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Static Electricity.

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Old 04-23-2006, 08:45 AM
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yss
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Default Static Electricity.

I have a gas caddy (which is plastic) and an EZ dock system which is a plastic dock system made from plastic milk cartons. I rigged a valve on the gas caddy to pump air into it so the gas caddy doesn't have to be higher than the boat when I fill it. I plug the air pump into the boats ciggarette lighter and run it while I'm filling the boat with gas as the gas caddy sits on the palstic dock.

Do any of you smart people see a problem with this.

Being blowed - up would probably ruin my day.

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Old 04-23-2006, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

I have been using gas caddies for years now but only gravity feed. There is a real possiblity of static electricty in a very low humidity area. You would have fumes and a source if spark. I would not want to have any electrical anything around.
Other than that, they work great. I use a 3/4 clear hose on the bottom valve and drop it down the fuel fill as low as possible. Maybe you can build a small ramp to roll it up on to to give you the height you need. It will empty it in about 10 minutes.
Good luck, and I think gas caddies will be in wide use if there is a big price difference. I figured the break even point is about .75 a gallon.
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

I thought I was a genius when I rigged this up - it worked perfectly, but after filling the boat a couple of times this way I thought it might not be the smartest way to fill the boat.

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Old 04-23-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

Depending on how close the air compressor is that is a bigger concern to me then the static electricity. I am assuming you are using small diaphragm air compressors you plus into 12V outlet? The switch motor brushes etc all make plenty of sparks that are dangerous around gas fumes. Gas fumes are denser then air and could collect in strange places. For the static electricity , you could eliminate by grounding everything prior to starting the fill. I concur gravity fill is safest. Maybe you could ground the whole deal and use an air tank with a pressure regulator set to just a couple psi to pressurize the caddy.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

Hmmmmm.....how does one ground a plastic gas container?
I'd imagine that a grounded surface could drain the static potential away.

I handle all ESD (Electro Static Discharge) certification and grounding devices for my company. While I have never conducted a test to see if the plastic gas containers generate static electricity, I'd like to think they don't for safety. Some plastic containers will generate static while being handled or coming in contact with other items.

Pressurizing any container containing gas is not a good idea. If the air pump does ignite the fumes, you have a pressurized bomb sitting on the dock. Not good.

FYI
A plain 6" piece of cellophane tape pulled off the spool generates 3000+ volts of static electricity.
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

I'll have to dig but I remember an article about plastic gas cans and rubber mats that are used in the back of pickup trucks. The article said to never fill a can sitting on one of these mats.
I'd be concerned about a plastic dock and a plastic can.
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

Are those gas caddies made to be pressurized? I would check in to that first!
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_velocity
I'll have to dig but I remember an article about plastic gas cans and rubber mats that are used in the back of pickup trucks. The article said to never fill a can sitting on one of these mats.
I'd be concerned about a plastic dock and a plastic can.
If not mistaken, I believe there were major concerns about plastice gas cans in trucks with plastic bed liners. When the two rub together and fumes are present........ boom!

What I did a few years ago, due to the higher fuel cost at marinas, I went to the tractor supply/farm store, bought a 115 gal aluminum tank. Had them special order a 200', 3/4" gas hose (with static wire), complete with a regular gas hose nozel with digital read out. Pump on the tank runs on 12v.

Put it all on a golf cart or atv trailer for ease of hualing to town and back to my dock. I have my own dock and this has been working very well for me. Price of fuel at the marinas are 30-40 cents higher, so burning a 100 gallons of fuel a weekend, it paid for itself in one year.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

InXS, how do you electrically ground the tank/hose prior to pumping fuel into the boat?
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Static Electricity.

I have to agree with most everything you all have said. In summary my recommendation is:

Don't pressurize the tank (no further explanation needed)
Don't use any other spark producing devices (boom). Sealed pumps are OK providing they are UL listed and made to pump gas.
Plastic cans are OK. If they were a problem they would have been outlawed years ago. There is an issue with static on bed liners (approximately 20 cases known) however I've read a white paper that states 70% are due to metal cans not plastic. In either case they recommend grounding as the solution, i.e. just take it out of the bed and fill on the ground. Not sure how to address this on a plastic dock. I bet the manufacturer of the tank can give better insight.

My thoughts.....
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