One of the more useless things to come out of Washington in recent years is the mandate to make all gasoline cans “CARB” compliant. “CARB” stands for California Air Resources Board” and is basically California’s answer to air pollution with additional regulations all over the place. While I am all for cleaner air, and I am sure some of the CARB regulations make sense…. And maybe even the specific regulation about gas cans may even make sense. However, what doesn’t make sense is the current design of these cans. They are universally despised by users of gas cans.
There are several designs, but all the ones I have seen have one or more of the following attributes:
• They don’t allow you to pour gas into a car fuel tank because of the design
• They have more moving parts and are cheaply made/not durable
• They are too difficult to use: Often requiring multiple twists and turns and holding a heavy can upright longer as they pour much slower (especially for people with some type of disability, this is tough)
• They spill everywhere because of all this
The net result of all of this is that many people keep their old gas cans in circulation as long as possible. When they do need to upgrade these folks often either remove the “CARB compliant” pouring mechanism and just use a funnel… which probably produces far more gas fumes than the original. I am sure in theory these CARB compliant cans do reduce gas fumes and add a level of safety (including child protection features) but in practice I am willing to be they do not.
At any rate, I like to buy full strength anti-freeze and then mix it with water (you know, the old way) rather than buy the pre-mixed stuff at a mark-up (why buy marked up tap water?). I used to like to keep this in gas can, as I like to keep several gallons on hand for the truck and tractor.. When my old anti-freeze can cracked.. I decided to upgrade to a new one. I didn’t want to use a 5 gallon water jug as these are almost universally thin plastic and chintzy. However, it is a real pain to try to pour antifreeze out this out of a new “CARB compliant” can and into a radiator or reservoir. So the only solution was to “De-CARB” a fuel can. Here is how I did it.
Firstly, I obtained a nice, thick, diesel can. I chose a diesel can because this will differentiate it easier from my other storage cans (nice yellow). I also obtained an EZ-Pour Universal Replacement Spout Kit from Tractor Supply for 10 bucks, and tire value (2 for 3 bucks). Next, step is to remove that ridiculous “gear wheel “ from the neck of the can.
A pair of tin snips made short work of this. The kit contains multiple screw tops to fit different style cans. However, I just kept the original screw top as the new pouring spout fit in there nicely.
Next step was to take a 5/8 drill bit to drill a hole for the vent. Now the kit comes with a ½ inch plastic vent, but this looks a little frail to me, so I opted for the tire valve.
After drilling the hole, I made sure I removed all the little plastic bits from inside. Luckily that spade drill gives you mostly one big piece.
Next, I removed the valve stem from the valve.
Next, I took some aluminum fence wire (easier to work with than string) to thread the valve into the can. Some tugging eventually seated the tire valve nicely in the hole.
Viola! A new antifreeze storage can is born. All you need to do is take the valve stem cap off, and pour away to your heart’s content!