Safe transfer of fuel from portable cans cans to fuel tanks

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skydawg

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Found an easier way to transfer fuel from plastic gas cans to c172 plane using simple & cheap jiggle siphon hose. Works great, empting 5 gal can in about 3 minutes….. I let it flow as I do walk around. I use regular ethanol car gas, so fill cans on way to airport.

The flow is fast enough that I am concerned about static electricity as the tank is not contacting ground even though both can is contacting wing (although on painted surface) and hose is contacting bare metal filler cap hole and aluminum tank. To be on safe side, will likely make a wire with clamps on each end to connect plane to ground tie down cable or just lay it on ground for contact. Wondering if I should also connect can to bare metal to be Uber safe. I‘m also in a dry area especially in winter and static electricity is a concern. May have to get my hands on a static electricity meter to be sure.

wondering if anyone has done any investigation on this subject for pointers. I know metal cans are better for this reason, but they scratch the paint and are more work.

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Pops

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I used one of those shake and drain fuel valves in a hose and they work good.
How do you used ethanol auto gas in the straight tail 172 ?
I got some ethanol from an auto pump that was not placarded having ethanol by state law and had to have the carb overhauled , fuel valve started leaking badly with fuel dripping out the bottom of the fuselage and had to replaced the hose to the carb on my 1959 Cessna 172.
 

skydawg

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c172 has a V8 that is flex fuel.
ethanol is fine for most wet wings as long as you change out the seals….. I posted our challenges with converting airframe to ethanol in prior posts.

POPS- curious if You noticed any damage on hose over time due to gas exposure.

We normally fill the plane from a SUV which we removed the check valve from its gas filler, allowing us to simply stick a hose down the filler and pump it to plane using a 12v transfer pump. That works great especially when transferring 15 or more gallons. We bond the car to the airframe when doing that…. There’s a photo on www.corsairv8.com of filling from the car if interested…..it works great, but with gas costing what it does, I will often be in another car and fill cans at a gas station that’s cheaper, such as Costco. Also, you can get a refund for the highway taxes. Savings add up…. My FBO is almost $8/gal for AVGAS, and I just paid $4.35/gal at local corner station.

yet I digress….. plastic tanks are a bit more complicated for grounding. I think I may have to test using a static electricity meter and different methods to ground the cans and hose to be sure it is safe, but such meters are not cheap.
 

Pops

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The carb hose didn't look good on the inside. Rough and soft like it was starting to deteriorate. Don't know if it was the ethanol or for all I knew, it could have been the original hose from the factory in 1959. It was my work airplane and in the middle of the prime work time were I was flying 8-12 hrs a day and needed it everyday.
 

radfordc

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The problem with your system is that you have to get a 5 gal tank up on top of the wing. I helped an 80+ year old friend figure out a way to fuel his high wing plane. I made some fittings so that he could pressurize a 5 gal can and pump gas to the wing tank. Pretty simple....a length of copper tubing in the fill cap of the can running to the bottom; a replacement tubeless tire air valve, and a quick release valve to stop the gas flow instantly. A few PSI of air pressure would get the fuel flowing good.
 

Derswede

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Glad to see this thread. One of my old jobs was blowing up gasoline pumps to see how to make them safer. Yes, you can generate static when using plastic fuel cans. Yes, you need to mitigate static every chance you can. Most fuel pump hoses have a wire run from one fitting at the pump to the fitting for the nozzle. That allows for static to discharge safely from the vehicle to the pump to ground (dispensers are always grounded per NEC). The standard ground clips at aircraft fuel points are extra prevention. We found that is very dry/cold locations (ex- Iceland), static charges could still build. Separate ground lines EXTERNAL to the hoses were added. A separate ground clip would work better, but we had enough of a challenge in getting people to remove the nozzle from the tank before driving off, the ground clip would not survive a day. One thing that we did try was an AL plate with a cliplead/wire attached to it. Plastic tank sits on the AL plate, the cliplead goes to ground. Ground the airplane somewhere away from the tank entrance, even a small amount of residual static can create enough spark to ignite vapors. Once you have seen the results of such an explosion, you never want to see it again. Be safe out there!

Derswede
 

BBerson

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I think you need a 6” piece of copper tube in the end of that non-conductive plastic hose to ground to the filler cap. (to disburse static on the inside of the hose before it exits the hose). The gas pump nozzle is always metal
 

Twodeaddogs

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The ethanol content can ruin aircraft hoses, especially the older non braided type. I found one on an inspection, after a report of poor fuel flow and black particles appearing in the carb. We stripped the carb and found tiny bits of rubber in the float bowl and jets. We pulled the hose and cut it open and the inside of the hose entirely reduced to jelly and could be peeled away with a finger. We pulled all the other fuel hoses and found the same. Every hose had to be changed out, as did gascolator and filler cap seals. Auto hoses to at least R9 standard are required. I've also seen old seals and gaskets curl up from contact with ethanol, on vintage bikes and cars. Another effect is the destruction of the inside of fibreglass tanks that have been sloshed with sealing compound. There are videos on Yootoob showing how to test for and separate out ethanol from Mogas.
 

Dana

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I think you need a 6” piece of copper tube in the end of that non-conductive plastic hose to ground to the filler cap. (to disburse static on the inside of the hose before it exits the hose). The gas pump nozzle is always metal
That's what I did when I had my Kolb. A brass ball valve on the discharge end, the can was pressurized with a foot pump made to fill air mattresses.
 

skydawg

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here is what I came up with...it's cheap and simple, like me. I ran a bare wire (low enough gauge to be flexible but also have the low enough path of resistance suitable for the low static levels we are talking) inside the hose. One end of wire contacting the metal jiggle valve contacts the can), the other end bent wide enough to make tension contact with bare metal filler cap hole. May be a bit more than needed, but easy.

I figure I could always ground the airframe to tie down anchor to be Uber safe.
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rv7charlie

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The ethanol content can ruin aircraft hoses, especially the older non braided type.
Agreed. But teflon lined hose is immune. Almost all the rotary guys use E-gas all the time, and more and more Lyc guys are using it, with proper precautions related to hoses & gasketing. It's a non-issue for aluminum parts.

(Don't confuse E-gas (common mogas) with Methanol; that's a completely different animal.)
 

Skippydiesel

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Okay - full disclosure - My body has reached a certain level of "maturity". The brain has yet to get caught up with this reality. Somewhere along the way we/I achieved consensuses between reality and fantasy - something had to be done about getting the shakes lifting 20 L or even 10 L fuel containers above waist height, for anything over a few seconds, resulting in fuel spillages, which is as we aviators all know, is an aggreges waste of money. Couple this with the stench of petrol on my cloths -uuugh!

I have a solution its called a12 Volt Holley fuel (vain) pump.

My one (a cheap copy), suitably modified by the addition of a length of fuel hose, a repurposed poly irrigation pipe (spike), a sealed on/of switch, a couple of alligator clamps and an earth/ground lead.

It is self priming and can easily lift fuel from the ground to the height of a Cessna wing tank. Delivers 20 L in about 3-4 minutes - total cost, 6 years ago, $90 Australian.

You can use any 12 V car/motorcycle battery or connect to your aircraft power. The pump can be easily disassembled to make a compact package in your luggage bay (I carry 20L X 2 fuel bladders for fetching ULP when away from home). Good idea to plug all orifices to reduce the smell of fuel in the cockpit & minimise the risk of fuel contamination.
 

skydawg

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Thanks for suggestion but already have a 12v pump, but just occasionally the cans are more convenient and the jiggle hose doesn‘t make any mess.
 

Osalsa

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My first post on the forum. For several years I have used the Goatthroat manual transfer pump for the no-ethanol mogas used in my SkyRaider I aircraft. The fuel feeds from a Scepter 5gal HDPE fuel can (at Walmart) through the pump into a hose and into the fuel fillers on top of the wings. I use this system because I want NO spilled fuel on the wing, which is painted with fuel-susceptible paint. The manual pump itself attaches to the fuel can, which I place into an attached wooden enclosure on a folding aluminum work platform and stand on the platform myself to gain access to the top of the wing. This reduces the elevation required to pump the gas from the can to the fuel filler. Works great, no spills; I'm sold on it. My pump model uses Viton o-rings for gasoline resistance. I periodically replace one o-ring in the discharge tap (the fuel nozzle); I buy the replacement o-rings at Harbor Freight (much cheaper) in their Viton O-ring kit. The fuel nozzle is like the nozzle at the gas station. The setup, less the 5gal fuel can, is a couple hundred dollars at Aircraft Spruce. Goatthroat Fuel Transfer Pump | Aircraft Spruce
 
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