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  • Why Did Gas Can Spouts Change - The Big Spill

    February 01, 2023 6 min read

    gas can with a big question mark on it

    If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s you may have remembered that gas can spouts were simple, straw-like components that were a breeze to use and easy to store. The newer gas can lids, however, kind of resemble complex weapons and can be a bit difficult to figure out. Why did gas spouts change? 

    Gas can spouts changed in 2009 as a result of stricter EPA regulations. The new spouts are rigid plastic, are meant to eliminate evaporation, and cannot be easily opened by children. 

    While many consumers find new utility spouts difficult to use, there are still spouts out there that are somewhere between hardcore EPA standards and your grandfather's old metal can spout. It just depends on your local regulations and/or what you intend to use the spout for.

    Keep reading to learn how and why gas can spouts changed, what these changes mean for consumers, and how to get your hands on utility jug spout alternatives that are much easier to use.

    Why Did Gas Can Spouts Change?

    The gas cans many of us grew up watching our parents use were rugged straws with little caps on the end. They were extremely simple, and anyone could operate a gas can. 

    One concern that prompted the redesign was the ease of access. These old-fashioned gas can spouts were so easy to use and get into that a child could easily uncap the can, pour out the fuel, or attempt to ingest it. The design of older gas cans may have also allowed for the evaporation of minute amounts of gasoline into the atmosphere. 

    In 2009, the EPA decided that gas cans needed to be less prone to the evaporation and spilling of gasoline, and the new gas can spouts we all know and might not love were born. The newer designs on gas cans do not permit gasoline to evaporate and are much harder for a child to access. 

    They’re better for the environment and safer for families, but why are they so darn hard to use?

    old gas can

    Why Are New Gas Cans Harder to Use?

    The primary goal of the EPA redesign was to reduce the leakage of gasoline fumes into the air. The older gas can spouts were a flexible straw design, and this was incredibly easy to pour from. They may have also been leading to the evaporation of gas into the atmosphere. The vents on older gas cans may have also been allowing vapors to be released. 

    So what do the newer gas can spouts look like? The newer gas can nozzles are often rigid and inflexible and made of hard plastic. This means you have to angle the gas can to an extreme level to pour your fuel. This can cause unintentional spillage and gas wastage.  

    These new nozzles also need to be manipulated with a decent amount of force to unlock. Some folks have even resorted to modifying newer gas can nozzles to make them simpler to work with. 

    Apart from modifying your new gas can to be more usable, has anyone designed a modern gas can nozzle that is easier to use and pour from? 

    Are Utility Jugs the same and Gas Cans?

    Some people have been using “Utility Jugs” as gas cans in an effort to find a jug that is resilient to fuels but also easy to use and pour.  Typically the term utility jug has been used for jugs that are made from HDPE or chemical-resistant plastics.  They are often used as “Race Jugs”.  People involved in racing often use utility jugs as gas cans in racing situations so they can quickly and easily fuel up their race cars, boats, motorcycles, motocross dirt bikes, and more.  On a closed racing course, these utility jugs are often legal to use with fuels (check your local laws), and can handle all kinds of fuels including diesel and race gas with ease.  However, not all states view Utility Jugs as acceptable jugs to transport fuel.   You will need to check your local and state regulations if they can be used for transport or for highway use.  If your state does not permit, utility jugs are also great for hauling and transporting water, feed, seed, etc. 


    Hose Bender Black Edition Premium Utility Jug Spout

    Are The Spouts For Utility Jugs Easy To Use? 

    STKR Concepts has designed several Utility Jugs and jug spouts that are easy to use, more convenient to uncap, and less prone to spillage. We make sure to manufacture our utility jugs and spouts in ways that are safe for the environment and less of a hassle to pour from. 

    Our newest spout the Hose Bender Black Edition, for example, incorporates a lanyard that hooks onto the base of the nozzle, keeping the spout bent slightly and making pouring a much more enjoyable experience. The material of the spout is both flexible and durable, making it perfect for pouring. This lanyard also helps ensure that your gas cap is never misplaced or lost and helps make pouring sensitive liquids much less stressful. 

    The red aluminum cap is durable and screws in place tightly, making spills during transport a thing of the past. The compression fitting on the Hose Bender Black Edition is universally threaded, making it easy to switch from can to can if needed. 

    While buying a spout alone may help you save money, entire jug and spout configurations also exist that are holistic solutions for liquid transport and pouring. 


    EZ5 5 Gallon Utility jug equipped with a Black Edition Hose Bender Pour Spout outdoor lifestyle picture

    Can Jugs Be Built for Better Pouring?

    Utility jugs and cans serve a very simple function but can be cumbersome to use, and getting that last drop of liquid out of the can is often a real pain in the neck. Sometimes the best thing to do is to reinvent the wheel, and we’ve done that with the EZ Utility Jug / Hose Combo

    The EZ Utility Jug / Hose Combo pours very easily. It has three conveniently located handles to help you pour comfortably while maintaining balance and reducing spills. The first handle is a traditional pitcher-like handle near the top of the can. The second is located alongside the jug, and a third, somewhat hidden handle near the front base of the can allows for easy inversion of the can for emptying the container.

    The translucent plastic of our jugs allows you to see how much liquid is left, giving them a huge advantage over opaque jugs.  So, what are these jugs made of, and how are they better built?

    What Are These Better Jugs Made From? 

    When choosing a utility can or jug, you want to make a purchase that is going to last, do its job effectively, and be a joy to work with. We make sure to manufacture our spouts and jugs out of durable, practical, and safe materials. 

    Our utility jugs are made from tough HDPE plastic which holds up to many chemicals including fuel/gas, but as mentioned, not all states may permit fuel to be transported in our containers.  Some states may permit it only on closed-course racing circuits for quick fueling, not transporting.      

    Make sure you check out all state and local laws and make sure you are using our products in a way that complies with local regulations. Our EZ Utility Jug is designed to lock into our EZ floor mount that features a click-in and lock-down design to make safe transport easier. However, if transporting fuel in a truck or trailer, ensure your configuration is in line with all state and federal laws for the safe transport of gasoline and other fuel types.  If not, use our EZ jug with a transport mount to safely transport animal feed, other fluids, non-potable water, and pellets, as it was designed and sold for.


    hose bender black edition poster featuring a studio pic and a lifestyle image with an EZ5 utility jug next to a chainsaw in the woods


    In 2009, the EPA’s regulation of gasoline leakage into the atmosphere prompted a serious re-design of gas can spouts. These new gas can spouts are rigid and hard, making pouring quite a bit more complicated. 

    Utility Jugs might be an option if you are looking for something that is easier to use as long as it is legal in your area.  Newer utility spout configurations, such as STKR’s Hose Bender Black Edition, have been developed which are much easier to pour fluids from. Our products are made of durable and safe materials and feature a unique lanyard and hook design that bends the nozzle to just the right angle. 

    Make sure that it is permissible to transport fuel in our containers where you live, as some states may prohibit the transport or storage of fuel in our utility jugs. If this is not allowed in your area, you can check if they are legal to use in closed racing courses.  At the very least, use our jugs as they are designed and sold for, which is to safely and conveniently transport animal feed, other fluids, non-potable water, and pellets.

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