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Old 06-17-2009, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default Storing diesel fuel.

It's that time of year again. My family here in FL have several portable generators that they keep around for extended outages. They're enough to run the fridge and a couple of fans, but result in a tangle of power cords and aren't up to heavy loads like the A/C.

I have some experience with small to mid-size (25-50 kVA) stationary generators from my days working on transmitter sites, however they've always been LPG. Propane is convenient, but bulky. In order to have sufficient runtime you wind up with a rather large tank, and since they live by the harbor, burial is not practical.

On the other hand, with a stationary diesel one could have a smallish outside tank, and refill it as needed from 5 gallon jugs stored in the garage or the pool closet.

Is it realistic to assume that diesel fuel could be stored both in closed jugs and in the local tank, at temperatures of up to 100F and humidity up to 100%, without maintenance of any kind, for periods of a year or more?
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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I've got a diesel truck at work that hasn't been refuelled in over 5 years. It only gets moved two or three times a year during inspections. Granted, it's in a fuel tank and it's sealed.... but what's in there is still strong enough to get the truck idling whenever I need it to.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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Don't forget that diesel fuel isn't explosive, another major benefit in its favor. And remember that diesel fuel is also #2 fuel oil, which is stored year-round in tanks and works just as good old and new (granted that burning isn't the same as using in an engine, but you get the idea). My buddy stores diesel in a couple of 275 gallon totes that he got for cheap. It's typically year or two old fuel that goes into them, which then sits until it gets used. So there's a constant cycle of fuel in and out, but it sits for a LOOOONG time and still goes fine in the trucks and the Jetta.

Here's the type of container he uses:
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by the_man View Post
Don't forget that diesel fuel isn't explosive, another major benefit in its favor. And remember that diesel fuel is also #2 fuel oil, which is stored year-round in tanks and works just as good old and new (granted that burning isn't the same as using in an engine, but you get the idea). My buddy stores diesel in a couple of 275 gallon totes that he got for cheap. It's typically year or two old fuel that goes into them, which then sits until it gets used. So there's a constant cycle of fuel in and out, but it sits for a LOOOONG time and still goes fine in the trucks and the Jetta.

Here's the type of container he uses:
You can get these for cheap or free if you go to a chemical distributer like Univar. I did some contract work for them and learned that lots of people that are into biodiesel come in and grab extra totes pretty often. Usually they have too many in the warehouse and need to get rid of them.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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That's what my buddy does. I forget where he gets them from, but he doesn't pay much, if anything, for them. I want to say that he buys them for cheap (like $20 each or something) from somebody who takes them free from a chemical plant and then cleans them out, but I could be thinking of 55 gallon drums.

Edit: Joe, there are likely regulations where you live about how much fuel you can store, especially in big outdoor containers. Just be discreet about it and you won't have any problems, though.
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