Any additional tips/suggestions/hints for dispensing gasoline from 30-55 gallon drum at home?

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I'm considering gassing the cars & off-road vehicles from a fuel drum at home in a remote area dozens of miles from the nearest gas station.
While I'm in the planning stage, it would be helpful to hear ideas on what works and what doesn't work from those who already store & dispense gasoline at home from a storage drum.
The zoning department told me there are no specific regulations up to 55 gallons and the HazMat department told me 15, 20, 30, & 55 gallon barrels must be UN Certified steel (that's United Nations); they must be grounded; and they must have a "containment system" to keep spills from penetrating the ground.
There are no other requirements although they suggest keeping the drums at least 10 feet from a structure.
Calling Granger's Industrial Supply (800-323-0620), they suggested the following components (about $700).
- $150 (1MLA7) 55-gallon UN-Certified Carbon-Steel Phenolic-coated Drum (with 2" & 3/4" bunge), http://tinyurl.com/36a6tfk
- $350 (1P894) Fuel Transfer Pump, Flow 15 GPM, Power Rating 1/4 HP, Motor 12 VDC, 12 Feet Lift, With 15 Feet Cable and Tube, Not Metered, http://tinyurl.com/39bvcj4 ... or $160 (1P893) Rotary Transfer Pump, http://tinyurl.com/2ubsfzh
- $35 (4A442) 3' Ground Strap, http://tinyurl.com/3yszste
- $165 (4RP91) Liquid Flowmeter, http://tinyurl.com/378rugu
- $125 (2P695) Fuel Filter, http://tinyurl.com/3a6vyoe
My main questions: a) Do you use such a system? If so, what do you recommend?
b) Do you suggest the hand pump ($160) or the electric pump (350)?
c) How do most of you FILL the drum (is there a fuel-delivery service)?
d) What do you use for a fuel level gauge?
e) Is the fuel filter really needed?
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I haven't done gas, but keep Diesel for my compact tractor in a 55 gal. drum. I find I only need to fuel it 2-3 times per year, and the hand pump was still annoying. I got a transfer pump with nozzle 4 free from my oldest son, and am using it now. It is a lot harder to keep from spilling with your attention on pumping. Diesel has a tendency to foam, you shouldn't have to bother with that. There is also the filling of the drum, I do that by taking it to the ag store in the bed of the pickup, then moving it into the shop with a fork lift. A full drum is pretty heavy, around 350 pounds..
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If your tractor doesn't have a license plate. Ag diesel (off road stuff) or home heating oil should work. You are likely buying agricultural diesel, right?
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Christopher A. Young
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On Oct 22, 7:04 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Right, once you fill out all the post McVie paper work you can get the AG diesel & it is a little cheaper. I use so little that a drum lasts me 2 years. It went faster when I had the Diesel lawn tractor, but it got traded away. I still use pump gas in the Backhoe and forklift, I ask about off road Gas when I first started all this, and no one seemed to do that. I'm 5 minutes fro a station, so stocking up is a little silly except for the time it takes to go get it.
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I think you've got the right idea, to talk to the people in your area. Different parts of the country have wind, dry, humid, still, and whatever else conditions. What is perfectly safe for me, in NYS with high humidity could explode and kill you in Arizona. Please, don't put a lot of confidence in anything you read on this group. Except me, of course (wink wink).
First question comes to mind. How many galons of gas do you use, in a week, month, etc? I sense that you're tired of going to town to fill 5 gal containers? Or, do you want a bunch of gas on hand for power cuts and storms?
Some fuel suppliers have the round 200 gal tanks, with the crank pump provided. I'm sure the gas is more expensive, as they have to deliver. You might be able to sneak in a couple 5 gal cans of fuel every time you go to town. Pour five gals into each of your machines, to help avoid the ex$pensive off road gas.
If you have machines like tractors which are off-road, your supplier may be able to provide a different color of gasoline for off road. As with off road diesel, it may be cheaper to buy the off road stuff. I used to know a farmer who used home heating oil in his diesel farm tractor. Perfectly legal, the tractor never touches a road. I've heard the fines for use of off-road gas in on-road vehicles is extremely expensive.
Hand crank pump is more work, but also simpler and less likely to break. Filter is cheaper than having your equipment break down account of sediment or crud. My 3 HP snow blower would run a couple minutes and then need the carb cleaned out. Some black particles floating in the gas tank. I put in a fuel filter, and it's been good since then. One small example, for what it's worth.
Please let us know some more about what you want to do. A few of the people on this list are very wise. A few people really know what I'm doing.
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 20:01:17 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Three vehicles, which fill up (about 18 gallons each) about once every two weeks so a 55-gallon drum should last, oh, about two weeks, maybe three.

Mostly it's the convenience of not having to drive far and wide to fill up constantly. There's the added benefit that the wifey loves when I fill up her car but she hates me driving it 'cuz I move the seat and mirrors! :)

More expensive? I would think "bulk" is less expensive. But I don't know.

I'm leaning toward the hand pump, if for no other reason, it's cheaper and does not have electricity to give off a spark.

I figure the fuel is already filtered; but I understand that crud can build up in the 55-gallon drum, I guess.

You hit the nail on the head pretty much. It's all for gasoline for on- road vehicular use. It's for convenience. The least convenient part, I guess, is filling the drum, which I would hope I can find someone to deliver. If they don't deliver in 55-gallon quantities, then I'll have to fill 'er up with 10 5-gallon jugs. :(
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Harold, you finally said you have a pickup. Why not just get a 50 gallon tank and pump for the truck, just like every farmer and heavy equipment owner does. No barrels, no messing around. Keeping fuel fresh and dragging 5 gallon cans around does not sound like any kind of fun to me. Once you spill one can, any thoughts of economy and the clean up make the whole venture sound a bit weak.
The electric spark you are worried about is no different than the electric fuel pump that is inside your gas tank, in fact many guys use an old fuel pump from the junk yard. You'll only hand pump 20 gallons a few times before regretting the decision. Many farmers keep a fuel barrel on an elevated stand that flows fuel by gravity. The EPA and other code and safety rules are quickly doing away them.
Craiglist may have a used one for you. Graingers and Northern tools for new: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch?storeIdi70&N=0&Ntt=fuel%20transfer%20tank&D=fuel%20transfer%20tank&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Dx=mode+matchallpartial
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_31616_31616?cm_sp=Upsells-_-Top%20Sellers-_-Product%20Page
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 20:01:17 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Three vehicles, which fill up (about 18 gallons each) about once every two weeks so a 55-gallon drum should last, oh, about two weeks, maybe three.
CY: Hmm. That works out to a reasonable ammout of fuel. Are these road vehicles, or at-home machines?

Mostly it's the convenience of not having to drive far and wide to fill up constantly. There's the added benefit that the wifey loves when I fill up her car but she hates me driving it 'cuz I move the seat and mirrors! :)
CY: When I shared a vehicle with my parents. I could tell who was the last driver, based on the seat and miror. I figured out after a while how to reset the seat and miror to match one of my parents. It comes to mind that you could put one or two 4-galon gas cans in your car trunk, and keep her tank topped off that way. Buy your own gas at the gas station. Of course, you check her oil and fluids on her car, and keep them topped off.

More expensive? I would think "bulk" is less expensive. But I don't know.
CY: I remember asking a gas guy about that. He says the corner gas station is much cheaper because the truck can dump 5,000 galons at a time, and there is only the one hook up and disconnect. Coming out to someone's house to deliver 200 galons is a lot more labor, and keeps the truck busy.

I'm leaning toward the hand pump, if for no other reason, it's cheaper and does not have electricity to give off a spark.
CY: That's a real concern. Electric motors often spark.

I figure the fuel is already filtered; but I understand that crud can build up in the 55-gallon drum, I guess.
CY: That's my guess. Rain, and whatever else gets in. In the case of my snow blower, I think it was a rubber gasket that came apart.

You hit the nail on the head pretty much. It's all for gasoline for on- road vehicular use. It's for convenience. The least convenient part, I guess, is filling the drum, which I would hope I can find someone to deliver. If they don't deliver in 55-gallon quantities, then I'll have to fill 'er up with 10 5-gallon jugs. :(
CY: I do like the idea of having some gasoline at home. Me, living in a trailer park, I can't safely store any gasoline at home. But, in case there is any supply line problems, it's nice to have some fuel at home. If you can do it safely, and it's clear that you can. I'm guessing you will find it easier to use the 5 galon cans and fuel up her car 5 galons at a time. I could easily be mistaken. I hope you let us know what works out. So we can learn from you.
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How do you plan on filling this home-based tank?
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 18:14:49 -0700, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

That IS a problem. Perhaps the biggest problem of all.
I am hoping there is someone who delivers the gasoline, just like they deliver propane to my house from a propane truck.
If they don't deliver 55-gallon quantities, then the only other feasible idea I can think of is to fill it (tediously) from 5-gallon or 10-gallon portable gasoline containers in the back of my pickup.
If I get a smaller tank (say 30 gallons), I would guess I can lift it by hand off the pickup bed, but, I'm not young and my back isn't good and I don't have anything like a forklift. I guess I could build a ramp and roll the drum down with a dolly but if it's 350 pounds, I really don't want to do that every few weeks. :(
Basically, I was hoping YOU guys could advise me on my options for FILLING the drum.
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You mention pickup truck. Some contractors have a fuel tank that fits in the bed of the truck. http://www.google.com/products?q=fuel+tank+for+bed+of+truck&hl=en&aq=0&oq=fuel+tank+for +
That could allow you to carry some fuel on the back, and to fill your wife's car. At the loss of some bed space of course.
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most newer vehicles have shrader valves under the hood for checking fuel pump pressure.
you can use your vehicles tank to keep the 55 gallon at home tank full. connect line to schrader valve, turn on vehicles key, pump away just dont run vehicles tank to empty..
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On 10/23/2010 2:17 AM, Harold Lathom wrote:

Buy an old beater pickup, register it as a farm truck, and put a couple of those square-side field refueling tanks in it, like the guys that drive the big yellow things use. It isn't a 'fuel truck', so you don't have DOT and insurance issues, and those square tanks hold more than a drum. Yes, this would cost a couple of grand to start with, but it avoids the whole fill-the-drum problem. You drive the drum to the gas station, and fuel the other vehicles right out of the truck bed.
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Harold Lathom wrote:

I used to be affiliated with a volunteer organization. Had a lot of boats.
Anyway, a fuel refiner not only donated the gasoline, but provided a tank (~200 gallons) and hose which gravity-fed the boat tanks.
Talk to your local gasoline wholesaler. They may GIVE you a tank and come by whenever you call and deliver the gas.
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On 10/22/2010 10:17 PM, HeyBub wrote:

For a business in town or a local farmer that uses a lot of fuel, sure. For a guy living at the uphill end of a winding 2-track, probably not so much. OP said he may use 2-3 barrels (< 165 gallons) a year.
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 22:32:30 -0400, aemeijers wrote:

I don't remember saying that but maybe I intimated it by accident somehow; but I'm sure it will be (way) more than that.
The family has three cars, each of which has about an 18-gallon tank which gets filled about once every two weeks on average. So, that's 54 gallons twice a month (or so).
In a year, that would be about 20 times 50 gallons (roughing it out) or about 1,000 gallons a year.
I think the biggest hurdle is filling the drum as the rest looks pretty straightforward. The only questions seem to be whether the hand pump is worth the effort for the cost and safety savings, and whether or not to have a filter and meter (both of which seem to be optional but good ideas).
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Call your local code enforcement people & fired department to see if you can store a gas barrel on residential property. [in my neck of the woods the limit is 20 gallons or so beyond what is in your car- and that has to be in 5 gallon containers] Give your insurance company a call, too. If they are looking for an excuse to drop you, it seems like a gas barrel should work as well as anything.
Then call the people who will be delivering it. No way can you come out ahead carting it around in even 30 gallon bbls. Spillage & PITA will negate any benefit of gas on hand.
Jim
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On Sat, 23 Oct 2010 07:39:21 -0400, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

They all told me 55 gallons and less is unregulated and even so, for homeowners, it's really up to discretion because they don't have specific laws for that here.
I did find another (much cheaper) supplier than Granger: DRUMS: http://www.valumotion.com/c-drums-and-ibc-tanks-skolnik - closedhead-carbon-steel-drums.php PUMPS: http://www.valumotion.com/c-pumps-cast-iron-rotary-vane-pump.php LIFTS: http://www.valumotion.com/c-portable-lift-trucks-wesco-ergonomic - drum-lift.php etc.
At this point, I agree the hardest task is FILLING the drums. I don't have any supplier yet who will deliver 55 gallons. :(
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Harold Lathom wrote:

Unless you have a way to carry a bulk amount, you're doing the proverbial relief action up a rope imo. For the volume you're talking about, you'll have no luck getting home delivery and so you could fill up each vehicle one time (roughly) w/o having to go thru the exercise of filling the barrel again. Just makes no sense nor would it in the end save any effort.
_IF_ you had a pickup you could buy a transfer tank but certainly it wouldn't pay to purchase a vehicle for the purpose.
The only way I'd consider something like what you're proposing for such a small volume would be to use a trailer that could tow to a station for fillup and dispense from it. That, of course, would legally require a DOT-compliant transfer tank which isn't cheap, particularly for gasoline owing to its volatility lower flashpoint as compared to diesel.
W/ the farm, I keep a 150-gal diesel and a 40-gal gas transfer tank in the pickup for field delivery but we get farm delivery on diesel but its in 1000 gal delivery quantities minimum (a large tractor/combine fuel tank may hold 200-gal itself these days).
You just don't have sufficient volume to make this worthwhile venture--I would predict it would get to be enough pita to deal with as you're talking that after a while you would decide not to keep doing so as opposed to simply filling up when needed.
As for the car, get her one w/ automatic driver customization and you'll have the problem solved... :)
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On Sat, 23 Oct 2010 08:41:59 -0500, dpb wrote:

Home delivery of 55 gallons of fuel does seem to be problematic.
I'm still finding cheaper alternatives for the equipment, e.g., http://www.globalindustrial.com/g/material-handling/drum-barrel/drums- pails/closed-open-head-steel-drums-pails
But, I haven't yet found a fuel supplier.
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