C-Store Underdogs Save the Day

Four fuel sites doing it right

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Brought to you by Source North America.

There are hundreds of components above and below ground in a convenience store fueling system. Each has an important function, but some don’t get the respect they’re due because of their unassuming, behind-the-scenes roles. By reducing fuel losses, preventing catastrophic spills and preserving customer loyalty, these four fuel site underdogs save the day, day in and day out.

Thread Sealant

Thread sealant—also known as pipe dope—is a critical, and often undervalued, fuel system contributor. Applied to joints and connections to make them leak-proof and pressure-tight, proper application of thread sealant is essential to compliance, inventory integrity and uptime.

“Thread sealants are specified for different fuels. Therefore, selecting the right thread sealant is imperative,” said Joe O’Brien, Vice President of Marketing for Source North America. “However, because thread sealant is so widely used during fuel site maintenance and construction, regard for application-specific needs are sometimes overlooked. This misstep frequently happens at stations retrofitting their sites for biofuel or ethanol blends.”

Dispenser Hose Breakaways

Occasionally, absent-minded motorists pull away from the dispenser with the nozzle still inserted in their car. The dispenser hose breakaway cleanly disconnects the nozzle end of the dispenser hose from the whip hose (the segment of hose connected to the dispenser) and stops the flow of fuel, preventing a costly fuel spill, equipment damage and downtime. Without a dispenser hose breakaway installed, a c-store operator could face extensive fuel losses and equipment repairs. Breakaways are available in single use and reconnectable styles.

Shear Valves

The emergency shear valve is a critical piece of fuel site safety equipment. This valve is positioned on fuel lines under dispensers at grade level to stop the flow of fuel in the event a collision or other emergency (such as a natural disaster) shears the dispenser off its foundation. Designed to automatically close when an accident occurs, the shear valve helps to prevent a catastrophic fuel spill or fire. Have it tested annually to confirm proper performance.

Dispenser Filters

Dispenser filters are a c-store operator’s last line of defense against the distribution of contaminated fuel. Particulates, water and fuel that contains aqueous ethanol due to phase separation can cause significant damage to engine components—the corrosive properties of aqueous ethanol can cripple a car and damage the dispenser. Dispenser filters prevent the distribution of bad fuel by capturing contaminants and, in some instances, alerting operators to a problem by slowing the flow of fuel. Distribution of contaminated fuel can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in fuel losses and remediation costs, days of downtime and diminished brand loyalty.

Learn more about the dangers of fuel contamination, particularly phase separation, in this SourceLine News & Insights story.