V-11—Propane dispenser enforcement policy

Date: 2007-10-01
Bulletin: V-11 (rev. 2)
Category: Volume
Documents: SVM 3
Supercedes: V-11 (rev. 1)


Table of contents


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this bulletin is to define a policy regarding the approval, installation, use and inspection of propane dispensers.

2.0 Scope

This bulletin applies to all propane dispensers that are used to deliver liquid propane to motor vehicles.

3.0 Background

Prior to 2002, a number of propane dispensers were not fully evaluated for approval purposes when they were originally submitted for approval. The reason for this was that Measurement Canada's Liquid Meter Test Facilities (LMTF) was not completed and no other facilities were available to complete the tests. To allow these devices to be sold, they were issued conditional approvals in accordance with section 3(2) of the Weights and Measures Act. To finalize these approval actions, the applicants were contacted. In some cases, the manufacturers were no longer in business and others were no longer interested in marketing propane dispensers. Manufacturers who were still in business and wanted to continue to market their devices were asked to complete the evaluations at the LMTF or other suitable facilities.

In the case of devices where the manufacturer has gone out of business or is no longer interested in marketing propane dispensers, it would cause hardship for the owners of the devices if Measurement Canada withdrew its approval and required the devices to be removed from service. Additionally, it was determined that in many cases the devices would not be replaced and all users of propane motor fuel in those areas would also be unnecessarily penalized. The same would be the case for devices which were completely evaluated and found not to meet all requirements of the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations.

Furthermore, on September 11, 1991, the specification SVM - 3 for propane dispensers became effective. Section 4 of SVM - 3 requires a propane dispenser to be equipped with electronic automatic temperature compensation (ATC). While many of these devices were in service at the time, the use of ATC and other requirements for propane dispensers had not been mandated before this date.

The following policy has been established to minimize the hardship on the owners of the affected propane dispensers and those who depend on their use, as well as ensuring accuracy in the measurement of propane motor fuel.

4.0 Policy

4.1 Propane dispensers which have not been fully evaluated for the purpose of approval

4.1.1 Where the manufacturer has gone out of business or is no longer interested in marketing Propane dispensers, Measurement Canada has finalized the approval action and placed the following restrictions on the devices.

  1. No further devices of this type will be initially inspected or allowed to be placed into trade service.
  2. Existing devices will be maintained in such a manner as to ensure they provide accurate measurement. If repairs are required, only originally manufactured (OEM) parts are permissible replacements.
  3. Existing devices are not required to have identification markings updated to reflect the issue of new approval numbers.

4.2 Previously inspected devices without electronic ATC

4.2.1 An existing propane dispenser equipped with a 1-inch or smaller meter that does not have an electronic ATC may continue to be used in trade until the dispenser is replaced, provided that it:

  1. is equipped with a return-to-zero interlock mechanism;
  2. is approved or held a previous approval; and,
  3. was initially inspected prior to September 11, 1991.

4.2.1.1 For example, a previously certified ¾-inch Neptune meter with a series 600 mechanical register may continue to be used in trade until it is replaced. However, to remain in service, the series 600 register must be equipped with the interlock mechanism. In this example, a meter model which was conditionally approved (SWA T-2049) is no longer manufactured and the approval has subsequently expired.

4.2.1.2 Neptune meters that are ¾-inch and that are equipped with mechanical registers model 106 or 111 (round dial) are not approved for use in trade. If found being used in trade, the applicable enforcement action shall be taken.

4.2.2 A 1¼-inch or 1½-inch meter, that is approved as a high speed propane refueller, and that has been upgraded with an electronic ATC and a return-to-zero interlock mechanism, may be used as a propane dispenser for measuring small quantities, provided that the minimum graduation size of the register does not exceed 0.01 litres and the meter is capable of measuring a quantity of 10 litres or less within the applicable limits of error.

4.2.3 An existing meter of 1¼-inch or 1½-inch, equipped with a mechanical register, having a minimum graduation of 0.1 litres, and having received initial inspection prior to September 11, 1991 may continue to be used in trade until the meter is replaced, provided that the meter is used exclusively to refuel trucks. Even the occasional refuelling of automobiles or other small vehicles requires the use of a propane dispenser that conforms to all present requirements.

4.3 Replacement registers

Any replacement register with an ATC shall be initially inspected in accordance with Measurement Canada Bulletin V-8 "Initial Inspection of Replacement Registers Equipped with Automatic Temperature, Pressure or Density Compensators".

4.4 Inspection of equipment

4.4.1 Pressure gauges

The Specifications do not require pressure gauges to be mounted on dispensers. Hence, if a propane dispenser is found without a pressure gauge or with one that is inoperable, there are no grounds for a device rejection even if the dispenser was so equipped when submitted for approval. In the case where there is no pressure gauge, inspectors shall apply a factor of 1.002 to correct for the effect of the pressure from the propane in the meter. Application of this factor is necessary if gravimetric testing techniques are employed when determining meter accuracy. Refer to Measurement Canada's Field Inspection Manual (FIM) for further information on the inspection and test procedures regarding propane dispensers.

4.4.2 All enforcement actions for reasons other than measurement error must be reported to the regional volumetric specialist. All requests for the removal of devices, shall be coordinated through the regional volumetric specialist.

5.0 Revisions

5.1 Revision 1 was to add sections 4 to 6 which details how Measurement Canada will deal with propane dispensers which were originally conditionally approved due to absence of test data and have since been moved to full approval, with restrictions. Additionally, the wording in sections 1 to 4 was altered for the sake of clarity. The section dealing with Minimum Measured Quantity was removed at this time.

5.2 The purpose of revision 2 was to implement the bulletin into a revised bulletin format which necessitated the need to re-sequence sections; includes minor editorial modifications to address the expiry of approval T-2049 which no longer exists; and, to clarify the bulletin's intent and provide reference to Measurement Canada's FIM.

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