Reader Question: Gas Cans and Storage?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Ugg asks: One of your suggestions was storing 30 gallons or so of gas. I agree. My question is regarding gas cans. I have one steel 5 gallon gas can I have had for 30 years.  Unfortunately the spout died.  I have other plastic containers, one I use mostly I modified the spout.  The other’s all have weird plastic spouts with different ways to use, I think the aim was to limit evaporation (do they think I am not going to use gas in a can as soon as I can, before it goes “bad”?)  The problem is they are real pain in the ass to use.  Do you have any recommendations as to user friendly gas cans like my ancient steel can? Without all the baffles and things to turn. Thanks.

My reply: I recommend not using steel cans – despite the plastic ones being a PITAS. The reason? Steel cans are very vulnerable to rust and ethanol-laced “gas” accelerates rust because it attracts water. Then you get rust in your gas . . . and in your equipment. This is also why almost all late-model cars have plastic/composite tanks.

But – mein Fuhrer! – I have a plan . . .

One can fabricate a not-leaking/non-PITAS cap and use that with the plastic gas jugs. All you need is a cap that matches the jug’s threads. Then modify the cap to accept a spout, as by drilling a hole through the center, then inserting a piece of threaded pipe through the hole and securing it with nuts and washers and maybe a gasket to keep it air and liquid tight.

Put a stopper on the other end of the pipe and now you have a non-PITAS fuel dispenser as well as a fuel jug that won’t rust internally because of the ethanol-soused “gas” we’re forced to buy.

. . .

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  1. I should also add that, thankfully, there are several places within 25 miles of me that I can buy ethanol-free gas. I use such gas in all of my engines that are not my regular licensed vehicles (e.g. snow-blower, mowers, power washer, etc.). That way, I have less of a worry about ethanol causing unnecessary issues.

    This is why I had to buy another gas can; I wanted to decrease the frequency of making the trips to the ethanol-free gas stations

  2. They sell little kits at Tractor Supply that come with a real spout; two screw-on thingies, – one of which will owrk on your plastic can, and even the little snap-open rear vent thingie- for which you can drill a hole in the container to mount if the container doesn’t have one (as most recent ones don’t). The kit costs about $10. Works great.

    I also bought a plastic can designated for water storage- it’s got just a plain-old spout, and a rear vent cap…only difference is, it’s blue. Got it on Amazon.

    I don’t like storing gas though. My tractor and one of my mowers are diesel…so luckily, I don’t have to keep too much gas.

  3. When the EPA banned normal gas cans, it became necessary to have 3-hands to pour gas. There are various gas can spout replacement kits available which allow you to drill a vent hole and replace the spout. One that I’ve used and been pretty happy with is: EZ-POUR Gas Can Universal Replacement Spout Kit which is available on Amazon.

  4. Look up “Race Jugs” – plastic 5 gallon jugs used to fill race cars. Large screw on top with transparent flexible hose that also has a screw on top. Also has a screw on bleed valve. Never had an issue filling them at any gas station. Unless I’m in a pinch (say, when the teenager puts 12 gallons of diesel in a Camry’s 18 gallon tank and I need to drain and refill) they’re all I use. Looks to be about $30 each on line; your local parts store may have them.

  5. I have the exact same problem. Thankfully, I still have the working (i.e. simple) spout from a plastic gas can I bought in 2002, that usually is interchangeable with (some, but not all) newer gas cans. Of course, the newer cans also don’t have the hole on the other side that has a plastic cover you can open to let air in as you pour. There is one new can that the new spout does not fit on, in which I have no choice (like you) but to simply take off the idiotic, non-working (despite following directions) spout and just pour the gas with no spout at all. What a perfect example of unintended consequences.

  6. When using any gas container made in the past 15 years, I’ve never been able to get gas to flow properly from those environmentally friendly spouts. I just pour the gas without using the spout. And I usually spill a little. Oops


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