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Do Gas Cans Need to Be Vented? (All You Need to Know)

Gas or gasoline is commonly stored in metallic cans. Those cans are specially designed to store gas or gasoline fuel. Plastic-made cans are also used to store gas. But those are made from specialized plastic material which doesn’t melt easily.

This article will provide an in-depth answer and offer you deep insights into the venting of gas cans – whether gas cans need to be vented or not.

Do gas cans need to be vented?

Gas cans are needed to be vented. It is safe to vent the excess air from the gasoline or gas cans. It reduces the chance of the blow-up of the gas can. It ensures the safe use of gas cans. Pressure can build up easily inside the gas can and it could blow up if not vented properly.

Gas cans are needed to be vented for safety. Gas cans are always at risk of fire. Gas or gasoline is an unstable carbon fuel that can easily blow up. Gas is stored in hard metallic cans that can withstand moderate pressure and temperature.

But at the changed environmental temperatures and pressures, gasoline fuel produces fuel vapor inside the can.

The development of fuel vapor can lead to harmful conflagration situations. The gas cans can easily burst into fire when the fuel vapor pressure inside the cans rises.

Moreover, air vapor can be generated from pouring gasoline into the cans.  This air vapor increases pressure inside the gas cans. Gas cans could ignite from the excessive air pressure.

For this reason, it is essential to vent gas cans regularly. Venting helps to release excess fuel vapor from the cans and reduces the risk of catching fire.

As gasoline is a highly flammable element, precautions should be taken before starting the venting procedures. Properly vented gas cans are safe to use and less likely to catch fire.

Why do gas cans have vents? 

Gas cans have vents. Vents are the opening of the container that allows the gasoline fuel to flow in and out. But gas cans have an extra vent that is used to release excess air pressure from the container.

The procedure of releasing the excess air pressure from the gas cans is called venting. Gas cans have vents to reduce rising air pressure.

Gasoline generates air vapor inside the cans. This gradually increases the inside air pressure. If the gas cans aren’t vented properly then the container may blow up.

How to vent a gas can?

The procedures to vent gas can are mentioned hereafter –


Make a drill in the body of the gas can. Choose a suitable drill size according to the wire nut. The drill should make a hole to fit halfway up the diameter of the wire nut.

Shape the hole:

Take a sharp knife and slightly bevel the hole.

Drill through the wire nut:

Drill a little through the wire nut. This drilling is exhibited so that the wire nut can fit into the hole.

Insert the wire:

Insert the wire into the hole of the gas can. Screw the nut of the wire in the right place so that the wire attaches to the hole.

Dry wire nut:

Attach the long end of the wire with the gas can and fill the wire nut with silicone gel. Let the wire nut dry for 24 hours.

Now your gas can is ready to vent excess air. The vent will also allow the quick flow of your fuel from the can.

Why do new gas cans not have a vent? 

New gas cans don’t have a vent. New gas cans have built-in vents to the nozzle. But when excessive fuel vapor is formed inside the gas cans, the nozzle can’t eliminate the surplus air vapor easily as the containers don’t contain an extra vent to release excess air pressure.

And those built-in nozzles have some limitations as the nozzle sometimes doesn’t work properly. The vent-less new gas cans for some reason seem to never work right.

And to overcome this limitation, creating more air vents in the gas cans seem to be essential. Fuel vapor is released through these newly made air vents and this stabilizes the gas cans.

What is a self-venting gas can? How to use it?

Self-venting gas is used for safer and easy discharge of fuel vapor from the can. Self-venting spout releases the vent plug from the gas can. And for this reason, self-venting gas cans are less likely to blow up.

High-density polyethylene fuel is stored in the self-venting gas cans. Those fuels are highly flammable. And for this reason, it is essential to have a self-vent system in the gas can.

Using manual:

You have to maintain some procedures while using a self-venting gas can. And as fuels are highly flammable elements, you must be cautious while handling a gas can.

The procedures to use a self-venting gas can are listed here –

  • Put the empty gas can down. Make sure you put it on the ground.
  • Unscrew the gas can cap and open.
  • Insert the fuel pump nozzle into the gas can to fill up fuel.
  • Fill 95% of the gas can with fuel.
  • Shut the cap of the gas can.

Do all gas cans need to be vented while being stored?

Yes, all gas cans are needed to be vented while being stored. Gas cans are used to store highly flammable petroleum fuels. Fuel produces little air vapor inside the gas cans.

Air vapor inside of the gas cans increases as the temperature and pressure around the container change. More fuel vapor is produced and the environment inside the gas can destabilize.

To stabilize the fuel in the gas cans, the container is needed to be vented. Venting of the gas cans reduces the fuel vapor and creates a stable environment inside the gas cans. If more fuel vapor is generated, the pressure inside the gas tank increases.

And gas tank may burst into flame due to an excessive increase of air pressure inside the containers.

Should the gas tank vent be open or closed?

The gas tank vent should be closed. The gas cans made with specialized durable plastics are used to store fuel.

Fuel forms air vapor inside the gas cans due to pressure and temperature fluctuation. For this reason, it is necessary to vent excess air vapor from the gas can.

But after the release of fuel vapor from the gas cans, you must close the gas tank vent. It is dangerous to leave a gas tank vent open as gas evaporates from the tank.

Fumes can cause fire and blow ups. Besides, if you keep the gas tank vent open, you will lose fuel. And it won’t be very economical.

Don’t leave your gas tank vent open. You will notice significant fuel has been evaporated from the gas can if you leave the vent open for a few hours. And it is very dangerous. Your gas tank could burst into fire.

How to safely store gas cans outside in a shade or garage?

You have to maintain some precautions while storing gas cans as highly flammable fuel is stored in those tanks. Don’t store the gas cans in direct sunlight as gasoline can ignite easily.

You can follow some tips in order to safely store gas cans outside in a shade or garage. The tips are mentioned hereafter –

Keep gas cans in a well-ventilated place:

Store the gas cans in a well-ventilated location where air can easily access by the window. Don’t store the gasoline cans in a stuffy place. Place the gas cans in a shade or garage but it is better to store the cans outside your house.

No more than 25 gallons in 1 room:

Don’t store more than 25 gallons of gasoline cans in one room. Put the gas cans in small storage containers. Most importantly, store the gas cans away from household appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, water heaters, etc.

Static electricity, heat, and small sparks are enough to ignite the gas cans. That’s why you have to be sure to thoroughly check the storage area before putting the gas cans.

Check for spillage:

After storing the gas cans in a cold shade area, be sure to check for rupture and spillage in the gas cans.

Final thoughts

Gas cans need to be vented regularly. Fuel vapor is formed inside the gas cans because of the temperature and pressure changes. This destabilizes the environment inside the gas cans. Gas tanks can burst into a fire if you don’t vent the excess air vapor.