Gasoline can closeup

How do I store fuel?

Today, I wanted to explore some different options for fuel storage. There are 101 reasons to store the fuels that you would normally rely on, which, now that I think about, would include firewood, pellets and coal. If you rely on wood or coal heat to get you through the winter, by all means, you should be storing plenty. I am going to go out on a limb and say that 99% of you already know that. I wanted to get into fuels of the more liquid variety.

So what kinds of fuels do you use?

  • Home heating oil – No. 2 heating oil
  • Gasoline
  • Diesel
  • Kerosene
  • Propane

How much do you rely on these different fuels?

Heating Oil Tank
Residential heating oil tank

Does your home require heating oil? If it does, how big is your oil tank? How long can you heat with oil before you need to have the tank refilled? If fairly large, you may not have to worry about this. If it is a smaller tank, you may have to weigh your options. Would it make more sense to buy a bigger tank? Or just know that you will be refilling it more often?

The same goes for heating with propane. If you have a 330 gallon tank, you may fill it 2 or 3 times in a winter, depending on the load. With a 1,000 gallon tank, you’re probably going to be fine.

So what does your vehicle run on?

Let’s start with gasoline: It’s a good idea to store extra gasoline. For many reasons. One reason may be the price. If for some reason, the price of gas starts screaming upwards, you can take a little bit of the sting out of buying it. And if it was a fairly short term rise, you could maybe side-step the whole thing. Another reason might be supply. Some other country, one of our suppliers, gets pissed at us and cuts us off. Or tariffs and/or other government regulations getting in the way of oil importation. What?? Government regulations getting in the way of something?? I know, I’m off my rocker here! What about when some environmentalist finds a Striped-Back Widget Weasel in North Dakota and decides it needs protecting? The government would start shutting down oil fields left and right – with state officials actually passing the laws, of course. You have to let them think they’re pulling the strings, right? Supply and demand would get all out of whack then, wouldn’t it? So there are a few possibilities. Let’s get on with it.

Another problem with fuels is that they starts to go bad in time. They start to get gummy, separate and become something that you don’t want to put into your engine. But there is a solution for this:

Rotate your fuel

Here is a tip for rotating your fuel. Go out and buy some 5 gallon gasoline cans, maybe just a couple to start out with. With a big black marker, write numbers on them where you can see it when you have them rowed up. Fill them up with gas and add Sta-Bil to them at 1oz. to 2 ½ gallons of gas. This will keep your gas fresh to up to a year. Now you are starting your gas stores

Gasoline can
A lonely gas can

and rotation process. So let’s say you had 6 filled five gallon cans, all marked 1 through 6. Every month, when you are going to get gas, take one of them, #1 in this case, and pour the 5 gallons into your vehicle’s gas tank. Then take that can to the gas station with you and fill it up after you fill your vehicle the rest of the way. Take #1 back home with new gas in it and place it at the end of the line with your other gas cans. So now your line of cans would read 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1. Next month, grab #2 when you head to the gas station and place it at the end of the line when you return. This way, none of the gas should ever be more than 6 months old. And you would always have 30 gallons of gas on hand. Personally, I would slowly build up to 12 cans, which is an added expense to get started though. If you do take it out to 12 months (12 cans), then you will definitely want to use an fuel stabilizer or additive like Sta-Bil­ mentioned earlier.  I know there are others, but this is the one I’m familiar with.

Diesel? Everything I just said about gasoline can be used for diesel. Another thing about diesel is that it can start to grow fungus. Yes, diesel can become contaminated by bacteria, microbes and fungus. Here are 8 signs that your diesel fuel is contaminated by 

“The best way to microbial diesel fuel contamination is to control water buildup in tanks.”

Once you have a fungal or microbial problem though, you need to kill it with a biocide like Bellicide.  This stuff kill everything growing in your diesel or heating oil within the first two hours and “keeps killing fuel-borne microbes for up to 4 weeks.”

“Microbial contamination in a fuel tank is bad news because the microbes (bacteria and fungi) break down the fuel, ruining expensive fuel investments.

  • Microbial colonies plug fuel filters
  • Microbes gives off acidic byproducts which destroy fuel quality
  • Microbial byproducts contribute to expensive tank corrosion

Not only that, but once they are in fuel tanks, microbes are nearly impossible to get rid of. Simply removing accumulated water is not usually enough to solve the problem. Until now!” – Bell Performance

So there are some ideas for you guys. A couple more? Make sure to invest in good containers and keep them sealed and air-tight. Cheap containers will only frustrate you and cost you in the long run. You already knew that? Ok. How about… keep your tanks topped off and keep rotating through your fuel. That way, you’ll always have fuel and you know it’ll always be of good quality! You knew that too, huh? Well, all right then, I think I’ll close up with that.

If you have any ideas or thoughts, comment below to let us know what you think. And don’t forget to subscribe to SOTS posts via email, if you have not already. You don’t want to miss anything!

Until next time,

Stay free.

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