How can we "ground" 55-gal. drums of gasoline? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

On the 29th, there was some discussion of the safety of storing 55-gal. drums of gasoline. It was stated that they needed to be grounded because of static. The question was asked but never answered and we really NEED to know the answer as we are in the process of filling our third drum. Could someone please tell us how to ground the drums? Thanks!

-- Jerri Faris (, November 30, 1999


Grounding can be accomplished by talking to you local shaman.. or religious type. You need to be grounded in the real world to live.

Try burring it 6 feet under, that was "grounding" in the old west, it should work today.

-- Its (, November 30, 1999.


a)Stack the barrels on the ground. This will prevent any static charge from building up.

b)If the barrels are up on pallets, run a wire off of the barrels onto the ground.

-- John Ainsworth (, November 30, 1999.

My Dear Miz Farris

The above description of just setting the drums on the ground is sound advice. If your barrels are isolated and you are unable to do that. Then take a wire,copper etc. of any size and just wrap it around the drums, then take the other end of the wire to say a water fauset and tie the wire off to it. This will give you the needed grounding


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), November 30, 1999.

Seems to me that one could do this with a NEW UNUSED drum by drilling a small hole in the top, putting in a bolt with wire attached, and attaching the other end to a grounded piece of pipe/rod. DO NOT do this with a used drum, or you may kill yourself.

As for grounding a used drum, that's a good question.

-- Bill (, November 30, 1999.



definition: shaman (origin - Russian) meaning - a leader of a specific underground religious cult [apologies do not remember the name of the cult in question] which was banned by the Tsar.

They were a 19th Century version of that infamous cult in Japan - you know who I'm talking about .... Shinto Aum or something like that.

btw - names are NOT one of my specialties ... :-(

that 'title' therefore is actually an insult!

accurate AND correct term is 'medicine person'

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), November 30, 1999.

---whew! here's a link to links! beaucoup! I checked a quick few, no mention of the static problem, just fill 95% to the top, 25 gallons is the federal home "safety" code, zero limits IN VEHICLES, anything over 5 gallons should be in metal container, keep cooler than 80 degrees F, keep out of direct sunlight, etc. check out a few links, find a real good one, please report back. I'm storing coleman/generic low octane stuff, and just in our 4 vehicles tanks, and 24 gallons in plastic cans, that's it. Got a bicycle, and a moped, that amount of gas should last me awhile!haha! Anyway, here's your link to links on fuels storage and safety

-- zog (, December 01, 1999.

Here is what we did... pounded a copper rod into the ground, attached a copper wire to one end of the rod, put a big alagator clip on the other end of the wire, sanded the drum in one area so the paint was all off, then clip the clip to the drum. Hope that helps.

-- Stash (, December 01, 1999.


the technically correct way to ground a 55 gal drum is as follows:

If metal drum - place directly on bare dirt - or for better protection - attach a #10 ga wire to one of the metal caps on drum and follow steps c,d, and e below.

If plastic drum - proceed as follows:

a) predrill a hole just smaller than the diameter of a length of #10 ga copper wire thru one of the little screw caps on the top of the drum. b) thread one end of the #10 ga copper electrical wire thru the hole in the cap such that the end of the wire will extend about a foot into the drum. c) fill the drum so that there is at least 3" below the cap opening. NOTE: If grounding a previously overfilled drum, transfer some into another container using a petroleum grade handpump. d) screw cap back on drum. e) drive a 6' copper ground rod (available at radio shack or other similar electronics store as well as electrical contractor supply companies) into the ground and attach other end of wire to rod using a ground rod connector.

For both types - cover with a waterproof tarp so that the edges extend at least 3' from barrel ... will prevent moisture from seeping into plastic drums (around that little hole with the wire thru it) and will minimize rusting of metal drums.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 01, 1999.

BTW - never, ever bury a metal drum filled with anything. especially fuel.

corrosion time till leakage in average American soil - 6 months.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 01, 1999.

.....In the military we used large "alligator-type" clips with a stout cable directly to a ground pole. Just clip to the barrel, but scratch a little paint off first.

-- Patrick (, December 01, 1999.

Radio Shack clips

to attach to rim of barrel: good - part number 270-359. better - part number 270-349

to attach to plug (screw on top of drum): better - part number 270-342 best - part number 270-339

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 01, 1999.

Here's a less-headachy way of putting in a ground rod. Get a 1/2" copper plated steel pipe, attach hose to one end with clamp, turn on water, and it 'hydro drills' itself into the ground.

Been doing this for years to ground the 'ole ham shack, works great, less effort.


-- Y2Kook (, December 01, 1999.


KA5CQN - licensed since 1976 :-)

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 01, 1999.

Go to Home Depot or any other hardware store.

Buy a steel band.

They have a steel band with holes in it in the plumbing department. Make one loop around drum and secure with a nut and bolt.

Remember, this is for static buildup so you do NOT need a # 6 wire a # 16 is allready overkill.

Go to radio Shack, get a resistor with a value of 470k-1Mohm.install it in series between the drum and your ground. This will provide a drainage for the static (static voltage has a VERY high impedance). Because of the resistor,the actual current is limited and there is NO spark possible.(the best value for this is around 1Mohm). The grounding rod lenght depends on your soil but 6-8 ft is fine for average soil cdx. Now this is for static only NOT for lighning. Should you have plastic drums, do NOT insert a wire inside the drum without having a resistor installed as the static voltage ( and the possible spark) is enugh to ignite a partialy empty drum with a gas/air mixture in it. on the outside you can spray it with conductive paint or go to a good craft store and get copper or aluminum tape ( conductive tape) and install a cris cross patern on the outside. Connect it to ground through a resistor.

Most important tho is to ground your pump, hoses and have a connection from the unit ( car or whatever) your filling to the source. Connect this before tou fill up and also have a resistor in the line to prevent sparking and arcing. Get some 2-4 mohm resistors to put them in paralel so that you end up with a higher wattage.

RX (resistance needed) is R1/RN where R1 is the value and RN is the # of resistors uset. So 4each 4.7Mohm resistor@1/4 watt is the same as 1 each 1.175 Mohm at 1 watt resistor. For the regular grounding 1/4 watt is fine as long as you not live in a very dry high wind area and the drums are exposed. Everything else should have at least 1 watt. Ground rule: if your area is very dry the ground rod needs to be longer, the resistance needs to be higher in wattage and even maybe higher in resistance(dryer conx. result in higher voltage so a higher resistance is needed to supress an arc),If it is high in huminity then a short one to two feet ground rod is fine and the resistance value can be lower ( never go below 470K). Commercial static grounding (static grounding NOT electrical or lighning grounding)uses a 1Mohm resistor minimum exclusively)

-- sparky (sparky@sparky.arc), December 01, 1999.

Really sorry I can't remember the exact site, but about 6-8 months ago there was an article that directed me to a link from Chevron on gas storage.(Search 'Chevron') It was extremely informative. Wish I could do better,but my brain's running out of memory lately!

on de rock

-- Walter (on de, December 01, 1999.

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