Why Are Fuel Tanks Vented?

Much like your computer’s memory system, fuel tanks need to “breathe” also. In order for them to do so, there should be a vent somewhere to help in relieving both pressure and vacuum.  As gasoline warms up, its natural tendency is to increase in volume. As it cools down and the temperature subsided, the volume will shrink back again to its previous level. 

 Why Are Fuel Tanks Vented?

Even if you are not driving your car, it is stationary and the engine is not running, the level of your fuel tank will change from time to time throughout the day. The temperature has something to do with that.  

Unless you have a surefire way to get the air out, there is no possible way you can add some fuel into your tank. There are no means yet that will allow you to draw out fuel from your tank unless you could air get in first. 

In the 1960s era, the vast majority of vehicles then are making use of vented gas caps. They are just gas caps, just that they have holes in it.  Unfortunately, such hole allows the fuel to splash out from the tank whenever the vehicle is accelerating or would be taking some action to turn to a corner.  

If you will make an attempt to run a vent line, see to it that you ran the line above or higher than the tank’s highest point, and this would include the fuel filler neck. Another thing to watch out for is, you must not let the vent line to have a dip in it as condensation and fuel here can possibly get trapped in the line. 

In the event that fuel gets trapped in the line, your fuel tank will likely build pressure or vacuum until there is enough pressure that will purge the vent. With this happening, it may cause odor or gas to come out of it from the vent line. With the right amount of pressure, it could eventually wreak damage to your tank.  

Is It Important to Have a Tank Vent Equipment? 

It is crucially important for fuel tanks to have vents because they allow your tank to reach and maintain atmospheric pressure.  While the fuel level is gradually reduced, air consequently flows into the fuel tank, and this same volume of air will flow out of it as the tank gets filled. 

Additionally, fuel tanks will have gradual air movement within them via the vent as the temperature would be changing from day to night because the fuel would be expanding and contracting at different intervals throughout the day and night. 

In many places, gasoline fuel tanks are required to have breathing vents. This is helpful in retaining needed vapors for vapor recovery systems. Diesel tanks that are intended for use in emergency generators are not required to have this. Add to that, they are typically open to the atmosphere.  

It is an important requirement for fuel tanks to disperse vapors which the tank will discharge. Also, it should keep debris, animals, or water from gaining entry in the vent pipe. Typically, vent pipes should ideally terminate from a minimum of 12 ft above ground and should be at least 10 feet away from a building or any structural openings.   

There are also occasions in which facility owners would take innovative measures that will help them keep moisture in the air from gaining entry to the tank via the vent. The usual solution employed for this type of problem is the use of a desiccant vessel or cartridge that you will install within the vent pipe itself. This would allow the desiccant material to take up or absorb moisture in the air. 

It is of paramount importance that these systems come with secondary vent devices for both vacuum and pressure conditions to keep the tank safe and secure from damage, with the help of a blocked desiccant vessel.  See also: fuel tanks price

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