Century-old Invention Still Vital Piece of Safety Equipment

This century-old Preferred invention is still a vital piece of safety equipment 

The anti-siphon valve, patented in 1929, helps keep fuel oil handling facilities safe today.

Almost a century ago, one of our founders developed the anti-siphon valve, a product that has become a vital piece of safety equipment in fuel oil systems across the country. It’s still being used today!

The anti-siphon valve was invented by Gerald Bohn, one of two brothers who founded Preferred in 1920. The Bohn brothers were engineers who originally started our company as a fuel oil accessory business, and it grew into a fuel oil handling and system development company. Key to that growth was their ability to understand and anticipate the needs in the fuel oil handling market and develop solutions to meet challenges. 

Gerald saw that there was a need to prevent fuel oil tanks from siphoning out all their fuel if there was ever a break in the suction line between the tank and the pump. He developed a completely mechanical valve that utilizes the head pressure between the tank fuel level and the fuel oil supply pump to the system. Based on this head pressure, a spring and plunger inside the valve would be sized as required. He called his innovation the anti-siphon valve.  

Anti-siphon valves also automatically shut off oil flow in the event of a fire, greatly reducing fire hazards. Since the 1990s they have been required by national fire prevention codes, thanks in large part to the efforts of David Bohn, Gerald’s grandson, who pushed for this expansion of the safety code. David now serves as our president and CEO. 

The anti-siphon valve was patented in 1929, and it’s been one of our key products ever since. Even today, we utilize that valve in many applications and modify it for more modern components. We recently introduced the Low Vacuum Anti-Siphon Valve, which will open with only 2” Hg of suction available. That valve is designed for application between the day tank and the generator pump. 

The anti-siphon valve is just one of a range of equipment designed and patented by our founders, including many products used during World War II. We did groundbreaking work outfitting heavy ocean liners with fuel equipment during the war, which is why we have kept the image of a boat in our logo ever since. 

“Having a century-long legacy is something we are incredibly proud of at Preferred,” said David Bohn. “Not many companies are so fortunate. Innovations like the anti-siphon valve are one of the biggest reasons that our customers trust us so much.” 

Could the anti-siphon valve make your fuel oil application safer? Contact Preferred today, and we’ll help you get started!

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