There was a time when gas cans came with a flexible metal spout that made it easy to fill a tank with. But, in their infinite wisdom, someone in the government decided that if something is working, they must find a way to screw it up. So they did, by mandating a new non-flexible “safety spout” that has a little gizmo on the side that has to be pushed into the rim of the tank as you are filling it before the fuel will flow.
These newfangled things suck. First of all, because they are not flexible, you have to hold a gas can almost upside down to get it to work. That’s assuming you can get the little safety mechanism to engage on the rim of the tank you are filling, so it will work at all. The end result is that more gas gets spilled on you and on the ground than ever gets in the tank. Or at least that has been my experience.
A while back, we discovered Surecans, which have a spout on the bottom and a trigger mechanism on the handle. This makes filling a car or portable generator’s gas tank a lot easier, but when you have a 5 gallon can of gas that you’re holding in the air, it gets heavy pretty quickly.
We always keep several cans of gas on hand for our two Honda generators because it is not uncommon to have power outages that last for days around here during hurricane season. I put STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer in the gas, and it will keep for months at a time.
But every so often, I like to rotate it by pouring the gas from the cans into one of our cars and refilling the cans with fresh gas. Since the tank in the Ford Explorer was getting low, I decided to do that yesterday. We still have a couple of the cans with the government-mandated filler spouts, and it didn’t take me long to start cussing when I tried to use one and made a mess of things.
A while back, my friend Jim Lewis had seen something called a Turbo Pump advertised on TV and bought one for him and one for me. It uses three AA batteries and you put one end in a gas can and the other end in the car’s filler and latch the simple clip to keep it in place, and turn it on. I decided to give it a try, and I’m impressed!
It emptied a 5 gallon can into the Explorer’s tank in about two minutes, with no mess and no fuss, and even less time for a 3 gallon can. Jimmy did good! The Turbo Pump also has an automatic shutoff device, so you can start filling a car’s gas tank or whatever and don’t have to stand there monitoring thing, because once the tank gets full, it shuts off so you and have a mess to clean up. Do yourself a favor and grab one of these, they are available on Amazon and worth every penny!
Congratulations Nancy Cullinan, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 43 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – Some people drink from the well of knowledge. Others just rinse and spit.