Flammable Objects & the Weather

Jul 20, 2012 by

I have a thing for flammable objects.

I also like to collect things.

This lead to my gas can collection… I have enough containers for 58 gallons of gasoline. The spouse, however, wisely won’t let me keep more than 10 gallons full on the property.  So I got my two best cans and bought new seals, filled them up at the gas station, drove cautiously home with them and added STA-BIL. STA-BIL, in theory, makes the gas good for a year or so. But we live in Florida, and store the gas outside (after discovering that gas stored in the garage wafts odors through the house… not cool). So we rotate it every 6 months or so.

Two Gasoline Cans in a Field

The last time we rotated it was on the 6 month mark, right after baby Aurora was born. The gas was fine, and so was the car we put it into.  We refilled the 10 gallons of gas… but I was busy with a newborn, and didn’t have a chance to go out to the garage and get my hands dirty with gasoline and STA-BIL. I kept saying I was going to do it.. I was going to do it.. but I didn’t.

So last week we went to actually use up the gasoline, both because we needed gas, and because it was high time to replace it with more, and use a stabilizing agent this time.

Know what happened?  Each 5 gallon container had evaporated down past the halfway mark. Even in a sealed (with ventilation), official shiny red gas can. They were stored in the same location as the last batch, over the same kind of weather, and phsssstt… they evaporated.

My immediate concern was getting new gas, of course.  Which, cough, we still haven’t done.  But I had no idea gas would evaporate at such a rate. I always thought of STA-BIL as a stabilizing agent to make the gas effective and safe for your machinery, but I’m going to theorize here and say that it also kept the first batch of gasoline from evaporating.

Just a little lesson learned that I wanted to share with you. Stablizing agent is a necessity, and it really isn’t fun to need your gas cans and find that half of what you thought you had stored floated away on the wind. Plus that was $20 worth of gas too.

Now to go get more gasoline..

~ Sandy Taylor

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