Alaska’s Premier Petroleum Distributor
We pride ourselves on offering quality products, competitive prices and outstanding customer service.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is designed to take some of the guesswork out of ordering heating fuel and to answer a few frequently asked questions:

How do I determine when I am out of fuel?
What is the difference between #1 and #2 heating fuel? What is blended fuel?
What type of fuel should I order?
Does fuel type matter if my tank is buried or above ground?
I think my fuel has gelled. What can I do?
I think I have water in my tank. What should I do?
How do I identify my tank size?
Can I save money purchasing my fuel from Delta Western Petroleum?


Q. How do I determine when I am out of fuel?

A. When checking your tank to see if there is fuel in it, don’t just tap on the tank. You will get a hollow sound whether the tank is full or empty. Always use a stick or tank gauge to see how much fuel is in your tank. If your heating system has fuel and electrical power and still won’t run, call a qualified heating system technician. If you suspect you are low or out of fuel, call Delta Western. Here are some steps you can take if your heating system won’t run:
1 Using a measuring stick or similar device, physically gauge the level of fuel in your tank by inserting the measuring device in through the fill cap opening.
2 If you have sufficient fuel in your tank, check your tank valve to ensure that it is open.
3 Check to see if the breaker to your heating system tripped.
4 Check if it is time to replace your fuel filter. Close your tank valve to the fuel line, loosen the line from the outlet side of the filter and place a container under it so you don’t spill fuel on the ground or in the house. Slowly open the tank valve and fuel should freely flow through the filter. If fuel does not flow through the filter, replace with a new filter and try to restart your heating system. Call a qualified heating technician if you are not comfortable checking the condition of your fuel filter.
5 If your filter flows freely and your heating system will not operate, call a qualified heating technician.


Q. What is the difference between #1 and #2 heating fuel? What is blended fuel?

A. #1 and #2 identify the different grades of heating fuel. #1 is a more refined and more fluid heating fuel designed for use in low temperatures. It is similar to Kerosene but costs considerably less. It also generates fewer BTU’s (units of heat per gallon) than #2, but due to its cleanliness it is required by most high efficiency heating system manufacturers such as Monitor and Toyo. #2 heating fuel is considered the standard heating oil and still used in most heating systems today. It is less expensive than #1 and generates more BTU’s. This means your heating system might use slightly less fuel to generate a given amount of heat per gallon of oil. Blended fuel is generally a mixture of #1 and #2.


Q. What type of fuel should I order?


A. This largely depends on the type of heating system you have and the temperature that occurs at the tanks site during the coldest time of your year. If your system is a boiler or forced air furnace, chances are your system is set up to run #2. If you are unsure, check for a tag attached to your heating system, check your operators manual, or give us a call and we will be glad to help.


Q. Does fuel type matter if my tank is buried or above ground?

A. Yes it can. The time of year is important because each type of fuel has a point where it becomes too cold to flow properly and gels. As a rule of thumb, #1 begins to gel at -40° F, #2 begins to gel at +15° F. In the warmer parts of Alaska, many choose blended fuel, which maintains its fluidity down to around +6° F. If the temperature in your area falls below these ranges, you must select the proper grade to avoid gelling. Keep in mind that even if your tank is buried, your lines might be exposed to colder temperatures. We recommend you consider straight #1 November through March.


Q. I think my fuel has gelled. What can I do?

A. Typically, if your fuel has gelled, the only cure is to bring the fuel above its flow range. Adding #1 or chemical additives rarely fix the problem. Because fuel is stored in outside storage tanks the temperature of the fuel, regardless of the type, is generally the same. If you add #1 to a gelled fuel, the blend itself will not increase the temperature. You should call us for assistance.


Q. I think I have water in my tank. What should I do?

A. Since water makes up most everything the chances of having water in your tank are pretty good. Do not panic, it’s not all bad. A few things to remember to avoid a late night call to a qualified heating technician. Every year you should stick your tank for water. This is done with a special paste such as KolorKut that turns color when it contacts water. If any more than a small representation exists, you should have it removed. This should be done with your annual oil filter change. If you do not have a filter at the tank, you should consider installing one. Like the oil filter in your car, your fuel oil filter is there to catch contaminants and this is best done as the fuel leaves the tank. If water and contaminants enter your supply line from the tank to your heating system, the line will eventually plug up. If it drops below freezing and you have water in the line it can become blocked.


Q. How do I identify my tank size?

A. If you have round tanks, measure your tanks diameter and length and enter these into our calculator below on the heating fuel delivery request form page to get your answer. If you have an oval or rectangular tank, give us a call and we will be glad to help you.
Tank Volume Calculator


Q. Can I save money purchasing my fuel from Delta Western Petroleum?

A. Yes. We have very competitive prices, and if you are looking for a little more convenience, ask us about our automatic refill program. This will save you from those late night calls when you forget to check your tank.