Jerry Can, Hands Free Conversion

In this week’s blog we are looking at a solution I came up with when a colleague recently asked me if I could make a breather vent-cap for our contactless hands wash stations, located in our woodlands.

When we were eventually able to recommence the running of our bushcraft courses in the woods after Covid19 restrictions were eased, there were of course numerous guidelines and new protocols we had to put in place to protect both our staff and customers from the risk of Covid. One being, restricting contact with communal items.

To prevent woodland insects from entering our military heavy duty water containers, which were set up for no contact use for hand washing, (not drinking water) we needed to secure a mesh panel to allow air in and water out.

20 liter Jerry can, be wary of zip ties around the handle, as this may lead to injury whilst carrying

Our chosen set up includes a jerry can tap I have previously made.
Here is what you will need:

• 15mm compression tank connector
• ½ inch lever ball valve (female)
• 2 x ½ inch BSP mesh washers
• 20mm drill bit
• 15mm compression elbow
• 1 x cable tie (optional)
• Cordage
• Spanner
• 1 x jerry can cap

Firstly, to fit the tap you will need to drill a 20mm hole in the center of your large jerry can cap.

Drill a 20mm hole in large Jerry can cap for tap to fit

The tank connector can then be fitted ensuring the rubber washer supplied with it is inside the cap.

Fitting the tank connector

One of the mesh washers is then placed inside the internal thread of the lever valve and the lever valve can then be connected to the external thread of the tank connector. It is advisable to use thread sealant, PTFE tape or just some glue to secure them together. This is not so much to ensure a watertight joint but is merely to prevent them becoming undone during use or transit.

Fitting the tap to the tank connector

Be mindful to connect you lever valve the correct way so, when open, the lever turns away from the jerry can! That is the tap complete.

Make sure the tap is fitted the correst way for use

For the breather cap, simply place the mesh washer inside the 15mm compression elbow nut and connect the elbow body. Again, some glue or similar will prevent this from becoming undone.

Building the vent

With a little persuasion the other external threaded end of the compression elbow can be turned clockwise into the smaller stem of the jerry can. This can then be attached to the jerry can. Prevent loss when not in use by using a constrictor knot or the cable tie and cord. Then finally check all connections are suitably firm using the spanner.

Hands free Jerry can ready for use

This works fine on our Army water containers and can be adapted to suit other containers. There are ready made vents that can also be utilized, but at around £17 each that would prove expensive for our needs over multiple sites.

Maybe go on to make your very own soap, check out our soap making blog here

Please avoid placing zip tie around the handle, as this may lead to injury by the user (highlighted as yellow in our images)

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