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Old 18-07-2018, 01:36   #1
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Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Is it safe to use brand new, unused diesel jerry cans for water? They seem to be pure polyethylene and don't smell like anything. Are they the same as water jerry cans, or not?
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Old 18-07-2018, 02:21   #2
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Interesting question and I don't have an answer but a bit like asking should you use a garden hose to fill up the boats water tank, or cook using aluminium pans.

Even if you could track the manufacturer and the plastic type they used to make them, I bet they would say no rather than risk a liability, which then leaves you up the creek without a paddle. After all it was difficult enough finding out what steel Rocna used in their bendy anchor shanks, your chance of tracing the plastic used in a Chinese factory is nil.

Me? I would wash them out a couple of times with bleach and then use them.

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Old 18-07-2018, 02:33   #3
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Dunno but in Oz, potable water jerries are coloured blue and fuel is red or black (for identification purposes).
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Old 18-07-2018, 03:14   #4
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

The several different colors of Rubbermaid cans -- blue water, red gasoline, yellow diesel -- all look to be the same material. Perhaps their website illuminates.

FWIW, (given you have time?), I think I'd just get some of the blue cans, avoid potential future hose-up... (Lessee, which yellow can was for water and which was diesel? Hmm....)

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Old 18-07-2018, 04:52   #5
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Probably depends on the particular manufacturer. If you are talking Scepter, which is a company that makes a lot of these things, then the plastic they use is the same for all of them. At least, it was a dozen or so years ago, when I spent a bit of time looking into this.


If you are going to use one of the yellow or red ones for water, I would recommend painting a big, blue X on it. That will make it more difficult to accidentally fill it with anything other than water.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:29   #6
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

the only difference is color. the a the a the a thats all folks.
if color was the issue all mexicans would be dead from wrong colorosis.
i think you be safe with diesel jug for carrying water. just dry it out well before use with diesel. and donot pour water into your diesel fill. oopsy.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:49   #7
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

The containers are the same material, merely colored differently. It would be wise, however, to obtain some spray paint for plastics and paint the containers you intend to use for water Blue, particularly so if you are also carrying spare fuel in jugs. If something "awkward" can happen, it will eventually. Better to reduce the likelihood as much as possible, no?
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:29   #8
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

I have found that the water jugs are thinner plastic, and tend to crack and leak more easily. I have used some diesel jugs that i bought in Miami for water jugs for 6 years now, and still performing well!
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:34   #9
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

I had the same dilemma when buying a jerry can for spare diesel. The yellow "diesel" cans cost twice as much as the red gas cans. So I bought a red can and made a HUGE label for it that said DIESEL, so there could be no mistake.

It gave me no end of trouble. Service stations refused to put diesel in a red can. No one wanted anything to do with a red can of diesel.

To make it worse, my Pearson 30 originally had an atomic 4, which had been repowered with a Volvo B2002 diesel. But the filler cap clearly said GASOLINE ONLY. So here I was pouring a red can of fuel into a filler clearly marked for gas, but of course it was all diesel. One service dock actually made me sign a legal waiver before putting diesel into a gas hole.

In hindsight, I'd pay the extra and avoid the confusion. You only pay once, but the confusion is for as long as you own the jerry can.
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:36   #10
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

As a plastics engineer, I would say to NOT utilize unused diesel jerry cans for potable water. Even though both water/diesel/gas cans are made of blow-molded polyethylene, the grades are different. Ones for potable water are NSF certified so as to not leach harmful materials into the water. For $20, I wouldn't potentially compromise my health.
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Old 18-07-2018, 08:41   #11
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Dependent on the type of jug, the bottle could or could not be OK to use for water service.

Many of the "commercial grade" jugs are manufactured with "FDA Approved" Polyethylene which should make them acceptable for water service.

"Commercial grade" jugs are colored blue for water, red for gasoline and yellow for diesel.

"Military grade" jugs are colored olive-drab or sand for fuel service and blue for water service.

"civilian grade" jugs are built to a lesser level of specification and quality control andf may or may not use "FDA Approved" Polyethylene .

It would be much saferto get "Commercial grade" or "Military grade" blue jugs to be on the safe side.
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Old 18-07-2018, 09:18   #12
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

I had a similar experience to Hamburking. I had a red 'gas' can of 1 gallon that the PO had clearly marked Diesel. I needed Diesel in a small can to use in the engine bay to fill the just changed fuel filter to assist with priming. I went to the Diesel pump in a well known marina in Ft. Lauderdale and the fuel attendant came out and said no Diesel in a red can. I pointed out the clearly marked letters saying "Diesel" and he looked at me like I was the biggest DA in the whole world and said "No, we will not put Diesel in a red can!"

What you want to do could lead to confusion and, in some cases, refusal to fill. Spend the extra for a proper water jug.

Put your unused, same as new Jerry Cans on eBay, take that money to buy the water jugs and problem solved!
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Old 18-07-2018, 09:31   #13
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

We have three 6 gallon gasoline fuel jugs aboard our boat that, because of their "squaty" shape, will easily fit under the grating above the well-deck in our cockpit whereas the typical diesel fuel jugs will not as they are too tall. The three are all painted yellow although they have to be repainted from time to time as the paint does flake off. With these, I have never been refused a diesel refill whether at a private club or public fuel dock.

FWIW...
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Old 18-07-2018, 09:41   #14
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Avoid the potential future confusion and use the proper color for water. The P.O. of our boat used yellow (Diesel) for water and Red (Gasoline) for Diesel. I just tossed them. At one of the fuel docks around our lake a boater came up and said he 'needed gas', so the dock hand filled his tank from the gas hose. Turns out the boater MEANT he needed diesel..... Having someone not paying attention filling your engine with water, or worse using your yellow cans for their intended purpose of Diesel and you not knowing could cause all kinds of issues.
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Old 18-07-2018, 09:58   #15
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Re: Unused Brand New Diesel Jerry Cans for Water?

Ah, water cans are blue. So are kerosene cans, just a different shade. My Wife can attest to this from first person experience.
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