Are You Really Getting A Gallon?

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) - When the gas pump says a gallon, are you really getting a gallon?

Volunteer TV’s Jim Freeman went along with a state Weights and Measures inspector and put three gas stations to the test including Clabough's Exxon, Wears Bp, and the Valley Exxon.

Eddie Woods is a Weights and Measures Inspector for the State of Tennessee, "what I'm doing, I'm going to pull exactly five gallons on here."

That's 1,155 cubic inches of gasoline with a tolerance range of six cubic inches over to six cubic inches under.

"If exceeded, the six inches, I would have to write up a rejection and tag the pump. If it was over 15 cubic inches, I'd tie the pump down,” Woods says.

So when it comes to calibration, a zero's a good thing.

"Zeroes are hard to come by. You'll get a zero occasionally,” Woods says.

Drivers paying for a gallon are counting on Eddie to make sure they're getting a gallon.

"I hope it's right. You know, I always hope it's right. I always hope it's there,” says Dale Baul from Clinton.

The results on this one are almost perfect.

"One cubic inch too much! Ain't that terrible?” Woods says with a laugh.

A plus reading is a small victory for the consumer.

"Most time it's in the consumers' favor,” Woods says. "I've found some giving as much as a tenth of a gallon."

Eddie is aiming for equity while consumers are keeping the faith.

"By faith for me, but you know every once in a while I'll pump and it seems like it's going a little faster than it should. You know. Who's to say?” says Motorcycle rider Joey Dykes from Berea, Kentucky.

There are almost 5,000 retailers that sell gas in Tennessee, and everyone of them gets an annual inspection. A computer randomly selects which dispensers are inspected.

"I'm checking three out of 18,” says Woods.

Every station we visited was within tolerance, which is plus or minus six, and all but two dispensers favored the consumer with plus readings.

Valley mart scored one zero which is perfect and its other readings all favored the consumer.

The Weights and Measures division has a toll-free complaint hotline 1-800-OCTANE-1.


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