Have these questions ever gone through your mind when filling up your car with gasoline at the local gas station. "Did I really get 14.987 gallons of gas, or could this pump be off a little?" Perhaps you've wondered, "Are these this pumps really accurate," or "does anyone ever check these things?"
Well, the answers are, maybe, yes, and we do. (For more on this question and others, please see the "Frequently Asked Questions”section.)
In 2014, Montana licensed approximately 16,225 liquid measuring meters. The majority of these meters are used to measure such liquids as gasoline, diesel fuel and propane for both retail and wholesale sales.
The testing of retail gasoline pumps is a high priority with the bureau and as such commands approximately forty percent of our time. However we feel that the results are worth it. Without the oversight provided by an aggressive Weights & Measures program this type of accuracy would not be available.
Assuring that these gasoline pumps record an accurate delivery is accomplished by using volumetric test measures with capacities ranging from five gallons to 500 gallons. When testing retail fuel dispensers, a five-gallon test measure that is accurate to within one cubic inch is used. The tolerance on retail motor fuel dispensers is +/- six cubic inches per five-gallon or 1,155 cubic inch test. (Six cubic inches = 0.025 gal., or roughly 6 tablespoons)
All commercial installations of meters used to measures any liquid for retail or wholesale delivery must be licensed and tested every year by the Weights & Measures Bureau. Additionally, any new installations or repaired devices must have a placing in service report submitted by a registered repair agency prior to the issuance of a license or reinspection by a bureau inspector.
The Department of Revenue's One-Stop Business Licensing program issues all licenses for the Weights & Measures Bureau. [Application]
Link to form page: http://revenue.mt.gov/home/businesses/estop_licensing#Licensing-Forms-658