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Old 11-13-2010, 12:11 PM
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Default question about 55 gallon drums for gasoline storage



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A couple of quick questions about gasoline storage (not diesel).

I have a couple of 55 gallon drums to use for gasoline storage. They are metal and are in a shed, protected from sunlight.

The question is about ventilation. I have heard some people say that I need to put a vent on the drum because gasoline expands and contrasts with temperature and a vent is needed to avoid pressure build-up.
Sounds like that makes sense.

However, I see old war archive movies of 55 gallon drum gasoline cans stored at fuel dumps. They appear to be in completely sealed drums with no venting. Also, they are exposed to the elements and sunlight.


So which is it? Vent the drums or seal them with no venting, and why?
Old 11-13-2010, 12:19 PM
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i have no professional knowledge in this area but i do have 5 gallon plastic gas cans and i can tell you that they expand and collapse from the temperature change in just one day. and they are sealed while this is happening. i know that personally i would feel safer with them vented. especially if they are in an enclosed space.

another thing. about the war movies. 95%+ of military equipment is all diesel. not as volatile.

again, no professional knowledge, just my short history of plastic gas cans. i would be worried about a barrel exploding, a simple spark from the cap popping off due to excess pressure could level the immediate area.
Old 11-13-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedennis View Post
i have no professional knowledge in this area but i do have 5 gallon plastic gas cans and i can tell you that they expand and collapse from the temperature change in just one day. and they are sealed while this is happening. i know that personally i would feel safer with them vented. especially if they are in an enclosed space.

another thing. about the war movies. 95%+ of military equipment is all diesel.
I should have specified. The war footage I was thinking about was WWII. I believe they ran on regular gasoline then and the Germans ran on diesel.
Old 11-13-2010, 12:22 PM
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that may be true. not sure myself
Old 11-13-2010, 12:27 PM
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For long term storage you will want to use STABIL or some other gasoline stabilizing agent otherwise you will find you have varnish on your hands in a couple of months. Make sure the cans are sealed or the gasoline will evaporate. Keep them out of direct sunlight, north side of a building should be adequate, or under some trees. You will also want to keep them on pallets so they don't rust and for ease of moving them around.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:06 PM
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"NFPA 30 - Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code - 2008 Edition...

9.4.2 Each portable tank or intermediate bulk container shall be provided with one or more devices installed in the top with sufficient emergency venting capacity to limit internal pressure under fire exposure conditions to a gauge pressure of 10 psi or 30 percent of the bursting pressure of the portable tank, whichever is greater."

So I think you want to vent or at least use a pressure relief valve on one of the bungs.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:32 PM
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tedennis says "i would feel safer with them vented."

Trsailblazer 87 says, "Make sure the cans are sealed or the gasoline will evaporate."

Burtonshaw says, "So I think you want to vent or at least use a pressure relief valve on one of the bungs."

So far, the count is:

2 for venting
1 for sealing
Old 11-13-2010, 08:44 PM
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Just leave enough space for expansion and contraction of the liquid. Steel drums are designed to store volatile liquids and are rigid enough to counter act the effects of pressure. They usta store av gas in 55 gal drums too. Don't use snapring drums for gas though.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:52 PM
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I store my unleaded gas in steel 55 dal drums here in the high desert. I leave the top 4-5 inches empty as an expansion volume and I seal the bunts tight to prevent vapor loss.
Old 11-13-2010, 09:07 PM
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You can keep the drums sealed. When I used to store gas, I did that very thing. In a metal shed, here in the hot Texas sun. It builds up a little pressure, just like the gas tank of a car does. When you take the lid off, it hisses out, just like the gas cap of a car does. No big deal. Did that for years, with no problems with pressure or anything.

The diesel I store now does it a little bit too.
Old 11-13-2010, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnWStiner View Post
I should have specified. The war footage I was thinking about was WWII. I believe they ran on regular gasoline then and the Germans ran on diesel.
It was gas back then. They used to roll those drums down the ramps of their cargo transports too, and leave them sitting in the sun in hot jungle environments.
Old 11-13-2010, 10:24 PM
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I seal mine, the drums will take the pressure of the expansion.
I believe that makes the tally 6 for sealing and 2 for venting.
The Germans used gasoline for their vehicles during WWII.
Old 11-14-2010, 04:58 AM
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Seal the drums tight, just be sure to have the bung threads lubed up so you don’t have to fight with it too much to get it loosened up under pressure. I don’t store gasoline, but we keep 55 gallon drums of methanol around for thawing natural gas line freezes in the winter. You would be amazed at how much methanol will evaporate over a few months with just having the bungs a little bit loose. I imagine gasoline would be similar. If you are worried about relieving the pressure by loosening the bungs, you can always install some type of small ball valve or needle valve in the 1 inch hole to bleed the pressure when you need to open the drum. As mentioned before make sure the drum is in good condition. Many highly volatile liquids, like methanol, are routinely stored and shipped in these types of drums so they are able to stand the expansion and contraction cycles if they are in good condition.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:58 AM
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Plastic or steel?
Old 11-14-2010, 08:02 AM
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Seal em, store em, fore get em.....you will be fine
Old 11-14-2010, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbalpagan View Post
Plastic or steel?
I can't even find steel cans anymore, everything is plastic so that's what I have.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMan View Post
I can't even find steel cans anymore, everything is plastic so that's what I have.
where did you getthe plastic ones? could those blue ones they sell in emergency essentials work? what will you use to pump out the fuel?
I desperately want to store some fuel, both gas and diesel, but I worry about what to put it in. I had thought of getting a mid sized heating fuel tank but they are usually 250 gallons. I've heard you can use stock tanks, the kind that has a metal frame around it, but those look like the light can get through.
Old 11-14-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Drastic plastic

Several years back I noted that my 5 gallon plastic gas cans were HDPE. I decided to store some gas in 35 gallon HDPE barrels. Just to play it safe I cut the tops out of some 55's and placed the 35's inside so as to have a containment in case the experiment failed. I have stored gas in the same barrels for over 5 years (gas is used and replaced. I try to cycle through yearly.). So far the barrels have held up with no signs of deterioration. I kept one of the bungs ever so slightly loose to allow venting. The fuel was stabilized. On a yearly cycle...All was good. As It turned out the secondary containment was redundant. Since I live near a lake, I continue with this practice "Just for Grins". So go ahead and use those HDPE plastic barrels...
Old 11-15-2010, 05:25 AM
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Well, going on my own experiences with 20 litre jerrycans of petrol(Gasoline to ya'all) I found a couple of interesting things.
Temps in my garage range from about 14 deg C to about 30 max.
I had a couple of jerries of petrol; one full to the top, with only a little air room; and one about 2/3 full.
At the end of a hot day, I opened both; and got a big pressure whoosh of fumes from the 2/3 full one; and about zip from the full one.
My thoughts are to keep the drums full as possible with as small a airspace as can be managed, and sealed tight; and kept in as constant a temp as possible; whatever it may be.
My dad ran a bulk fuel depot that supplied service stations; and as I kid, I seem to remember him saying that he got more fumes from emptier tanks than he got from full ones; but my memory may be wrong........

Perhaps someone who works in the fuel industry may have more info?
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:13 AM
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This army surplus store sells them.
http://www.perretsarmysurplus.com/ad...7a595cfe4d3772
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