Re: In-the-tank fuel pumps cause death and destruction

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Maybe I'm dense or something, but how can the in-tank fuel pump be blamed for these two incidents?
A Google search found two serious fires, happening on the same day, one
fire causing death and the other perhaps a million dollars damage as a result of servicing in-the-tank fuel pumps. Had these fuel pumps been placed externally, as the usual and proven practice for more than 70 years, these accidents would have been prevented. Legislation is badly needed to address this serious design deficiency as professional mechanics as well as amateurs are exposed to deadly danger by a totally unnecessary fuel system configuration. In the meantime, lawyers should file a class action as all manufacturers are currently using dangerous in-tank pumps and millions of cars are affected. This suit is worth billions and billions. At the very least, all cars should be retrofitted with new tanks and external pumps by mechanics wearing fire suits and guarded by fire crews. The changeover will save hundreds of lives and much damages while costing much deserved hundreds of millions of dollars of expense to the responsible capitalist titans, all of whom are totally devoid of industrial ethics.
News Story One:
Thursday, October 28, 2004 Last updated 4:11 a.m. PT
Inhalation of toxins blamed for Des Moines fire death
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DES MOINES, Wash. -- A man who died in a garage fire after gasoline spilled out of a truck that was being repaired died partly from inhaling toxic fumes, investigators said.
David E. Russ, 61, identified Wednesday as the dead man, also had burns on more than 90 percent of his body, investigators in the King County medical examiner's office said.
Russ and two other men was trying to replace the fuel pump on a pickup truck Monday when the leaking fuel caught fire as the trio tried to push the truck out of a detached garage.
All three ran outside, but Russ went back in and was trapped when the roof collapsed, Fire Battalion Chief Victor Pennington said.
News Story Two:
Local auto dealership heavily damaged in fire By Virgil Cochran Lamar Daily News
Thursday, October 28, 2004 -
Tri-County Ford on Highway 50-287 north of Lamar was severely damaged by a midmorning fire yesterday, but the manager Jeff Travis said the business will be up and running again in just a few days.
Travis and Prowers County Rural Fire Chief Marvin Rosencrans said the fire began when mechanics were attempting to drain a fuel tank on a vehicle in the mechanic shop to replace a fuel pump. A fuel transfer pump developed an electrical short, which triggered the blaze.
It rapidly engulfed the shop area of the building, but everyone managed to get out safely, Travis said.
Tri-County will have temporary office trailers set up on the lot by next week, Travis said, and will be open for sales of new and used vehicles. In the meantime, all automobiles for sale will remain on the lot, and customers are welcome to drop by and shop, and even negotiate deals. But the business won't be able to finalize deals until the temporary offices are set up and computer equipment is up and running again next week.
Travis said Tri-County is also negotiating for temporary headquarters for its mechanic shops, but it may be a few more days before the shop functions of the business are up and running.
Eight cars in the service area were destroyed and the service garage itself was heavily damaged if not totally destroyed, but Rosencrans said damage to the office and parts storage area was limited to mostly smoke and water damage.
Local firefighters were called to the scene about 10:40 a.m. yesterday, and the Prowers Rural Fire Department was assisted by the Lamar, Wiley, and Holly Fire Departments.
As for the existing building, Travis said the business was well insured and that he would meet with insurance adjusters sometime today.
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Fishing troll.
A Google search found two serious fires, happening on the same day, one fire causing death and the other perhaps a million dollars damage as a result of servicing in-the-tank fuel pumps. Had these fuel pumps been placed externally, as the usual and proven practice for more than 70 years, these accidents would have been prevented. Legislation is badly needed to address this serious design deficiency as professional mechanics as well as amateurs are exposed to deadly danger by a totally unnecessary fuel system configuration. In the meantime, lawyers should file a class action as all manufacturers are currently using dangerous in-tank pumps and millions of cars are affected. This suit is worth billions and billions. At the very least, all cars should be retrofitted with new tanks and external pumps by mechanics wearing fire suits and guarded by fire crews. The changeover will save hundreds of lives and much damages while costing much deserved hundreds of millions of dollars of expense to the responsible capitalist titans, all of whom are totally devoid of industrial ethics.
News Story One:
Thursday, October 28, 2004 Last updated 4:11 a.m. PT
Inhalation of toxins blamed for Des Moines fire death
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DES MOINES, Wash. -- A man who died in a garage fire after gasoline spilled out of a truck that was being repaired died partly from inhaling toxic fumes, investigators said.
David E. Russ, 61, identified Wednesday as the dead man, also had burns on more than 90 percent of his body, investigators in the King County medical examiner's office said.
Russ and two other men was trying to replace the fuel pump on a pickup truck Monday when the leaking fuel caught fire as the trio tried to push the truck out of a detached garage.
All three ran outside, but Russ went back in and was trapped when the roof collapsed, Fire Battalion Chief Victor Pennington said.
News Story Two:
Local auto dealership heavily damaged in fire By Virgil Cochran Lamar Daily News
Thursday, October 28, 2004 -
Tri-County Ford on Highway 50-287 north of Lamar was severely damaged by a midmorning fire yesterday, but the manager Jeff Travis said the business will be up and running again in just a few days.
Travis and Prowers County Rural Fire Chief Marvin Rosencrans said the fire began when mechanics were attempting to drain a fuel tank on a vehicle in the mechanic shop to replace a fuel pump. A fuel transfer pump developed an electrical short, which triggered the blaze.
It rapidly engulfed the shop area of the building, but everyone managed to get out safely, Travis said.
Tri-County will have temporary office trailers set up on the lot by next week, Travis said, and will be open for sales of new and used vehicles. In the meantime, all automobiles for sale will remain on the lot, and customers are welcome to drop by and shop, and even negotiate deals. But the business won't be able to finalize deals until the temporary offices are set up and computer equipment is up and running again next week.
Travis said Tri-County is also negotiating for temporary headquarters for its mechanic shops, but it may be a few more days before the shop functions of the business are up and running.
Eight cars in the service area were destroyed and the service garage itself was heavily damaged if not totally destroyed, but Rosencrans said damage to the office and parts storage area was limited to mostly smoke and water damage.
Local firefighters were called to the scene about 10:40 a.m. yesterday, and the Prowers Rural Fire Department was assisted by the Lamar, Wiley, and Holly Fire Departments.
As for the existing building, Travis said the business was well insured and that he would meet with insurance adjusters sometime today.
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I hate to take the side of a trial lawyer here, but I have always wondered about the wisdom of submerging an electric motor into twenty gallons of gasoline. What about the gas guage? Isn't that just a variable resistor? Looks like there might be some current going across those feelers as the float goes up and down.
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SSaund9084 wrote:

Fuel gauge sending unit have been in the tank for at least 60 years. To have a fire you need fuel, oxygen, and a source of ignition/ There is a very little oxygen in a fuel tank. What little there is, usually reacts with the super abundance of fuel in a rapid and harmless manner.
Liquid gasoline is actually very difficult to ignite. An well mixed combination of air and vaporized gasoline in the proper balance is easy to ignite, but you should never have this in a fuel tank. Now if you start spilling gasoline from a tank into an open room - well we all know what can happen then.
Ed
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wrote:

Correction. It is impossible to ignite. Only the vapors are flamable.

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<<Snippage>>
No shiite.
Lessee...if we all gave up cars we could save 45,000 lives a year, no wait, we'd also have to give up transportation of medicines too...so maybe we'd have a net savings of 22,000 lives a year...ooops, death by horse accidents...ok, we save 11,000 lives a year...but those 11,000 starve because there's no way to transport the food from farm to market.
Ok, let's all just commit suicide now and save everyone the bother of living.
You play the game you take your chances...
The world was made with corners and no amount of doo-doo-gooder wishful thinking is going to change this from a zero sum game. Carpe diem...or get out of the way and stop trying to save me from myself.
Cripes.
Richard
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years,
as
spilled
an
functions
itself
to
and
and
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Al Smith wrote:

Simple: To increase integration and reduce costs. The auto mfgrs. prefer to buy fewer total assemblies from suppliers to cut down on costs such as separate handling, installation, shipping, purchase contracts, parallel paper trails, tracking systems, project managers, installation effort, etc. By putting the fuel pump with the "sending" unit, the fuel pump and gage sender (and, in the case of the LH cars, the fuel filter) get incorporated into one purchased "part".
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my adddress with the letter 'x')
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An educated guess - adding to your clearly educated response - no sarcasm, so don't get pissed...
Also, this type of integration is used secondarily, but not insignificantly, to increase book-billed labor charges and replacement costs on all related parts and diagnostic procedures. Under warranty, this isn't usually a big deal, because the factory-trained techs are specifically trained in the "is/is not" questions that arise, and how to test for them. Off warranty, or at the local shop, properly trained techs use this to their advantage like many other things, simply billing "book time" that doesn't reflect reality, relying on the customer's ignorance.
While replacing a heater core, and heater hoses while they were at it, which I completely agreed with, a shop tried to bill me $120 in labor to change the thermostat. I told them to put it back together, fill it, and then expect legal trouble, or to do it as part of the job, and just bill me for the part. Knowing I'd caught them in a lie in January, while I was at work downtown when it was zero degrees outside, they shut up and acquiesced, albeit begrudingly. I laughed, and asked repeatedly why I could do something in 10 min., by itself, that would take them 1.5 hours with everything already aparts. They had no answer. I had the facts, prices and diagrams right in front of me as well. It wasn't worth it to them. I'm not a lawyer, I'm a businessman. It was all about cost / benefit in this case. I never have gone back to them (a major repair franchise, I might add).
In their defense, shops use book time out of necessity sometimes, because of a lack of local knowledge. In their attack, shops and techs use book time to make money on flat-rate labor. Techs and shops alike continually look for common, high-book-time gems with which to bilk their customers and reap profits.
Sadly, few people have time to, care to, or can, feasibly, dig into these problems themselves, which is why this system has proven so successful.
The saddest and most uncertain factor in these equations is the newbie tech who just invested $50,000 in his or her education and tools to work on new cars. Too many fail or quit, and most are underpaid for their valuable work. Others succeed, and either become vampires themselves, or are good enough (morally and skill-wise) to turn an honest, good profit and NOT screw consumers with (on average) 100% markups on parts and book-billed labor.
Ok, so many of you know all of this, and are saying "so what". I'm just throwing this out there on my own time, having seen both sides, and I'm just trying to share experience...
FWIW... a little homework goes a long way, if not done anywhere but from Google and a $20 repair manual...
Bill Putney wrote:

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If you have about a week to wait for the fuel to tranfer........
<snip>
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No,, about half an hour maximum will empty a 72 liter tank - and totally unmonitored, so you can do another job while it is being drained. The schrader valve is removed to remove a significant amount of restriction from the line.

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<snip>

That is bull.
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Actually, no it's not. It works great as long as you have a working fuel pump.
Denny
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If your fuel pump is working why would you would you drain it that way? It is very time consuming. You will not pull 72 liters or 19 gallons in a half hour.
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Thomas Moats wrote:

I believe the original poster said transfer pump, not the car's fuel pump. That method would work just fine.
Matt
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is
hour.
Yes he was referring to a transfer pump. Even with a transfer pump, he will not remove 19 gallons or 72 liters in a half an hour. The lines are too small in diameter. There is restriction from both the pump in the tank and fuel filter. Then once the return line is no longer under fluid the possibility of sucking air if the regulator is of an open center design. Which means you can no longer pump fluid.
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Thomas Moats wrote:

I thought I could find a flow table with a quick search, but no luck yet. I think you'll find that even a 1/4" tube will flow a lot more gasoline that you might guess. 19 gallons in 30 minutes is only 0.63 GPM, and that is really a very low flow rate given any pressure at all.
Matt
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not
filter.
sucking
longer
Well lets do the math. As I stated in a another post it takes about 7 minutes to fill a 2 gallon can from the schrader valve on my car. That is 3.5 minutes per 1 gallon with a stock OEM pump. 3.5 minutes x 19 gallons is 66.5 minutes. The pump in my Crown Vic is rated at 21 GPH. It delivers out the schrader valve at just under 19 GPH. That is why I say bull-shit to the claim of pumping out 19 gallons or 72 liters in half an hour. It can not be done with a stock pump in the tank, and it cant be done with a transfer pump pulling the fuel out the schrader valve. That is especially true if the pump in the tank does not work, it will provide too much resistance to the flow and most likely cause the plastic fuel lines to collapse.

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On Sat, 30 Oct 2004, Thomas Moats wrote:

Are you sure? Let's do a little math. A quick Google on "electric fuel pump" gph shows us automotive pumps with volume flowrates of from 43 to 220 gph on the first page alone. Take the lowest-rated one (43 gph). Half of 43 gallons per 60 minutes is 21.5 gallons per 30 minutes.
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The average automotive OEM not a aftermarket high flow pump is 19 to 30 GPH ( Gallons per hour ) not the advertised GPH of the high performance pumps on the first page of your google search. Pumps as a rule do not deliver the maximum advertised GPH when plumed in. There are a lot of reasons for this. One of the biggest is the size and lengths of the lines the pump must push the fluid through. The same holds true for the supply side of the pump. The amount of restriction in the filter must also be considered. You will never see the pumps rated flow, especially through the very small opening of the Schrader valve. But for argument sake the highest average for OEM is 30 GPH, is a max of 15 gallons in 30 minutes, if there is no restriction involved, but we know there is.
I routinely fill 2 and 5 gallon fuel cans for my home power equipment via the fuel pressure Schrader valve. It takes roughly 7 minutes to fill the 2 gallon can. So 3.5 minutes ( for one gallon ) x 19 gallons is 66.5 minutes. The pump is new, well less than a year old. I can shave a about a half a minute if I remove the Schrader valve core. 3 x 19 = 57 minutes.
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