Does a gas barrel (55 gal) need to be vented? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

When I slightly opened the 2" bung, gas vapors rushed out for over 20 seconds. It was a cool day, barrel is inside of a shed. Is this what I should expect as the "voilatels" (sic) are released from the gas over time? P.S. It was not a comfortable experience, as those vapors came hissing out of the barrel.

-- Jim (, November 13, 1999


See my thread below on "Gasoline Storage". If you've very recently filled the barrel, expect pressure buildup as the gasoline warms. This will stop when it reaches equilibrium. If the day was warm, expect more buildup, as the gas gets warmer. As the days get cooler, this should stop (or very nearly).

Best bet is to leave the little plug loosened somewhat, as long as the temperature changes persist. You should have no problem, as long as the vapor doesn't build up to the point that the smell is overpowering. Open the doors to the area for a few minutes, and allow the breeze to blow through. You'll be fine.

-- Dennis (, November 13, 1999.

Sometimes when I open the gas cap on my car a lot of pressure is there. If the car is safe with no gas vent then any container should be okay.

-- Carol (, November 13, 1999.

Bad science.

You don't take into account several factors, such as the vapor- recovery system in the car, the possibility of an overpressure release in the car, and the unknown pressure-handling limits of the particular drum in question.

I'd be very careful about proclaiming something like that as safe, unless I knew *all* the salient details, was a licensed professional in the field, and had a very heavy duty liability policy in effect.

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 13, 1999.

All I know is this:

My step dad stored gas in steel drums for over 20 years. He taught me the facts needed to safely store gasoline. And, in 20+ years, he never ONCE blew himself, us, or anyone else up....

Does that make him an "expert"? *I* already know the answer. For the rest of you, I guess it's a judgement call.

-- Dennis (, November 13, 1999.

I am no expert, but definitely vent the stuff. Gasoline vapors are highly explosive, and you don't need a concentration of them anywhere. I don't know whether or at what point vapor pressure could trigger a spponaneous combustion of the gasoline, but regardless, you simply don;t need to allow the ghost of a possibility. E.G. "JEEP" style gas cans are made with a "weephole" or vent under the gasket to the screw cap, so that you can tighten the cap down to prevent spillage, but pressure can only build up so far before the vapors begin to force their way out through the weephole. It's their for a reason -- that's for sure. I trust ou are not storing this stuff inside, by the way. Definitely leave a bung loose, or even leave the lid loose as long as water will not get in the barrel.

-- SH (, November 13, 1999.

Go to this site, select the technical articles and click on the pages for long term fuel storage.....The basics are drums should be 95% full, TIGHTLY sealed and kept cool where possible. If you leave the caps loose you'll end up with varnish. Seal 'em tight. I filled my 55 gal. drums to 50 gallons, added Stabil storage fuel treatment and stretched visqueen over the top and wrapped bungies around the drum to keep the top clean. Got 200 gallons and no problems but usually have had 50 gal. around over the years.

-- Don Kulha (, November 13, 1999.

Hey Dennis -- "all you know" is that your father used a *steel* drum.

That's right -- it's *all* you know, since the original poster made NO mention of "steel". We have *no* idea of its construction.

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 14, 1999.

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