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Vapor Nozzles On Their Way Out at St. Louis Gas Stations

Categories: Environment

gas nozzle.jpg
Vapor trail: Nozzles like this one are slowly vanishing in St. Louis.
They've been around for well over a decade, but now the accordian-like bibs on gas nozzles at metro St. Louis gas stations are headed toward extinction.

Last year the EPA determined that the vapor-trapping nozzles are no longer needed because most cars on the road these days come equipped with devices that stop petroleum vapors from escaping the gas tank. Also, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has determined that removing the vapor nozzles will have no negative impact on air quality.

Last month the DNR gave permission for gas stations in the metro region (St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, St. Charles County) to remove the nozzles, and they're already coming off at the 30 area Mobil on the Run stations owned by Wallis Companies.

"From an operator's expense, there is definitely an expense [in removing the vapor nozzles]," says Tracey Hughes with Wallis Companies. "But the tradeoff is lower repair and maintenance costs over time."

More than that, though, Hughes says consumers favor pumps without vapor nozzles, which could prove difficult to operate (especially when trying to fill up a gas can) and were prone to malfunction.

"That's what's really driving our conversion," says Hughes. "In general, customers find it easier to fill up without the nozzle attachment."

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18 comments
mdresner1
mdresner1

While you all quibble, the best thing is the damn things will be gone. Doesn't matter why, who, what matters is , you can just open your gas cap, and slide in the tube. None of the crap you have to go through now, especially in winter. Great news. Quit griping.

Brian Lewis
Brian Lewis

SO HAPPY to hear this. Nothing worse than the nozzle popping right back out of the car and spraying everywhere because it has to stay rammed in the tank by hand.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Already used a vapor hose free pump, it's eerie at first!

Brian Wittling
Brian Wittling

Huzzah!!! Hose stupid foreskin things are a total pain in the arse with motorcycle ane my antique cars... you have to hold back and hold the pump the entire time, which defeats the entire purpose of them anyway. I love it when I go out of town and don't have to put up with them. Good riddance! !!

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

This seems like a bad idea considering just how many old cars their are out there.

Ryan Stufft
Ryan Stufft

What about the large number of older vehicles still on the road?

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

In other words, the stupid things did nothing to prevent vapor discharge, and once again an example of government regulations pretending to do something when experts knew it did nothing.

wildebeest
wildebeest

@JamesMadison In other words, you have terrible reading comprehension and you're another great example of how right-wing rhetoric is aimed directly at low-IQ inbreds like yourself.

kiltedyaksman
kiltedyaksman

@JamesMadison Did you miss the part about the vapor nozzels "no longer [being] needed because most cars on the road these days come equipped with devices that stop petroleum vapors from escaping the gas tank."?  Prior to this car development, the vapor nozzels were necessary in areas of high population density b/c gasoline vapor is an ingredient in ground-level ozone.

Unless you actually know something, spare us the libertarian rhetoric. 

drumfire58
drumfire58

@wildebeest @JamesMadison you're really coming across like an idiot the man just explained to you how vapor "101" works and you're still trying to defend this thing..unreal

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@wildebeest, wrong. I am unwilling to accept what I read because it is biased and does not adhere to basic science. You are too willing to believe the govt on some matters, yet I can imagine you completely distrust the government on others. It is the same government. I'm also wise enough to know a journalist is not going to get science right every time. Go ahead and believe whatever a journal explains to you about science. Go ahead and pick-n-chose whatever the govt tells you. Keep thinking you have superior IQ. 

drumfire58
drumfire58

@kiltedyaksman @JamesMadison ugh another moron..sorry pal but you're arguing against science..you're looking pretty damned foolish, I'd quit whilst I was behind if I were you. you're not making any sense

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@kiltedyaksman, Did you miss the part about it being unnecessary? There are plenty of older vehicles still driving around town. Plus anyone with a little knowledge knows that vapor pressure (and hence the vapors themselves) will equalize when the gas tank is opened. The "devices" are not vapor locks - that would cause fuel flow problems. The devices  prevent major gas spills in an accident. Once the nozzle goes into the car tank, you open a path for the vapor pressure to equalize, and the vapors can readily escape even if there is a tight seal when not refueling. We used to call those seals gas caps. Once the nozzle pushes the fuel spill plate out of the way, all the vapors are free to equalize the pressure. 

Regulations for the sake of regulating are huge impacts to a free society. Regulations that actually accomplish something good are debatable on their constitutionality. Stop making yourself feel like you accomplish something with regs when you've done nothing but placed further burden on society for no reason.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@bubbaengineer , A closed system draining the fluid will make a vacuum. The system must be vented. If air comes in, air goes out. Tiny vapor molecules move with that air. It is unavoidable. You can attempt to minimize it, but it is still happening. It always was happening - older cars and newer ones. Older pump nozzles and recent ones. Now consider jamming the nozzle on the gas tank. Same principle in reverse. The fluid must displace the air. The air pressure will build to the point where no more fluid can be added unless that air pressure has a release. When the air molecules more, so do the fuel vapor molecules. You are looking at the devices purpose, but not at the results. The device attempts to minimize this exchange, but they fail in that the majority of the vapor release is immediate, and previously happened before the nozzle vapor lock "sealed" the tank.

The EPA placed a reg on Saint Louis as a science project. Other communities just outside our area had no regs for the nozzle vapor seals. The science won out. The reg was a failure, but no govt agency can ever admit that. The changes in the cars only accounts for a certain percentage of the polluters. Why would they allow older cars to continue to pollute if simply maintaining the reg on nozzles would keep them from polluting? 

You are buying the govt/EPA BS and smiling as you eat it. I want clean air. I want real legislation (not EPA regs) that addresses it. If you really wanted clean air, you'd be demanding the EPA maintain the nozzle devices as well has having new car prices increased for the manufacturer devices added. In fact, you might require all older cars to be retrofitted. Instead, you accept the BS as fact.

bubbaengineer
bubbaengineer

Actually, you don't understand the carbon canisters that are used in modern cars to prevent the vapors escaping the tank.  Also, while the car is running, fuel is being removed from the tank so there is no pressure buildup unless the car has been sitting idle for some time.  You THINK you know, but you don't.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@kiltedyaksman, It will be impossible to sway you, since you are so willing to accept whatever the govt tells you, rather than using your own mind and be open to opposing views. You immediately jump to the conclusion the govt is correct, and everyone else is wrong.

What happens when you open an enclosed system? The vapor pressure instantly equalizes. Vapors escape before you can possible seal the system. Add to that, the system requires a leak in order to prevent a pressurized system. this allows the fluid to transfer. Otherwise, you'd have pressure keeping the fluid out of the tank.

Science is a wonderful thing, if you keep politics and feel-good regulations out of it.

According to you, the EPA is now willing to allow pollutate back into the ecosystem because only 30% of the cars are really bad for the environment. Does that even make any sense whatsoever? Would not a prudent thing be to continue to require the pumps with vapor nozzles to keep those 30% cleaner? Ask yourself why the EPA is so willing to allow 30% to pollute, when they could clean the air even further by just continuing the status quo? 

Critical thinking is required. Try it.

kiltedyaksman
kiltedyaksman

@JamesMadison @kiltedyaksman Incorrect.  They are vapor recovery nozzles.  The EPA decided they are no longer necessary b/c 70% of cars today have vapor recovery systems.  Sounds like reasonable governance to me.


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