CNG Fueling Hoses – Repair & Refurbish, or Replace?
Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
According to the Alternative Fuel Data Center, including fast-fill and time-fill, there are close to 1,700 operating CNG fueling stations across the US with close to 1,000 that have been open for five or more years. Like any similar equipment and system, common maintenance issues surface requiring parts, time and know-how. One item that is particularly susceptible to wear and eventual failure is the CNG fueling hose. These hoses are handled by different people, are pulled and tugged in all directions and snapped on and off of fueling receptacles frequently, causing connections and valves to leak, nozzle fingers to wear, breakaways to be tested and even the hose lengths to be stressed and worn.
Now back to the “..parts, time and know-how..” mentioned earlier. Many times, when hoses fail, it happens at an unfortunate time causing fueling dispenser or time-fill post downtime and requiring urgent action. Risk of downtime and urgent action translate to maintaining inventory ($) and spending the maximum amount of money for rush delivery of service and/or parts to get the fast-fill dispenser or time-fill post operational quickly. Remember, it’s not IF this occurs…..it’s WHEN this occurs.
Routine maintenance, spare parts inventory and training personnel on the “know-how” are what has been the answer up to this point. When a non-stocked component or an entirely new fueling hose is required, the downtime gets extended. Up to this point, the option to have the dispenser hose assembly repaired, re-using existing good components, and having the hose assembly properly tested in a rapid response fashion has not existed. Now there is a better way.
Introducing Insightfuel’s CNG Fueling Hose Program (introduced at the 2017 Midwest Green Fleets Forum).
With this new program, InsightFuel can send you a functioning hose assembly overnight, and then fix and refurbish your existing hose assembly. We think of this like a spare tire. The loaner hose is a “standard” fast fill or time fill assembly, both in stock at our factory. All we need to know is how your current hose connects to your dispenser or post, which can be determined by a short discussion or photo. InsightFuel will send the loaner hose at no charge with the condition that, once in place, our customer send back the malfunctioning hose for evaluation. We will test the hose assembly, and its components, to industry standards and assess what is needed to repair and refurbish the assembly. After our evaluation, we will call the customer back with several options. Among these options are:
- Repair & refurbish the hose utilizing any “good” parts from the assembly sent back.
- “Scrap” the returned hose assembly and invoice the customer for the price of the loaner hose, less any determined residual value of parts replaced.
Only a select number of hose distributors in North America are certified to build CSA NGV 4.2 certified fueling hose assemblies. This creates problems locating companies that can react quickly. Insightfuel is a CSA certified assembler of CNG fueling hoses with a program to respond quickly.