Gas pumps are a critical piece of equipment in the world of a fuel retailer. If the pump is not working, the customer is likely to go down the street to another retailer to fill up the tank. Getting the gas station pumps up and running is something most retailers cannot wait for. Gas station retailers should know how a gas pump works and be aware that this equipment may need to be repaired one day.
How does a gas station pump work?
When a consumer drives up to a gas station pump, he sees only a few of the many complex parts within the pump. To start pumping fuel, the driver swipes his credit card. Once approved, the gas pump prompts for the driver to select the kind of fuel desired. Then, pumping begins. Once the pumping is complete, the pump pops out a receipt and gets ready for the next driver. However, this process is the only part that the consumer sees.
Almost all retail gasoline tanks are underground. To pull gasoline up from the tank, one of two kinds of pumps are used: submersible or suction. A submersible pump sits in the gasoline and uses an impeller to push the gasoline up. A suction pump uses pressure to suck gasoline up.
Further up the pipe from the tank is a check valve. The check valve is what opens and closes to regulate gas flow. When the check valve is closed, the gas is held in the pipe under pressure. When the pump signals for gasoline, the check valve opens, allowing the fuel to flow.
As the gas flows up, towards the consumer’s vehicle, it goes through a flow control valve. This valve regulates how fast the fuel is flowing. A flow control valve regulates fuel by using a diaphragm that opens wider for faster flow and contracts for slower flow. If a driver prepays for a specific amount of gas, the flow control valve will slow down as that limit approaches.
Past the flow control valve is the flow meter. This meter measures the amount of gasoline that flows into the consumer’s vehicle. This process is how the fuel retailer measures how much gasoline a consumer takes and thus knows how much to charge that person.
The blend valve is next. Most gas stations have only two tanks on site (diesel is not part of this equation). Yet, these gas stations offer three or more kinds of gasoline for consumers. One tank holds the highest octane gasoline while the other tanks hold a lower octane gas. By blending these two kinds of gasoline, it is possible to create multiple octane levels, from just two tanks.
The pump nozzle is how the consumer controls the gas flow. When a consumer grasps the nozzle’s handle, the gas starts flowing. If the consumer lets go, the pumping stops.
To make sure the gasoline does not overflow the tank, there is an automatic shut-off built into the nozzle. Alongside the nozzle, there is a small pipe called a venturi. When the venturi submerges into gasoline, it stops air pressure going into the nozzle, which triggers the automatic shut-off.
At the center of all the mechanical pieces to a fuel pump is the computer. The computer does several things on the modern station pump, such as taking the consumer’s payment and letting them indicate which fuel they want. The computer then opens up the proper valves and tells the consumer it is ready for pumping. This computer also signals the flow control valve to shut-off when the transaction is complete.
Repairing the gas station pump
The first step in repairing a gas station pump is to identify which part of the system is not working properly. Sometimes it’s obvious. The computer is not working. The nozzle is damaged. No gasoline is flowing even when everything else is working.
The next step is to replace the damaged part. Nozzles are usually easy to replace. Take off the old one and put on the new one. Just make sure everything is properly attached and in place. Replacing external hoses is also easy. Just detach the hose from the pump and the nozzle and replace it.
Leave pump, computer and valve repairs to the experts. Those require special training and expertise.
If you need wholesale fuel, call Kendrick Oil today at 1(800) 299-3991. We offer branded and unbranded fuel, as well as related services in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Louisiana. You can also Contact Us via email.