How to ground gas containers in the back of a truck? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I will be taking a large quantity of plastic gas containers in the back of a pickup that has a liner. I will be placing them on cardboard so they are not sliding on the liner. I will also place cardboard in between them so they do not rub against each other. My question is what is the best way to ground them to the truck? Thank you.

-- Don't (Wanna@Blow.Up), December 08, 1999


Most gas stations will not allow you to fill a container in the back of a pickup. You must manually remove each container and place it on the ground to be filled.

There are two reasons for this. One is static. Most bedliners are a plastic that absolutely *loves* to shed electrons and are easy to create a static buildup. The other is the closed pickup tends to act as a reservoir for gasoline fumes which "collect" in the basin shape of the pickup bed.

Your cardboard (to keep the containers from sliding around) against the plastic is *ideal* and nearly guaranteed to create a static buildup should it move around in the bed much. (Wet cardboard would be different)

If your container is of such size that you can't take it from the bed for filling, use a "ground strap" made for the purpose to ground the fill nozzle to some tank "protrusion." (static charge tends to build up at "points" where it can easily jump to ground) Also, you want to use a similar strap to ground the tank to the vehicle metal part somewhere.

To fill a plastic container on the ground outside the vehicle, a ground strap from nozzle to container is good practice but not essential. The contact of your body removing the container from the pickup is usually adequate to dissipate any static.

"Ground Straps" are available from McMaster-Carr, Langley, or other industrial supply concerns that deal with drum handling equipment. I would use a commercial ground strap in preference to a "homebrew" rig made from jumper cables or some other non-adapted device. (It's disconcerting when the clip "jumps off" the grounded container or nozzle while you're filling.)

Best regards,

-- Joe (, December 08, 1999.

What part of a plastic gas can do you "ground?" I've seen a lot of references to grounding gas cans but I'd assumed they were for metal cans.

-- Gary S. (, December 08, 1999.

is kerosene to be treated exactly the way gasoline is when transporting it home? or is it less sensitive? can i carry it in my trunk?

-- tt (, December 08, 1999.

As I said in the response above, put the clip of the ground strap onto any "protrusion" on the exterior of the "jug." Around the neck at the fill opening would be good or perhaps the vent connection if it is closed.

(Make sure the caps are "on" in each of these examples: otherwise you have wasted your time by going to the trouble of making a "ground" to drain off the static charge while the "vapors" contained within the container are *adjacent* to the potential spark path. Only open the caps once the jug is "grounded.")

I know it seems kind of funny to "ground" a plastic (i.e. nonconductive) object, but the static charge builds up on the surface of the jug, not in the jug itself as it would with a metal can. The manual handling of the jug in the case of those taken from the pickup bed or the act of "grounding" the jug for those in the pickup bed drain off a lot of the static charge.

Kerosene is *much* less explosive and I would have no qualms about carrying a kerosene jug in my closed car, even on a hot day.

Best regards,

-- Joe (, December 08, 1999.

NAPA auto parts stores sell vehicle grounding straps for about $5 which are an excellent thing to have on a vehicle where fuel transfer may be involved. I won't carry fuel inside my van but also don't want to take my steel drums to town in the pickup and advertise my stocking up on fuel ("Hey Ed, Don's filling drums at the Beacon station, have to remember that..."). Small cans are doable but too much hassle. So I have a 12 vdc Holley fuel pump (97gph) and use it to pump fuel from my front gas tank and into drums. The drums are grounded, vehicle is grounded...should be no problem. I WOULD be concerned about static though if the van didn't have the strap, and would have to ground the van chassis.

-- Don Kulha (, December 08, 1999.


Thanx for the idea,

So I have a 12 vdc Holley fuel pump (97gph) and use it to pump fuel from my front gas tank and into drums.

I have a 1000+ trip planned for the roll over, if it's really bad. I'll be dealling with diesel in my truck, and didn't want to fill the extra drum in back at the local gas station, or have it standing up right in the back... this is perfect !!!... with a little creative plubming... :-)

-- CT (ct@no.yr), December 09, 1999.

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