For the past several years, I have been nursing our plastic gas cans and even hunting for used gas cans at second hand stores and garage sales. I cannot express the frustration I have encountered with these worthless new gas cans; the nozzles are pure junk, made so cheaply they break and you can’t get your gas out of the can, so you have to resort to purchasing an adapter nozzle or even using a funnel. The new gas cans also don’t have vent holes that allow air to enter the can so the fuel is able to leave the can in a steady stream.
Those of you who follow this blog outside the United States are you finding the same poorly made fuel cans dominating the shelves in your stores as well?
If it wasn’t for a neighbor who used to race dune buggies, I would have never known about the VP Racing fuel cans. They have a vent hole that allows gas to leave in a steady stream. However, you have to create your own nozzle for a few dollars more that will fit into the lid of the can. I only have one nozzle attached to one lid and trade lids between my 4 gas cans.
The upside and downside to the VP cans is they pour super fast when the vent hole is open. I generally only crack the vent hole open to get a steady pour, but not something that will rush out of the can and over flow my small engine’s fuel tank. The second downside and upside is they are heavy when filled. They can also handle about 6 gallons easily, but that extra storage comes with more weight to bear while trying to pour the fuel into a small gas tank. I am debating purchasing an extra tank just to fill only part way and transfer fuel from the other tanks so I can make filling our small engines’ gas tanks less of a chore.
Once upon a time, regular fuel cans came with easy to pour nozzles and vent holes before government legislation through lobbying got involved. It saddens me to think a company can lobby government officials to pass legislation that benefits their patents and product by forcing better made products off the shelves in stores. In the spirit of capitalism, this would never happen. The United States isn’t what it use to be as far as allowing companies with the best designed products to compete on the store shelves. Customers would have never chosen the poorly made environmentally “challenged” regulated fuel cans if the regular fuel cans were on the shelves.
If you are interested in investing in an easy to pour fuel can, you would be wise to invest in the VP Racing fuel can. It’s a little more expensive, but when you have to buy the $10 nozzle kit to replace on the environ-“mentally challenged” cans, you’re very close in price. Here’s the link at our “a store.
The Importance of the type of fuel to use in your small engines
The other caveat I discuss in the video is the need for non ethanol gas in your yard machines and other small engines you may use. The non ethanol gas has a longer life span than ethanol gas. If you have an engine that will sit for more than 30 days, including vehicles, outboard motors, lawnmowers, generators, chainsaws, snow blowers, etc. then you need to use the more expensive non ethanol gasoline. After 30 days, and sometimes even less if the machine is warmed up by the sun or hot days, the alcohol in the fuel will begin evaporate leaving water and other additives behind. This expired fuel will gum up (tarnish) the small holes in the carburetor of your engine causing the need to rebuild and clean the carburetor before the engine can run properly. By adding fuel stabilizer and possibly fuel additives that remove water you can possibly save the carburetor, but that won’t fix the spoiled fuel that has been sitting and spoiling in the carburetor while in storage. To be safe, it is best to add the fuel stabilizer before placing the engine into storage for more than 30 days and run the engine for a minimum of 5 minutes with the treated stabilized fuel throughout the system.
If I had known this one simple preventative measure it would have saved me a carburetor rebuild in my 1968 Chevy pickup years ago.
Correction to the above article…
Due to a viewer comment, I was informed that the gas can regulation was not for environmental reasons. In fact, the regulation created did not take the environment into account at all (see https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2015-07151/p-31). The gas can regulation was to childproof gas cans to prevent children under the age of 5 from accessing the fuel contained within. The law is known as the “Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act Regulation.”
I am supportive of protecting children from possible danger, but this is also known as a “Nanny Law” in which the state steps in to regulate where parents should be educating their children to the dangers of gasoline. The cans were only to protect children under age 5, which if gas cans were placed on a sturdy shelf, this regulation could have been easily avoided. Government funding could have been spent on educating the public about handling and storing gas cans safely. Instead, the “government” chose to regulate the construction of the cans, give government money and contracts to those who own the patents to this new gas can, which ultimately creates more problems for those who need to access the fuel for small engines, stalled vehicles, and businesses that rely on portable fuel tanks. The issue is really circular because should we be beyond gasoline technology, but due to the power of lobbyist, we are denied alternative forms of possible safer fuels?
Thanks viewer Phlaked Corn.