Howdy all. I have oil heating in a house that I've only recently
bought. I've never had to deal with oil heating before, but it's been
working fine until this evening. I got in from work and the thermostat
is set for 72 degrees, but it shows 61 degrees and will not kick in,
despite adjusting it. The thermostat is a digital programmable one I
installed a couple weeks ago and has worked flawlessly. The connections
all seem fine. It indicates that the furnace should be on, but it
clearly isn't. I changed the fan from auto to on and the fan did come
on, but only blew cool air. I checked the oil reserve level, and it
looks to me that I should have plenty still. So... at the moment I'm at
a loss. I can't get to the furnace to inspect it tonight since it's in
the crawl space under the house (ok... I could but it's awful dark!)
So... any thoughts on what the problem could be? What I should look
for? Thanks for any help!
I'm guessing that you don't live in my area of the country as you don't seem
to be worried about things freezing tonight. Here and now, I wouldn't give
it more than a couple of hours before things were frozen solid without heat.
So, anyway, if you were here, I would suspect that you didn't have the right
grade of oil for the extreme cold and the oil had gotten too stiff to flow
to the furnace. With the furnace in a crawl space, your oil tank is
outside, I assume and exposed to the cold. I had problems with my oil
furnace in my garage not starting earlier this year and the problem turned
out to be a worn out nozzle. New nozzle and it's worked fine since. It
would try to start, wouldn't ignite and thus kick out the switch.
My first thought is water frozen in the bottom of the tank or in the feed
line; but you didn't mention freezing temps. It mught be something as
simple as needing to press the reset button of the controller. I have an
old unit that seems to kick off for no reason one a year or so. Or, as Tom
suggests, the oil itself may be thickening up. Lastly (or maybe firstly),
I'd check the circuit breaker. Ya never know.
As suggested, get to the furnace when you're able and find the
burner control "RESET" button. Press once and see if it lights off.
Chances are the burner needs its annual "tune-up".
More info on burners here:
On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 09:04:04 -0500, upon awakening from a drug-induced
coma, Speedy Jim woke up in a cold sweat and exclaimed:
Thanks to you and all for the tips. First thing this morning, I called
up an oil distributor, and they said that if the dipstick showed 6" or
less in the tank, then the fuel level likely is too low. Since I'm just
under 6" on the dipstick, I'm going on the assumption that I simply need
to refill the reservoir. I'm waiting patiently (and coldly!) for them
to come along. The cold isn't intolerable... around 52 degrees... but
I'd still hate to do this again tonight! Thanks for the advice.
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