BoatUS Reports

News From The World Of American Boating

Tanks Under Pressure

New portable gas tanks may cause headaches for outboard owners.

New EPA-compliant portable gas tanks and jerry jugs have special fittings that greatly reduce evaporative emissions from gasoline, but they could cause problems for some outboards, BoatUS has learned. New tanks on the market must meet this requirement. Where traditional tanks simply vent to the atmosphere, the new tanks don't vent until the internal pressure reaches five pounds per square inch. A BoatUS member in Florida reported that his tank swelled up like a balloon in the hot sun, and the internal pressure forced gas into the outboard where it spewed inside the cowling, eventually dribbling out.

Fortunately, there are a couple of solutions to this problem. The easiest is to simply disconnect the gas tank from the engine when not in use (open the fill cap to relieve pressure before disconnecting or connecting; otherwise the hose may spew gas) and keep the tank out of the sun. The other solution is to purchase a fuel-demand valve, which allows gas to flow only when the engine calls for it. These are available from gas-tank manufacturers and large retailers such as West Marine for about $25.



— Published: December 2014

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