What’s the biggest complaint consumers have about gas stations? Take a quick look around the internet and you’ll find out right away. It’s all about flow.
There’s nothing more that I hate than a slow gas pump on a hot summer day pic.twitter.com/80kpJyslrB— Narda (@quezadaxn) August 16, 2019
If the gas pump is being so slow that u have time to tweet, it’s a problem— amanda (@_simpliicity) August 2, 2019
Why does the gas pump go into slow pump mode only when you’re in a hurry?— Milo Bloom (@bloommilobloom) July 26, 2019
When a consumer experiences a slow-flowing gas pump, they don’t come back. Instead, they go across the street to a competitor, never to return. Consumers don’t realize the many factors that go into the flow rates of fuel dispensers. There are still plenty of steps you can take to maximize flow rate.
Change those filters
Filters are the most critical when it comes to flow. They should be changed every 300,000 gallons, every six months, or when fuel delivery rates slow significantly. Businesses who fail to keep up with this routine maintenance will end up with slow pumps and unhappy consumers.
Still have slow flow? Maybe the nozzle is the culprit. Verify that the dispenser is not in slow flow rate mode. You can also check for a system leak.
Conduct accurate flow stress tests
Many retail station managers that test their fuel flow do so during off-peak times. While testing fuel flow diligently is a necessary step for checking the performance of your equipment, your test results will not reflect performance during peak hours.
As more nozzles come online, the pump configuration becomes increasingly stressed. For a more accurate view into your station’s pump capacity, time the duration of a customer’s fill-up when the majority of fueling positions are active. Divide the amount of fuel pumped by the time logged on the stopwatch to get a gallons-per-minute (GPM) reading. Note how many other dispensers were actively dispensing at the same time. If you find that at peak times your fuel flow is significantly less than 10 GPM, your pump configuration may be undersized, prompting consumers to drive off a busy forecourt or stop fueling before the tank is full.
When filters are clean and nozzles are performing correctly, an upgraded pump configuration could be the most economical solution to improving forecourt throughput. If your submersible pump is under 2 horsepower, an upgrade to a 2 horsepower unit could provide the boost in fuel flow you need to increase efficiency and maximize profits.
A manifold pump configuration with smart control can also improve pump capacity by engaging a second pump when it’s needed during high-demand times. This type of configuration also has the added benefits of providing smart backup capabilities, should a pump go down, and energy savings by only using the secondary pump when needed. What’s more, the smart controller can alternate the lead pump to manage your fuel levels in both tanks according to your inventory management and fuel logistics.
Depending on your sump configuration, adding a second STP to a high volume product line can be a relatively inexpensive way to increase your annual volumes. If you’ve identified that your forecourt throughput is less than optimal, Veeder-Root can help you investigate what options are available for your pump capacity upgrade.
Want to learn more about upgrades to increase flow? Speak to a representative today or visit us at the 2019 NACS Show in Atlanta, GA on October 2-4 at booths #4331 and #4345.