Chevrolet Impala


Gustavo J

January, 4, 2006 AT 4:38 PM


Today a friend of mine showed me the in-tank electric fuel pump of my 1993 Mercury Tracer.

He said -It`s incredible how this electric thing with bare wires at it`s connection points is submerged in gasoline and doesn`t cause a fire-

I have not slept since.

How dangerous is an in-tank ELECTRIC fuel pump?.

Has anyone wondered what if there`s a spark caused by this in-tank electric motor of the fuel pump?.

Why doesn`t the motor or cable endings short circuit when submerged in gasoline?

Look at a picture here:

I`m really confused and worried, so comments, opinions, links and professional advise are very welcome.


The no sleeping guy.


4 Answers



January, 9, 2006 AT 12:06 PM

There is no danger of one of these exploding since 98%of the vehicles made after 1987 (about) have electric fuel pumps in them!



January, 16, 2006 AT 9:27 PM

Hello: as long as the fuel pump is submerged is gasoline there will be no problems whatsoever. Also the pump motor itself is inside a metal can. About the only way there could even be the slightest risk of a problem is to remove the tank and dump out every ounce of fuel so there is only vapors in there, and even then it will not explode, but that is the only time that there is even a possibility. So if worried just keep a minimum of 1/4 tank of gas, for as long as the electric pump is submerged, it can't explode, so rest easy, all cars now days have them.



January, 16, 2006 AT 10:21 PM

There is little to know risk with an intake electric fuel pump. These things such a small amount of amperage that it is nearly impossible to cause a spark. Then there is the fact that the pump is attached to a sending unit (metal), which is attached bolted to your tank (metal), then there is the fact that most sending units have a ground wire from the sending unit to the pump, and the unit it grounded to the tank. Now in plastic tanks there just as much safety put into the grounding of the pumps through wiring harnesses. A whole LOT of things would have to go wrong before a pump would ignite the gas. One you would have to have something in the tank to cause corrosion to the wires. And lets face it, if there is that much moisture. Well you car ain't starting becasue your tank is FULL of water.

For the most part, electric 'in-tank' pumps are safer than everything out there. Out of tank pumps can get corroded, and mechanical fuel pumps are probably the most dangerous. Every had a diafram break and leak fuel into a crank case? Its about the fastest and violent way to remove your oil pan!


p.S. Don't worry, she won't blow. Every put your smoke out in a pool of fuel? Its really hard to ingnite liquid fuel



January, 17, 2006 AT 10:42 PM

A) when submerged in gas a spark wont ignite anything. Its the vapors themselves. And secondly whent he tank is empty the vapor level is above the HEL or UEL (upper explosive limit). If the flammable vapors are higher in concentration than this level it will not ignite. We used to weld inside the deisel tanks in the navy because it was above the UEL and therefore was safe for hot work.I know sounds funny. But volatile chemicals need a perfect balance to ignite

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