It's a real tragedy, what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico with the Deepwater Horizon oil platform accident and the resulting oil spill. It will take many months for the affected shoreline to get back to normal, and the accident investigation and subsequent litigation will go on for years. The attention the media has given to this tragedy has been huge, too.
I change my own oil on our Journey motorhome. The Cat diesel engine has a large oil pan that holds almost 5 gallons of oil. The average oil drain pan you can buy holds maybe 2 1/2 gallons. My quandary was how to drain my old oil without causing another oil spill. I change the oil at my house. I'm sure I wouldn't be very popular with my neighbors if I spilled oil and had, in front of my house, the 6 o'clock news team trucks, hazmat vehicles and a line of lawyers waiting to file a lawsuit, leaving many ambulances un-chased.
Enter this neat little device called the Fumoto Drain Valve. This company makes a small valve that takes the place of the oil pan drain plug. The valve can be opened and closed, allowing me to fill up my drain pan, shut off the flow, empty the drain pan into my old 5 gallon gas can that I use to recycle oil, and the re-open the valve and drain the rest of the oil out. When all the oil has drained out, the valve is closed and the little handle is locked so it can't accidentally open. That would be bad...
Fumoto makes drain valves for many common engine applications. The valves can be ordered plain or with a nipple so you can attach a hose and drain the oil into a jug. The valve cost $24, cheap insurance in preventing another large oil spill.
I'm happy because changing my own oil saves me considerable money, I help keep the environment clean by capturing all the old oil and recycling it, and the neighbors don't have to suffer through talking to the local reporters for the 6 o'clock news. ;c)
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