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AnonEEMouse

join:2013-02-27

Safety gas tank nearly blew up

Click for full size
About a year ago I needed a new gas tank, the only one I could find was the new "safety" gas tanks with the silly handle contraption on them. I store my gas in a vented shed, Today I went to fill my blower up and found the gas tank had nearly exploded. I was almost afraid to pick it up, the entire tank was bloated and clearly had a lot of pressure on it. I wrapped it in garbage bag and took it outside carefully and let the pressure out with a shovel. I've attached a picture of the deformed tank after I had let the pressure out.

What did I do wrong or is this just a problem with the new tanks? Where can you buy just a regular gas tank? I've never seen this happen to them in my life!

I keep my gas in a vented shed, the vent fan turns on once the temp reaches 80 and it rarely goes over 90 in direct sun because it's shaded by a large tree. Is it safe to store it in here vs the garage?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Mine bloat all of the time. It's never caused any problems. The plastic holds the pressure. What makes you think that yours almost exploded?


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to AnonEEMouse
In winter, if you fill up a balloon with air from outside (cold air) and bring it inside a heated location, that balloon will expand.

It basically bloated because the air that was originally put it was at a much lower temperature than the current local temperature, so that air expanded but had no exit, so it pushed against the plastic and bloated it.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
reply to AnonEEMouse
Well I guess the question about the tank holding gas without leaking has been answered!
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
I just don't understand why one would attack a gas can in that shape with a shovel. I think it does now leak!


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to AnonEEMouse
You over reacted big time. It's not like it was going to blow up in to fire and brimstone. This is fairly normal with changing temperatures/seasons.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to AnonEEMouse
They take a much higher pressure than you can imagine.
A soda bottle holds about 100-150psi before bursting.


natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to AnonEEMouse
The gas can would only explode if the gas was ignited. At the very worse, your can would split and the gas would leak out.
I have to admit though, I've never seen a can retain its bloated shape after the air was released, which probably means the can was full to the gills and left in a very warm environment for a long period.
BTW, in the winter the opposite effect happens.
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to AnonEEMouse
The can will not "blow up". Yes, it will build up a bit of pressure and bloat when the can is heated, but the plastic is quite strong and the pressure is, despite appearances, not that significant.

I had this happen a lot when I used to work for a landscaping business. Gas cans left in direct sunlight with the vent cap closed.

Never had any incident as a result. Just vent the pressure before use and it's perfectly ok.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to natedj
said by natedj:

The gas can would only explode if the gas was ignited.

While it's hard to imagine the circumstances, attacking a pressurized gas can with a metal object has the potential of creating a spark and then ignition. I think it was a really bad choice to use a shovel to puncture the can.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to natedj
said by natedj:

BTW, in the winter the opposite effect happens.

Good thing it wasn't winter. That guy would have thought his gas tank has a black hole inside it and who knows what he would have done then.


BloatedCan

@comcast.net
reply to TheMG
said by TheMG:

The can will not "blow up".

If used properly (not overfilled) there is very little danger despite the pressure. It may leak or burst if there is no air cushion left for expansion because someone filled it completely with gas.

AnonEEMouse

join:2013-02-27

1 edit
reply to AnonEEMouse
Jeez, I didn't destroy the can with the shovel, I just used it to press down the handle and let the gas out.

I may have overreacted but I was not aware the gas cans could hold that much pressure, the entire time I had memories from my child hood of a basketball exploding but this time with a gas can! It was unreal how much the can had expanded, the sides were much more puffed out than they were at the time I took the photo.

The can was not full at all, it had about half a tank, however I did add some fuel stabilizer/conditioner so maybe that had something to do with it but I'm not sure.

I left it out in the sun today (with the lid off, empty) and it's pretty much back to its original shape and I'm gathering from the posts it's still safe to use.

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to AnonEEMouse
At night or in a cold basement vent them and reseal them. Or if the can is large enough (5 gallons), take 2 knees and squeeze the can with your knees before you tighten the lid to leave a vacuum in the can.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to AnonEEMouse
All of mine bloat, especially in the summer.

If you're really worried get a metal container. They are expensive but they are available and legal to use.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to AnonEEMouse
said by AnonEEMouse:

Jeez, I didn't destroy the can with the shovel, I just used it to press down the handle and let the gas out.

I may have overreacted but I was not aware the gas cans could hold that much pressure

Glad to hear that. I may have overreacted to your bagging and shoveling of the can also. The fact that the can wasn't full could have something to do with it. It seems like my cans expand more when they aren't full as there is more area for gas. I will make a guess here that although the can holds pressure really well, it may not do the same with a vacuum. In other words, if it sat in the shed over the winter and the temp got cold condensing the fuel and gas, it could have allowed air to enter and then when the temps warmed up that added to the pressurization of the can.

AnonEEMouse

join:2013-02-27
I believe that's exactly it. The can was about half full and it was about 40f during the night then about 85f the next day. I bet the large swing had something to do with more gas vapors forming in the tank.

It's never done this before - that was what perplexed me! I've seen it both puffed up and vacuumed down, but it never was anything of a concern, however this time it looked like a blow-fish!


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
reply to AnonEEMouse
When was the fuel in the can purchased?
--
The talented hawk speaks French.

AnonEEMouse

join:2013-02-27
late 2011/early 2012, cant really remember exactly when, but its not that old.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Fuel sold in the winter evaporates at a lower temp than that purchased in the summer.

It was just curiosity that made me ask.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.

AnonEEMouse

join:2013-02-27
Duh, I'm still stuck in 2012, I meant to say late 2012, early 2013...

I'm sure the winter fuel cycle had something to do with it, plus I added stabilizer/additive.

I was curious how much gas turns to vapor, the article below seems to say that in the summer ~14 PSI @ 100f is the max for the summer, but in the winter its around 20~ PSI @ 100f. Interesting read though.

»www.energytrendsinsider.com/2007···asoline/


hasanmusthaf

@telkom.net.id
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

In winter, if you fill up a balloon with air from outside (cold air) and bring it inside a heated location, that balloon will expand.

It basically bloated because the air that was originally put it was at a much lower temperature than the current local temperature, so that air expanded but had no exit, so it pushed against the plastic and bloated it.

alkizmo,

is your explanation valid for all material of the tank? what if I had my fuel tank that attached on my truck and went bloated? what is the cause?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Do you really attach that type of fuel can to your truck in Indonesia?