Gas inspector insures quality at the pump

April 30, 2008 5:17:14 PM PDT
Due to the rising gas prices, consumers are wondering where they will find a bargain.

Once you fill up, are you getting what you pay for?

Wake County's gas pump inspector rolls to gas stations several times a day.

Sam Cain, a standards inspector, works for the Department of Agriculture and his goal is simple. As prices skyrocket, he's out on the streets to make sure you're getting what you pay for when you fill up.

"Make sure you're getting a gallon for a gallon,"Cain said.

And he does that quite literally, Be it regular, plus or supreme, he goes through the same test at about 45 pumps daily.

He'll pump five gallons and then uses a device on his truck to see that five gallons -- or extremely close to it -- actually came out.

He says it usually does. But if a pump is off, it gets turned off.

"Well we close the gas pump and it stays closed or remains closed until it's repaired," Cain said.

And if a pump hasn't passed inspection, you'll know about it because the pump will be bagged, and it will also be marked with a tag saying it's been rejected for repairs.

Cain checks for a range of other problems as well. He looks for leaks and makes sure the lights on the digital pumps are working.

He compares the sign on the street to see if it shows the same prices as the pumps. He even notes if there is paper for receipts.

Cain says he gets more complaints from consumers as prices rise, and he checks them all but rarely does he find violations.

The gas that is tests gets recycled by putting it back into the fuel tanks at each station.


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