By Brian Morgan
Gasoline tanks are frequently removed or drained to service or replace the fuel pump, replace a damaged tank, or remove contaminated fuel. Before the next repair job rolls into your repair shop that requires accessing or removing the fuel tank, you might be thinking about purchasing a gas caddy to make the job a little easier and safer.
Basically a gas caddy for use in a professional auto service shop is a portable steel tank with a pump and hose attached. Its primary purpose is to safely transfer fuel from the gas tank; safely store it during the repair process; and transfer it back to the gas tank after the repair is finished.
A lot of the steel gas caddys on the market look alike with a wide range of prices – but don’t let appearance and price fool you. Here are five things you need to know to help you make the best choice.
Safety Comes First
When it comes to working with gasoline safety needs to be the number one priority. Look for a gas caddy that is UL approved. Both the tank and the pump carry separate UL approvals. The UL certification assures you that the equipment has been tested for stability, strength and fire safety and has been built to OSHA approved standards.
Choose a gallon capacity based on the vehicles you normally service. A 25 or 30 gallon gas caddy should be more than enough for most cars and light trucks.
Make sure the caddy is equipped with a “two-way” rotary pump. And look for the transfer capacity. A good rotary pump should transfer about seven gallons a minute when turned at a normal rate. A rotary pump with UL approval is always the best choice. It is built and tested for fuel compatibility, endurance, lift capacity, and transfer rate. A good pump make the job much easier.
Some gas caddies are available with an optional air operated pump. An air operated pump is twice as fast as a manually cranked rotary pump.
Type of Fuel
A gas caddy needs to be dedicated to a specific type of fuel to avoid mixing and contamination. Look for a red caddy for gasoline and a yellow for diesel so the type of fuel is easily identified in your shop. If you service many cars that use E85 ethanol fuel make sure the caddy is E85 compatible. Ethanol is very corrosive and can cause damage to a non-compatible caddy.
Consider a Filter
Don’t put contaminated fuel back into the vehicle you just serviced. Using an in-line filter is a good idea. Some gas caddies come equipped with a filter system or look for a filter kit that can be purchased separately as an accessory.
For more information on UL approved steel gas caddies go to www.johndow.com.