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Siphoning Fuel on the Homestead

Siphoning Fuel on the Homestead

Transferring fuel on the farm in my youth sucked. We'd scrounge a section of garden hose, find a parked vehicle, and siphon gas for our motorcycles. 

Thankfully, there are better and safer options to transfer fuel that doesn't require sucking and the occasional mouthful of gas. 

The first I'll mention is the Shaker Siphon. An online search will give you many options from which to choose. Some auto parts stores have them available as well. 

I use the Shaker Siphon to transfer gasoline from a 5-gallon jerry can to my generator and chainsaw/mix gas can when working on my log cabin. The hose will drain the jerry can in a few minutes. I've also refueled my farm truck to save a trip into town. 

The hose is simple to use. Insert the self-priming (metal) end into the elevated fuel container with the opposite end into the tank you are filling. Give the self-priming end a few good up-and-down jiggles until the fuel rises up and begins flowing into your target tank. 

Note: The diameter of modern vehicle gas tank openings (unleaded fuel nozzle restrictor plate) are too small to insert the metal end of the shaker hose into the tank for siphoning. These hoses are not designed for this purpose. 


Here's an electric DIY fuel transfer system for diesel fuel. Keep in mind that this is not rated for pumping gasoline. This system is significantly slower than the Shaker Siphon. If you're a gearhead, you may have most, if not all, the components "lying around" to build this system. 


You'll need a scrap of wood, a fuel pump with an inline filter, a fuel line, 6 feet of wire and alligator clips, two bolts, nuts, and four washers. The pump shown above pumps at 35GPH (gallons per hour). Remember when I mentioned that it's slower than the Shaker Siphon hose? This system will fill a twenty-gallon tank in about 30 minutes. You can drop some coin and order a commercially built pump for faster transfer. 


For small-scale fuel needs around the homestead, I can't justify spending for a commercially made pump. I'm cheap, and I come from a long line of MacGyver's


What is your go-to method to transfer fuel? 

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