Frequently Asked Questions: Weights and Measures (PDF Version)
West Virginia Weights and Measures is responsible for all commercial weighing and measuring devices used in West Virginia. (This does not apply to devices regulated by WVPSC: Natural Gas Meters, Water Meters, Electric Meters, etc.)
Q: According to the owners manual my gas tank only holds 14 gallons, but I put 16 gallons in it, is the gas pump cheating people?
A: First, the tank and gauge in your vehicle are not certified measuring devices. It is possible for them to be off as much as two (2) gallons or more from the capacity listed in your owner's manual.
This also applies to gasoline cans that are purchased to take fuel home for use in mowers etc. They are given extra space for expansion of the product. They are not certified.
Q: You pull the nozzle from a gasoline dispenser and before you squeeze the handle the dispenser displays $.04, what should you do? A: This is called pump jump, regardless of the amount of jump you need to notify the manager or cashier at that location and they should reset the dispenser to zero. You need to do this before pumping your gasoline, it will be to late after you are done. If paying with a credit card, the location will need to credit the customer for the pump jump.
Q: Do Gas stations add water to their gasoline to make it go further?
A: NO, Gasoline and water does not mix. Water will settle to the bottom of the storage tanks. If you do get water in your fuel at a particular location, it will create problems with your car and if it is determined to be the locations mistake, the location is responsible for the repairs.
Q: How often do you find water that exceeds the legal limit in West Virginia?
A: Water is found occasionally in storage tanks. Once it is discovered and it exceeds the legal limit, a water notification is issued and that product is removed from sale until the water is pumped out and Weights and Measures is notified.
The legal limit for water in West Virginia is one (1) inch for conventional gasoline, diesel fuel and one quarter (1/4) inch for ethanol extended gasoline.
Q: Why do they add ethanol to conventional gasoline?
A: There are two (2) reasons to add ethanol, first it is used as an Oxygenate, this is done to lower emissions by a more complete burn of the gasoline. The second reason is to extend the gasoline (increases the volume) and to raise the octane level.
Q: Are you responsible for gasoline that is spilled on the driveway at a station because the automatic shutoff did not shutoff.
A: Generally yes, all locations have signs posted that state specifically not to leave the dispenser unattended while fueling. If this does happen you need to notify the Weights and Measures Section and they will check the device.
Q: What do you do if you suspect water in the fuel or bad fuel of any kind, or a meter that is out of adjustment?
A: In any of the above mentioned scenarios or any other situation that you feel may be cheating a customer or the business, Weights and Measures needs to be notified as soon as possible.
Q: Who do you contact about scanners that are reading the wrong prices?
A: Contact Weights and Measures, we check scanners for accuracy. Sometimes we are not aware of a problem at a specific location until Weights and Measures is contacted.
Q: Do I have to pay for the packaging material when I buy products across a scale?
A: NO, you should pay for product only, not for the packaging. The product is known as net weight, packing is the tare weight and the two (2) combined is the Gross weight.
Q: I am thinking of starting a business that will sell items across a scale, what do I need to do?
A: There are so many variables here, the best thing to do is contact West Virginia Division of Labor, Weights and Measures Section and they will help guide you in the right direction.
Q: Can I purchase a scale for commercial use and just start using it?
A: NO, It must be checked and placed into service by a registered service company or a weights and measures official before you can use the device. This applies to scales and meters both.
Q: I want to start selling propane in West Virginia, What do I need to do?
A: Propane must be sold by the gallon or pound, it must be sold through a certified meter, checked by a Weights and Measures official or across a certified scale also checked by a Weights and Measures official.
SPECIAL NOTE: You will need to contact West Virginia Fire Marshalls Office for specific guidance under the NFPA (National; Fire Protection Act).