Oil furnace problem


We have a brand new oil furnace and new tank. Our oil delivery company put a red flag on our old furnace and haven't delivered oil for a while. But the gauge on the new tank said we had 1/2 tank left.
Thursday night we realized it was getting cold. To make a long story short, the furnace hadn't been on since noon that day. The green light on it was blinking. Resetting it didn't work. So we called the guy who installed it. Earlier that day we had a huge power surge, lights dimmed, tv went out, lasted 3 seconds. So I told that to the repair guy thinking that was the cause of the furnace no longer working.
He ran a few tests, but no oil was coming through. This is where my terminology goes bad... he thought the pump wasn't working because the new magnetic switch on the pump it has may be fried. So he put on the old pump from our old furnace. Finally oil started coming through, spitting and sputtering. Then stopped after 10-15 seconds.
He went over to the tank, wiggled the gauge and it immediately dropped to empty. that brand new gauge had been stuck, it wasn't half full, it was empty....
So it was late, 10:30 pm, there wasn't much more he could do for us. So we called our oil delivery guys and they came out at about midnight and gave us 10 gallons of fuel. That guy got the furnace started after MANY attempts at priming it. But it started, heat was coming out and it worked so I went to bed.
Next morning it was very cold in our house. The green light was going off again. I really had no idea if we had gone through 10 gallons in a six hour stretch.
So to my point....
I bought 15 gallons of fuel and put it on myself. As of right now, I can get the furnace started after many attempts of priming it, resetting it, etc, but once the house reaches the correct temperature and the furnace shuts off, it will not come back on by itself. Green light blinking.
Any thoughts? The guy that installed the furnace is coming back but I'm just wondering what the heck is going on? Sludge in the line, air??
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It would be helpful for you to be at the burner when it is trying to fire. Raise the set point on the stat, try to see what's going on with the flame.
A couple of things related to running out of oil: The nozzle could be clogged, causing no flow, or insufficient flow for the flame sensor. Also, dirty nozzles can appear as an intermittent problem. When messing with the pumps, a fitting could be just slightly loose, letting air back in the line, losing the pump prime.
With multiple restarts, you should watch as the burner tries to lite, to see if it seems like it is sputtering air, and then comes on with a normal flame.
If it's not air and instead the nozzle is partially clogged, you will see an "asymmetrical" flame, that does not improve much, or may change suddenly.
Nozzles are very easy to clean. May want to run the pump with the nozzle off, see what comes out. Not a bad idea in general. Put wrenches on the various joints, see what tightens up. Could be a union.
Other than this, it could be other unrelated issues, which just happened to pop up now.
Did I just say "issues"????
Yes I did! The programming is apparently complete!!
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Sounds like you are losing your prime once the pump quits. You may have a bad one way valve or an air leak. My bet since it started acting up after it ran out of fuel is you got crud in the valve.
Jimmie
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Very likely air in the line. When you pour ten galons into a 275 gal tank, the liquid fuel covers the inlet tube by about 0.00001 inch. When the furnace pump comes on, it's really easy to gulp some air. After you get your tank of heating oil delivered, it should run better.
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Probably stirred up a bunch of crap and sludge on the bottom too.
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The OP said that it was a new tank, and it sounds as if it's never been filled. Unlikely that there was much of anything in there - even with a sloppy installer.
R
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wrote:

The OP said that it was a new tank, and it sounds as if it's never been filled. Unlikely that there was much of anything in there - even with a sloppy installer.
R
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You'd hope so. Could be metal filings, pipe dope, or a rag from the installer too. Of course, that stuff should not have gotten past the filter.
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