Frequently Asked Questions
Burke Oil and Propane Products and Services
What products do you sell?
We sell Regular Unleaded Gas with 10% Ethanol, Conventional Non Ethanol Gas, Off Road and Highway Diesel, Kerosene, and Propane. We also sell motor oils and lubricants, as well as tanks and fittings.
Do you sell clear/undyed Kerosene?
No, we only sell dyed Kerosene that is intended for non-highway applications.
What is the difference between Highway Diesel and Off Road Diesel, and do you sell both?
Highway Diesel (or clear Diesel) is diesel fuel on which state and federal highway taxes have been paid. Therefore, it can be used in highway applications, for example, in an automobile. This fuel can be visibly distinguished by the lack of a red dye that is added at fuel terminals.
Off Road Diesel (also known as dyed Diesel or Fuel Oil) is diesel fuel on which no state and federal highway taxes have been paid. Therefore, by law, this fuel is only intended for non-highway applications; for example a furnace, farm tractor, generator, or heavy machinery. This fuel can be visibly distinguished by the red dye that is added at fuel terminals.
Yes, we do sell both!
Will dyed Kerosene or diesel decrease performance in my equipment?
A common misconception about dyed Kerosene and Diesel is that it causes loss of performance when used. There is no proven link between dyes and lost performance.
Do you service furnaces or light pilot lights?
No, we do not service furnaces or light pilot lights.
Is there a minimum for delivery?
Yes, the minimums for will call deliveries are as follows:
The minimum for delivery is 100 gallons
120 gallon tanks are required to be filled to capacity. We request that you place your order when your gauge shows approximately 20% remaining.
325 gallon tanks and larger require a 100 gallon minimum for delivery. We request that you place your order when your gauge shows approximately 30% remaining.
What is the difference between “automatic” delivery and “will-call” delivery?
“Automatic” delivery means that we will use degree-day monitoring to automatically determine when a customer needs fuel. We also offer automatic dated delivery for customers who use fuel for needs other than heating. The customer doesn’t need to place a call to the us for a delivery, and we will automatically deliver fuel on a regular basis. Customers who opt for automatic delivery are assured of never running out of fuel.
“Will-call” delivery means that a customer will monitor their home heating oil consumption and “will call” us when they need a delivery.
What is degree-day monitoring for automatic delivery?
The degree-day system allows us to determine when your heating system will need fuel by calculating the “heating degree days” for a particular day. The process uses the day’s average temperature, determined by averaging the day’s high and low temperatures and dividing by two. If the number is above 65, there are no heating degree-days that day. If the number is less than 65, it is subtracted from 65 to find the number of heating degree-days. For example, if the day’s high temperature is 60 and the low is 40, the average temperature is 50 degrees. 65 – 50 = 15 heating degree-days. This number is then used, along with a “k factor” (the rate at which you burn fuel) and your tank size, to determine when your next delivery should be made.
What is automatic dated delivery?
This form of automatic delivery is ideal for customers who use fuel for needs other than heating and allows us to deliver in set intervals based on the number of days between deliveries. For example, a commercial customer may need a delivery every 30 days.
How does the delivery person fill my fuel storage tank?
The delivery driver will connect the hose from the delivery truck to the fill pipe when making a fuel delivery. The oil is pumped at about 60 gallons per minute through the fill pipe into the tank. The vent pipe allows air to escape from the tank as its filled, releasing the pressure. The fill and vent pipes should be outside and visible to the driver. It is important that your basement or above ground tank have a properly working vent alarm.
How can I tell how many gallons of fuel are in my tank?
You’ll need to be sure that you know what size your tank is. Then, measure how many inches of fuel are in the tank. You can do this with a measuring stick made specifically for this purpose, or with a long stick, such as a broom handle. Once you have this measurement, you can use the markings on the measuring stick for your tank size to determine gallons, or if you are using an unmarked stick, we can provide you with a tank chart that will allow you to convert the inches to gallons.
Can I receive a delivery with a balance on my account?
No, your account must have a $0 balance before you can receive another delivery. Certain commercial accounts are exempt from this requirement and can receive a delivery with a balance if they are current within their terms.
Do you deliver on weekends?
No, our standard delivery window is Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm.
In peak heating season, as dictated by demand, we may extend delivery hours at our discretion past 5pm or to include weekends.
Do you offer same day delivery?
Typically, no. We request that you place orders at least 2 business days in advance.
Our delivery drivers leave each morning with a planned route that is usually a full day. When your order is placed, we will schedule it on an upcoming route with other deliveries in your area. This allows us to operate efficiently and keep your prices as low as possible! On occasion, we may have a driver with excess capacity in your area when your order is placed and if we can efficiently do so, we would love to make your delivery same day.
Can you give me a time for my delivery?
Upon request, we can call you the day of delivery and let you know an approximate window for delivery. This window is highly variable due to circumstances beyond our control such as conditions at other delivery stops, driving conditions, traffic patterns, and inclement weather.
If you need to be present at the time of delivery so that you can make payment, we recommend that you prepay whenever possible or leave the driver a check. Setting up a charge account with us is another great option. These options prevents payment issues from delaying your delivery.
I’m on automatic delivery and I ran out after hours. What should I do?
Call our office and press 9 to leave a message in our Emergency Voicemail box. Our on call staff will respond to your emergency call promptly and dispatch a delivery driver as needed.
What should I do if I'm out of oil and will not receive delivery today?
We recommend that you take a fuel can to a gas station and purchase kerosene or diesel fuel, as determined by your system requirements, to keep your system running until we can make delivery.
If you have run completely out of fuel, your furnace will need to be primed to remove air from the lines. You will need to contact a furnace service person to perform this service.
Do you pump out fuel and buy it back?
Yes. If the fuel was purchased from us, we will buy it back at current market cost (not the retail that you paid). We will schedule tank pump outs to occur during our non-peak season. You will be charged a Pump Out Fee, and if there is water in your tank (we will check), there will be an additional Water Fee.
We recommend measuring your tank prior to scheduling a pump out so that we can help you evaluate if the pump out fees will exceed your fuel refund.
Please refer to our Schedule of Fees for additional information.
Can I purchase fuel at the Burke Oil office?
You can purchase Off Road Diesel, Highway Diesel, Kerosene, Ethanol-Free 90 Octane Gas, and E-10 Gas at our Icard Bulk Plant. You must provide an approved fuel container that is designed to transport fuel. We cannot dispense into home heating tanks, 55 gallons drums, gallon jugs, etc. at the bulk plant.
Are you closed for holidays or inclement weather?
Our office is closed for major holidays, including New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the event of severe inclement weather, our office may be closed.
Bobtail Delivery Pricing, Payments, and Accounts
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept Cash, Check, and all major Credit/Debit Cards.
What account options do you offer?
Accounts may be set up as COD (Cash on Delivery) or Net 30 (Charge).
Net 30 accounts require completion of a credit application. Net 30 accounts offer 30 days from invoice date to make payment with no finance charges. After 30 days, finance charges are assessed at the rate of 1.5% each month (18% APR). You have a total of 4 months from invoice date to pay off your balance, and you must make a payment each of those 4 months until your balance is paid in full. Failure to adhere to this will result in collections proceedings.
Set up a new COD account and apply for Net 30 terms on new or existing accounts here.
We also offer an EZ Payment budget program.
Note that accounts on the EZ Payment program must have Net 30 terms and be on automatic delivery.
Commercial customers can complete a credit application here.
If I intend to pay for my delivery right away, why would I need a Net 30 Charge account?
Simply for convenience. With a COD account, you must be present when the delivery is made to pay the driver. With a Net 30 Charge account, you do not have to be present when the delivery is made. This eliminates time spent waiting for the driver and delayed deliveries in the event that you and the driver miss each other. As long as you pay within 30 days from the invoice date, you will not incur any additional fees from having a Net 30 Charge account.
Note that a Net 30 Charge account is required for automatic delivery service and propane tank leases.
What is the EZ Pay Plan?
Our EZ Pay budget plan runs July - April and is a great option for anyone trying to make their home heating oil bill more manageable. Please refer to our EZ Pay Information page for more in-depth information.
My account is COD and I can’t be home to pay for my delivery. How can I prepay for delivery?
It’s easy to prepay for a set number of gallons!
Visit our Icard office to prepay with cash, check or credit/debit card.
Call us to prepay over the phone with credit/debit card.
Place your order on our website and prepay with credit/debit card.
Leave the driver a check at a specified location (call the office to let us know where).
Note: This option is not available to first time customers.
If you have ordered a fill, you will have to be present to pay the driver, or have a Net 30 Charge account in good standing.
Reminder: The prompt payment discount can only be honored with cash or check payments on deliveries of 150 gallons or more.
What kinds of fees do you charge for deliveries?
We do not charge additional fees such as delivery, environmental, or hazmat fees. The only additional charges are for state and local sales taxes.
When will prices be the lowest?
The summer months are usually the best time to fill your tank. The demand is low, so price usually follows. However, other factors such as natural disasters can affect supply and drive up prices at various times throughout the year.
Do you have "locked" in price contracts for home heating oil?
No. Prices are based on market conditions and fluctuate accordingly. We ensure that our prices are competitive and as low as possible.
Do you take checks?
Yes, we accept checks with proper ID. We do not take starter checks.
Are credit card prices higher than the cash price?
No, pricing is the same regardless of the payment method.
However, we offer a prompt payment discount of 12 cents off per gallon on deliveries of 150 gallons or more when paid with cash or check on delivery or within 30 days with charge account. Please see our discount page for further information.
Why can’t I get the prompt payment discount when I pay with a credit/debit card?
Due to credit card processing fees, we are unable to extend the discount to credit or debit card payments.
Gas prices went down, why is diesel still the same?
The pricing of diesel fuels and gasoline are unrelated. They are two totally different products with different refining processes. They are traded as separate commodities on the stock market. They are also taxed differently on both the federal and state levels.
Is there assistance available to help in paying my home heating oil bill?
Families in need of assistance and the elderly can apply for fuel assistance. Contact the Department of Social Services for the county in which you reside for more information.
I am new to propane - where do I start?
We suggest that you start by reviewing the information at www.propane101.com. Then, please give us a call to ask any questions and review your options.
I do not currently have propane and am planning to install it. At what point in the project will Burke Oil and Propane become involved?
Call us when you are in the planning stages of your project so that we can discuss your tank options and get all necessary paperwork completed. Once your appliance(s) are in place, and your propane lines have been run, it will be time for us to set and fill your tank and test your system. We recommend that your lines be run by a licensed propane plumber.
Do you install propane tanks?
Yes, we offer lease and purchase options. When you are in the planning stage of your project, contact us to discuss your options. Once your appliance(s) are in place and your propane lines are run, we will be ready to set and install your propane tank.
Do you run propane lines?
No, we do not. You will need to contact a licensed propane plumber. We can make recommendations if needed.
I lease my tank from another company, but would like to purchase propane from Burke Oil and Propane. How can I set that up?
State law prohibits one company from filling a tank belonging to another company. Therefore, we can only deliver to propane tanks that are owned by the customer (proof of ownership required) or that are owned by our company and leased to the customer. If you lease your tank, you must order propane from the company from which you lease your tank.
Can you fill propane tanks leased from another company?
No, state law prohibits this act. In order for us to fill your tank, it must be leased through Burke Oil and Propane or customer-owned. We require proof of ownership on tanks that are customer-owned.
Do you have "locked" in price contracts for propane?
We do offer pre-buy contract for propane that allow you to lock in a price on a set number of gallons. Please call our office for more information.
Do you fill grill tanks?
Yes, we fill grill tanks and other sizes of tanks up to 100 lbs at our Icard Bulk Plant. Please call the office to ensure that we have a filling station attendant on duty when you arrive. Alternately, you may leave your tank at the plant and we will call you when it has been filled and is ready for pickup.
Are there any requirements for filling my grill tank (or similar)?
Yes. A propane tank may not be refilled if it is:
corroded, dented, or bulging
damaged on valves, footings or valve protection
damaged from fire or misuse
missing an overfilling device
out of date
How can I tell if my propane tank is missing an overfilling device?
The OPD (Overfill Prevention Device) stops the tank from being overfilled automatically by shutting the valve when the propane level reaches a certain point. It also prevents propane from leaving the tank when the nozzle is opened and its not hooked up to anything.
On the left is the pinwheel valve; it is illegal to fill 20lb grill tanks with this valve on it. On the right is the OPD valve, which is now the standard for 20lb grill tanks.
How can I tell if my propane tank is out of date?
By law, when a propane tank reaches 12 years of age, it can no longer be filled.
Stamped along the top of the collar, there are several pieces of information: serial number, WC (Water Content, or how much the water would weigh if the tank were full of water to capacity), TW (Tare Weight, or the weight of the tank completely empty) and the manufacturing date (see image below). If today's date is more than 12 years from the manufacturing date, the tank is out of date.
Tanks that are out of date can be recertified, thus allowing them to be filled. Recertified tanks are tanks that have been inspected and certified by a trained technician. Recertified tanks usually have a sticker or an additional date stamped on the collar that ends with an E (see image below). Recertified tanks are good for 5 years from the recertification date.
Do you recertify propane tanks?
We recertify all DOT cylinders. There may be a fee associated with this service.
When should I call for a delivery if am a will call customer?
For 120 gallons tanks, we recommend that you place your order when your tank gauge reads 20%. For tanks larger than 120 gallons, we recommend that you place your order when your tank gauge reads 30%.
If I run out of propane, is my system safe to operate as soon as I receive a delivery?
If your tank is completely empty, we will have to perform a system test to check for leaks and ensure that system will maintain pressure. This ensures that your system is safe to operate. There is a fee for this service.
Why do I need a system test if I have run out of propane?
It's the law – NFPA 54 (2006) 8.2.3 requires this test any time the flow of gas has stopped for any reason. When a propane tank empties, it loses pressure, which causes expansion and contraction that can lead to leaks. A pressure test reveals any leaks that may have formed. There is a fee for this service.
How do I open and close my propane shutoff valve, and where is it located?
Turn the shutoff valve clockwise to close, and counterclockwise to open. See this image for typical valve locations.
Furnaces and Tanks
My furnace turned off. What should I do?
Look on the side of the furnace for an instruction sticker and follow it step by step. If there is no sticker follow the steps below:
Be sure that the oil burner switch is on.
The thermostat should be set above room temperature.
Make sure that there is oil in the tank.
Press the reset button on the relay only once.
Check to see if a flame comes on.
If the burner still does not run at all, check for a blown or loose fuse.
If the burner still fails to operate, call a service technician.
What is the reset button and why should I only press it once?
The reset button is located on the primary control and will attempt to restart the burner should it shut down. If it still isn’t working, you should call for service. NEVER push the reset button more than once. It could cause the chamber to become overloaded with oil. When the unit finally lights, it will ignite the excess fuel and could cause a large backfire that could be very dangerous and could result in a lengthy and costly repair.
Is it bad for my furnace to run out of oil?
Yes. Running out of oil can cause the system to pull silt or sludge from the bottom of your oil tank, clogging the nozzle, oil filter and pump’s strainer and preventing a steady flow of oil, causing the entire system to fail. It can also cause air to be pulled into the lines. It’s best to fill your tank when it falls to 1/4 or 1/8 full to ensure you don’t run out of oil. That way you can avoid costly repairs.
When do fuel lines need to be bled?
If you run out of heating oil and your furnace does not start up following a delivery and pressing the reset button once, your lines may need to be bled.
When a tank runs out of heating oil, the furnace may continue to try and draw fuel in. Instead, air is pulled into the fuel lines. The process of bleeding will remove the air from the lines and allow the heating system to perform optimally. We recommend that you contact a service technician to perform this service.
Do you sell heating oil tanks?
Yes, we sell heating oil tanks. We also sell stands. Please call our office for prices.
Do I need a stand for my tank?
Aside from personal preference, you need a stand if your system does not have a motor and therefore requires that fuel be "gravity fed". Typically, tanks for monitor heaters require a stand for gravity feeding. Typically, furnaces have a motor, so tanks may be placed on blocks or on a stand. Always consult the manufacturers instructions for details on the exact requirements of your system.
I have an old underground tank that is not being used. What should I do with it?
In North Carolina, home heating oil tanks are exempt from the State regulatory closure requirements. Even though a homeowner is not required to close an underground tank, a tank owner is advised to remove any product from the tank once it is no longer in use in order to limit the chances of a leak or spill. While tank removal is the ideal solution, it is often not practical. As an alternative, you many fill the tank with inert material such as sand, cement, water or foam. This will add stability to the tank system so it will not collapse, and will also prevent it from floating to the surface of the ground if the soil around the tank becomes unstable (such as during heavy rains or flooding). In addition, you will want to cap the fill tube. You may also opt to cut off the fill tube beneath the surface of the ground (you will still want to cap it).
How do I change my oil filter?
Always consult the manufacturer's instructions. A helpful instructional video is located here. Burke Oil & Propane assumes no liability for any damage that may occur in the process of changing your filter.