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Pumping Gasoline: The Rules You Probably Don't Follow

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Wasn't sure where to put this and it is too serious of a subject to post it with jokes. If there's a better place please move it.

The first two I was not aware of. :woot:

Gas Station Rules You May Not Know (HubPages.com)

•Turn OFF your cell phone. Static electricity forms when your cell phone rings, potentially causing a spark.

•Do NOT re-enter your vehicle. Static electricity forms from opening your door and travels around the side of the vehicle, potentially causing a spark. Sliding back into a cloth seat will generate static exponentially.

•Do NOT leave the nozzle unattended. If the nozzle does not automatically click off, the spillover gas causes a fire hazard. Also, you are responsible to pay for any spillover fuel regardless of the reason. $$$

•Do NOT step or jump over the gas hose while fueling. The nozzle is not fixed to your car as it is easily removable when you hang it back onto the pump. Therefore, any tug on the line could pull it out of the vehicle spraying gasoline in your face, on your clothes and on the ground.

•Do NOT let your children help. Children are eye-level or under to the gas tank. Usually, a small amount of gas will spill when inserted or removed from the tank. In warm weather, the gas expands and randomly causes puffs of gasoline to shoot out spontaneously. This is caused by patrons who "top-off" their tanks. An unsuspecting patron is usually the victim of this spillover. The spill ends up harmlessly on an adult's arms and legs. If a child is standing there, they could be blinded.

•Place portable gas tanks on the ground before and during fueling. Leaving the gas can on the bed of your truck on in the trunk of your car is the extremely dangerous. The static that has accumulated from the tires while driving is very strong on the bed when it stops moving, potentially creating a spark. Holding the can in your hand poses static and instability issues. The ground is the safest place.

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  • Elders (Moderators)

That's interesting to me personally, for two reasons.

I stopped driving years ago, but one car I had I would get a static charge from quite frequently. When I mentioned that to the garage, when the car was getting its annual service, the mechanic just laughed it off. Somewhile later, I was still having problems but then the engine started just cutting out, so we got in another mechanic who spent a very long time trying to track down the engine cutting-out problems. That problem really needed to be sorted because the engine once cut out when I was in the fast lane of the motorway, but thankfully traffic was sparse and I was able to coast safely to the hard shoulder and after a short while I restarted the engine. Eventually that mechanic tracked it down to a fault in the electrical wiring in the ignition which was triggered intermittently because I had a lot of keys and therefore weight on my key chain. Occasionally, the momentum of the keys would cause a brief shortcut in the imperfect wiring. Once the ignition unit was replaced and I separated my keys into two key chains, there were no more problems. I don't know whether that static charge I was getting was really static electricity or not.

About a year ago, I was shopping in a convenience store that had a petrol (gas) station attached. While the checkout person was processing my purchases she repeatedly used the intercom to tell the man at pump #3 to close his car door. The guy took no notice, and I was somewhat perplexed why she insisted that he should close his car door but didn't want to ask because she seemed to be one of those officious type of people. Only now can I guess the reasons - there would have been petrol vapours around that pump, some of which could have migrated into the inside of his car. If he generated static electricity when he got into his car, the consequences could have been dire.

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eh, I would honestly say that there were *other* cercumstances for the cause of the fire in the video.

First, the cars built from about 1995 and on have this roll over valve that prevents gas and its vapors from escaping the gas tank in case the car has been in an accident. there is , pretty much, when the car engins turns on, pressure that pulls the vapor into the gas tank.

in effect, there is air in that area and perhaps, some lingering fumes, but not gas.

Second, have you ever tried to light a grill by holding a match over it by a foot? it just wont light. Gas fumes are heavyer than air, and linger at the pavement,

the source of the friction is under the backside, not, the shoe, *as many soles are rubber which does not conduct electricity, its doubtful tha rubbing a cloth seat would cause it.

while cell phones have energy, its contained. honest. if it wasnt the cell would short out. (which it doesnt)

Third. unless you have tape or something, the newer pumps have the handle that forces you to stand there and hold it (though the older pumps with the gas jockeys did leave it run while they washed your windows)

why close your door, why stay outside? well, with the cost of gas, many places have had issues with people who fill up and drive off without paying. Cell phones tend to distract people when they are pumping as well, leading to over filling and spills. and heaven help us if little Mikey put the gas nozzle in his mout!!.

Ok I did a quick google on does static electicity start car fires...


in a brief summery, it says the numbers for the fires are skewed by bad documentaions, and at the time of printing there were NO cases of cell phones being the cause of fires, AND the numbers of this were so low that its like a very rare occurance.

except for the lady that sort of set herself on fire and in the excitemnt , doused her self with gas from the nozzle, - darwin award for that.

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Libby, the reason why the member of staff would have insisted that he close his door is more to do with the risk of a 'drive off' than the risk caused by fuel vapours. I know this purely because I worked part-time in a petrol station for three years when I was studying. I memorised those rules above but it's virtually impossible to get anyone to abide by them and if I'm honest a lot of them are considered to be a debatable or apocryphal risk. Better safe than sorry though.

One of the stranger memories I have of those days (and I have many) was hearing reports of an individual with profound mental health problems who would peruse forecoats to take the nozzles and drink the last drops of the previously dispensed fuel from them. We never encountered this soul but the neighbouring stations all reported his presence. I believe it led to a criminal injunction in the end but I wouldn't swear to that memory.

Another odd story we heard was of an individual who lit a cigarette after syphoning fuel from a parked vehicle using the 'sucking method' - needless to say he wasn't sucking very much after that.

A grear share Darlene, it really takes me back.


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  • Elders (Moderators)

Thanks, Kath and Eth, for the explanation why car doors should be shut - after all the crime programmes I've watched on TV I should have thought about that. :oops:

The drinking petrol thing is bizarre. A quick google shows that a guy from Middlesborough got banned from every petrol station there because he'd slash the pipes to get his fix.

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I appreciate all of your comments everyone, thanks. I couldn't resist posting this.

There sure are a lot of weird people out in the real world. Definitely no shortage there. I know you have to get some in your mouth when you siphon gas, but the thought of drinking it, yuck. :yucky:

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