Calibrating the gas pumps - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Calibrating the gas pumps

RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

How do you know you are actually getting the amount of gas you pay for at the pump? In these days of rising gas prices, it's good to know there is a state agency checking those pumps.

Fifty-two thousand inspections are done annually, checking 72,000 devices, by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. It's all to make sure the consumer is not being cheated.  

About half of the time they find the amount of gas received is more than what the pump indicated.  

They usually get about 300 complaints a year, which are checked by 11 inspectors, statewide.  

"We go out there and make sure the consumer is getting what they think they are getting, and also the quality they are expecting," said Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Cindy Hyde Smith. "We check octane levels, we check to see if there is water in the tank. We check flash points, it's our responsibility at the Department of Agriculture to make sure everything is accurate and where it needs to be."

These inspectors will take a five gallon can and physically measure to see if the pump which indicates it has pumped five gallons, is actually doing so.  

"We run into some that are a little bit off calibration," said Vaughan Gresham, one of the inspectors. "We give them a violation and give them a chance to get it repaired, and we will go back and re-check them."

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