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Old 03-20-2011, 09:45 PM
Tim Tim is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 62
Default 55 gal barrels for multi use and gas storage

I am assuming with this tip that one knows the safety precautions that should be taken when storing fuel, #1 being to store a safe distance from your house and in the shade.
I thought this could be helpful due to the complications involved w. fuel storage.
Tip#1: I found 55 gal barrels on Craig's List and bought for $6 dollars each. Their seams to be a lot of people who get barrels from work and can make a deal due to the fact that they paid nothing for the barrels in the first place. The person I contacted delivered the barrels and had several types. a. Steel drums with removable lids are great for sealing solid supplies like food, ammo, cleaning supplies or anything that fits in a barrel you want to keep water tight. b. blue plastic barrels are great for water storage. It took about 15 min each with a pressure washer and a little bleach to get mine clean enough for water but I only paid $6ea and new plastic barrels will cost over $70.
c. I told the person I needed some barrels for fuel storage so he brought me some steel drums w. standard threaded bung holes that had been used for industrial alcohol. I did not need to wash these at all just start filling w. gas.
Tip#2: For storing gas in 55 gal steel drums rule number 1 is DO NOT store in the sunlight, even in the winter. The barrel will bulge from as little as 6psi pressure. I am assuming you have a safe place like a barn or tool shed away from the house and you are not in a populated neighborhood. Do not fill more than about 85% full. Add sta-bil gas treatment and your gas will last for at least 1 year. You can buy sta-bil at Walmart for $11 and it treats up to 80 gal. Your fuel will react to temp. difference putting the barrel in a vacuum when it get cold and pressurizing when it warms up. For this reason I keep a eye on my fuel drums and vent them during extreme changes in temperature.
Tip#3 I bought a hand crank barrel pump made for pumping fuel from 55 gal steel drums at Harbor Freight Tools for $20 and it works great. It will pump 10 gal. per minute. I pump from the barrel to a 5 gallon can and then pour from that to the auto.
Summery: For an investment of $60 for 10 barrels, $70 for sta-bil gas stabilizer and $20 for a barrel pump I am able to store 500gal of gasoline. I bought my gas when it was at $3 a gal so I am well in the black with this investment. I will start rotating into my autos at 4 months as 500 gal is a 9 mo supply for our household. If things fall apart I will be in a position to run my generator for hundreds of hours. Fuel is one of the first things you will not be able to find. You will not catch me without oil in my physical as well as spiritual lamp!
God Bless you in your preparations and use all safety precautions, Tim

Last edited by Tim; 03-20-2011 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:58 AM
microcarl microcarl is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 630

Originally Posted by happyhigdons View Post
... If I had to, I would have great difficulty loading up a 55 gallon drum by myself. I believe I could handle a 30 gallon one, however. Just a thought.
A 30 gallon container would weigh about 240 pounds at 8 pounds per gallon.

Two 15 gallon containers would only weigh about 120 pounds each - much easier to handle by one person. That, and a 15 gallon container could be easily moved around on something like a Radio-Flier wagon.
"Those whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." - Proverbs 3:12, New American Standard - Updated Edition
"The prudent sees evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it." - Proverbs 22:3, New American Standard - Updated Edition
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:55 AM
Servant Chris Servant Chris is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,259

I have found the open end 55 gal drums can be very useful too. The local ice cream factory gets their flavorings in large 30 gallon plastic bags. These bags are shipped in 55 gal food grade drums to prevent any damage during transport.

They are great for storing old blankets bought at garage sales, clothes, grains etc as mice cannot get through the steel barrier.

I have been buying them for $5.

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Old 03-21-2011, 08:30 AM
Tim Tim is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 62

Yes it is torture to move a 55gal drum full. A barrel pump is a must. I was impressed with how well a $20 hand crank, self prim pump worked. It screws onto the bung hole of the steel barrel and pumps 10 gal per minute (about the same rate as the pump at the gas station). I'm sure they are a lot more expensive if you don't shop around. I found mine at Harbor Freight Tools for 18.95. I bought a length of hose (about 7/8"dia.) for the pump and that allows me to pump directly into 5 gal cans. This pump can also be used on 30gal drums if the bung hole is standard size.
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55 gallon drums, barrels, diesel, fuel storage, gasoline

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