Home Misc How To: Long Term Gasoline Storage

How To: Long Term Gasoline Storage


Natural disasters and unprecedented blackouts happen more nowadays. Because of global warming issues, these occurrences seem to grow even more inevitable each day. It becomes ideal to act accordingly by preparing for such happenings. One of the most important things to have in storage is a source of power which in this article is fuel in the form of gasoline.

Why Gasoline

Storing gasoline is not very easy to do, especially for long periods of time. Unlike kerosene, gasoline is very sensitive to weather conditions and may blow up if improperly stored. Even so, it is a more effective fuel to use, keep in storage; and more reliable when it comes to power quality. It is also more widely used than other fuel types. Most engines and kitchen appliances today are powered by gasoline, which makes it even more sensible to store this type of fuel in particular.

Fire Codes and Regulations

Local and state fire codes and regulations have certain restrictions on how much gasoline each home is allowed to store. Before proceeding to store any type of fuel, check with both local and state fire departments about this matter. Most codes and regulations limit homeowners to store a maximum of 25 gallons of gasoline.

Stable Temperature for Storage

Storing gasoline for an extremely long period of time requires weather stability and good temperature. This is the difficult part since it is impossible to tell how the weather will fluctuate each day, month or season. An underground location or burying the tank will make it much easier to keep the gasoline in a stable temperature. 55 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature target to keep the gasoline, and the user, in safe condition. If there is no way to provide underground storage, then a stabilizer is definitely needed.

Leakage and Prevention

Although there are advantages in keeping gasoline tanks underground, there are also some disadvantages. Gas containers will leak eventually, especially when left unchecked for too long. Even steel tanks will rust underground or grow thin due to the changing chemistry of the soil. In this case, it’s imperative to at least double coat the tanks with rust inhibitors or roofing tar. This will greatly slow the negative effects of underground storage. Some specialty tanks for underground gasoline storage might be found in specific stores, but will be costly.

Correct Container Type


Steel tanks or drums are the ideal containers for above ground storage. They should be placed with a hand pump if grouped vertically or a spigot valve if layered horizontally on a rack. The shed where the gasoline tanks will be stored needs to be clutter free. It must have good ventilation to prevent build up of heat, a stabilizer for each tank is also necessary. During the cold seasons, the valves on each tank must be adjusted to relieve pressure; otherwise, the gasoline will simply freeze up. Check out the top 3 machetes.

A Note About Stabilizers

Fuel contains a lot of volatile compounds that evaporate relatively quickly, leaving behind a lower quality fuel that does not burn a well in your engine.  Perhaps more importantly, some characteristics of the low-quality leftover fuel can oxidize or gunk up your engine parts and actually ruin them.  If you’re storing fuel for more than a couple months, I’d suggest a stabilizer.  Once you have stabilizer, it’s not uncommon to have fuel last (potentially) for a couple years!  Yes, it’s true!  I know this from experience, so please do lay in on me for “poorly researched” information.  I know of what I speak on this one since I do have experience storing regular fuel that has worked perfectly in my mower, blower and wacker even after being stored for over 2 years.  Your experience may be different, but there’s no arguing that stabilizer will only help!  We’re not going into depth reviewing stabilizers here, but there are some decent ones you can get pretty inexpensively.  You can see some of our recommendations HERE.

STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer - Guaranteed To Keep Fuel Fresh Fuel Up To Two Years - Effective In All Gasoline Including All Ethanol Blended Fuels - For Quick, Easy Starts, 16 fl. oz. (22207)

Safety Reminders

  • Never use any type of glass container to store gasoline in. It is highly dangerous because it can generate heat easily; this temperature imbalance could very well trigger a catastrophe.
  • Never use plastic containers or buckets to store gasoline in. No matter how durable or thick they are, the gasoline will “melt” parts of the container over time which will cause leakage.
  • Never store gasoline indoors, especially within the house. The garage or basement is no exception. A separate tool shed is an ideal place for storage; if not underground, away from the house is highly advised.
  • Never fill containers indoors either. Accidents may happen anywhere and anytime, and even the simple act of filling a container with gasoline could lead to a mishap. Perform this task outdoors in an open area with no distractions or bothersome objects nearby.
  • Never leave stored gasoline unlabelled. Always indicate the contents of a container, even if it obviously contains fuel. Safety precautions should be kept in mind when handling and storing flammable fuels, most especially gasoline.


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