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Quite the Gas problem yesterday...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Petr51488, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,372

    Well, let's start out by saying that from now on i will stick to the name brand gasolines!

    I bought about 50 gallons of regular gas last week from this new guy that opened up by me. 1.89 per gallon. Thats about 10 cents cheaper than everyone else around here. So i went for it.
    When i actually needed to use the gas about 3 days later i mixed it with the oil for my blowers. So i start on the fall cleanups and it starts crapping out on me. (brand new stihl 600) I got it going eventually but later on it did the same when i re-fueled. So i call up my dealer and tell them my situation. I bought the blower last month and whenever i give it full throttle it craps out on me. It would idle but no full speed. He tells me don't touch it, bring it in, and i he would take a look at it. time is now about 11:30am.
    I go over to the dealer they look it over... and they eventually wind up dumping out the fuel that was in my blower. They put it in a shiny bowl and showed me that there was quite a bit of water in it! Now, this couldn't of happened because of an open trailer (rain into the tanks) because i have an enclosed. So i remembered that i got all my gas just a few days prior from this guy on the corner that just opened up. Keep in mind that this gas station has been closed down for about 6 months and was later opened up by a new guy.
    So i go over to the guy at the gas station and tell the pump guy my situation about how their gas is watered down. He tells me no problem, don't worry, ill call the boss. Boss gets there in 5 minutes and basically says theres nothing he can do. He blames it on the new Ethenol E85. Some Bull$****. And i tell him... you expect me to believe that they water down gas now? I dont think so. We go at it for about 10-15 minutes and he still sticks to his word about him not being able to do anything. So im pissed off now, and i tell him..I'm going to tell alll your customers here that your gas is watered down. He just stares at me. and i say... alright man, you wait, i'll be back. Slam my truck door and am about to leave when he calls me over into his office. When its all said and done (yea right) he makes me sign this paper saying that he refunded my money (only 35.00 worth) He tells me since my truck is running fine he won't refund that (i used 30 gallons in my truck and the other 20 in tanks) but he will give me my money back for the other gas. I tried to explain to him that a smaller engine like my blower will feel more of the watered product than my truck will, but he's a complete a$$ hole and didn't want to hear anything. So i took my money and left.
    I plan on letting the heat dye down a little and I will eventually report him to the NJ Department of Weights and Measures.
    What do you think?? Any thoughts?????
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,318

    I have a theory as to what might have happened. If the underground tanks sat empty for a while there might have been a condensation buildup in the tanks. Then, when the new owner received his shipment, the water got washed off the tank walls and mixed into the gas. Just a theory but may have some validity. It just seems unlikely a new operator would start out watering down the gas. Now, after 6 months or so, maybe, but not right away. Too much bad publicity.
    ericg likes this.
  3. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,372

    Yes, i agree with you. That could be it, but he had the pumps changed and should have had the tanks cleaned before he started selling his water
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Are you guys in NJ allowed to pump your own gas yet? Try and get him to stick the tank and see if there is any water.
  5. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,372

    We are allowed to, but most don't because we dont have to. I'll let the dept of weights and measures do the testing, not him
  6. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,318

    What he should do and did do can be 2 different things. Now that I think about it there are usually about 2 times per year that I think I get some "bad" gas at a local, high volume station. Once is about now and the other time is in late winter/early spring.

    But I agree that this could be a matter for the authorities to look into.
    ericg likes this.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    The gas station owner is correct, that is exactly what happens when water gets into E-85. The E-85 also gets extremely corrosive when water gets into it and that is why you'll rarely ever see water in E-85. If there is water in the UST (Underground Storage Tank) it was there before the fuel was put in the tank. Fortunately if there is any water in E-85 it will quickly attach to the ethanol and the water/ethanol mixture will seperate from the gas and settle to the bottom of the tank. For his UST to pump any water means that there is a lot of water in the UST since most tanks will not pump all the way to the bottom. The pickup is usually 2 to 4 inches above the bottom of the tank.

    My question is this...

    Why are you using E-85 in your equipment?
  8. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,372

    I wasn't. I bought regualr unleaded gas supposedly
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I learned a trick will prevent you from running to the dealer and wasting all that time arguing with people, which is to pull the starter rope 50 times in quick succession, full pulls: For smaller engines, you want to pull it in such rapid bursts that the engine never stops turning over.... For larger engines, you'll need to take a break every so often.

    Half your day's energy and strength is wasted either way, thou 50 pulls is over with a lot sooner.

    Starts every time, guaranteed. Well, almost... Only once did I have to give something 100-150 pulls on the rope.

    Then I learned my lesson:
    Nowadays, I run namebrand premium only (amoco/bp, texaco, shell, that kind of stuff), I got tired of equipment not wanting to start.
    Because if it doesn't start in 5-10 pulls, for one it's not the gas.

    p.s.: and all the guys saving money buying regular always laugh at me for that.
  10. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    my thoughts:
    premium wont be any better.. name brand might be.. but putting premium in these types of engines produces LESS power. ... the fuel will not burn as well. premium fuel is not any "cleaner".. it just has higher octane, which means its HARDER to burn. higher octane gas is only benificial when used in high compression, performance, or turbo engines..... because then the fact that its harder to burn prevents pre-detonation. in low rpm lawn equiptment it is completely unnessecary... wont do any harm though besides producing less power. i will definitely try that 50 pull trick.

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