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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks!
I am looking at setting up a small gas storage system at home for all the assorted equipment, and have a few questions. Hopefully this is in the right section of the forum. I did a search of MTF and didn't find my answers, and I have done a lot of Google searching and haven't found the exact info I'm after, so I'm hoping you can help.
Here is what I want to do: take a 55 gallon barrel and add a 120v Fill-Rite pump on it. I plan on filling my three 5 gallon cans at the gas station in town and dumping them in the barrel. I go through about 5 gallons a week, give or take. Now my questions :what do I need to look for in a barrel? Coated or uncoated interior? Will I need to paint it red? How about grounding? Will I need to drive a ground rod and attach the barrel to it? What about venting? Do I need to vent the tank to the outdoors? Do I need to worry about moisture buildup?
I know it's a pile of questions, and some of them are probably obvious, but I just want to make sure I cover all my bases. Thanks a bunch for any advice!!
Oh, and in case anybody is wondering, why go through all this for 5 gallons a week, I'm really really sick of the spouts that are available for gas cans those days haha!

-Peter
 

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Have you considered an above ground gravity feed tank? Many fuel companies will deliver for very small charge or even possibly free. Not sure if they’ll fill a 55 gallon drum.. you might be on your own for that one.
 

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I am a licensed motor fuel tank and pump installer in New York City and I can tell you that storing gasoline around your home is not a good idea, and could possibly be illegal where you live. That 20 gallon set up is about as big as you can really safely handle at home without a fire suppression system
 

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I have three vehicles setting here with fuel tanks larger than 30 gallons. What difference would it make if theses were parked in side full or if fuel was stored in a drum with the proper vents? 138 gallons in three vehicles or 50 gallons in a drum.
 

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Ask your local fire marshal/department their opinion. Around here, we're not supposed to store more than about 10 gallons of gasoline. If something bad happens, and they find more than that was stored, insurance may balk at paying off. To me, it's not worth the risk. YMMV.
 

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Here's a fairly straightforward and simple solution... pretty much what we did back in the jungle in the '70's.


NOTE: The cautions mentioned in the previous posts are valid, and to be heeded. Our fuel store is well away from the house and other buildings, in a well-ventilated/non-enclosed shed. Storing that amount of volatile fuel anywhere near your dwelling is a Very Bad idea and could lead to serious injury or death, not to mention loss of property.
 

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As for the difference, those 3 vehicles have had some very expensive engineers design them, after applying experience from building fuel systems for a long time, along with a whole bunch of regulations as to how they work. And they know it will cost them a LOT of money if they get it wrong.

You have literally none of that going on.

If you value your home and your family, you will either buy a commercially made setup, or you will make your DIY solution, but install it far away from your (or anyone else's) home. And you won't put it in a garage with vehicles either.

Just as an example, my dad was doing lawn maintenance commercially, and stored some gas containers (the plastic, commercial 5 gallon ones), and the Fire Marshall thought he must of left one of them not fully closed (or perhaps the top off), and a bunch of gas evaporated out of it, so when he went into the garage and turned on the lights, the gas exploded. Fortunately, there wasn't that much gas, so he wasn't significantly injured, and the garage was minimally burned, but it wouldn't take much more for it to have been much worse.
 

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I have three vehicles setting here with fuel tanks larger than 30 gallons. What difference would it make if theses were parked in side full or if fuel was stored in a drum with the proper vents? 138 gallons in three vehicles or 50 gallons in a drum.
You kind of answered your own question....your fuel tanks are just that.....fuel tanks...they are designed and made for the purpose of storing fuel.....55 gallon drums are not....and most of them , if not all fail to meet the NYFPA or DOT standards for a fuel storage container
 

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Well actually... in remote spots of the planet AVgas and other volatile fuels are still regularly transported, stored and dispensed in and from drumcans. You just have to use some common sense when storing and handling it.

In the setup in the vid above the can is vented via the pump. Put the thing in a spot where it can vent freely to fresh air and with no ignition source close by and it's safe enough.

In your garage with a water heater/furnace... NO.
 

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Here’s my same thought process.
Lengthy, but lots of real world experiences. Not having to transfer fuel from 5 gal cans to another container may be of interest. Having a nozzle that can be used for fuel on demand may also be something of interest to you. It sure satisfied my friend and the cart made it easy for him to move cans around whenever, but only lift cans once - from his Jeep to his cart. The older we get, we have to do things smarter.
 

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When I live on the farm with my parents we had a 300 gal. tank hanging from the ceiling in the tractor garage & the car/truck garage. No insurance worries because my Dad didn't have any, he had liability on vehicles because it was law.:)
 

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I agree about looking up the regulations in your area first..

I had a visit from the fire dept, back years ago when I was fixing up a lot of old tractors ,trucks and small engines--all mine,not "customers",but they suspected I was running a business "under the table"..

The inspector asked me how many gallons of gas I had stored on the property,I told him "about 100 gallons I guess"..he looked horrified and said "WHERE"?--I pointed to my pickup truck,another car next to it,and my parents cars,and said "oh yeah--I also have 5 or 10 gallons in gas cans in the shed out back"..

He looked disgusted and said "I meant "EXCEPT" vehicles!..he looked dissapointed ,like he was ready to bust me ,but now I wasn't in violation..

When I built my quonset garage I asked about installing an oil furnace for heat--the building inspector said "well,it was supposed to be "storage only" you said--not a "workshop"--if you are going to store vehicles or equipment in it,I would not reccomend an oil furnace,the only "approved" ones would be the type that hang on the ceiling..also if you put in an oil tank,the minimum size is 230 gallons,and it must be partly below ground level,in a concrete "pit" so if it ever leaks,the oil will be contained!"..

I asked why several other residential garages have oil furnaces,with 55 gallon drums sitting on a stand like a sawbuck--he said "well.,those were grandfathered in years ago,and they'll be outlawed too sooner than later"...

My way around avoiding multiple trips to the gas station was to buy a used pickup truck fuel transfer tank that sat on the bed rails,then I could have 75+ gallons "legally" if I wanted..but I wouldn't be surprised if now you'd need a permit to own one,or a business,or are allowed only for use on commercial property..

In more rural areas I'm sure things aren't so anal...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much for all the great ideas guys!! I can't believe how many folks were quick with replies! Sorry I haven't been back sooner, I've been in the tractor a lot lately with corn planting going on. Anyway, I definitely don't want to cause an explosion/fire hazard. So now my plan has shifted, and I am leaning towards one of the fuel caddies. That Stark fuel caddy from Home Depot linked above looks pretty interesting to me! So the way I see it, if I have a commercially produced, approved fuel container, the insurance company and the gas station shouldnt have anything bad to say about it. Oh and don't worry, I won't be storing this in my garage, probably in my unheated detached shed. Again, thanks for all the great input! I'll come back and update when I have a final solution
 
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