This is an article from the June Bulletin Issue written by Jamie Thompson, Chairman of the Technical Committee.

I was recently asked by a petrol station owner if he could have longer hoses on the pumps as his customers were having problems filling their cars that had the fill caps on the side away from the pump. Are there any restrictions in these situations?

The hose length is governed by the hazardous area the pump and nozzle produce when being used.

The restrictions on the hose length of petrol pumps were originally determined by Weights and Measures requirements and the hose was 12 foot (3.65m) and to ensure that the nozzle of the hose was away from the public pavement the safety authorities wrote the Codes to require pumps to be a distance of 14ft (4.2m) from the pavement.

As improvements in hose construction allowed accurate measures to be determined this restriction has been lifted.

The hoses are now often much longer but this has caused another challenge to the petrol station. If the design of the site has a dispenser 4m from the public way then longer hoses should not be fitted as this could mean the nozzle could reach the public highway. The fact that the public can walk along the pavement smoking is considered a hazard.

If you look at page 46 of The Blue Book the hazardous area is determined by the length of the hose plus 1 metre.

At a recent inspection of a site during a training course in Hong Kong we found a long hose had been fitted to a pump which was so long it reached inside the shop!

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