...good things to know.
Sent in by: Roger D'Errico 11/08/07
I've been in petroleum pipeline
business for about 31 years, currently working for the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline here in San Jose, CA. We deliver
about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period from the pipe line; one day it's diesel, the next day it's jet fuel and gasoline.
We have 34 storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons. Here are some tricks to help you get
your money's worth:
1. Fill up your car or truck in the morning when the temperature is still cool. Remember
that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground; and the colder the ground, the denser the gasoline.
When it gets warmer gasoline expands, so if you're filling up in the afternoon or in the evening, what should be a gallon
is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and temperature of the fuel (gasoline,diesel,
jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products) are significant. Every truckload that we load is temperature-compensated
so that the indicated gallon gage is actually the amount pumped. A one-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for
businesses, but service stations don't have temperature compensation at their pumps.
2. If a tanker truck is
filling the station's tank at the time you want to buy gas, do not fill up; most likely dirt and sludge in the tank
is being stirred up when gas is being delivered, and you might be transferring that dirt from the bottom of their tank into
your car's tank.
3. Fill up when your gas tank is half-full (or half-empty), because the more gas you have in
your tank the less air there is and gasoline evaporates rapidly, especially when it's warm. (Gasoline storage
tanks have an internal floating 'roof'membrane to act as a barrier between the gas and the atmosphere, thereby minimizing
4. If you look at the trigger you'll see that it has three delivery settings: slow, medium
and high. When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to the high setting. You should
be pumping at the slow setting,thereby minimizing vapors created while you are pumping. Hoses at the pump are corrugated;
the corrugations act as a return path for vapor recovery from gas that already has been metered. If you are pumping
at the high setting, the agitated gasoline contains more vapor, which is being sucked back into the underground
tank, so you're getting less gas for your money. Hope this will help ease your 'pain at the pump'