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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Confusion
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 02:37:38 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 12 Nov 2003 05:42:50 GMT, (EJGroth) wrote:

>Is home heating fuel also considered #2 diesel? I've heard it can be used in a
>pinch - (although it's untaxed and illegal.) I've thought about adding an extra
>oil tank in my home and keeping it filled just in case there is another oil
>embargo some day.

You might want to look here:

The "Fuel type/requirements" paper is an excellent treatise on diesel fuels.

On storing fuel, you'll probably find it more trouble than it's worth.  Long
term storage of diesel fuel requires some effort to keep it dry, keep it from
waxing and keep the fungus from growing in it.  Nuclear plants have to store
fuel for the emergency diesel generators - thousands of gallons of it.  Most
plants punt and pay to have the old fuel hauled off after about 5 years and
new fuel delivered.  Even 5 years requires serious conditioning, both
physically and chemically.  I believe that the Bureau of Reclamation has
published its standby generator procedures which should address fuel storage.
You might look here:

If I was going to bunker some sort of fuel, it would be propane.  AFAK,
propane can be stored forever in a tank.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: Experience with "cheap" portable diesel gensets?
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:12:31 -0500
Message-ID: <>

In the past I've stored gasoline long term in 55 gallon drums
overpressured with 12 psi of either butane (preferred) or propane.
This technique maintains the Reid Vapor Pressure, stops oxidation and
evaporation.  Once the bungs are sealed tightly, one of those cans of
butane fuel used by lanterns and those tabletop stoves will pressurize
several drums for years. My purpose was essentially the same as you
describe for this guy in the forum.

One still has the problem of where to store the drums.  While I don't
mind having some gas cans in the house or garage, I do NOT want a few
hundred gallons of gasoline under my roof.  That means some sort of
outbuilding or shed or at least pallets and a canvas tarp.

One final comment.  If you use gasoline, do NOT use anything copper in
contact with the fuel.  NACA discovered back during WWII that copper
catalyzes the polymerization of gasoline into "gunk".  Bronze and
brass are OK.  No copper tubing, not even a little.  Copper isn't that
much of a problem if you're constantly using the engine but for
standby service, copper is a big NO-NO.

I finally realized that I was going to an awful lot of trouble when
compared to a single 500 or 1000 gallon propane tank. Fill 'er up and
forget 'er.  If flooding is a problem then get the burial type.  If
groundwater floatation is a problem, anchor the thing down before
backfilling over it.

On 26 Mar 2006 08:21:26 -0800, "GrtArtiste" <>

>Just out of curiosity, what reasons do you have for not wanting to
>"store a lot of gasoline on site"?  Is it safety, cost, the
>neighbors...or something else?  Reason I ask is there is a recent
>thread on Garden Web
>and the author seems to think his plan is a great one to store 80
>gallons of gas for the expressed purpose (other than a few lights and
>the fridge) of running several window A/C units so he can be
>comfortable after the next hurricane goes through. The response to his
>plan seems mostly favorable.  I dunno if it's a good plan or not.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: Experience with "cheap" portable diesel gensets?
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 03:20:11 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 23:19:23 GMT, "Gil Faver" <Rowdy'>

>interesting re the pressurization.  How do you do that?  Is
>the can of butane permanently plumbed in to the drum?  Or do
>you pressurize it and remove?

I leave the pressure can hooked up all the time.  The gasoline will
reach an equilibrium with the butane and quit absorbing it after
awhile.  I guess one could seal off the drum but I never bothered.

I made some down'n'dirty adapters.  I drilled a hole in the small bung
plug, positioned a 3/8" hose Tee over the hole and filled the space in
the plug around the Tee with epoxy.  I simply stood the drums side by
side and daisy-chained the Tees together with EFI fuel line.  The
typical bung plug is thick enough that it could be drilled and tapped
for an NPT Tee but I wanted to make several very rapidly so I used the
epoxy method.

The pressurization assembly consisted of a can of butane fuel, the
valve assembly from an old butane lantern snarfed up from a pawn shop
and a small pressure regulator I had on hand.  A "high pressure"
propane regulator as used with those propane fired fish fryers would
probably work.  I think that they'll go to 15 psi.

I've read that propane is sometimes used to trim Reid Vapor Pressure
at the refinery but butane is more common.  I prefer butane because it
is lost more slowly once the gasoline is dispensed to atmospheric
pressure.  The proper RVP is important for cold weather starting and
smooth running.  Too high a RVP can cause hot weather vapor lock and
flooding.  Twelve PSI at 70 deg F is typical.

Even though I didn't do it with my setup, I highly recommend equipping
the butane manifold with a pressure relief valve set to around 15 psi
to make sure an overpressure event can't burst a drum.  Tractor Supply
(and probably any other ag supply outfit) sells an adjustable "back
pressure regulator" valve for chemical spray rigs.  It works well as a
relief valve.


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Hurricane... Inverter in car, or generator on balcony
Date: Sat, 27 May 2006 14:00:41 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 27 May 2006 08:21:14 -0700, wrote:

>I'd like at least 750 watts for the inverter and would like your
>thoughts and opinions about a permanent installation of such a unit in
>my car (I will probably have a car alarm/stereo place do the install).
>Or, should i reconsider the small Honda generators instead?

Bad idea.  I'll leave it to you to go out on the net and learn the
difference between starting batteries and deep discharge batteries.
You have a couple of key words to google for now.

The other problem is energy density.  An old rule of thumb is that
1000 lbs of lead-acid batteries contain the same energy as a gallon of

Tying these two thoughts together, you'd need a thousand lbs of
batteries to supply the same load for the same period of time as a
single gallon of gas in a generator would.

I'd recommend a portable generator.  The Honda EU is good, though I
try to direct people to other brands because Honda does everything it
legally can to price-fix, prohibiting advertising price on the net and
so on.  Yamaha makes a line of inverter generators that is as good if
not better than the Hondas for a bit less money.  There's a ChiCom
clone of the EU (can't recall the name right now) that has gotten good
reviews.  I can't actually recommend one because I've yet have my
hands on one to test but I will mention it here.

Regarding the condo association, screw 'em.  In a weather emergency,
even the worst of the busy-bodies will have his hands too full to worry
about generators.  The inverter generators are small, very quiet and
the amount of exhaust emitted is almost insignificant.  Certainly not
enough to bother anyone in adjacent units.

What you can do with your car is a) keep it filled with gas and b)
have a fuel tap installed so that you can harvest gas when you need it
without having to resort to siphoning.  A gas tap is nothing more than
a valve tee'd into the gas line, equipped with a nipple that a length
of rubber gas line can be slipped onto when needed.

All that is required to harvest gas is to crank the car's engine to
fire off the fuel pump, connect some hose and turn the valve.  EFI
fuel pumps can move a lot of fuel quickly so it won't take long to
harvest a gallon or two at a time.

An added advantage is that the fuel is always fresh since you're
constantly using it during normal driving.

I've pretty much stopped keeping gas around the place for my gas
operated equipment.  I simply fill the tank of the weed whacker or
pressure washer directly from my car.

I'd probably want to have a 5 gallon gas can around for just in case
the storm surge gets to your car but I'd not keep it filled.  Just
fill it from the car tap when the bad weather is headed in.  If you
don't need the gas then you can pour it back into the car tank later.


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