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Posted Sunday, June 4th, 2023

On your job site, diesel is a crucial resource whether it’s used to power trucks, generators or any other heavy machinery. However, storing diesel for an extended period or time can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to preserving the fuel quality and preventing contamination. In this article we will explore the best practices for storing diesel outside for a long period of time. We will discuss the factors that can impact the quality of diesel fuel over time, and also cover off some tips for storing diesel fuel outside.

Diesel Shelf Life

Firstly, let’s discuss the shelf life of diesel. Diesel fuel, like all petroleum-based fuels has a limited shelf life. Over time diesel can degrade and lose its effectiveness, making it difficult to start engines and potentially causing damage to fuel systems. The shelf life of diesel fuel can vary depending on a number of factors, including the temperature at which it is stored, the quality of the fuel and the presence of contaminants.

Generally speaking, diesel fuel can be stored for up to 6 months to 1 year without significant degradation if its stored in a clean, dry and cool environment. However, if the fuel is exposed to high temperatures, moisture or other contaminants, its shelf life can be significantly reduced.

So, can you store diesel outside for long periods of time? The answer is, it depends. If you live in an area with moderate temperatures and low humidity, and you take proper precautions to protect the fuel from contamination, you may be able to store fuel outside for several months. However if you live in an area with extreme temperatures or high humidity, or if you can’t protect the fuel from contamination, it is not recommended to store diesel outside for a long period of time.

Here are some tips for storing diesel outside:

  1. Use a high quality fuel tank: If you are storing diesel outside, it is important to use a high quality fuel tank that is designed for outdoor use. The tank should be made of durable material such as steel, aluminium or polyethylene, and should be equipped with a lockable cap or pump cabinet to prevent unauthorised access.
  2. Keep the fuel tank clean: It is important to keep the fuel tank clean and free from contaminants. Before filling the tank, be sure to clean it thoroughly with a detergent solution and rinse with clean water. Failure to do this can lead to contaminants getting into your fuel.
  3. Protect the tank from the elements: To prevent the fuel from being exposed to extreme temperatures, sunlight or moisture, the fuel tank should be located in a shaded area and covered with a tarp or other protective covering.
  4. Check the fuel regularly: It is important to check the fuel regularly for any signs of contamination of degradation. If you notice any problems such as water or sediment buildup, it would be a good idea to have the fuel tank clean and your fuel replaced.
  5. Invest in the right sized tank: When you make the decision to invest in an onsite tank for your fuel storage, it is important that you get the right sized tank to suit your needs. If the tank you invest in is too big, the diesel will sit around for a long period of time which will result in contamination from components such as diesel bug.



In conclusion, storing diesel fuel outside for long periods of time can be risky if proper precautions are not taken. If you need to store diesel outside for an extended time, it is recommended that you store it in a clean, dry and cool environment, and take steps to protect the fuel from  contamination. We also highly recommend investing in a tank that isn’t too small as to have to fill it too often, but also isn’t too large as to have your diesel storing for a long period of time. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your fuel remains effective and safe to use.