Testing, Shipping, and Pricing - Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the frequently asked questions that we address with our customers. If you have a question not listed here, or if you would like more information, please contact us.
Do you perform testing for individuals?
Yes. If you’ve never had your fuel or oil tested before, contact us and we’ll walk through the process of choosing a test, preparing your sample for shipment, and address any other questions you have.
Do you test _______?
Probably! Alcor Petrolab and Phoenix Chemical Laboratory perform quality, conformance, and research and development testing on a wide range of sample types. We perform testing on fuel (gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, jet fuel, rocket propellant), lubricants (lubricating oil, lubricating grease, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil), and other petroleum products (including crude oil). We also perform testing on coatings, rubber and elastomers, solvents, cleaning chemicals, cosmetics, hair care products, and even beer. If you want to test a liquid or something that comes into contact with liquids, contact us to find out how we can analyze your product.
What tests do you perform?
We perform more than 700 different tests. You can download our Complete Test List to see which test methods we perform.
Can you perform test method _______?
You can see what tests we perform by using the search function on our website or downloading our Complete Test List. If you need a test that isn’t on the list, please contact us. We add to our testing capabilities with new instruments and new test methods every week, so there are always tests that we can perform that have not yet been added to our website. Even if we haven’t performed a test before, it’s possible that we could set it up. Contact us to find out what our full capabilities are.
What test will identify the contamination in my sample?
I need a custom test performed and can’t find anyone to help me. Can you help?
Yes – we have a test engineering department that specializes in developing custom test methods and equipment. Recent projects include measuring change in physical properties of plastic parts when exposed to fuel under pressure, measuring corrosion protection after multi-stage surface preparation processes, and determining the vapor pressure of solids. If you have an unusual testing need, give us a call or e-mail us to see how we can help you.
How can I get a quote for my testing?
We love to give free quotes! Just contact us, or call 817-633-9119, and we’ll provide a written quote that includes pricing, sample quantity, and estimated turnaround time for your testing.
How much sample do you need for this test?
We will provide our best estimate of the sample quantity required for each test when we give you your detailed quote.
What’s the turnaround time for this testing? / How long is it going to take? / When should I expect results?
We specialize in providing prompt and timely service to all of our customers. However, lead times vary depending on the complexity or requirements of the test and how many other samples we’ve received before yours for the same test. You can get more detailed information about the current lead time for a specific test when you request a quote.
Can you let me know when my samples arrive in the lab?
Yes, if you ask us to do so when you request your quote or when you send the samples. Keep in mind, however, that our laboratories receive dozens of samples every day, so we may not be able to notify you immediately when we receive your sample. All samples are signed for by one of our staff at delivery, and most major shipping companies provide real-time updates for their shipments. You can check whether a sample has been received at our laboratory by going to your shipping company’s website and entering your shipment tracking number.
Do you provide sample bottles?
Our Sample Shipping Kits include sample bottles. We can also provide bottles from our laboratories to customers who need them to collect samples for testing. Please contact us to order sample bottles or shipping kits.
Can I watch while my sample is tested?
Yes, you can witness your testing personally, or send someone to do so, but there is an additional fee. We can provide limited PPE (personal protection equipment) to guests, but having additional people who are unfamiliar with laboratory procedures following the laboratory technician as the sample is moved from instrument to instrument can slow the testing process down, so we don’t recommend it unless there is a specific legal or security reason to do so.
I’m located on the other side of the country; how can I get my sample to your laboratory?
We provide Sample Shipping Kits for long-distance customers upon request. These kits are intended mainly for fuel (gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, jet fuel) and lubricant samples. If you have a different type of sample, contact us so that we can determine whether a shipping kit can be customized for your use.
Can I ship my samples overnight using the Alcor Petrolab sample shipping kit?
No. The Sample Shipping Kits are labeled for Limited Quantity Exception, which applies only to ground shipments. Shipping regulations are much stricter for packages sent by air. We can send the empty shipping kit to you in an outer box by air shipping if you request it (an additional charge for the overnight shipping applies), but once the sample bottle is filled with fuel it has to be shipped back to us by UPS Ground. There are significant penalties for shipping hazardous materials by air without the correct labeling or shipper certifications.
I’m close to your laboratory; can I just walk in and drop my sample off for testing?
Absolutely! We appreciate it if you call ahead to let us know you’re coming, but we can accept hand-delivered samples at both laboratories. Please remember that our business hours are 8-5 Mon-Fri, and we can’t guarantee that someone will be at the laboratory to take your sample outside those hours.
Can I wait at your laboratory while the testing is performed?
Yes, if you want to take the sample back when the testing is done. Keep in mind that even quick tests can take some time to perform. We recommend that you call ahead to find out the estimated wait time if you plan to wait while the testing is performed. It may be easier for you to drop your sample off one day and pick it up later in the week when testing is complete.
I need my testing done as soon as possible, immediately, yesterday; do you offer rush service?
Yes, we do! We also offer testing services outside of normal business hours. Please contact us to schedule your testing and to get a free quote.
What’s the status on my sample?
Call or e-mail us! We’ll be happy to tell you. If you requested multiple tests, and some are completed sooner than others, we may be able to provide a partial preliminary report. Keep in mind though that some tests have to run for a specific length of time to meet the test method requirements; there’s really no way to speed those tests up.
Can you tell me what my test results mean?
We can discuss them with you. Our laboratory managers are very experienced and can help you interpret the results.
Can you discuss my results with someone else?
Your results surprised me; can you double check them?
Absolutely. Please let us know if you were expecting a different result or if something doesn’t seem right. We will review the test data with you. If there’s enough sample remaining, we may also rerun the test to confirm the test results. We are committed to providing accurate data.
I’d really like my sample to pass this test, but I don’t think it will. Can you give the numbers a little nudge to look better?
No. We do not, for any reason, falsify data, test results or reports. If you think there is an error in the test data, we will go over it with you, or even rerun the test, but we can only report true data as measured. If you have more questions about our test quality policy, please contact us.
Can you add another person to the email list for my reports?
Of course. Just send us their name and email address and tell us which reports you want them to receive. (All of them? Only the reports for certain samples?)
Do you have additional test data that’s not on my report?
We might. Some tests produce ‘raw data’ that we use to determine the final test result. In most cases, the final results that we report are all that our customers need. However, if you’re trying to trace the cause of a specific problem, or if you’re conducting research and development, we can provide any raw data that we have on request.
Can you change the sample information on my report?
Yes. Email any corrections to the sample name, sample location, operator name, work order number, etc., as a reply to the report you received from the laboratory, and we will issue a revised report with the corrected information.
Can you change the unit of measurement on my report? (Celsius to Fahrenheit, etc.)
Yes. We can’t change the final result itself, but we can report it in whatever unit is easiest for you to read or use to compare to other test results. If we can’t give you the unit that you requested, we’ll let you know why.
Can you add a picture of the sample to my report?
Yes, if you notify us before the testing begins. We might be able to provide a picture after the testing is completed and the report is sent, but it depends on whether there is any sample remaining.
My sample failed the test! Can we retest it?
Yes, if we have enough sample to perform the test again.
How long are samples stored before disposal?
We keep all samples in a climate-controlled storage area for at least thirty days from the date we receive the sample. After that date the samples are disposed of safely.
How do you dispose of unused sample?
Customer samples are recycled or disposed of in an environmentally safe manner in accordance with applicable regulations.
Can you ship my sample back when testing is completed?
Yes, depending on the sample type. If the sample can be shipped UPS Ground by Limited Quantity Exception, we can return the sample to you upon request. There will be a handling and shipping charge for packaging and returning unused samples. If you want your samples returned after testing, please notify us when submitting the samples.
Can you hold my samples for additional testing?
Yes; we hold all samples for thirty days before safely disposing of them. If you want your samples to be held for more than thirty days, please notify the lab as soon as possible, and additional charges may apply.
I want a different test performed on my sample; do you still have my sample?
We might. We retain all samples for at least thirty days before safely disposing of them. However, if the sample was submitted more than thirty days ago, or if the sample was consumed during testing (this depends on the test that was performed), we may not have enough left for more testing. Please contact us or reply to the email with your original report to find out how much of your sample we still have.
Can you email me a credit card receipt?
Yes. We will send the credit card receipt and a copy of the paid invoice to the email address you provided with your sample or when you set up your account.
I’m paying for my testing with a credit card. When will I get my receipt?
We will charge your card when the testing is completed. You should see the receipt within one-two business days of receiving your report.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), and we use a secure payment processing system.
Can our business set up a credit account (Net 30 Days) with Alcor Petrolab?
Yes. Contact our Accounts Receivable department at 817-633-9119 to discuss the terms and conditions of setting up an account.
Will an invoice for your services be emailed?
We will submit your invoice to the person you tell us to – typically you or someone in your accounting department. Whether it is emailed, mailed, or faxed depends on your customer account settings. You can contact the Accounts Receivable department at 817-633-9119 to update your account settings at any time.
I have a lot of samples to test. Can I get a discount?
We sometimes offer a volume discount for a large number of samples submitted at the same time for the same testing. How many samples are needed to qualify for a volume discount varies depending on the complexity of the testing. Contact us today to request a quote and ask about our volume discounts.
This test is expensive. Can I get a discount?
Our pricing reflects the physical cost of conducting the test itself and the priority service that we provide. Unless you’re planning on testing a large number of samples, we most likely cannot offer a discount on the pricing that we quoted to you.
Do you speak Spanish?
Yes. We have several managers who are fluent in Spanish. Please call us at 817-633-9119 and ask for one of our Spanish speakers.