Tennessee gas pump inspection

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you drove away from a gas station with the fuel nozzle still in your tank? Would there be damage to your vehicle and gasoline pouring out onto the pavement?

While the Tennessee Department of Agriculture can’t fix your car or cure your embarrassment, the inspectors in its Weights and Measures division do work to prevent a gas spill hazard. That’s because they’re responsible for inspecting every gas pump every year to be sure that every pump is equipped with a shear valve that is designed to shut off the fuel flow if a pump is dislodged.

The inspectors take samples from each location in the state that conveys motor fuels and heating oils – testing more than 8,000 samples per year for tests such as octane, water and sediment, and other parameters to ensure that the fuel meets compliance standards. The inspectors also check the actual fuel dispensers to be sure they are properly labeled and calibrated, so that consumers can rely on the accuracy of what they see on the pump.

Gas pumps aren’t the only devices the inspectors test. From grocery store scales to truck and livestock scales, the inspector’s job is to verify the accuracy of the nearly 19,000 scales in businesses across the state.

“We’re a third party that works to protect the consumer and educate the business,” says Bob Williams, administrator of Weights and Measures. He explains that although 99 percent of their inspections are unannounced, their job isn’t adversarial.

“Our inspectors work with management to help them understand the rules,” he says. “We visit retail stores to do check weighing and to verify that scanned UPC codes match prices on the shelf.” If discrepancies are found, Williams says, the inspectors provide guidance, allow a short time for the retailer to fix the problem, and then come back to re-inspect.

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Another important function of the unit is the testing of liquid propane gas and bulk fuel meters.

Such behind-the-scenes work means that the inspectors don’t interface with the public very often.

“However, if consumers are concerned about the accuracy of a fuel pump, for instance, and they’ve talked to the station without satisfaction, they can contact us at 1-800-OCTANE1 and we’ll look into it,” Williams says.


  1. I re-fueled my car the other day it took 9.039 gal. my tank holds 9.2 gal. i still had a 1/4 tank of gas when i started. i have never gone over 8 gal. to fill it. how can i find out if the pumps are accurate ? this station just went through some work and was closed for a week before.don’t know what the did to the stat. please let me know.thanks Gary C.

  2. I filled my gasoline tank today at Thorntons HWY 31 East in Hendersonville, Tennessee today. My gasoline gage showed 1/2 tank and it has always been accurate. Today I filled up at said station and I put in 13.5 gallons . My tank holds 20 gallons. How is that possible? I got ripped off today. Last week with my gage showing the same I put in 9.5 gallons at a different station which is the norm.

  3. On Monday of this week, my wife and I stopped at the Git N Go Market in South Clinton, Tennessee to put fuel in out motorcycle. The fule nozzle did not shut off and gasoline ran all over the motorcycle and covered me with gas as well. Fearing the bike might catch on fire, I immediately got off and pushed it away from the gas pump. While I was wiping the bike off and trying to dry my clothes off, my wife went into the store to report the defective nozzle. The clerk just blew it off and told her that it happens all the time. I have never purchased gas at this business before but I have also never had a nozzle to not automatically shut off either. This could have been a disaster to both my wife and myself and the business. I have tried to contact the business twice about this matter without any return communication from them at all. My wife warned other customers at this business about the defective nozzle and they moved to another pump. This is a very dangerous gas pump and it is clear to me that this business cares nothing about their customers safety as they have failed to contact me back. I would appreciate someone looking into this before it is to late. Thank you.

  4. I filled up my car at the Marathon station on Campbell Station Road in Knox County today (Feb. 18, 2015) It was using pump station 1, and was the 100% gasoline tank. The pump stopped at 15.2 gallons. The car, a Honda CRV, only holds 15 gallons and the gauge was indicating nearly 2 gallons in the tank at the time of the fill-up. Can anything be done about this situation?


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