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Buying C.O.D. oil: Recommended?

D107D107 Posts: 1,448Member
Wondering who has experience in buying COD heating oil. If you already have a good heating contractor who can do tuneups and repairs and don't want to deal with oil company service, is this a good way to go? On LI oil is much cheaper this way--cash on delivery. My concern would be the quality of the oil. Regular oil companies seem to have cleaners added to their oil and many use Biofuel 20 which also keeps things clean. I have friends who just bought a house and intend to switch to gas in a few months so could not really get a good oil co contract anyway--usually an annual one. They would seem to be good candidates for COD.


  • JeffGuyJeffGuy Posts: 77Member
    I always bought COD oil before I switched to gas several years ago. Never had quality problems, and did it for about 20 years.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,772Member
    It really depends on the company (any company).
    Some companies, can be COD or full service, will pump out a tank (someone converting to gas) and re-use that oil, not good!
    Some companies store their own product, also not good, especially for Bio.
    Some companies blend their own Bio, I wouldn't use it.
    If you're using BioHeat 20, make sure your fuel pump and fuel filter gaskets can handle it.
    Basically you want a company who is loading/auto blending at the refinery every day, which in the winter is everyone except for those who have storage.

    Your service provider can get a clue about fuel quality when he changes your fuel filter and cleans your furnace/boiler. If it looks like you have some issues (water/sludge, etc.), dump a bottle of quality fuel treatment (pick one and stick with it) into the tank when you get your delivery (assuming your home for COD).
    If it's worse, you can have the fuel tested.

    Ask the supplier about where they get fuel, hopefully they're honest, maybe to a fault.
    Some might say, "We have our own storage, so if there is a supply problem, we can deliver to our customers".
    But most just pick up at the refinery, deliver/empty the truck...repeat until spring.
  • Jim HankinsonJim Hankinson Posts: 94Member
    I've been buying COD oil for over 30 years with no problems. I do my own service so I would see when replacing the filter, etc if there was an issue with quality. Buying COD allows me to shop for the best price but the supplier I've been using for several years is almost always the best price around and buying online saves some jingle and I receive e-mail confirmation of the delivery date.
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,448Member
    I did hear privately from someone in the COD field and they said that these days they can’t see any small COD oil dealer buying oil that was pumped out of someone else’s tank and reselling it. That would land them out of business and into jail.

    They couldn't think of a single small COD company who stores their own product with their own terminal. They buy oil daily from local oil terminals just like the big guys do.

    He's only heard of one company blending their own bio fuel and they are not on any website that he frequents. Everyone else purchases either B5 or B20 biofuel or #2 fuel oil (which also contains approx. 2-5% bio)

    Says that pumps and gaskets are a non issue for B20 and under these days like it was a few years ago.

    He did feel a fuel additive is helpful. Some years ago he used HOTS 4 in 1 oil treatment which can be found at Home Depot so the customer won’t have to pay top dollar buying it from service provider.
  • nibsnibs Posts: 207Member
    In most states there is no difference between diesel fuel and heating oil. There are some interesting things being done with diesel by truckers, 0.75% acetone improves mileage and reduces emissions. 1% Methyl Hydrate takes water present into solution with the diesel which gets burned in normal operation of the fuel. Any similar experiments with fuel oil.
  • CokomoCokomo Posts: 7Member
    Why would anyone pay a dollar or more per gallon for the privilege of having that same company service your equipment and “fine tune” boiler which if it burns more, they make more? Love how some refuse to sell a 10k boiler to you unless you purchase oil from them.

    Use a top notch independent tech who promises to have your system run as efficiently as possible and find a fair oil dealer .
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,772Member
    If I could get a $1 or more per gallon for being full service over COD I'd be quite wealthy.
    It's more like up to 30 cents, except for people who buy into 1 or 2 year lock-ins and get burned when the market drops.
  • CokomoCokomo Posts: 7Member
    Checked 3 local full service dealers this week . The price per gal .81 cents , $1.03 and $1.08 more per gallon than the local oil only dealer . Could live with 30 cent jump if it came w some perks but to pay an extra $200 a fill is ludicrous .
  • LeSerLeSer Posts: 19Member
    In my area i use codfuel @ they list price and delivery dates, i google and yelp the company to check if theres any issues before I order.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,772Member
    edited December 2018
    Cokomo said:

    Checked 3 local full service dealers this week . The price per gal .81 cents , $1.03 and $1.08 more per gallon than the local oil only dealer . Could live with 30 cent jump if it came w some perks but to pay an extra $200 a fill is ludicrous .

    I suspect the larger companies may be stuck with some overpriced contract oil and are taking it out on the consumer. We all buy from the same price and if buying 'from the rack' all pay the same price.
    Large companies have a lot of overhead, but yikes!

    Where is this (just curious)? I'm obviously not charging enough... :)

    I'm just a very small, full service company so I'm biased toward full service, with the emphasis on 'service'. There are people who like full service, auto delivery, service their equipment, know the company, etc. I know all my customers face to face, and they know me.

    Checking today I'm only 5 cents above the COD guys.

    Around here (Philly suburbs) there really aren't too many mechanical companies that can properly do oil service, or even want to do anything but switch you to gas.

    So the COD companies may do well being a little cheaper, but when people need service they find out they can't get it. Many COD customers tend to never get their equipment serviced, then wonder why when someone does come out it's big bucks to do a full cleaning in the dead of winter, just to be able to try to fire the burner to figure out what is wrong.

    Then the customer decides oil is awful and expensive, and switch to gas. So oil loses.

    Eventually it will be large oil companies (read expensive) competing and losing to the monopoly gas companies. Then lack of gas supply when it's really cold will hurt everyone and drive up the prices, unless fracking makes the environment unlivable...

    To me COD companies are fine because competition benefits the consumer in a free market, but they only worry about today and tomorrow, not the future of Oil Heat, and not about customers.
    Which is fine, it's America.
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,448Member
    FWIW current NYSERDA Long lsland average oil price is $339.6--not sure what that represents, since COD will often be $1 below that. Note that when you buy oil from full service co. you not only pay a higher oil price but also $100-$200 for a service contract. But that contract rarely includes digital combustion testing.
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