Is It The Right Time to Replace Your Sump?

Petroleum Service Company

As a gas station operator, you know how important it is for your equipment to be operating at full capacity. If you are not pumping gas, you are not making money! It’s easy to keep an eye on the fuel dispensers and other more visible areas of the forecourt, but what about those parts that are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind? Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it can be skipped during maintenance. One of those areas that you can’t ignore is your sump. It would be best to have this regularly inspected by a petroleum service company and repaired or replaced as required.

What is a Sump?

Not everyone who is running a gas station knows what all of the components are that contribute to the day-to-day operations of their site, but that’s what your petroleum service company is there for! So, for those who may not be in the know, what is a sump? In the most basic terms, the sump is a chamber below the ground providing access to the components of the tank system and giving protection to them as well. The sump can also help to prevent oil leaks and other harmful substances contaminating the surrounding soil. They will typically be made from either fiberglass or polyethylene. The most common types of sumps found around the gas station include:

  • Dispenser Sumps - Located directly below the fuel dispensers to provide access to piping, shear valves, connectors, and other fuel dispenser components.
  • Turbine Sumps - These are usually situated above underground storage tanks to provide access to the turbine area, which often houses line leak detectors, wiring, and other monitoring devices.
  • Transitional Sumps - You may also hear these referred to as intermediate sumps, and they are usually found along the piping that links the underground storage tank to the dispensers.
  • Spill Buckets - This type of sump is usually found where your fuel deliveries are connected to the storage tank. Their primary function is to contain any spills that might occur during refilling.

All of these types of sump serve a vital function in your gas station, so you must maintain them appropriately. That’s where your petroleum service company comes into play.

Maintaining Your Sumps Correctly

When you choose PumpTex, inc. as your petroleum service company, you can rest easy knowing that our technicians have the knowledge and training to inspect all areas of your gas station, including the sump. They understand the latest compliance requirements both from the EPA and at the State level. These inspections will be included in your regular maintenance visits, but in between these appointments; it can be useful to know what to look out for.

  • Are the lids tight and properly sealed? It is common for seals to dry out and crack. Finding water in the sump can indicate that a new seal needs to be installed.
  • Make sure the walls of the sump are intact and have not started to slump or warp. If the sump is not contained, you should also check the sidewalls for evidence of caving.
  • Your sump needs to be free from liquid, ice, and debris, as these can reduce efficiency and cause damage to your equipment.
  • There should not be any evidence of cracking or holes, as this means the sump will no longer be able to contain fuel and other potentially hazardous products.
  • If you find any evidence of a leak, you need to take immediate action to arrange a repair or replacement.

Suppose you notice any of these potential problems or anything else that looks unusual. In that case, you need to contact your petroleum service company to discuss making a repair or replacing the sump entirely.

Signs That It Is Time to Replace Your Sump

You may wonder how to tell if your sump can be repaired or if it is time to replace it with a new sump. There are a number of situations where it could be necessary, and your petroleum service company will discuss this with you. Here are some of the more common scenarios where the sump would need a complete replacement rather than a repair

  • If the sump has unrepairable cracks, it will be necessary to replace it with a new one. The sump must be able to contain potential leaks from seeping out into the soil, so cracks are a no go!
  • In sumps that are not contained, you may notice that there is caving on the sidewalls. As the sides have bowed in, it often allows water, sand, gravel, or other debris to fall into the sump.
  • If your sump has failed the Hydrostatic test and is unrepairable, you will need to replace it. Hydrostatic testing is designed to test the structural integrity of the sump by subjecting it to controlled amounts of pressure and observing how it behaves.

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PumpTex, Inc. was founded in 1997 in the back of a garage with the dream of bringing a new level of customer service to the retail petroleum service industry. Over the years, we have grown to become a valuable resource to our customers. Many consider us to be the first responders of the retail petroleum service industry!

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