New gas can nozzles are horrible

How To Fix New Gas Cans So They Actually Pour Right

New gas cans are horrible, right?

New Gas Cans Are Horrible

Over these past years, the technology of gas cans seems to have become more and more complicated. The rickety triggers and valves on nozzles which (I’ll guess) look like they had been designed by a committee of bureaucrats who had absolutely no idea of the purpose or application of a gas can.

The spouts are complicated and so cheaply made, they never seem to work, even if you follow their logic. And they seem to require three hands to operate. Plus the venting is bad. Bottom line: I wind up spilling more gas with the new ones than the old – what a waste. The law of unintended consequences at work, I guess.

From my point of view, a gas can should safely hold gas, which the user can then safely pour into whatever tank it needs to be in, without wastage.

So, how to pour gas out of a can the easy way?

How To Fix New Gas Cans

First suggestion is to find and use older gas cans. The ones with the uncomplicated spouts and a separate air hole to vent the tank as the gas glugs out so it doesn’t massively take a breath and spurt gas all over the place as you pour.

I find them at yard sales and thrift stores. Sometimes, neighbors set out old ones along with the trash on the curb, which can be recycled. IMO this is the best option.

Second suggestion, if ‘used’ is not an option, you can replace the nozzles and add ‘real’ air vents.

Gas Can Modification

The kits are essentially two parts. One is the spout, the other is adding a vent.

SPOUT

The Original EZ-POUR Replacement Kit
(view on amzn)

gas can spout modification

The new spout just screws on to the gas can where the original spout was. This particular kit comes with two different threaded fittings. One or the other with fit nearly every gas can out there.

Not only is this spout kit the ‘original’ (not a knock-off), it comes with an 8″ Spout Extension For Those Hard To Reach Tanks. Nice… It will help prevent spillage from a full gas can while getting it started (getting that spout in the tank filler hole) in some hard-to-reach tanks. The extender will help with that!

GAS CAN VENT

New gas cans are vent-less. Actually, their vent is built-in to the nozzle, which never seems to work right. You need to add a ‘real’ vent for this modification.

The spout kit shown above does not come with a vent. The BEST vent is shown below. With that said, some of these kits come with a plastic vent. That’s all fine and good. However, since several years have passed since I first purchased my gas can spout modification kits, the plastic ‘hinge’ part of the vent (that keeps you from losing the push-in vent plug) have all broken from use (just so you know).

That’s why I’m updating this post, and buying the newer better vents shown next!

UPDATE!

There’s now an excellent gas can / jug vent cap replacement to Allow Faster Flowing (Without Lanyard-Attached Cap). Better than the plastic ones. I’m getting these for all of mine because eventually the plastic ‘lanyard’ piece breaks off after bending back and forth so many times.

And, this one is useful to prevent gas can ‘bloating’. (just leave the screw-on cap ‘slightly’ loose).

Stainless Steel Caps
(amzn)

Adding a gas can vent. You need to drill a hole…

TIP: “It’s best if your can is completely empty and dry before you drill the hole for the breather. Most of the time you get at least a few shreds of plastic falling into the can, and it’s easier to get them out if the can is dry. Alternatively, you can add a quart or two of water to the can, and rinse the scraps out, repeating as needed…after which you can wait a week for the few drops of water to evaporate.” said a reviewer. That’s actually what I did…

TIP: “When you drill out the hole for the breather-valve, DON’T DRILL THROUGH A SEAM IN THE CAN! The instructions may or may not tell you to drill the hole in the center of a flat area near the top of the can, but it won’t make any difference if you drill it an inch off center, and you won’t have a leak when the little breather-valve can’t seal on that rough, ugly seam.” said the same review. I also did it this way…

End result? Gas flows better and the world is a better place!

How to pour gas from a gas can (or jug) with this modification? Simply unscrew the nozzle cap, and open the gas can vent for more flow. Pour! No more waiting!

I have converted ALL of my ‘new style’ gas cans (actually plastic jugs) with the modifications linked above. I did this several years ago and what a difference! I’ve only had to replace one spout since then (o-ring seal got pinched). But like I said earlier, I’m upgrading to the new vent caps.

Also, here are some gas can spout cap replacements, in case you lose one. Good to have on hand:

EZ-POUR Spout Caps

About the New Gas Can Spouts

Here’s the OSHA spec regarding gas cans:

“OSHA-approved cans need to be properly sealed. First, they must have a spring-closing lid. This is a lid that automatically closes when released, so users cannot forget to close the gas can and leave the site vulnerable. Also, the can must have a spout cover that closes automatically. Finally, the entire can must be capped with a child-resistant cap, and the system must be designed to release minimal vapor and reduce pressure inside the can.”

So, how is this design actually usable without three arms, three hands and a short assistant? This is one of those regulations that makes perfect sense on paper but it’s simply not practical for the home owner. Each new variation of these cans is worse than the last. So glad somebody bypassed the insanity.

These (replacement) spouts are great. And, in my opinion, they are safer to use than the hundred-dollar, OSHA approved safety cans. 

~ said another reviewer

How-to Operate New Gas Cans

There are several different kinds. Each of them suck. Here’s what you’ve no-doubt experienced…

First, remove the child-proof cap at the end of the spout. Good luck. There are different kinds of mechanisms for this. Have fun figuring it out…and having it actually not be stuck or so poorly designed that it’s just a major pain in the…

Second, position the nozzle into the tank filler hole, while also positioning part of the spout (a part of it which is intended to rest on the edge of the filler hole). This enables you to push against it, which begins releasing the fuel (in theory). Chances are that it will slip off the edge many times during your ‘fill-up’ and spilling some fuel and/or nearly dropping the gas jug in the process. Some kinds also have a trigger assembly for further complications and coordination challenges. Definitely swearing by now…

Third, be prepared to WAIT a very long time as the fuel slowly, ever so slowly gurgles and burps its way into the tank at a trickle. There will most definitely be more swearing throughout this period of wait time.

Fourth, Given the length of time to unload say, 5 gallons, your arms will be getting quite a workout as you hold that jug in position. At this point, yeah, probably more swearing…at least in your head…

Fifth, By now you’re totally frustrated with the new style gas can spout. So, you say to yourself, “I’m going to buy the replacement kit shown above (and install the new vents)”.

Parts of this article were originally contributed by MSB’er, ‘Bogan’.

[ Read:

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64 Comments

  1. Redneck Tip:
    You can actually take your channel locks and use them to pull out the spring contraption on those new pour spouts gut the internals then you have a for free pour spot.

  2. I worked at an outdoor power equipment dealer for a long time, sold a ton of gas cans of all kinds. While you are quite correct that many if not most of the new designs take 3 hands to operate, the one that worked well,was simple and only required a single human to operate are actually the brand shown in the picture. Also, every brand used a different thread pitch or diameter on their cans, so replacing the spouts and vents isnt as simple as stated.

    1. Maybe I should have chosen a different picture ;)
      Admittedly I don’t have any of that particular model.

      Curious: How is the pour rate with that model gas can?

      I’ve never found any of the ‘new type’ that poured very fast at all. In fact they seemed to take ‘forever’ to pour. Very poor flow rates.

      1. Actually, it flows very well, and the shutoff works well…only problem is you need an extension to use it on a vehicle.

        [ Ken adds: Here’s the spout extension ]

        And you need to be careful with the typical tiny tank on 2 cycle equipment. Stabilized fuel last forever in this can as well, it seals effectively, so well in fact that I have had one swell up like a beach ball in the back of the truck and never leak. .Also, you can buy the whole replacement spout, or just the o-ring that is leaking. They do cost more than your typical walmart can, but in mho very much worth it.

      2. Update: I did change the article’s featured image. The new image shows one of the types that I did have (the one on the left), and it was a pain to use. Didn’t always work right.

        FYI, the ‘No Spill’ gas can nozzle that KevinH was talking about is ( this one )

    2. Replacement spouts and vents can be found at Tractor Supply. The repair kit comes with two different threaded rings for the spout.

  3. Has anybody tried the wavian jerry cans? They are not cheap like the plastic ones but are made of metal. I want to start trying to change out of the plastic ones to something more durable. And easier to pour.

    1. The other thing is, last I knew, there were no DOT approved plastic cans…so to follow the letter of the law, anything on an over the road vehicle would need to be metal.

    2. All new cars gas tanks and gas cans are made with plastic for a reason the new gasoline made now will rust a steel or metal gas cans, because the new gas draws water into the gas cans it also eats rubber o rings and rubber fuel line on old cars with carburetors.

    3. I bought a few of the Wavian jerry cans and just ordered a couple more. There is a spout that you can buy that is the old military style as well. I like them because they store easily. Don’t overfill them. I frequently have them burp out gasoline when I open them due to pressure and temperature changes. I like the Justrite type II metal cans as well. They are easier to pour but harder to store due to their shape. The Eagle metal cans are cheaper but I am not a big fan of the yellow funnel attachment. I have had them for a couple of years now and not had any problems with any of them. They seem to be the same as the ones I remember from years ago. I have only stored ethanol free gas in them if the pertains to what Old School was saying.

      1. I have two of those Eagle cans with the yellow funnel attachment. I agree, I don’t like them so much. They also get dirty after awhile being exposed. Plus, it’s a challenge with some fuel tanks, depending…

  4. Hi All;
    A couple of things;
    DO NOT drill into a gas can that has EVER have gas in it, yes your drilling plastic, but if a single fume of gas gets to the drill IT WILL EXPOLDE! Yes all Drills have sparks from the brushes in them, (Unless a special drill).

    Second, there is a review I wrote for the metal Gas Cans Ken has offered a link to;
    “Pricing is GREAT
    I absolutely LOVE Amazon, but at times I wonder……
    Cost of one Can = $31.76, 2 cans at $128.98, 3 at $194.98, 4 at $258.78
    Dose anyone see a problem with buying more than one can??????
    Love it hehehehe”

    Watch what your buying folks

    On to the Gas Cans themselves….. Buy Metal ones, get a funnel that FITS your car/truck/whatever.

    As KevenH mentioned, the Plastic cans are no longer DOT approved, or OSHA approved.

    1. Then those are the ones I want because I don’t give a rip what OSHA or DOT has to say about my gas cans.

  5. The new design gasoline cans are a flagrant example of overregulation , bureaucracy at it’s finest ! Every new design that I have used is a piece of garbage. Since God only provided me with 2 hands I find most of the cans awkward to use. While standing beside my vehicle pouring gas very slowly down the fill tube I have lots of time to plan out the rest of my day.

    1. I agree with you!
      sssssssslow – gurgle – sssssssslow… glug – sssssssslow – trickle – burp – sssssssslow, repeat.

      Your arms get tired holding up the damn gas can, it takes so long!

      Like Bogan mentioned, I believe I’ve spilled more gas from the new nozzle types than the old models. Why? Because you do need 3 hands to operate them. Too clumsy.

      1. Ken
        Now that sounds like what i did yesterday trying to get fuel out of the can and into the fuel tank on my mule, finally took off the spout, threw it away, got a flexible funnel and dumped the fuel into the tank then tossed the can and nozzle into the trash can when i was done,, i even managed to drop the can when i first started as the damn thing slipped and came off the filler on the UTV and i lost my balance,,,,,POS!

    2. So you 300 million U.S. residents need to use these new regulation metal cans and pourers.
      Meanwhile the other six point seven billion residents in the R.O.W. get to use plastic and the old pourer.

  6. I converted all my cans a few years ago, Soooo much better.

    I think the junk new style was an Obama era idea.

    1. I have heard that the gas can spout as well as the propane tank valve regulations originated in California. Almost everything I have bought recently has a warning that it has been determined that it can cause cancer in the state of California; apparently nowhere else.

      1. Absolutely correct, them Mass follows suit and it becomes cheaper to just make the crappy new junk…

  7. Why would i be looking at a plastic nozzle when theres a perfectly riteous sweety?
    What im supposed to act like a liberal queer?
    😎🤙🏻

  8. .the plastic cans I have a hard molded plastic nozzle within a larger base tube, smaller top tube slides in the base tube via a molded catch lip; after you twist the screw on collar. Out come the channel locks, all springs removed so it free flows, 12 ga. spent shotgun shell as an end cap, two funnels-one for gear, the other for vehicles, no more frustration. Brute force wins over niceness. 💡🔨

  9. See, this is another example of why we are not products of evolution.,
    If we were, we would have that extra hand we always seem to need!

  10. If you don’t carry a (empty) gas can in your unleaded vehicle, at least consider having a large funnel so you can get gas into the tank tube receptacle in an emergency from any type of jug – unleaded cars have a little flap there you need to get past, and that flap and the small size of the input tube can be a PITA.

    Do a test on your car with your gas cans- some of the spout designs actually Do Not Work.
    When buying a new style plastic gas can, try it right there in the store- push the nozzle spring-thing against a shelf or something, makes sure it is practical and functions without too much drama or pushing on the nozzle. Test it out.

    I can recommend Midwest brand, made in USA- I got mine at O’Reilly auto parts.

    And the time to get cans is Before the shtf, remember those TV scenes, people in line with their cans… at least they Had cans to fill, you know?

  11. I truly hate the new gas cans, they are more harm then safer…When I visit family in Canada I always bring back new gas cans…They still have the simply ones of the past, I also purchase replacement spouts for my old ones.

  12. Hello to all, new to the site. Im going to learn a lot here. The racing type gascans cant be beat, they are simple easy to use and store.

    1. Welcome, Enjoy there is a lot of good info to be found check out the old articles in the Search MSB link on the top. We pretty much go over everything and then beat it with a stick some more as time goes on.

    2. – Welcome Hill ountryMike –
      I believe Ken posted a few days ago that there are over 2000 articles now available on line. Be sure to look at the comments, as I learn a lot from them as well. I’m till looking at some of the older articles as I go.
      – Papa S.

  13. Sounds like some of the problems I have had in the past. My solution was to use Boat gas cans (plastic type). I cut the quick connect off the end that would normally go to the engine, and replaced it with a ball valve with a 6in nipple (1/4 in diameter) that I cap off after turning the ball valve off when I’m through dispensing. To make life easier, I place it on a heavy duty shelf I made in one of my sheds, which is about 4ft high. Works very well as it is gravity drained into my tractor or whatever tank I need to fill. When emptied it has one handle to grab to go fill’er up.
    Just screw the vent closed when traveling.

    1. Forgot to mention I use the fuel line that has the primer bulb in it. That line may or may not come with the tank. Once the line is primed you may not have to use the bulb much. Those boat fuel line are sold separately anyhow if one is not included with the tank!

  14. All my cans are the metal Eagle ones that Ken linked above. I’ve never had any problem putting the gas from them into my truck. I’ll admit that they have a pretty “cush” life, sleeping in my garage, occasionally going with me on road trips, but I’ve never had any problems with them spilling or having any other problems.

  15. WC. Thanks
    Been doing preps for a few years but really need to bring it up to a better level as some of you have done Great resource here
    Hill country mike

    1. Hillcountrymike;
      You do realize you’re miles and miles ahead of 95% of the country, right?
      Please remember those 600 rolls of TP did not appear overnight, it takes a little time, but is WELL wroth it.
      Welcome to the BLOG.

  16. – I have the newer cans, but have drilled a hole at the back and added a gutted tubeless tire valve. Just keep a valve cap on it when you are not using it, the “redneck trick of taking pliers and pulling the guts out of the new spouts actually works pretty well.
    My friend down at the John Deere house recently told me they will be getting “Dispenser Tubes” (spouts) that are similar to the older style, just not named the same but should fit the Blitz typr cans

  17. I like the new cans! I don’t like the price. And I do the 5 gallon jug easily with two limbs. I hated the new design at first and started to use a siphon but too much monkey business and now I just lift it up and jab the nozzle in the hole and let it flow!

  18. Old Chevy what new can style of can do you like? There is two in the article pictures and I know you liked one set of cans :-). Seriously what new can style works well and doesn’t require redneck engineering to make work?

    I’m probably a bit late to this party but I bought some of those Cheap Wal-Mart Safety plastic 5 gallon gas cans. That safety nozzle is impossible but when you pull out that inner spring loaded thing you get a short nozzle with a SLOT running down half of it. So off to the hardware store/tractor supply for that flexible replacement nozzle. Works sort of but my arms will fall off waiting for it to breathe through the pour spout. Glug Glug Hiss Hiss Glug…..

    So I used an awl to poke a breather hole works a LOT better but I think what about moisture? Then redneck engineering strikes with a wood screw and a bit of rubber inner tube from an old bicycle tube. Time will tell if that works well over the years but at least I can get gasoline into my vehicles before my arms fall off. At least the wood screw-inner tube gasket seal is good enough that the can plumps up in the sun like before I poked that vent hole into it.

    1. Look for the no spill brand…the vent and shutoff are exactly the same as a gas pump is set up…one hand nozzle operation and completely seals when not in use…most honda power equipment dealers carry them, and many other locations…see the link above that ken posted….one has a video that shows the operation…

    2. This looks like the type I’ve got, you pull the end of the spout out to close it and press it up against the opening to the tank and it opens and pours effortlessly. If you don’t empty the can the spout will spring back to close, or is supposed to. I prefer them to the old style as I don’t spill it anymore.

  19. Ok, my thoughts;
    I’m an old lazy fart and darn proud of it.
    I figure it’ll take a few minutes or more to empty a Gas Can into a car/truck/whatever.
    Gas weighs right at 6 pounds per gallon, a typical Can will weigh a couple/few of more pounds.
    So a full can is around 32 pounds. With me so far?
    Sooooo, why in the ‘help’ would I want to hold up a 5 gallon can trying and praying that I don’t dump 1/2 of it down my pant leg, fighting the STUPID .gov locking/safety BS and straining my hemorrhoids out?
    How about grabbing that sucker and setting it up on the trunk, PU bed or roof in one swoop, take the cap off and using a Siphon Hose?

    1. Here’s why not: I’ve tried that using a battery powered siphon and a manual one where you squeeze the bulb and for one thing the supplied hose is too short to use it in any other than setting the can on a stool higher than the gas cap.
      Next, the tubes on the siphons were both stiff rods and in order to make it work the siphon has to be held both in the can and aimed into the filler inlet on the vehicle. At the end you have to hold the can at an angle to get it all, or you could just stop siphoning and pick it up and pour the remainder in.
      For the real DIY’er a plastic tube would work by sucking up the gas and quick get it to the gas tank before it reaches your mouth. You won’t be able to kiss anyone afterwards if you miss.
      Or you could get a gas can with the idiot-proof (well…..) spout and get use to it!!

      1. Old Chevy – on a rustic road;
        Hence I’m old-school, a 1/2″ flexible plastic tube.
        I DO NOT recommend this method for those that are dumber than a rock, Drinking Gas is not so good for your health. AND for most of us, it only takes one little sip to understand.
        SO on second thought, DO NOT try the Hose Siphon Method, you’ll all come back to ma and try to sue my azz off for your mistakes in life…..

  20. We have four gas cans, three of them with the asinine “newfangled” spouts. The other has a simple pour spout and a vent (all plastic, alas). So we store in the three and pour from the one. May take a little more time, but less spillage.

  21. The safety lock cap was so hard to remove, my wife in an emergency would not have been able to the cap/nozzle. I modified by removing the locking teeth. Also one of my cans had an insert supposedly to make it “impossibly” easier to fill. Lmao. I removed it. Life is much better now.

  22. Does anyone have experience with the scepter flo n go nozzle that screws on to regular 5 gallon cans? I’m about to rotate out our stored gas and filling a car with the new safety spouts scares the crap out of me. Also very difficult for my wife to operate with a heavy can. All our cans are newer scepter 5 gal cans from Costco. Thanks in advance!

    1. adam, i think that is one that i have which came with house we bought. the spout is spring action which you have to push against the gas hole to release the gas. i could not figure this out till i bought new replacement spout for this can and saw it on the instructions, anyway the older spout was in bad condition so i bought a new spout. can itself is good.

  23. Adam (California), Antique Collector recommended so I’ve acquired the Terra Pump. They have more expensive models, but I went with the least. Available via Ken’s link below. ..

    Terra Pump

  24. Using those new cans, I pulled out the plastic filter in the can with a pair of pliers and bought a cheap Battery operated Siphon from Harbor Freight. One end in the can and the other in the tank inlet. Only caveat is that the can needs to be higher than the tank inlet. For a truck, no problem, sit it on the edge of the bed. For a car or van, maybe put it on a stool that’s as high as the inlet.

  25. Adam (CA)
    A while back I purchased newer gas cans that have a narrower opening for the gas dispensing. Which I did not realize until I went to use the Tera pump system. Sounds like you have the same cans, have you thought about taking them back to Costco?
    It was to late for me to take these back to the place where I purchased them. In the future would recommend anyone check pour spout opening before buying.
    If you have the older cans you can use the pump system I mentioned above. It is easy, since you set the gas tank at the equal height(or slightly lower) of what is to be filled. Set up a mini gas station platform for your wife. One where the tank with pumping system will set and the other for ease of filling the equipment. If it is a vehicle, where this can also be accomplished without a lot of lifting of those cans.

    One thing I noticed on my newest pumping system, equal but ‘not higher’. As the shut off takes a while to stop dispensing gas. Discovered this when I was filling the generator during a power outage. If I had not been paying attention it would have over filled the tank.

    1. These are actually older than I thought. They are the 5.3 gallon taller Jerry can style. Not the newer one with the green handle. I wanted to double my cans to 10. I guess the style I have now is discontinued. Has anyone tried the harbor freight metal Jerry cans?

  26. i did not know about the amazon spout, this is great article. other day trying to fill generator and this new one has spring on spout that you place spout against opening and push down and out comes gas… all over the place. i had to figure out after finally reading instructions on how to get gas out, but even then it is a pain to do. good article.

  27. I vented all my plastic gas cans some while back using the cheap yellow plastic pop-in vents…as I recall, I gave about 8 bucks for 24 of them…

    They work fine for me….but found out the hard way that you don’t drill the seam…in my defense, two of my oldest cans came vented from the factory with those yellow plastic vents, and they were mounted in the seam…first can I vented worked out fine…second can was ruined when the seam split open when I popped the vent in…live and learn…

    Half my cans have the nozzle depicted in Ken’s article…half have the solid nozzle with elbow…the latter work fine with the vents…the ones with the locking valve, like Ken’s picture, seem to all want to leak around the valve now…no big problem though, I just swap nozzles out as I use them….

  28. Hey all, I have folks give me their cheap broken weed Wackers all the time. The ones that are not repairable I cannibalize for parts.
    I found that the gas caps fit most of the plastic gas cans. So I use them for gas storage and keep the spouts separate to save them from getting damaged. So when you have or find a broken weed Wacker keep the gas cap. I’m always looking for good cans at garage and estate sales…

  29. Visit a Rural King if you have one nearby or visit their website. Available in Red, yellow, or translucent. It is called an automotive fluid container. They are not sold as gas containers but are all but identical to the race cans I used 40 years ago racing motorcycles. Less than $25 ready to go. I have two yellow for diesel and two red for gas. They’ve been working flawlessly for a year.

  30. I found that the Yellow gas can nozzles work well on the gas cans sold in the last 15 yrs.
    They can be found on Amazon for $18 for 3 + all of the other taxes added…..

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