Restarting an out of fuel oil furnace

Someone asked me today what would happen if they ran out of fuel oil. I have no idea.
I assume the pickup is a few inches off the bottom so it doesn't suck up crud. What's involved in restarting it once the tank is replenished? It's a 20 yr old furnace that's going to be replaced with a gas furnace. They don't want to add fuel needlessly for obvious reasons.
Thanks, Al...
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Al Bundy wrote:

Is it a top feeder or does the line come off the bottom of the tank? If the tank is 20 years old and the line comes off the bottom the filter could clog up on a run out. If a top feeder it shouldn't have a problem with crude. To get the unit running after a run out is to bleed it at the oil pump on the burner.
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Al Bundy wrote:

best way to relight an old oil burner...
get a gallon of gasoline... pour it in the burn chamber... let it set for abou 10 mins...
light a match.. open the door and toss it in
This method also cleans out the smoke stack and ducts in one simple task.
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I would replace "cleans out" with "takes out", and paste in "match lighting person" in between "stack" and "ducts".
-zero
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Your setup might determine this. I've run out of oil & all I had to do to get going again was fill tank with oil & hit reset button on burner. The pump doesn't suck long when there isn't a flame present. My burner is 25yrs old- the tank is higher than the furnace & it is a single line system.
Warn them that hitting the reset button is a one [or maybe two] time deal. If the problem is an erratic spark, and not a lack of oil, they could build up a puddle of oil in the box before it finally ignites and could cause a hazard.
Jim
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Crud aside you sometimes have to prime the pump by loosening a plug or a piece of tubing and holding a coffee can under it to catch the excess while holding the reset button. The crud will just gum up a filter or six on the side/bottom of the tank. Al Bundy wrote:

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Al Bundy wrote:

My oil tank is outside and buried, which requires that I go out and read the oil level with a measuring stick. In 20 years, I have forgotten to measure it about 3 times and it ran out of fuel. I think all three times, it was on a weekend. :-) After it was filled, just hitting the reset button started it up.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Al Bundy wrote:

If they did "run out of oil" then the "no fire" sensing system on the furnace would have tripped and shut down the electric power to the burner. They would have to locate the reset button and press it to get burner power back again.
Unless the tank is a huge distance away from the burner, just adding a few gallons of oil to the tank and "turning on the heat" should do it, The suction from the burner's pump sould be able to pull oil into the burner before the "no fire" sensor times out again. And if it should time out, press the reset button again and give it a second try.
If that doesen't do it, play it smart, stop trying to get it to fire and call an oil burner service tech.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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I ran out of oil last winter and called in the oil guy. He didnt prime anything but he did place a jumper wire arcross 2 terminals to restart it. I dont remember exactly which 2 terminals it was out of maybe 5-6 present......guess I should write this down next time it happens. By the way.....mine is an oil furness/heater/water heater........(have hot water baseboard) and it also heats the drinking water.
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avid_hiker posted for all of us...

Like in Betty? Or did you mean BOILER?
--
Tekkie "There\'s no such thing as a tool I don\'t need."

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The twice I've done this, once was a hot water heater (yeah, I know, you don't have to heat hot water). Other was a trailer furnace.
In both cases, I had to loosen the bleeder screw on the pump. Looks like a bleeder on a brake on a car, probably for good reason. Set the furnace for heat, push the red reset button, and catch the air and oil mix in a metal can until the fluid runs clear. Close the bleeder, and the furnace now runs. Go out back, and pour the fuel oil and air mix back into the tank.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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