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  #1  
Old 07/07/10, 11:47 AM
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Question How and where to store kerosene?

I'm getting a kerosene heater as back up if we lose electricity. (Eventually, I also want a wood stove, but it's not in the budget right now.) I'm also getting several oil lamps. My question is how and where to store the kerosene. I've looked on the internet and I'm finding all kinds of misinformation. I've come here to get good information from a trusted source.

Here's what I've heard. Please tell me which of these is true:

1. You have to leave a window open an inch when you run a kerosene heater. Alternately I've read that you have to open the window only during the first several minutes of lighting the heater. Which is it? (I have an old house that breathes well. Is this step even necessary for me?)

2. Kerosene stores extremely well. Kerosene breaks down quickly. Which is it?

3. Kerosene burns cleanly. Kerosene is toxic. Which is it?

4. Never store kerosene in your house. If I can't store it in the house can I store it in the barn? Is kerosene affected by freezing temperatures? Can I store it in the plastic gallon containers that it comes in? Will the kerosene eventually break down the plastic? How long until that happens?

Thanks in advance for your help

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  #2  
Old 07/07/10, 12:45 PM
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i have 6 year old kerosine stored in a 6 gallon blitz can in the garage in wisconsin , it worked fine this last year , smelled a bit in the lamp

the applience deturmines inside our out it is all about how efficiently it burns it

http://www.britelyt.com/ has you light thier lantern/heater outside then move inside safly after a few minutes

had a frend growing up that had kerosine heaters in every room that used several D batteries for the ingnition and thermostat they kept thier kero in the basment with a pump , no the fire marshall may not like that as if there was a fire it would not be nice, a bulk tank in the garage with a pump or in a shed may be better , not sure about the jugs you buy it in , i have always bought it at the gas station current price is 3.99 a gallon from the pump.

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  #3  
Old 07/07/10, 01:12 PM
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I've never noticed it at the gas station. I'll have to check into that as they want $8+ per gallon online. And you just keep it in a (labeled) gas can?

Is your garage unheated? So the kerosene won't freeze?

Thanks so much

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  #4  
Old 07/07/10, 02:11 PM
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Kerosene that is kept dry, that is, no water allowed to enter the container, should keep indefinitely.

Some areas of the country you can find kero at the gas station, some you can call a coop and get it.

The best way to keep it would be in a barrel with a pump in an outbuilding. It is possible to have it delivered if you live in an area that uses heating oil. Some will deliver kerosene to your tank. It shouldn't freeze, but may get a little thick in very cold weather.

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  #5  
Old 07/07/10, 02:21 PM
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I keep it in 55 gal drums that are up off the ground, we don't use it at all now, but i just bought it as part of the preps for use in kero lamps eventually when the ele goes out.

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  #6  
Old 07/07/10, 02:39 PM
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I've just called a couple of companies about delivery. Most have a 150 gallon minimum, but one thought they could help me and had me leave a guy a voice message. Hopefully I'll be able to get this handled next month

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  #7  
Old 07/08/10, 01:36 AM
 
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There should be gas stations in your area that sells kero. You want the kind that is labeled 1k for use in a indoor heater. We store it in 5 gal containers that is for gas or kero. We burned some last winter that was 4 years old and burned like new. We do light the heater outside and let it get burning good then bring it in being very careful not to trip the tip switch on it. It is a great way to heat water or cook beans. Good luck finding your fuel. Here Sheetzs and some BP stations carry it. Sam

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  #8  
Old 07/08/10, 04:33 AM
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I keep my kerosene stored in 55 gallon drums in the barn. Kerosene will store for years, the only problem is moisture, which will can actually come from condensation due to temperature fluctuations. If you are storing bulk kerosene you should keep a "Mr. Funnel" on hand. When I pump my kerosene from the drum into a 5 gallon can I run it through the Mr. Funnel to remove any water that may have gotten into the kerosene. Any amount of water can cause problems with wicks, leading to wick replacement. I currently purchase mine at a local gas station for $3.13 a gallon.

When lighting kerosene heaters, there is a strong smell until the unit gets up to operating temp. I usually light mine on the porch and then carefully move it inside once the heater is burning clean. As far as safety goes... If the heater is burning correctly there should be no problems, if the wick becomes soiled or is not properly adjusted you could possibly produce enough carbon monoxide to cause a problem. I would suggest have a C02 detector in the house if you are using kerosene heaters.

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  #9  
Old 07/08/10, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTartan View Post
And you just keep it in a (labeled) gas can?
NO! Some people do, but after years of working construction and vehicle maintenance (yes, I 'm a woman) we never will. Gas cans are RED for a reason, to avoid mix up. Kerosene is kept in a BLUE can. It's a national (possibly international - never thought to look) standard. Kerosene can's are usually in the heater section of the hardware store or Wally World type places....not the car section. Price is the same as the gas cans, so if your spending the money do it right. If you're going 55 gal drum, but the right color can of rustolum to paint it.

As far as ventilation, read the book that comes with yours. I've heard it both ways, too. I know as a kid we had one running in the tack room at the barn, it produced fumes, but the room was FAR from sealed so we didn't do anything for ventilation - it was provided by the 200 yr old barn naturally. We don't run anything in our house without a CO detector up and running (battery operated, not one tired to the power grid).
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Last edited by Ohio dreamer; 07/08/10 at 08:41 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07/08/10, 09:24 AM
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you can get a water seperator filter that goes on the hand pump
to help remove the water

mine was stored in a blue kerosine Blitz plastic fuel container in my garage that barly has electricity much less heat , my dad who has a heated garage has much more of a problem with water in gas to the point that he stores the gas in the shed (unheated) when you take a can froma 40 degree garage with high humidity to a cold below feezing outside any moisute imediatly condences and gets in the fuel , because fuel is lighter than water it becomes trapped , repeat with multiple tempature flucuations and it collects enough to give problems.

i like the blitz cans as they seem to be the tightest seal and have 2 handles one on top and one on the back molded in that make controlled pouring easiest

idealy you use 1/5 of your supply in each normal year say in a kerosine lantern , heater , stove and replenish so that your storing for 5 years or so

by the way if you have ever seen rusted out fule cans or tanks , water on the inside trapped at the bottom is the reason most often

there is a reason that on the airplaines there is a valve on the underside of the wing at the lowest point in the tank , that before every trip is checked for water in the gas and we regularily removed an ounce or more of water , there was one guy at the air port who had neglected this he made it off the end of the run way and had problems managed to turn it around and set it right back down , checked his tanks for water and removed more than a quart.

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Old 07/08/10, 09:33 AM
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by the way usualy your not looking for the big gas station by the innterstate , but hte little old small town or co-op station also check with your fule oil supplier , sounds like you did and the 150 is usualy a delivery minimum but often they have pump at the bulding and if you drove there and gave the guy a tip you could have it a few 5 gallon cans at a time that may be what they are doing leaving the guy a vm he may even be the driver and if he is going to be in your area would stop in or meet you somewhere

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  #12  
Old 07/08/10, 09:53 AM
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Alright so I need 1K kerosene to be stored in blue cans and I need water separator filter. Got it. Thanks so much for all the help. It is really hard to try and figure all this stuff out on your own, especially when "experts" don't even agree.

It will be so nice to not have to worry about losing electricity this winter

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  #13  
Old 07/08/10, 09:56 AM
 
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Yes kero will be fine even after years of storage.
The *gel* temp of kero is very low.
Yes those 'blue' 5 gal plastic containers are a good way to store . . .other than a barrel.

Open the yellow pages and let your fingers do the walking . . for kero.
That internet $$8 price is way out of line . . . . . . .shipping.......
Its $ 3.99 a gallon around here.

You will have to guage the amount that your 'home' breathes.
In very 'tight' quarters yes you would be in trouble from fumes.

Even "burning right" kero heaters will leave an odor that some folks don't like.
Try the heater in a room and find out if you and yours can handle the "odor"

Personally I'll put up with the "smell" because in the dead of winter the warmth feels darn good.....................................

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Old 07/08/10, 10:17 AM
 
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Just a word of caution, not everyone knows/respects the color of fuel containers. DD's landlady had lawn mower gas in a blue plastic five-gallon can. I would never buy a used can for that reason.

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  #15  
Old 07/08/10, 01:23 PM
 
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Here's a website with just about any information you'll need on kerosene, kerosene heaters, and related products. You can also buy wicks for most any brand of heater.

Scroll to the bottom of the article for more links/articles on kerosene related issues/products

http://www.endtimesreport.com/kerosene_heaters.html

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  #16  
Old 07/08/10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RedTartan View Post
I've never noticed it at the gas station. I'll have to check into that as they want $8+ per gallon online.
Just noticed your in NE Ohio, too. Do you have a Sheetz near by? They have K1 at a good price, usually.
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  #17  
Old 07/08/10, 02:21 PM
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Just noticed your in NE Ohio, too. Do you have a Sheetz near by? They have K1 at a good price, usually.
I know there's one in Cuyahoga Falls. There may be one closer to me though...

Oh and hi, neighbor

ETA: Are you near Roscoe Village? We vacationed there during the week before Christmas last year. Just loved it!
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  #18  
Old 07/08/10, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTartan View Post
I've never noticed it at the gas station. I'll have to check into that as they want $8+ per gallon online. And you just keep it in a (labeled) gas can?

Is your garage unheated? So the kerosene won't freeze?

Thanks so much
If you see an "oil tank" outside in a cold climate it is kerosene in it, if the "oil tank" is inside fuel oil in it.. Kerosene won't gel like diesel or fuel oil and as other have said it will last indefinitely.. I emptied a 275 gal "oil tank" that had been on the property since I bought it, which at that time was 15 years earlier, only to find out that it still had about 100 gals of kerosene in it. I used it in the kerosene heaters. It burned ok, but did have a little more soot and odor with it..
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  #19  
Old 07/08/10, 02:34 PM
 
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Just to add

Red cans are for gasoline!
Blue cans are for kerosene!
yellow cans are for diesel!

I know around here they do check and some places won't allow you to put kerosene in any other can but a blue one...

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  #20  
Old 07/08/10, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beowoulf90 View Post
If you see an "oil tank" outside in a cold climate it is kerosene in it, if the "oil tank" is inside fuel oil in it.. Kerosene won't gel like diesel or fuel oil and as other have said it will last indefinitely.. I emptied a 275 gal "oil tank" that had been on the property since I bought it, which at that time was 15 years earlier, only to find out that it still had about 100 gals of kerosene in it. I used it in the kerosene heaters. It burned ok, but did have a little more soot and odor with it..
Yep its common practice up here and other cold climates to cut #2 (furnace) oil with kerosene or run straight K1 if the "oil" tank is outside or in an unheated space. When I was dirt floor poor I would purchase it as I could afford it (5 gallon can) to run the furnace in my house
Tanks are typically 275 gallons BUT you can buy smaller ones...ours is 220 gallons as that is all the room we had for it to fit on the inside portion of the house. You could have the tank filtered too.
I've used the "Kerosun" heaters before in an apt. that had electric heat...a big no-no...but I was very careful! Tipping of the unit is the biggest deal/danger and always fill it outside where spills won't be a problem...if the fumes bother you than yes crack a window...and a battery operated carbon monoxide detector would be worth it too.
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