What Is Underneath a Gas Station

Gas stations are a common sight driving down any major roadway. These essential stores provide the fuel that powers the economy. Whether you simply pump your gas or want to own a station, here’s what’s underneath your feet.


Part of gas station construction is the installation of fuel tanks. These tanks can hold tens of thousands of gallons. Some stations have multiple tanks while small stations may only have one or two. Tanks are typically made of steel because they resist corrosion.


Each tank has its own pump to bring the fuel up from the tank to the pump and into your gas tank. In order to get the gas to move upward, a suction pump provides unequal pressure to force the gas up the pipes and into the dispenser above ground. Or the tank may have a submersible pump that lies inside the tank below the fuel to push the liquid upward using an impeller.


It is important for the gas station to know if there is a leak. Each tank has automatic line leak detectors that alert the presence of a leak. The last thing the gas station wants is fuel leaking beneath the ground.


Systems of alarms are in place to prevent overfilling the tanks. Since there is a certain amount of water in the tank, a probe can set off an alarm when it reaches a preprogrammed high water limit. There are also PLLD Gross Test Fail Alarms that can generate shutdown alarms if a gross line has more than three gallons per hour leaking from it. Some of these alarms are managed remotely, while others are monitored right at the store.


The gas station needs to know how much fuel is in the tank. By inserting probes into each tank, they can use a monitoring system to know when they need to purchase more fuel and how much.

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