Dear PEI Member:
We are asked that question by motorists at least once a month. The answer used to be that there are no rules, laws or recommended practices that require a certain nozzle for diesel. Today, however, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has changed that.
Fire codes typically don’t deal with nozzle spout sizes because there are no fire issues associated with vehicle misfueling. Similarly, weights and measure officials had no reason to tackle the problem because it is not a weights and measures issue. Their rules assure that motorists will get the quantity of product they pay for. They reason that it’s not their duty to ensure that motorists are prohibited from sticking a clearly-marked diesel nozzle in their gasoline-powered vehicle. EPA worried about putting leaded fuel in unleaded vehicles back in 1972 and mandated certain nozzle spout sizes to prohibit that practice, but it’s clear that EPA’s rule does not relate to diesel fueling.
Now SAE has stepped forward and issued a recommended practice, Dispenser Nozzle Spouts for Liquid Fuels Intended for Use with Spark Ignition and Compression Ignition Engines (J285), which supersedes a former recommended practice issued on the same subject in 1989. The document recommends that nozzle spouts be between 0.807 to 0.840 inches in diameter when used with spark ignition fuels (gasoline) and larger (0.929 to 0.937 inches in diameter) when used with compression ignition fuel (diesel) for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. SAE recommends diesel nozzle spouts for heavy-duty trucks and off-road heavy equipment be 1.122 to 1.250 inches in diameter.
SAE has issued this recommended practice because of the damage that can occur to the engine and/or its emission control systems if a vehicle is misfueled. The diameter difference between nozzle spouts establishes a basis on which a vehicle’s fuel filler inlet can be designed to help prevent the introduction of fuel that is not compatible with its engine. The need to differentiate diesel spout diameters should help eliminate fuel spit-back and spills caused when refueling passenger cars and light-duty trucks with large diameter/high flow nozzles.
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COMMENTS REQUESTED: OVERFILL PREVENTION FOR
The recommended practices described in the document are limited to the installation, operation, inspection, maintenance, and testing of overfill-prevention equipment used on shop-fabricated, stationary, and atmospheric aboveground tanks intended for the storage or supply of liquid petroleum products and alternative fuels. The document may be applied to tanks used for bulk plants, motor fuels dispensing, emergency-generator systems, residential and commercial heating-oil supply systems, and used-oil storage systems.
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.