Five gallon fuel or water jugs get heavy to pour! Stop straining your back with these super-easy-to-use siphons.

Shaker Siphon: Simply the Easiest Way NOT to Pour Fuel

Believe it or not, Dave and I have never filled either of our cruising boats at a fuel dock. Nope, every bit of fuel has gone into a jerry jug and then through a Baja filter* and into the tank.

And we jerry jug the gas for the dinghy. And until we got the watermaker recommissioned, we jerry-jugged our water. Now, our watermaker fills a jerry jug and we pour it into the water tank.

At roughly 40 pounds apiece, those 5 gallon jugs get heavy to hold up and pour in. But since we learned about these nifty little shaker siphons, we don’t pour them. And we don’t get fuel in our mouth starting the siphon, either. BONUS: They don’t spill like some of the “enviromental” spounts do!

DIY Tool: Five gallon fuel or water jogs get heavy to pour! Stop straining your back with these super-easy-to-use siphons.

The metal end is a check valve — the fluid can go into the tube through it, but not back through the valve. Start with the container you’re transferring from higher than where it’s going (the bigger the height difference, the faster the flow will be). Put the end with the check valve into the container you’re transferring from, the other end where you want it to go, and then jiggle the check-valve end up and down a few times (each time, more liquid will come into the tube) until it finally gets running downhill and the flow continues on its own.

Since it’s easier to show than explain, here’s Holly Scott of Charlie’s Charts:

This is one of those things that just makes life aboard so much easier. I’m amazed that everyone doesn’t already have one. I think Dave has given 4 or 5 of them to friends at our old lake house for fueling their boats, too!

Where to get your own? My number one choice is Charlie’s Charts since Holly went to the trouble of making a video to show how they work. You can also get them many other places, including Amazon. If you want to use one for both fuel and water, be sure to get two and label them both.

One final note: don’t try to use these to siphon gas out of a gas. Car gas tanks have some sort of anti-siphon device in them to defeat theives. They defeat owners, too.

*A Baja filter is a three-stage filter that gets out particles and water. Unfortunately, the original Baja filters are no longer being made. These Mr. Funnel filters are the closest thing I’ve been able to find.

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49 Comments
  • Ritchard Findlay
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    I used one of these this past Sunday. I couldn’t believe how well it worked. A bit slow, but no spillage whatsoever.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

      I should have put that in the post — SO much better than the “environmental” spouts that leak everywhere!

  • Don Koch
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    I discovered this really clever idea in Baja on a big 57 footer. It made topping off a breeze.

  • Debra Perfitt
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    Yep got a couple onboard. Best thing ever!!

  • Debra Perfitt
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    No inexpensive that I buy these as gifts for other boaters. They always tell me it’s the best gift ever!

  • Lynn Kaak
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    Been using them for years. And the rate they pour works well with Baja filters.

  • Debbie Bowen Crawford
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    Doug Crawford we need one of these

  • Jesse K On Smitty
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    We have one for fuel and one for water from the Jerry cans into the tanks. Love them.

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 19 September 2015 Reply

    We have fuel one and water one too and a spare I think. They are great. Wouldn’t be without them.

  • Scott Lee
    Posted at 20 September 2015 Reply

    I’ve thought about getting something like this for fuel. Where/how do you clean and/or store the siphon when not in use?

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 20 September 2015 Reply

      We just wipe it off with a rag and put it in a Ziploc.

  • ChrisW
    Posted at 20 September 2015 Reply

    It’s a good idea to wrap red tape on both ends of the one you use for fuel. It takes a long time to get the taste of fuel out of a water tank.

  • Susan
    Posted at 22 September 2015 Reply

    Most NAPA stores in the U.S. Carry them as well.

  • Ernie Lorimer
    Posted at 22 September 2015 Reply

    Do I understand it correctly that there is no good way of stopping it? I can’t fill a 1 gallon tank from a 5 gallon jerry can without a spill?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 22 September 2015 Reply

      Sure you can slow it and stop it. To slow the flow, lift the container it’s flowing TO (or lower the one it’s coming FROM). The higher the “from” container is in relation to the “to” container, the faster the flow, so if you lessen the difference, the flow slows . . . and slows. And if the “to” container gets even an inch above the “from” container, the flow will stop. So pick up the container with one hand, and when the container is full and you’ve stopped the flow, pull the check valve end out of the “from” container and hold it up in the air to let what’s in the hose go into the “to” container. No spill. Wipe off the outside of the hose after using.

  • brad
    Posted at 24 September 2015 Reply

    i use these to fill my tractor in the field. You SHOULD bring a pair of nitrile/latex gloves with you because the hose will have petro poisons on it when you are done – AND a rag to wipe down the hose ends would be nice.

  • Barbara Lowell
    Posted at 24 September 2015 Reply

    Can you please tell Capt. Holly that the contact us email button does not work on her site? You just get an email that has no addressee in it. I want to ask her a question about purchasing this product.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 25 September 2015 Reply

      I sent her a Facebook message (I don’t have her email or I’d give it to you) and also gave her your email so hopefully she’ll contact you. She’s in California, so give her a few hours to be up!

  • James
    Posted at 02 October 2015 Reply

    I’ve ordered a 2-pack of the shaker siphon through the links on this page. Thanks for the tip. I look forward to trying it.

  • Colin Mombourquette
    Posted at 16 October 2015 Reply

    Have one that came with the boat for use with diesel . Works great and is easy to use. Take care though when getting close to a full tank, it’s easy to overfill. Don’t ask me how I know 😉

  • Robert Snelling
    Posted at 03 September 2016 Reply

    I use one all the time! They’re great

  • Sunlover Connie
    Posted at 03 September 2016 Reply

    Been using one for years.

  • Ken Ferrari
    Posted at 03 September 2016 Reply

    Yes, these are wonderful!

  • Evelyn Mull
    Posted at 04 September 2016 Reply

    One for water and one for fuel. Both well marked. Got them on a “two-fer” deal. Even John Mull likes them!

  • CJ Schnier
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    These things are great

  • Jodi Bratton
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    We have three on board, water, gas and diesel.

  • Dawn Read
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    We have these, right, Lucky?

  • Colin Mombourquette
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    Have used mine for years; would’t be without it.

  • Matt Callaghan
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    I know these as Safety Siphons. They are awesome. I believe these are the originals.
    https://safetysiphon.net/

  • Sarah Laine Common
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    Nathan Common

  • Ritchard Findlay
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    I recently got one. It’s pretty cool, though needs to be relaxed from however long tightly rolled up in its retail package. It’s pretty sproingy.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

      Lay it out in the sun with something (books, whatever) holding it out fairly straight. Let it cool still straight, then roll up — less tightly.😎

    • Ritchard Findlay
      Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

      The Boat Galley If we ever get sun this “summer” I’ll do just that.

  • Robert Schulke
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    We do it for diesel. Guess we need another two for gas and water. The other thing we use is a filter funnel that blocks water.

    • Robert Schulke
      Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

      Becky Croston West Marine sells them. The flow is tolerable. What gets me is the amount of debris and water in fresh pump diesel here in South San Francisco. Neighbor actually borrowed it to polish his tank when he put a few gallons of water in it.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

      If you can get an old “Baja Filter” they’re great .. . . but not made anymore. The best I’ve found that’s available now is Mr. Funnel. They come in various sizes. Most high speed fuel docks get grumpy if you want to use one, so we lug jerries and filter every bit of it. http://amzn.to/2ueK40p

    • Robert Schulke
      Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

      West Marine sells it under their brand. Works amazingly well.

  • Carl Stevenson
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    We have one to transfer diesel from our jugs to the tank, and another to transfer water from jugs to the water tanks.
    They are marked and stored in their own labeled gallon zipper bags.

  • Susan Kam
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    John

  • Debie Petersen
    Posted at 27 June 2017 Reply

    I have one for water when camping. Harbor Freight carrys them.

  • Cathy Brookhart Cartier
    Posted at 28 June 2017 Reply

    I’ve had these for 20 years. They are wonderful gadgets!!

  • Angie Wilson
    Posted at 28 June 2017 Reply

    This is sold by Holly Scot in WWS if you prefer to support a mate instead of a coorporation….and hers arw much better than anything I have ever bought elsewhere….the real deal.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 28 June 2017 Reply

      Angie Wilson – I use Holly’s video in that post and link to Charlie’s Charts as the preferred vendor.

  • Jan Adrian Schutte
    Posted at 28 June 2017 Reply

    Gawie Herholdt

  • Geoff McClure
    Posted at 30 June 2017 Reply

    We have one for diesel and one for the dink and generator. I have a love hate relationship with them. They’re sometimes hard to get a siphon going but when they work, they work like a champ and are certainly far superior to the “spill proof” nozzles which are so poorly engineered they’re nothing more than garbage.

  • James H. Newsome
    Posted at 30 June 2017 Reply

    Bought mine a couple years ago after reading your article. I also purchased the filter you recommended. No regrets! Works great.

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