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Jerry CAN do it.

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Jerry CAN do it.

 

Hopefully this may help others at some point.

i had to do some research today about fuel containers and transporting / storing petrol. Long story short.. I acquired a nice new 20L Jerry can today. The missus says.. "you can't use that at the petrol station though". Shocked This was further reinforced by the label on the front saying "20L Exceeds the maximum container capacity permitted under the Petroleum-Spirit Regulations 1929". [-Censored-]? A motoring store selling a jerry can you cannot legally use? So I've done some research i thought I'd share with you.

Turns out that petrol containers have to have a capacity that is up to 10-15% more than they are designed to carry - to allow for expansion of vapour etc.I suspect Halfords may have lost a few sales with that label as it is worded to make it sound like it is illegal to use it. In simple terms the can may have the capacity of 22 - 23L but can only carry 20L.

 

Also from the HSE website:

What if I only store a small amount of petrol?

You can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or at non-workplace premises without  informing your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA).

You can store it in:

  • suitable portable metal or plastic containers

 

What containers can I use to store petrol?

The legislation allows you to store petrol in the following containers:

  • plastic containers storing up to 10 litres
  • metal containers storing up to 20 litres
  • demountable fuel tank up to 30 litres

 

How much petrol can I store on a vehicle?

You can store up to 30 litres of petrol in a maximum of 2 suitable containers in your vehicle.

 

Does the petrol in the fuel tank of my car count towards the total I can store?

No – the petrol in the fuel tank of your vehicle, including boats and aircraft, does not count when you are calculating the total amount you are storing.

Now I've also read that some petrol companies like to get difficult on the forecourt about using these so I've looked at TescoPFS wensite and yes you CAN fill your Jerry can there:

Q: Do you have any guidelines on filling up jerry cans/portable containers?

Yes, please follow the below: 

  • Maximum capacity for a plastic container is 10 litres
  • Maximum capacity for a metal container is 20 litres
  • Petrol containers should be marked or labeled with the words: ‘PETROL’ and ‘HIGHLY FLAMMABLE’, a hazard warning sign, capacity in litres, manufacturers name and the date and month of manufacture
  • Customers can fill a maximum of 2 containers of petrol
  • The maximum amount that can be legally stored by a private individual, without formally notifying the Petroleum Enforcement Authority is 30 litres
  • Purchases of diesel are not limited to 30 litres 

Hopefully that might clarify things for some people out there - on this forum, visiting from google etc. There is a BBC article (and probably others) dated 2012 that states it is not legal to use a jerry can yet this is wrong and it seems that there is confusion among people on various other forums too. Hopefully this post might clear things up.

I'm sure some of you will have fuel can adventures to share.. come on lol..

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14 REPLIES
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

Even if you do stick within the 20 Litres, the modern petrol could go "off" within a month.  You can buy additives to extend the life of the fuel up to a couple of years. (I think I mentioned them on here a couple of months ago).   Or buy the high alkylate fuel for a mere circa £18 for 5 litres.

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

I've used Lucas Fuel Stabiliser these past few years, keeping the mower fuelled for a year only takes about 5L, and I keep another 5L on hand for playing with other small engines (generators, 4-stroke strimmer, 2-stroke stinkers, etc.), and I still end up with a surplus the following year, so storing more is not really viable given that petrol these days is poisoned with ethanol (as greenwash, but it's low-grade cheap petrol that is octane-boosted by the ethanol) which makes it go bad after a while regardless of stabilisers...

 

If I used more I'd probably get a 20L jerry, but for now I'll stick with my two 5L plastic cans... Smiley

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

I'm not really an advocate of storing the stuff but the 5L cans are a bit short when it comes to running out of juice. 5L isn't going to get you very far hence wanting a bigger one.

As for the stuff going off, it's a bit of a myth. It'll last around a year at least. That said the car out the back stood still for 14 months dead before we got to the bottom of the problem, the juice was 14 months old at that point and it still started on it.

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

The stuff going bad is a thing, it'll keep working fine as long as it's stored properly, but does break down over time thanks to the ethanol, I had some petrol for stuffed away two years and at that point it had turned pee-yellow, almost as yellow as my paraffin infact, despite having been kept sealed up in an airtight petrol can, and it was noticably less potent as it was harder to start the engines it was burned off in, so I do believe that modern petrol is made to break down to keep you buying fresh stuff...

Luzern
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

My car is very little used, and what has been said makes me ask, if deterioration also takes place in the fuel tank. Anyone have views or knowledge?

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

Well technically @Luzern yes it should be breaking down going by what others here are saying but i never noticed it. That said the juice never reached 2 years old! If you keep diluting it with new juice though this will reduce the effect so you won't notice it in a car that is used more than once every few years lol. That reminds me.. i need to put some more in the sorn'd car...

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

The biggest issue with petrol left in a vehicle is evaporation (as a fuel tank has a vent to allow it to breathe when filling, emptying and to prevent swelling or contraction as it warms and cools), the volatiles that are what make petrol work will evaporate off slowly over time, reducing its' potency, I've known of cars that have stood for 10 years and still started on what looked more like strong tea than petrol, but, they ran like a bag of No.2 and had no power so could barely move and stalled a lot, of course adding fresh would improve it, but there's another problem these days; Ethanol...

 

Ethanol sucks water out of the air, and forms water droplets in your tank, and before long, you'll have a pool of water at the bottom of your petrol tank just waiting to block up your injectors or rust out a carburettor, and if you have a metal fuel tank, rot it from the inside out. If you're going to park a petrol car or store a piece of petrol power equipment for a while, drain the fuel off, just to prevent any problems caused by the damned ethanol poisoning they're doing to petrol (5% at the moment, soon to be 10%, making the problems worse), it'll mean less grief later on... Smiley

 

Diesel on the other hand, lasts pretty much forever, the only issues that can have is diesel bug, but that only really occurs in watercraft or storage tanks where water can get into the tank and the bug lives in a layer between the water and diesel, but other times, no issues, heck a friend across the pond had a tankful of diesel in an old Merc he bought that had stood for over a decade waiting to be sold, and while it was a little off-colour, it still worked fine, Diesel for the win... Smiley

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

It is possible to recondition diesel by water separation devices and filters. But for car owners it would not be economic. We used to do this for the fuel tanks for standby generators at data centres as a routine process of fuel quality checking and then treating where necessary. The last thing you need is for a diesel generator to fail to start and run when the mains power has just failed.

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harrow
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

As already stated petrol goes stale quite quickly.

When it's fresh it is quite clear but after a few months it goes yellow.

Never leave stale petrol in small engine carburetors it blocks them up, causes no end of damage.

If you do buy a container keep using it up so it is always fresh, you can't store it for long periods without getting trouble.

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Luzern
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

For a car which stands long time between use, could any type of additive to the petrol in the tank help?

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

This is the stuff I use for the various horticultural/woodland machinery I run. 

https://www.briggsandstratton.com/eu/en_gb/support/videos/browse/briggs-and-stratton-fuel-fit.html

 

Best if added to fresh fuel. There are others.

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.


Luzern wrote:

For a car which stands long time between use, could any type of additive to the petrol in the tank help?


 

Many things, usually just looking for "fuel stabiliser" comes up with basically everything out there that claims to keep it fresh, I used Lucas Fuel Stabilizer (yeah, spelled with a Zed 'cos it's a merkin product) for the past few years (one bottle lasted ages) and it did okay, still got water forming in some of the petrol syphoned off the mower when I put it away for winter though, probably going to get some B&S Fuel Fit as mentioned above to see what it's like...

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

I must be doing something right because my mower goes into the shed after the last cut of the year usually with petrol in the tank and some in a gallon container.

I comes out at the beginning of the growing season (when my neighbours bring theirs out) and for years it's started and run with no problems.

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Re: Jerry CAN do it.

If you leave enough fuel in the tank, then it can negate the evaporation to a point, but you can still get issues with rust forming thanks to the ethanol, so, it might be worth looking inside your carburettor, just to see what condition it's in... Smiley

 

After the 2016 mowing period was up, I never emptied my mower's tank (it had what was left from when I'd last used it), and after having sat for the best part of half a year, it wasn't exactly happy to start with what was left in it, so last year I decided to empty it to store it, doesn't really matter with the carb on a Brigs 575EX as the carb is plastic, but can still get gummed up with petrol varnish f allowed to evaporate off... Smiley