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4th of july grilling recipes north carolinaIndependence Day takes on a special meaning this year as we emerge from our social distancing cocoons—what better way to celebrate your freedom than with a good old-fashioned 4th of July barbecue on your propane grill?

Make sure you’re ready for this year’s celebration by following these five tips:

  1. Find something new to make. Looking for delicious and healthy propane grilling recipes? Here are some resources to help you get started:

    For a tasty turn on burgers, see our recipe below!

  2. Plan ahead. There’s always a mad rush for groceries on holiday weekends, so be prepared to stay ahead of the crowd. Stock up on your grilling favorites early!
  3. Give your grill a look over. Do a leak check if you are using your propane grill for the first time this season—and, as always, follow safe grilling practices.
  4. Check your propane levels. Nothing brings a holiday celebration to a grinding halt quite like running out of fuel in the middle of a cookout. If you have a built-in grill that runs off your main propane tank, check your fuel gauge and schedule a propane delivery if needed; if you have a portable propane grill that uses a cylinder, check your fuel level and exchange it if needed (here’s a cool trick for checking your propane levels in your cylinder, since it doesn’t have a gauge).
  5. Ditch the charcoal! Nothing beats the speed, convenience and precision temperature of a propane grill. If you’re still cooking on charcoal, up your outdoor game with propane. At Rand Wade Oil, we offer terrific propane gas grills from Phoenix and Wilmington, including grills with side burners, rotisseries, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

A Favorite from Our Recipe File

The Rand Wade Mushroom, Bacon, and Cheddar Burger!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds of ground chuck
  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Marinate mushrooms for 30 minutes in Worcestershire sauce (reserving 1 tablespoon).
  • Combine mayonnaise, remaining Worcestershire, mustard, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  • Remove mushrooms from marinade (discard unused marinade) and grill; slice mushrooms.
  • Form ground chuck into 4 patties. Season with salt and pepper and grill. Just before desired doneness is reached (recommended 160°F internal temperature), top burgers with cheese and grill until cheese melts.
  • Generously spread bun with flavored mayonnaise, top with burgers, red onion, mushrooms, and bacon.

Rand Wade Oil is your local family-owned fuel and propane company in Greene County, North Carolina. We have been delivering oil and propane to homes and business throughout the region since our founding in 1971. Our drivers are trained to deliver your fuel promptly and safely; our technicians are certified experts; and all our employees are committed to your total satisfaction!

water heater descaling north carolinaThe key feature of a tankless water heater is that it’s…well, tankless, of course! Unlike a conventional water heater, it doesn’t keep any hot water on-hand ready for your taps and appliances—rather, it heats it instantly the exact moment you need it.

You might think that this means that a tankless water heater doesn’t need to be flushed periodically, since it doesn’t actually store water.

But it does!

Limescale builds up on the heat exchanger of a tankless water heater the same way it does on a conventional water heater. Even a thin layer of scale could drop your efficiency by as much as 30 percent, essentially negating the primary advantage of using a tankless vs tank system.

The good news is that descaling your tankless water heater is actually pretty easy to do. Before you try it yourself, always read the instructions the manufacturer gave you first! While the procedure detailed below is fairly standard, there might be slight but important variations based on your particular model. If you’re not comfortable tackling this procedure, don’t worry—we can take care of it for you. Just give us a call!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A tankless water heater flush pump
  • Rubber or washing machine hoses to attach to the valves
  • A water collecting bucket
  • Vinegar or a tankless water heater descaling solution
  • A channel lock wrench

Typical steps to descale a tankless water heater

  1. Before you begin, set your temperature to 150°F and let hot water run through the heater for about a minute.
  2. Shut off all the power to the water heater.
  3. Close the incoming and outgoing water isolation valves. If your unit doesn’t have isolation valves, then you can buy some and install them yourself.
  4. Have a bucket ready to collect water as it drains. There will be about a liter of water or so in the pipes of the tankless heater.
  5. Drain the unit and connect hoses to the drain ports of the isolation valves “A” and “B”.
  6. Dump this bucket or have another bucket ready to go with a solution to be pumped through the heater.
  7. Fill an empty bucket with a mix descaling solution and water. About a half a bucket of water will do the trick.
  8. Open the isolation valves A and B.
  9. Turn on the circulation pump. Let the solution circulate through the tankless water heater for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is better.
  10. Drain the descaling solution from the heater and flush fresh water through the heater by closing valve “B”.
  11. Open up valve “A” with a hose leading to an empty bucket.
  12. Open up the inlet water valve to let fresh water flow through the unit and empty into the empty bucket to get all of the solution out of the heat exchanger.

Descaling is not the only maintenance your water heater needs! Be sure to contact a pro a minimum of once every two years for a conventional water heater, and once a year for a tankless water heater, to keep it running at its safest and best. Contact Rand Wade Oil today to learn more about propane water heater installation and service in Greene County, NC!

how to gas grill north carolinaSpring is here, which means it’s time to get cooking on your propane grill!

Just remember to do it safely: every year, thousands of people in backyards across the America suffer preventable injuries from unsafe grilling practices. Follow these propane grill safety tips to prevent injuries and avoid damage to your Greene County, NC home.

  1. Grill at least six feet away from your home at all times.
  2. Keep your grill on sturdy, level ground away from heavy traffic areas.
  3. Clean your propane grill after every use to avoid grease-burning flare-ups—these are the most common source of grill fires.
  4. Before you fire up your grill, check it for leaks.
  5. To light your grill, open the lid of the grill then turn on the gas at the tank. Never light a gas grill with the lid closed. If the grill doesn’t light after one or two clicks, turn off the burner, turn the gas off at the tank, and wait 10 minutes before trying it again.
  6. Keep a lid for your grill within reach to extinguish small grease flare-ups; It’s also a good idea to have a portable fire extinguisher or baking soda on hand. NEVER try to put out a grease fire with water!
  7. Unattended grills are the source of 46 percent of cooking fire-related civilian injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association —more than any other factor. Stand by your grill!
  8. Always practice food safety:
    • Wash your hands or use antibacterial gel or wipes before eating or handling food—especially raw meat, poultry, or fish.
    • Separate raw meats from cooked and prepared foods. Store raw meats in a separate cooler, place raw meat on its own plate, and use different utensils to handle uncooked and cooked food.
    • Always cook your food to safe temperatures.
  9. Never attach or disconnect an LP tank or adjust fittings while the grill is operating. If you run out of gas while grilling, turn off all the burners, reconnect the new tank, and re-light. When you finish grilling, shut the gas valve and disconnect the LP couplings before storing the grill.
  10. When transporting your tank for a propane cylinder refill, put it in a secure, well-ventilated location in your vehicle. Place it upright with the valve off and take it directly to the refilling location. Do not leave the tank unaccompanied in the vehicle!

Still using a charcoal barbecue? Trade up to a propane grill today and enjoy instant start-ups and precision temperature control! Rand Wade Oil features top-quality propane grills from Phoenix and Wilmington—From basic, classic styles to models with side burners, multilevel grill surfaces, griddles, and more! Contact us to learn more about them today.

propane tank installation north carolinaOne of the most important decisions you will have to make as a new propane customer is whether to lease or buy your propane tank. The answer to that question depends on several factors that you will have to weigh before making your decision.

Let’s take a look at pros and cons of owning and leasing/renting your propane tank.

Owning A Propane Storage Tank

Pros
When you own your own propane tank:

  • You have complete control over who supplies your propane
  • You can choose a tank from any manufacturer rather than being limited to tanks your supplier carries
  • You run no risk of your supplier seizing your propane tank in the event of a billing dispute.

Cons

  • You are responsible all installation and maintenance tasks and costs associated with your tank, including repair, replacement, and parts.
  • You are also responsible for periodic tank recertification according to local and state laws.

Other considerations

  • Some suppliers charge a fee for using your own tank; others charge a preferred propane rate to customers who use the supplier’s tank.

Leasing Or Renting A Propane Storage Tank

Pros
When you lease a propane tank,

  • Your supplier will typically install and maintain the tank, covering all routine costs
  • In some cases, you will get preferred propane rates or benefits that are not available to customers who own their tank.

Cons

  • When you lease your tank, you are bound to your supplier
  • Changing suppliers often involves a termination fee

As you can see, the choice to rent or lease your propane tank depends on your circumstances and personal preferences. In our experience, however— in most cases, and for most customers—leasing a tank is the way to go.

Looking for a company you can trust to install your propane tank safely and professionally, with propane tank leasing options that will help make the transition seamless and easy? You’ve found one! Contact Rand Wade Oil today to learn more about propane tank installation and propane tank leasing in Greene County, North Carolina!

fuel service north carolinaOne of the biggest headaches that any propane heating equipment owner faces is keeping track of how much gas they have left in their tank—especially if they’ve got a lot on their mind (as most of us do these days). 
 
Unfortunately, checking your fuel gauge is an easy thing to forget—especially in the dead of winter, when you need heat most. As a result, even the most responsible homeowners can find themselves calling for an emergency propane delivery.

Whatever the reason for your propane run-out, it’s not a fun experience, and it could end up be a lot worse than that. For one thing, you’ll have to pay a propane professional to pressure test and re-start your heating system after a service interruption (it’s the law).

But that’s not the only complication that can result from a propane run out. If a valve or gas line is open when the propane supply runs out, a leak can occur when the system is recharged. Air and moisture that enters an empty tank can also accelerate tank corrosion, which can make a leak more difficult to detect. Lastly, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out, which can be a dangerous problem if not handled properly.

Avoiding A Fuel Run-Out

The bottom line here is that a propane run-out is something you definitely want to avoid. How do you do that? Here are three suggestions:

  • Keep your tank at least one-quarter full at all times. Waiting until the last minute for a delivery—especially in colder weather—is a recipe for a fuel run-out disaster. Be proactive and schedule your propane delivery when your tank is no less than one-quarter (25%) full, or ideally a little while before then.
  • Switch to automatic propane delivery. When you sign up for automatic propane delivery, our automated system will estimate (with high accuracy) when you need a refill based on your past usage and the current weather conditions. When your tank is nearing one-quarter full, you’ll be contacted directly to schedule a propane delivery. This service is absolutely FREE.
  • Maintain your heating equipment regularly. Regular inspections and professional heating maintenance will help keep your furnace or boiler running at peak capacity, which means your equipment will sip rather than gulp down fuel. Professional service will also help spot leaks, performance drop-offs, and other problems before that could lead to bigger problems down the road. 

Stay on top of fuel management this fall with FREE automatic propane delivery from Rand Wade Oil! Contact us today to learn more.

5 Warning Signs To Watch For

water heater installation north carolinaYour water heater is a quiet workhorse—an appliance that goes about its business in the background, pumping out hot water for your taps and appliances day after day, year after year.

Until it doesn’t.

The good news is that your water heater will usually show you that a problem is coming before the worst happens (“the worst” being a water heater tank failure, which can cause an average of $4K in damages to your home).

How To Know When You Need A New Water Heater

Here are some water heater warning signs to look out for in the coming months.

  • Unusually higher energy bills — If your energy bills are getting higher even though fuel prices haven’t changed, your water heater could be to blame. Efficiency loss is one sign your water heater is on the way out—keep an eye on those bills!
  • Leaks — A puddle under your tank or rusty water coming from it are often signs that your water heater is corroding on the inside—a common problem with steel water tanks, especially if they aren’t properly maintained. If you see leaks at your tank—especially if your tank is nearing or has passed its 10-year mark—contact us ASAP. We’ll help find you the perfect solution, no matter if it’s a repair—or outright replacement.
  • New signs of hard water — “Hard” water is water that contains a high concentration of minerals. Those minerals are most likely coming from your water supply, but they could also be coming from a lime build-up in your tank. If you begin to see new signs of hard water, such as white stains on your silverware and glassware, contact us for water heater repair.
  • Unusual noises — Odd sounds coming from your storage tank usually indicate a build-up of sediment. A problem that could eventually wreck your water heater over time if it isn’t addressed. Aim to flush your tank at least once or twice a year – here’s how to do exactly that.
  • Age — A storage water heater (one with a tank) will last about 10 years on average, assuming it is properly maintained by a professional; once you pass the decade mark, investing in a replacement water heater usually makes more sense than paying for a water heater repair.

Water Heater Installations In Greene County, NC

If you’re experiencing these or any other problems, it could be time to replace your water heater. Our water heater experts will help you choose a model that’s the right fit for your space, use, and budget, then install it quickly and correctly so you can get back to your hot showers and dry basement. We offer storage-type and Rinnai tankless water heater models in a range of sizes—contact us to learn more!

In the market for a new water heater? We’ve got the energy-efficient, low-cost water heater options you need. Contact Rand Wade today for a FREE, no obligation estimates on water heater installations in-and-around Greene County, NC!

propane heating repair north carolinaOnce winter arrives, you’ll be relying more and more on propane heating system to keep you warm and comfortable on those chilly nights. But what happens if your heating equipment won’t respond when you need it most?

The most important thing to do is to remember that Rand Wade Oil has your back—our technicians provide expert emergency heating service to customers in our Greene County, NC service area and will get your equipment back on track in no time!

But before you contact us for a service call, it’s a good idea to do a little detective work on your heating system—the problem might be something you can handle without paying for a pro.

Before Making A Service Call Checklist

Here are four things you should do before you contact us for emergency heating service:

  • Check Your Fuel Gauge – Hey, run-outs happen to the best of us. Check your fuel levels to make sure you have fuel on tap. If you have less than a quarter of a tank (25%) of propane gas or heating oil, contact us for a delivery right away. If you’re out of fuel, contact us for an emergency fuel delivery—and consider signing up for Automatic Delivery to avoid the problem in the future!
  • Check Your Circuit Breaker – A breaker will “trip” if too much power is surging through the circuit it controls; this helps to prevent electrical fires. Most of the time a simple flip of the circuit breaker switch will restore power; do that and check your heater again. If it still doesn’t work, contact us for service.
  • Check Your Thermostat – Make sure your thermostat is set for a temperature that is at least five degrees warmer than the current temperature of your home. Sometimes that much of a difference is needed to “wake up” your heating equipment—or at least to rule out a bigger problem.
  • Try the Reset Button, But Only Once! – The purpose of the reset button is to shut the furnace down before it can trip your circuit breaker. The need for this may arise if the furnace becomes too hot, or if there is some sort of electrical system interruption. To get the furnace working again, press the reset button back down again. However, if you press the reset button and your furnace turns off again, continuing to press the reset button can damage your furnace! If your furnace doesn’t start after hitting reset once, contact us for heating service.

Stay warm and safe this heating season with a little help from propane—and the propane experts at Rand Wade Oil. Contact us today for heating system service and reliable heating oil and propane deliveries in Greene County, North Carolina.

free automatic delivery north carolinaNo one wants to deal with the hassle of managing their propane gas supply – or with the consequences of running out of fuel. Luckily, there’s a FREE service from Rand Wade Oil that helps you avoid these problems: automatic propane delivery.

With automatic propane delivery, our team will estimate how much fuel you’re likely to use based on your past bills and the current weather (if you have recently become a Rand Wade customer, we’ll estimate based on local averages for a home your size). Your delivery will be scheduled when your tank is about one-quarter full.

Automatic Delivery Vs. Will Call

If you currently manage your own propane deliveries (we call this “will call” service), you might wonder why you should make the switch to automatic propane delivery.

Here are three great reasons:

  1. You won’t have to think about your fuel deliveries or making appointments. You’ll never have to check your fuel gauge or remember to call for propane delivery service, because we’ll take care of all of that for you.
  2. You’ll move to the front of the line. Since our automatic delivery customers become part of our routine delivery schedule, they get priority fill-ups compared to our will call customers.
  3. You’ll be much less likely to run out of fuel. With automatic propane delivery, you will never forget to order fuel, because you won’t have to remember to do it in the first place! That can help you avoid hassles like no heat emergencies and expenses like having your propane system restarted.

Why Is Automatic Delivery FREE?

We confess – we get something out of automatic propane delivery, too: basically, it helps us to efficiently schedule our delivery routes. With that kind of planning, we can serve all our customers and avoid having to send crews out to deal with emergency run-outs. Everyone wins!

Let Rand Wade Oil take the hassle out of managing your fuel deliveries with FREE automatic propane delivery in Greene County, NC! Contact us today to learn more.

Direct Vent Or Vent-Free

propane space heaters north carolinaWhen it comes to warming hard-to-heat rooms in your North Carolina home, few options can match a propane space heater.

Compact and highly efficient, a space heater will keep your basement, hobby room, or any other problem area warm in any weather. But how do you choose a propane space heater from among the many options available? The search starts by choosing between vented and vent-free models. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Direct Vent Space Heaters

Direct vent space heaters are basically sealed boxes that stay lit by stoking the fire with outdoor air; any fumes generated by combustion are vented directly outside your home via a small pipe through an exterior wall.

Direct vent space heaters offer:

  • A powerful, economical and unobtrusive alternative to a furnace or boiler that is easier to install and maintain
  • Precision heating, with the ability to vary intensity and fan speed
  • Simple one-hole venting and no ductwork
  • Advanced operation, with some models featuring programmable thermostats and other automated settings

Vent-free Space Heaters

Vent-free propane space heaters don’t need vents or ductwork to provide heat, and they are available in a range of sizes to suit most spaces.

Vent-free propane heaters are less expensive to install than direct vent heaters and offer greater installation flexibility since they don’t require access to an external wall for venting. However, unlike direct vent options, exhaust in a released inside the home. For this reason, it is not legal to install vent-free heaters in rooms where people sleep, and some local building codes do no allow them to be installed at all. Do your research if you are considering one!

The Bottom Line

Whatever choice you make, a propane space heater can recover a “lost,” hard-to-heat room with ease; they are a cost-efficient choice for any home with a heating challenge, and a great way to deliver quick, easy heat.

Not sure what kind of space heater to choose for your North Carolina home? Contact Rand Wade today to discuss your options and get a FREE, no-obligation estimates on space heater installations in Greene County, NC!

If you live near Greene County and surrounding areas, a visit to our heating equipment showroom is well worth your trip! Here you can see and touch a range of products including propane heaters, gas logs, grills and outdoor heaters and fireplace inserts. Our equipment experts will be glad to tell you all about your appliance options as well as our professional installation process.

fall propane delivery north carolinaFall is on our doorstep, which makes now the perfect time to get out for walks in the crisp North Carolina air.

It’s also a great time to schedule your first propane delivery of the season!

Fall Propane Fill-up Perks

Why should you order your propane in the early fall? Here are three great reasons:

  • Prices are more stable – Propane prices rise with demand, which is highest three times a year: in the late fall as temperatures drop, all winter long, and in the summer months, when people take to the road for summer vacation and camping. Early fall is a “shoulder” season between periods of peak demand – which means it is often the best time to save money on your propane deliveries.
  • Weather is more predictable – A sudden onset of frigid weather can lead to propane shortages as people scramble to fill their tanks, and these shifts become more common as the year wears on. Fill your propane tank now and you’ll be ready for anything Mother Nature has in store (don’t forget to fill your propane backup generator, either).
  • At-home comfort is more important now than ever before – With COVID-19 keeping us home more than usual, the comforts of home become necessities for our mental health. Whether you enjoy year-round cooking on a propane gas grill, cozying up to a propane fireplace or log set, stargazing by the glow of a propane outdoor fire pit, or getting away from it all in a propane-heated spa, you’ll need a steady supply of propane to keep you at peak-comfort in the coming winter months.

Don’t be left out in the cold or pay more than you have to fill your propane tank – contact Rand Wade Oil today to schedule your propane delivery in Greene County, NC!