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Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:33 pm
by williaty
We have a little tractor that's the only diesel engine in our fleet. We've been buying it fuel 5 gallons at a time and, though it doesn't use fuel very fast at all, that's been enough to keep us from running into gelling trouble in the winter. However, it's kind of a pain in the ass to go find diesel (it's uncommon here) for a tiny amount. I've got some larger plastic barrels that I used to store a couple years' worth of kero in (before we switched to firewood as our heat) that I'd like to use for diesel now. The smallest barrel is probably close to a year's supply of diesel for us and I need to buy now. Obviously, that means I'll be buying summer diesel. With the gas we store, I just dump some PRI-G into it and rotate through the store and we never have any problems. I know there's PRI-D for diesel to make it store longer but the marketing flyer doesn't say that PRI-D also includes something to lower the gelling temperature.

So what do I need to do to be able to store diesel for a year and have summer diesel not gel up in the tractor when it hits -20 (uncommon, but has happened 4 times in the last 5 years)?

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:19 pm
by zombieapocalypsegame
You want to put diesel into a plastic drum? I wouldn't do that.

I'd find a metal barrel of whatever size you need, particularly if the drum is going to be exposed to heat fluctuations. This is especially true for longer term storage.

To be fair, I wouldn't do it with kerosene either.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:33 pm
by williaty
zombieapocalypsegame wrote:You want to put diesel into a plastic drum? I wouldn't do that.

I'd find a metal barrel of whatever size you need, particularly if the drum is going to be exposed to heat fluctuations. This is especially true for longer term storage.

To be fair, I wouldn't do it with kerosene either.
It works fine, they're rated for it. Kerosene is far more active and reactive that diesel and people store kero for years to decades in the right kind of plastic drums. Our oldest drum of kerosene is 5 years, stored in a shed that's not climate controlled, and both it and the kero are unchanged by the experience.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:43 pm
by grennels
I've been storing gasoline in a chem rated plastic drum for years without problems.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:00 pm
by raptor
I have stored diesel in plastic fuel containers (they are yellow) for years. The marine world uses these for kerosene and diesel. As long as they are fuel grade they are fine for diesel.

If you can easily find a 55 gallon drum I do agree they are superior,but it it is a PITA to get out unless you have the proper pump. So do not sweat it if you cannot find one.

I also store diesel for generators and a boat. Stabil --D works great. I have never put stabil-g in diesel though and suspect it is not suitable. Gas and diesel have different issues with degradation.

I know Stabil-D will keep fuel usable for at least 2 years.

Unfortunately I know very little about gelling other than there are products the prevent gelling quite effectively. I would imagine they can combine stabilizers and ant-gelling agents.

When storing fuel you want to keep the cap on the fuel tank and not allow any moisture to contaminate the fuel. Diesel engines especially hate water in the fuel.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:48 pm
by ZombieSoldier01
you can certainly store diesel in plastic as long as its rated for petroleum. As far as gelling, i would put in some DieselKleen in the white bottle (white bottle is winter formula, silver bottle summer, red bottle is emergency anti-gelling).

http://powerservice.com/psp_product/die ... ane-boost/

now they also make a product for long term storage but i do not know about its gel resistance.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:30 pm
by zombieapocalypsegame
So what would be classified as the right kind of plastic drums for kerosene or diesel?

Many people don't use the right stuff even for things like rain water barrels to water their flowerbeds, let alone for a more specific and potentially hazardous use.

How long do such barrels last? Do you buy them new? What are they rated for re: fire / heat near them? How puncture resistant are they?

Not trying to be difficult - I'd like to learn and know the why & how. I know diesel & kerosene have dramatically different flash points, etc.

I don't like the typical 55 gallon HDPE barrels in very common use (such as my own for potable water) because of the strong static charge they create just by moving them around. When cutting the tops open on food grade ones rated for use as potable water containers, all the shavings stay put due to the static. Hell, just brushing up against them in the garage I can feel the charge there. I certainly wouldn't use those for fuel. :) Are the fuel-rated ones different?

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:51 pm
by williaty
zombieapocalypsegame wrote:So what would be classified as the right kind of plastic drums for kerosene or diesel?

Many people don't use the right stuff even for things like rain water barrels to water their flowerbeds, let alone for a more specific and potentially hazardous use.

How long do such barrels last? Do you buy them new? What are they rated for re: fire / heat near them? How puncture resistant are they?

Not trying to be difficult - I'd like to learn and know the why & how. I know diesel & kerosene have dramatically different flash points, etc.

I don't like the typical 55 gallon HDPE barrels in very common use (such as my own for potable water) because of the strong static charge they create just by moving them around. When cutting the tops open on food grade ones rated for use as potable water containers, all the shavings stay put due to the static. Hell, just brushing up against them in the garage I can feel the charge there. I certainly wouldn't use those for fuel. :) Are the fuel-rated ones different?
The fuel cans you can buy for gasoline OPE are HDPE. The fuel cans you can buy for diesel OPE are HDPE. Hell, the fuel tank in the tractor this is going into is HDPE. It's a really, really common material to use for fuel storage in mass-produced applications

HDPE barrels are rated for containing diesel at temperatures of 20*C. HDPE is not certified for use with diesel at 60*C. Basically, keep the plastic temp below 100*F (splitting the difference between the forever-safe 20C value and the slow-degredation 60C value) and you're safe to store diesel in HDPE. Here in Ohio, we only see temps above that once every 3rd or 4th year. If you live in the southwest, you might have a bigger problem. Additionally, many HDPE barrels are translucent, which can promote algae growth. Since you're keeping them out of the sun to keep them below 100*F anyway, this is probably a non-issue for most people. The potential sticking point, though, is whether the manufacturer of the barrel you actually own bothered to get DOT certification or not. It costs money, so not all of them do it. If it's not DOT-certified, you can't drive the barrel to the gas station to fill it up (you'd have to have the diesel delivered to your location and transfer it to your barrel).


The HDPE barrels are very puncture resistant because the plastic is really thick. They're meant to survive loading dock encounters with the pointy ends of forklifts. I've dropped metal barrels several times and had them burst at the seam. Every plastic barrel I've dropped from the same height has just bounced and made my butt pucker. Beyond that, the static is a non-issue. Diesel is surprisingly hard to ignite without an open flame. Even diesel vapor doesn't light off as well as you'd expect and, because diesel is such a heavy oil, it doesn't make shit for vapor anyway. The only real risk is a fire starting near the barrel, melting the barrel, and pouring liquid diesel onto an existing fire. If you had it in a steel tank instead, it'd just have to heat up more before you had a BLEVE out of your drum, which is also more exciting than is desirable.

I buy used food-grade HDPE barrels because I can find them with former contents that wash out easily (soy sauce, vinegar, etc). I clean them a bunch of times, rinse them excessively, then circulate air through them for days to dry them out. You can, of course, buy new, but I can usually get used food-grade barrels for less than $15.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:12 am
by LowKey
Unless there is a compelling reason to do so, I wouldn't buy in fuel in the summer for storage.
The mixture is slightly different than fuel produced for winter use, and from what I've seen the winter mix should store better as well as be slower to gel up in colder temperatures.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:18 am
by ZombieSoldier01
Sorry for the late reply, i just got notification, and it looks like it has been covered already. But one thing to look at with diesel fuel storage is water in the fuel. Where there is water in fuel, you will find algae. When that algae gets into the fuel system it can and will clog up filters and injectors, and burn up pumps. I just worked on a 2014 Freightliner with a Cummins ISL owned by the city that they were filling out of a diesel storage tank in their lot, and it took out their whole fuel system because of algae.

Re: Buying diesel in the summer and storing until winter?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:49 am
by gary83
I know there are diesel additives that can help stabilize the diesel or disperse any water to avoid algae from growing.