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Old 24-02-2022, 17:19   #1
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Jerry cans are unusable

I realize I'm mostly preaching to the choir on this one, but I'm feeling the need to rant a little bit.

Today I decided to put the 5 gallons of emergency diesel that I keep in a jerry can in the tank. I like to do so every few months so that the fuel in there is never worryingly old. What should have been a 5 minute task took about an hour, and left my clothes, my arms, my mouth, and my cockpit coated in a film of diesel and smelling something fierce.

Why was such a simple task such a complete and utter disaster you ask? Because the EPA in all their infinite wisdom mandated a safety valve in all jerry cans, because that should make it much harder to spill fuel.



My can has the type of valve where you have to push a plastic piece inward and down the neck of the spout in order to allow fuel to flow. It's always been a rather stiff spring on that mechanism, and difficult to deal with. But with age, the plastic and rubber assembly that seals the neck of the jug to the body gets slightly softer and weaker. So after wrangling the ~35 lb jug over my pushpit rails, inverting it, getting the spout into my fill port, and getting it all balanced, I went to operate the valve. As I pushed downward, instead of the valve opening, the seal at the base of the neck was bent out of place, and fuel began spilling out from the base of the neck. Oh no! I quickly pulled the jug back aboard and wiped up the area.

I was able to realign it all and try again, with the same result. The force needed to operate the valve was officially less than the force needed to make it fail.



So I thought to myself, I'm a reasonably intelligent human. I'll just siphon the fuel in and avoid using the valve all together. I found a suitable piece of tubing, got the siphon working without incident, and started the transfer. Unfortunately, that piece of tubing was both so narrow that it took about ten minutes to empty half the jug, and too short to reach the bottom of the jug and finish the job.

But I figured, now the whole thing weighs half as much, I bet I can get it to work properly. Without all that weight of the fuel resting on the little plastic mechanism, I can get it to open. But no, it was not to be.

So I dug out a better length of larger hose. This one was a bit longer than I needed and kind of a pain to deal with, but I got the siphon started. But then some air found its way into the tube and screwed it up. Well screw that says me, I can get this genius siphon solution working! I suck some more diesel through the tube, squat down to keep my mouth below the jug, and get a nice mouthful of diesel. But at least the siphon is working again.

Until I got another air bubble in. It's just a lot to hold onto, with the jug inboard, the fill port outboard, a too-long hose, and only two hands, I can't keep everything nicely in place.

But by now the jug is down to about a gallon. So I go to plan D, and get a nice big funnel. I rest the funnel in the fill port, and pour the remaining gallon in without the neck on the jug at all. Easy peasy, but it wouldn't have worked at all while the jug was full. That, and I still don't have a free hand to keep the funnel in place, so it feels like a bit of a risky way to go.

Now I just have to rinse my mouth out, wash my arms, change my clothes, wash the deck, and take a shower. Easy 5 minute job!

Of course there's an easy solution. I'll just get a proper siphon setup with a little pump so I don't have to use my mouth, and an appropriately sized hose. But for crying out loud, I wouldn't have to go through any of this if I was just allowed to have a normal neck for my jerry can so I could gently pour it out!

The EPA has accomplished precisely the opposite of their intent with these safety valves. And this is a public forum, so officially no diesel went in the water, but in an alternate universe it very likely would have. Great system, big fan. Rant over.
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Old 24-02-2022, 17:32   #2
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

The EPA rules don't inherently force a crappy spout. But for some reason, most of the designs out there just suck. The push button No-spill cans are the only good ones I've found. That said, you can get standard spouts for the NATO type jerry cans. They're just sold separately and officially not for fuel.
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Old 24-02-2022, 17:35   #3
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
The EPA rules don't inherently force a crappy spout. But for some reason, most of the designs out there just suck. The push button No-spill cans are the only good ones I've found. That said, you can get standard spouts for the NATO type jerry cans. They're just sold separately and officially not for fuel.


Got a link for a good one?


I agree its funny how everyone blames the EPA for walmart selling them junk.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:01   #4
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

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Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Got a link for a good one?


I agree its funny how everyone blames the EPA for walmart selling them junk.
These cans work well in my experience and the spouts are easy to use well. They're airtight like a good jerry can do they'll build pressure if they get warm. And I've never noticed gas smell from them.

https://www.amazon.com/No-Spill-1450-5-Gallon-Poly-Compliant/dp/B000W9JN4S/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=1T8AC62ZEC0TW&keywords=no+spil l&qid=1645754342&sprefix=nospill%2Caps%2C129&sr= 8-3
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:02   #5
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Hola,

I have used these Sceptre plastic Jerry jugs for years, first in the military, then in the emergency response world, and now in my personal life as well. Awesome cans, easy to carry, large well designed cap with screw on fill spout and internal venting built into tank so no “glug-glug-glug” while dispensing. I use these fuel cans for both diesel and gas, they offer different color cans or different color lid straps to help identify container contents. They also make water containers if you so desire. I use them as well. No way I am ever going back to any other Jerry jugs.

Now the downside…….yes they are expensive. But a one time buy and you get what you pay for is very true in this case. Depending on your location in the world they can be hard to source. Not legally sold as “new” in the US as they are not CARB compliant, the type of can you fought with above. Easily found new in Canada, sometimes on EBay and other classified listing sites.

Safe Journeys,
~Jeb
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:03   #6
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pirate Re: Jerry cans are unusable

When syphoning fuel from a Jerry can Never suck on the tube to get it started.
Sit the Jerry can level on the deck, remove the cap and get a length of 1/2 to 3/4 inch tube long enough for one end to reach the bottom of the can and around 12 inches below deck level down the filler hole.
Then get a wad of kitchen roll/rag and bunch it so it it seals the spout of the can.. peel back enough to create a small hole, place your mouth over the hole and blow hard.. this will raise the pressure inside the can and start the fuel flowing.
To get it all out tilt the can as it gets near empty so it drains all the dregs.
If the fuel does not start flowing it means your seal is not good enough, repack and try again.
Cleanest way to transfer fuel even in a seaway.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:04   #7
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

https://www.amazon.com/VP-Racing5-Ga...5754564&sr=8-2

I use those. I have four of them in the storage locker.

Sam
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:15   #8
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Got a link for a good one?


I agree its funny how everyone blames the EPA for walmart selling them junk.
The fact that "good" ones can't be easily found is, I believe, because it's actually very difficult to design one that meets the EPA requirement and also works well. We're talking about plastic jugs, which need to be a particular kind of plastic to hold up to storing fuel. That type of plastic, it turns out, doesn't work very well for building these safety valve mechanisms. Also, the idea that I need to operate a valve while handling a rather heavy jug full of fuel is inherently problematic. It takes two hands to hold the jug in place, but it also takes a hand to operate a valve, regardless of the valve type or quality.

This jug didn't come from Walmart, and it wasn't cheap. If memory serves I payed about $40 for a piece of plastic that nearly guarantees I can't fuel without at least a little spillage. Conversely, the old ones cost maybe half as much, and could be poured without spilling a drop if one was careful.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:15   #9
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Shaker syphon. Easy as!
https://www.nctractorspares.co.uk/ji...se-32279-p.asp

keep you mouth away from fuel!
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:18   #10
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

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Originally Posted by lateral View Post
Shaker syphon. Easy as!
https://www.nctractorspares.co.uk/ji...se-32279-p.asp

keep you mouth away from fuel!
+1. I have two, one for fuel and one for water.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:19   #11
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

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Originally Posted by Luvboats View Post
Hola,

I have used these Sceptre plastic Jerry jugs for years, first in the military, then in the emergency response world, and now in my personal life as well. Awesome cans, easy to carry, large well designed cap with screw on fill spout and internal venting built into tank so no “glug-glug-glug” while dispensing. I use these fuel cans for both diesel and gas, they offer different color cans or different color lid straps to help identify container contents. They also make water containers if you so desire. I use them as well. No way I am ever going back to any other Jerry jugs.

Now the downside…….yes they are expensive. But a one time buy and you get what you pay for is very true in this case. Depending on your location in the world they can be hard to source. Not legally sold as “new” in the US as they are not CARB compliant, the type of can you fought with above. Easily found new in Canada, sometimes on EBay and other classified listing sites.

Safe Journeys,
~Jeb
This so perfectly illustrates the reason for my frustration. Here is a product that you tell me is effective, safe, durable, and you'd never consider using another type. But they can't be legally sold new in the US. We've made it illegal to make the product that effectively solves the problem we're trying to solve.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:21   #12
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

I agree with the shaker syphon. We used one for dozens of jerry cans with very little spillage, basically when we were careless.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:23   #13
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Woodbridge View Post
https://www.amazon.com/VP-Racing5-Ga...5754564&sr=8-2

I use those. I have four of them in the storage locker.

Sam
Another solution that is well reviewed and apparently effective. The listing specifically says that it is not for fuel. Why? Because we've made it illegal to advertise safe, effective, durable solutions as being for fuel. The only things we can legally market as being for fuel are the horrible useless ones.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:23   #14
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

Also the Super Siphon.
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Old 24-02-2022, 18:26   #15
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Re: Jerry cans are unusable

FWIW - I agree, the EPA cans are so hard to use they likely cause more spillage not less.
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