Oil Burners/Oil Tanks

three years ago we had a brand-new oil burning furnace put in our house & also had a above ground oil tank installed. The problem is that when you start up the furnace in the morning during heating season(which is roughly October thru May in NJ),the oil burner often will sound like it's lost suction or on the verge of losing suction. It also making an annoying clicking sound as the oil is pumped through the pipes. The above-ground tank is outside of the house & 25 ft. from the oil burner. The pump must raise the oil 5 feet because the pipes go through the ceiling. My older brother & I believe that the oil tank should be moved closer to the oil burner so that a gravity feed could be used(through the floor). It has been recommended that we should replace the furnace. What should we do?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

There are 2 pipes from the tank to burner? Then it is a 2-pipe system and the pump should not have any trouble lifting that distance.
There could be (tiny) air leaks at fittings, etc. making trouble.
In the end though, you're correct that having the lines in the ceiling (above burner level) can cause problems with air entrapment.
If the tank/piping could be re-arranged without too great an expense to avoid the ceiling entry, do that.
Replace the furnace? I don't think so...
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/8/2007 5:16 PM snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net said the following:

You shut the boiler off at night during heating season?

My oil tank is below ground (built in 1984), the lines come in through the concrete wall at the top level of the buried tank then up to the basement ceiling and across the basement to the burner on the other side of the basement, about 30 feet, then down to the boiler. I shut off the boiler in the warm season. I suppose that there is some back flow when left off over long periods. The pump has to evacuate that air before it can run pure oil. There may be some spitting of air and oil into the boiler until all that air is evacuated.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Has it done this from when it was new? Does it make a difference if the tank is full or near empty? Filter clean? If the pump is at about the same level as the tank bottom, it should lift the oil with just a siphoning action. If the pump is losing its prime, there may be air getting into the system allowing the oil to siphon back. Check all the connections.
A for the recommendation to replace the furnace, don't even ask that person for directions to the candy store because they are just plain stupid.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 08 Aug 2007 14:16:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Someone else who replied thinks you have a boiler. Do you? Do you have water radiators, steam radiators, or forced air.
(Is there any other choice?)

You turn off the furnace at night, even though it is colder at night than during the day? (at least where I live) Do you just cuddle under the blankets at night?

Are you sure? I'm not sure what that sound would sound like. Whistling! Does it sound like whistling? Wait, that's suction with loss of oil. I don't know what lack of suction sounds like. Just the sound of silence, I would think.
Is your furnace in the basement or on the first floor?
But at any rate, does it actually lose suction, or just sound like it? Does it require priming the pump again, or is that only because it's self-priming?

So it makes noises, but does it make heat too?

That sounds like it makes sense. Why was it put so far away in the first place? If there is a good reason for that, and there is a good reason not to put it closer, is it possible to bury the oil line. This is my own specualation. I have no idea if this is ever done.

The WHOLE furnace? EVen though it makes heat and does fine when it has oil? Do they give a reason? A three-year old furnace!!!!! What is their "reason" for saying you need a new one?
Have they found a broken part? A part that can't be fixed or replaced? What part is there can't be fixed or replaced? Did they say what part they claim is broken?
My oil furnace is 28 years old and still works fine. I'm in Baltimore so I don't use it as much as you do (What part of NJ?), but in 28 years I've used it a lot more than your furnace has been used. Probably more than 15 times as much. Mine is a Carrier fwiw, and has an AC coil just above the furnace part. But unless your furnace was made from Tinker-toys, it's surely as good or almost as good as mine. AFAIK all of the 100 homes in my little n'hood are on their first furnace, and some of the houses are a couple years older than mine.

Reply to my post, and also, call someone else.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.