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  1. #1
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    Default Federal law on pumping gas

    Does anyone know if it is a federal law that you can't pump gas with a car running or yapping on the cell phone? Just curious

    I was at a gas station this morning and the wouldn't turn the pump on for a guy that left his car running. Then they mentioned that about a cell phone as well or if someone answered there phone while pumping, they would turn the pump off.

  2. #2
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    No it is not federal, and only a few states have these sorts of laws. Ask any firefighter who has been properly trained and he will actually tell you that especially when dealing with older cars - it is safer to leave it running.

    That being said - understand they are under no obligation to let you purchase fuel. It is their private property and if they don't want your business because you will not conform to their (usually posted) rules - then they don't have to take it.

  3. #3
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    Not to mention:

    States that you can not fill sleds while in the enclosed trailer. Huh?

  4. #4
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    Years back I worked at a Amoco gas station and at that time we were suppose to shut off or not start a pump if a person was on a cell or the vehicle was running. This was orders by the Fire Chief and Law Enforcement.
    I am pretty sure that this was not a law but something that they wanted done in town.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Fleet Farm will shut off the pump if you go sit in the vehicle while pumping gas.

  6. #6
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    On anouther note... 2 Years ago my friend was filling up the tank on his poontoon boat.
    Static electricity caused a spark and he went up in flames... Always place your tanks cans and anything else thats not buile in on the ground.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollie View Post
    Years back I worked at a Amoco gas station and at that time we were suppose to shut off or not start a pump if a person was on a cell or the vehicle was running. This was orders by the Fire Chief and Law Enforcement.
    I am pretty sure that this was not a law but something that they wanted done in town.
    As noble (and uninformed) as their intentions might be - their "wanting it done" requires a lot more than just their say-so. Ordinances and laws... these are good things.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by srobak View Post
    As noble (and uninformed) as their intentions might be - their "wanting it done" requires a lot more than just their say-so. Ordinances and laws... these are good things.
    In the case I talked about above it was get a fine from the city if caught. I know of 3 that we got in the 7 yrs. I was employed there.

  9. #9
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    Ok, then there was indeed an ordinance, which would need to be cited on the ticket.

  10. #10
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    Mythbusters did a thing on this and it takes quite a bit to get a fire or explosion. I think they had to mist gas on a lighter flame. The cell phone didn't cause any issues.

  11. #11

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    In MN where I live, the pumps have decals all over them to shut off vehicle and no cell phones as well as filling gas cans on the ground.
    Never saw anyone get a pump shut off before.
    Maybe it's an insurance issue with some stations?

  12. #12

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    I like when the warnings and the LAW PROHIBITS signs are on the pumps and store signs and there is a cop car idling away while they sit in the car with the pump running

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banks93 View Post
    Mythbusters did a thing on this and it takes quite a bit to get a fire or explosion. I think they had to mist gas on a lighter flame. The cell phone didn't cause any issues.

    Yeah, on Mythbusters, if I remember correctly, they couldn't get a cell phone to produce any sort of ignition.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eltrain1984 View Post
    Yeah, on Mythbusters, if I remember correctly, they couldn't get a cell phone to produce any sort of ignition.
    Under the RIGHT conditions, static electricity can ignite strong vaporized gasoline (fumes) so under the right conditions (not in the winter time, not when the humity is up...etc) I am sure it is possible to cause and explosion.

    The car running thing doesn't make sense, because you drive up to the pump and are pumping as others drive away. A car idling should not cause fumes to ignite either, as this is the stuff they run on.

    And if you can't put gas in a can on the ground, what do they expect you to do, load the can in the trunk?? Seems far more dangerous because you are more apt to ignite gas fumes in a contained area that if it were on the ground, and since the car is not grounded, touching the nozzle to the can in a car could cause static spark.

  15. #15
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    Yale MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by srobak View Post
    No it is not federal, and only a few states have these sorts of laws. Ask any firefighter who has been properly trained and he will actually tell you that especially when dealing with older cars - it is safer to leave it running.
    As a firefighter that has been properly trained, I can tell you that the above statement completely is wrong. The intent of shutting off a vehicle while fueling is to eliminate any possible sources of ignition. Gasoline vapor is highly flammable, when in concentrations within its flammable range (not too rich or too lean). Older cars are worse, as the electrical systems are not as isolated as newer cars. The issue is that the vapor that escapes when filling can find a source of ignition and cause a fire. Gas cans need to be placed on the ground and the fuel nozzle needs to be in contact with the can when being filled to discharge any static electricity that builds up during the fueling process. Cars have a "flap" that grounds the fuel nozzle to the car automatically, so no static discharge will occur.

    Andy

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banks93 View Post
    Mythbusters did a thing on this and it takes quite a bit to get a fire or explosion. I think they had to mist gas on a lighter flame. The cell phone didn't cause any issues.
    I think a thread just gets more interesting when "Mythbusters" gets into it....

    just my two pennys

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flapjack23 View Post
    As a firefighter that has been properly trained, I can tell you that the above statement completely is wrong. The intent of shutting off a vehicle while fueling is to eliminate any possible sources of ignition. Gasoline vapor is highly flammable, when in concentrations within its flammable range (not too rich or too lean). Older cars are worse, as the electrical systems are not as isolated as newer cars. The issue is that the vapor that escapes when filling can find a source of ignition and cause a fire. Gas cans need to be placed on the ground and the fuel nozzle needs to be in contact with the can when being filled to discharge any static electricity that builds up during the fueling process. Cars have a "flap" that grounds the fuel nozzle to the car automatically, so no static discharge will occur.

    Andy
    Very well said- and CORRECT!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by einne View Post
    Very well said- and CORRECT!
    I am confused...What actually turns the Gas Station pump off if your really not an emergency firefighter?? You can say your a firefighter, and peeps a pumpin gas, but if
    your not around, nuttin is a turnin off the pump...so what is your point? I am out of Ideas, and questions, so I will hit the Submit Reply button, as shown down below....

  19. #19
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    Illnoise
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    Actually static electricity is more of a risk in the winter with the drier air fortunately though the fuel vapor is down with the colder air... My biggest issue is get'n the dang attendent to turn the pump on in the first place so if I gotta put out a smoke and drop the cell phone so be it and If they get on the speaker and say its prepay I'm away to anutha station cuz I'm pay'n cash to fill up...

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