*Fuel Storage for Bad Times*
By: Scarpup-dude
25 March 2010

Sine we live basically in the middle of nowhere and there are few if any restrictions about fuel storage here. We store our Diesel in an underground tank with locking 12VDC pump. We store gasoline in drums in an old building away from everything else on our property and just as far from neighboring property.

We try to keep 300 gallons of gasoline and 500 of Diesel minimum on property at all times in additon to an extensive supply of Propane. The gasoline is usually purchased in the late fall early winter months to take advantage of the additional butane and cetane added to winter blends. These additives are not mentioned and most retailers don’t even know of their presence in the gasoline they sell.

I just add Stabil in the amount shown (1oz per 2.5 gallon)on the bottle and agitate the drum by rolling it back into the position where it was originally stored.

    I consider the following points paramount to good storage of gas using drums:
  1. Store away from light
  2. Fill drums to absolute max. only leave ¼” of air space at top of drum
  3. Agitate or move drum after adding Stabil
  4. Inspect/replace seals on bungs if needed
  5. On hottest days of years – vent gases in can by cracking open fitting to release pressure…do not over-tighten when resealing
  6. Use an aluminum non-sparking wrench to vent the drum
  7. Store in well ventilated building

Because we are so far off the beaten path this method of storage works great for us however I am sure that there those out there that for local and county restrictions can not store in bulk.

Here is a drum of gas we used to run our vehicles for the past week. What happens is pretty simple. Every fall/winter I buy a few drums worth of gas when prices are within reasons. These full drums come home and then get put in the shed. They are treated with stabilizer before being rolled into position and I make sure they are full enough to get the desired ¼” gap in the top of the drum by adding additional gas from a jerry can if needed. I take a paint pen and write the octane, date and note the Stabil addition on the note. (The paint pen comes off later with a rag and Acetone) This gas was 14 months old when used and we ran it in two modern vehicles – an 07 Subaru Forrester and a 05 Jeep Liberty as well as our four wheelers and our Pinzgauer. NO PROBLEMS. When I break out a new barrel I always fill up the vehicle while it has at least ¼ tank of good pump gas to dilute the older fuel. After the vehicle has run on a “lot” of gas I just use the barrel until it is gone. If I don’t feel like dragging a barrel to town I put four Blitz cans I the back of the jeep and always have a barrel being filled underway to replace what I have used.

It takes all of 10 minutes to fill up and relock the shed. This barrel was emptied on Saturday and the barrel that replaced it was filled, treated and put in place on Sunday-today. Another barrel of used gas was brought up for consumption – and when I cycle through the six barrels we keep this way I’ll let them set for at least a year or until gas prices drop dramatically or the fuse lights. Using the technique allows us to have 300 gallons of usable gasoline at any given time and the oldest stock can never be more than about slightly more than a year. In 2008 I screwed up and forgot a barrel that was hiding in the corner under a stairwell – so it was not used until it had aged for almost 21 months. We burnt it in our vehicles by using the never below ¼ tank before filling rule.

Underground storage is the best way to store diesel. Shown in the photo is a 560 gallon tank that we use for our farm truck, diesel generator set and our tractor. Under the plastic is a lockable 12VDC pump that uses alligator clips to attach to the battery of the vehicle you are filling up. ALWAYS use a ground strap to tie the pump to the vehicle before applying power to the pump. Even though the pump is a negative ground unit I always use a ground strap just for the time when I will need it most. Once a year, I treat this tank with biocide whether or not it appears to need it. Good insurance for when you might need the fuel the most. I recommend having at least 4-6 bottles of Stabil and a couple of pints of biocide. Where we live biocide is $28.00 per pint but it can make crappy fuel come back to life…and ask yourself - who is going to have biocide after an event? So for those of you with diesel engines and stored fuel – buy some biocide now. Stabil can be had for about $9.50 a jug here on sale.


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