having access to). The plastic is up to you. I keep mine filled, but evaporation does occur. Keeping a float bowl filled or not is another issue.
Had to rebuild a buddy's lawn tractor carburetor last year.
He had it setting up for over a year in his barn, the gas tank smelled like varnish.
Really a gummed up mess, steamed cleaned the tank, replaced the fuel lines and filter.
Chewed him out about not using Stabil, LOL.
What is your opinion on the float bowls on bikes/generators filled or not issue?
I generally keep mine filled (have through 30+ years, with never more than a partially clogged jet that cleaned itself quickly with no fuel. And that includes pre-stabilizer years).
If the bowl is not filled there is a greater chance the float valve o-ring will dry out.
But OTOH, I bought a used KE100 last February and the pilot jet clogged a month later with brand new non-ethanol gas!
I have an ‘82 XL250 with 2 year old old STABILized gas I need to change out this week or next. That is the one that starts up a little balky and needs extra choke until the pilot cleans out.