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Author Topic: Non-ethanol gas shelf life  (Read 4927 times)

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Offline John Mc

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Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« on: March 17, 2009, 11:24:15 am »
I'm curious what some of you figure on for the shelf life of medium or high-octane, NON-ethanol gas for use in a chainsaw. I mix in some Stabil as soon as I buy it. Wait to mix the 2 cycle oil until I'm ready to use it (and the 2 cycle oil I use has a stabilizer in it).

The local Husky/Jonsered dealer says 1 month. When I asked "even with non-ethanol, with a stabilizer?" he still says "One month". I understand his reasoning: a gallon or two of fuel is a whole lot cheaper than a chainsaw... and you don't have to throw out the old gas, just put it in your car's tank.

So what rule of thumb do you guys usually use, assuming there is stabilizer in the gas, and it has not yet been mixed with 2-cycle oil? What about fresh gas, and mixed right up with the 2-cycle oil?

I tend to go hot and heavy for a while, then not use my saw for a stretch, then get back into it again. I do run the saw dry when I won't be using it in the next few days.

John Mc
Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Ed

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 12:00:27 pm »
IMHO, 1 month is a little extreme. Fuel might sit for 1 week or 3 months around my place, never had any problems.
I always mix the oil when I put the gas in the can, I know the oil is in there. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.  :D
Never bother to mess with stabilizer, don't see the need for it.
Never run a saw dry either, if one sits for a long time, I'll dump the old fuel & put new in before starting.
I run all my saws on mid-grade gas.

Ed

Offline stonebroke

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2009, 12:37:20 pm »
Whats wrong with running saws dry?

Stonebroke

Offline John Mc

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009, 01:10:14 pm »
I always mix the oil when I put the gas in the can, I know the oil is in there. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

I usually by my ethanol-free gas 5 gallons at a time. It's a special trip to the station that has the ethanol free, so I stock up (and buy a tank for my car as well - I want to support the guy who makes the effort to have this gas available). My garden tractor doesn't like ethanol either, so I can use it in that as well. If it's been sitting around a while, it gets dumped into the car's tank.

I don't add the oil until I'm ready to use it, then I mix it into my 1 gallon "chainsaw" gas can. That can never has unmixed gas in it, so if it's full, I know I'm ready to go. Then the only question is, how long ago did I mix up that 1 gallon can?

Quote
Fuel might sit for 1 week or 3 months around my place, never had any problems.

Are you using gas with ethanol in it? Three months of that stuff sitting in my tank is not something I'd take a chance on. If it's exposed to moisture (condensation in the tank, or even humidity in the air) the ethanol will combine with the water and settle out. It's corrosive, attacks some seals and diaphragms, and it also has no lubrication (the gas/oil mix oil floats on top). I hate to think what's happening when I turn the saw just the wrong way and the fuel pickup sucks up the water/ethanol mix. If you have ethanol in the gas in yur area, talk to some of the saw shops in your area about what they've seen since the switch to ethanol.
Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Ed

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 01:34:25 pm »
To my knowledge all the gas in my area has 10% ethanol in it, no way around it, just hope it's only 10% and not any more.
I haven't had any problems with my saws that I can blame on fuel, not saying it's never going to happen....I suppose I'll have to fall off that bridge when I come to it.

Ed


 

Offline John Mc

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 01:57:51 pm »
Almost all of the gas in Vermont has 10% ethanol. There are a few stations who have made the effort to get supplied out of Canada, and get fuel with no ethanol. Also, one small grass-strip airport has non-ethanol premium auto fuel (some small aircraft are approved to burn auto gas, but ONLY if there is no ethanol in it) -- he's supplied out of Canada as well. I've heard there may be a couple of marinas that have ethanol-free gas, but have not checked that lead out myself (ethanol can eat the fiberglass tanks in some powerboats, making a real gooey mess).

John Mc

Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 07:47:55 pm »
What a mess for the consumer!

 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2009, 08:03:46 pm »
Ethanol gas will go bad in a month or two. But until the big ethanol push a couple years ago I would routinely get 2-3 months out of a can of mix gas and never added stabilizer. Fuel with stabilizer is good for a year or more. My equipment would get parked for the winter with fuel in it and get fired up in the spring with the same fuel. Never once had a problem, got over 15 years out of a weedwacker and blower without so much as a carb kit. But 6 months ago the bubble primer on the blower disintegrated from ethanol gas and 2 months later the carb crapped out. Now I only buy premium fuel from a name brand station such as Mobil.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 08:38:06 pm »
Now I only buy premium fuel from a name brand station such as Mobil.

Around here, all that buying premium fuel does is get you a higher octane ethanol blend... unless you go to one of thos efew stations that has non-ethanol gas (in which case, usually EVERYTHING is non-ethanol).

I've been told that ethanol is actually a bit of an octane booster. Some states have exempted premium fuel from the ethanol requirement because the recognize that some engines need non-ethanol gas (usually these are states with a strong marine lobby, or where marine, antique auto, and aviation interests teamed up to convince the legislators to exempt some fuels). The only reason it's premium that got exempted is because it's already a specialty fuel, and it's more expensive, so it steers most people to the ethanol blends dues to the cost.
Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 09:01:42 pm »
Well that makes sense. And we probably have a few boats here in Florida.  :D

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 06:26:50 am »
John,what I would do is in the warmer months freash mix every month,winter you can go two with treated.Two cyc. mix is not wasted put it in you tractor or anouther straight gas machine.More the better if you use synthetic 2 cyc. oil.Unless your sure your going to use the saw soon store dry.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 06:36:40 pm »
 The difference between hi test and regular is at the most 20 cents a gallon .Or should I say it is around here .

It's a saw not a big truck ,you aren't going to be shoving 20 gallons an hour through it . :D

Offline John Mc

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 07:09:01 pm »
The difference between hi test and regular is at the most 20 cents a gallon .Or should I say it is around here .

It's a saw not a big truck ,you aren't going to be shoving 20 gallons an hour through it . :D

I never said that chainsaws were the target of the legislature for pushing ethanol gas. The point is, if the legislature were going to exempt something from the ethanol requirement, it certainly wouldn't be regular gas. It's going to be something that no one uses unless they have a good reason to. If you are running a chainsaw, you do have a good reason to run higher octane gas.
Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline ladylake

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Re: Non-ethanol gas shelf life
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2009, 06:24:20 am »
 I can still get premium without ethonal which I use and add Stabil, never keep track of how old it is, maybe 2 or 3 months sometimes.   Steve
Timberking B20 9000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter