Oil Furnace Reset Button

My oil furnace was running fine and did NOT run out of oil. I did get a new load of oil in to take me through the winter and within 24 hours the furna ce needed me to hit the reset button. I did and the blower started and alth ough I did not see the flames I could feel the heat and it ran for maybe 3 minutes and then shut down again.
This is not the first time it has happened. Almost every year I go through this. The technician comes out and I see him bleed the line and clean the o il filter (possibly he replaces it) Then he replaces the control that has t he reset button and charges me 300 bucks or so.
I am wondering if possibly I don't need to replace that reset control modul e or whatever it is called and just need to clean/replace the oil filter sc reen. I do not understand how getting more oil would cause that to need rep laced but I can understand how when they put more ooil in the tank that it might stir up some dirt and clog the filter/screen.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks Joe
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On 1/11/20 6:36 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This master plumber has shot hundreds of videos on HVAC repair and quite a few are oil furnace repairs.

https://www.youtube.com/user/stevenlavimoniere/videos

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On Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 6:36:20 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

ew load of oil in to take me through the winter and within 24 hours the fur nace needed me to hit the reset button. I did and the blower started and al though I did not see the flames I could feel the heat and it ran for maybe 3 minutes and then shut down again.

h this. The technician comes out and I see him bleed the line and clean the oil filter (possibly he replaces it) Then he replaces the control that has the reset button and charges me 300 bucks or so.

ule or whatever it is called and just need to clean/replace the oil filter screen. I do not understand how getting more oil would cause that to need r eplaced but I can understand how when they put more ooil in the tank that i t might stir up some dirt and clog the filter/screen.

Agree with your observations. To replace the control is very unusual. I've had a fair amount of history with oil furnaces too and I've never seen the control needing to be replaced. What is most common is the nozzle, which has a very tiny hole to vaporize the oil, getting clogged. That is what is typically replaced. I can see the control being replaced if the furnace won't start or it keeps tripping and all else has been ruled out. Sounds like it's time for a new oil service guy. Typically these get serviced once a season, with the nozzle and filter replaced.
Is this oil tank underground, outside above ground, or in the basement? If it's outside above ground, those are the worst. Subject to constant temperature change, they get water condensation.
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On 1/11/2020 6:36 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've always cleaned or had cleaned every 1000 gallons. Typical service is change filter, nozzle, clean firebox, etc. Getting oil may have stirred up crap in the tank that got through.
Get you oil in the summer and don't run the burner for a day or two to let it settle.
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On Sat, 11 Jan 2020 03:36:16 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

By Jove, I think you've got it !
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In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 11 Jan 2020 03:36:16 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No need to bleed the line unless you've run out of oil, unless maybe he is bleeding a lot to capture dirt in the oil from refilling the tank.
Just bleeding air, or oil and how much oil does he collect?

Me neither. If this happened recently, I'd complain and want my money back. I don't know what would happen then -- you might have a big argument -- but they are not the only oil supply company. (Here it's oil supply companies that do furnace maintenance. Maybe there are others too.)

I've had oil heat for 35 years. There is no gas in my n'hood. Only had to replace the control box once (not counting the time I had to replace the control transformer)
It does sound like the new oil stirred up sediment from the bottom of the tank and that clogged your nozzle. No reason to replace the control box (which is the most expensive part, 150 or 200 iirc.)
You're supposed to replace the nozzle and clean the filter once a year, preferably when it's still warm out in case there's a problem, but since I've been doing it myself, I only do the nozzle every two years. I guess I get clean oil, no matter which supplier I've used, and it always lasts two years, but when I don't change it then, it's never lasted much longer. It's a pain to be changing the filter in the middle of the night in a cold house, after the heat has gone off for hours before I notice it. One should also inspect the flue, which may well need vacuuming**.
Like everyone else, I used to pay people. The first guy and maybe the 2nd or 3rd came out, punctured a little hole in the flue (which he later taped up with metal tape) and inserted a device that measures combustion results, how much CO or CO2 or O2, I don't know, which he used to adjust the air input and the resulting flame. But after that, they would just eyeball the flame and adjust it that way, or they would just leave the air input untouched.
Then I had a noise and they came out and replaced the blower motor and a few minutes after they left, the same noise was back. That also annoyed me. I called them up and they returned the motor to me and gave me a squirrel cage, but didn't install it or reverse the charge. Maybe I should have called the owner. I might have tried to fix that myself in the first place but I was going out of town in a few days for 4 weeks in the winter and I was afraid to leave it with that noise. Once the motor was changed, I realized it was the squirrel cage and that it couldn't start a fire so I didn't fix the noise and a week or two after I got back, the noise went away and never recurred, to this day 29 years later.
These various unsatisfying events led me to doing the cleaning myself.
It used to be hard to buy nozzles. There is only one oil supply company with a location open to the public and even that one I thought was only interested in selling wholesale, so I'd buy 4 or 3 at a time. They were always very nice to me and I didn't say anything to indicate I was a single homeowner only.
With the internet, it's easy to get replacements nozzles. The spec for the nozzle is stamped on the plate that gives the make and model of the furnace, plus it might be in the owner's manual. It's still a little hard to put them on though. They have a special wrench that grips the nozzle and the rest of it at the same time Without that, it can be hard to get a wrench in to hold either or both. But try various wrenches.
There are also electrodes which I would watch the service man adjust, but they rarely need adjusting. They get a little shorter with time, and maybe in 8 or 10 years they need bending and/or moving forward. Be careful not to break the ceramic tube they run the electrode through. Exact replacment electrodes for my furnace, I have not seen online, but I would go back to that place I bought the nozzles if I really need one and can't find it. Fortunately I have a spare burner with a set of electrodes..
Cleaning the flue also has a problem. If the flue clogs, not even completely, with soot, which can happen if the air intake is misadjusted (and it probably gets a little dirty even with a very nearly perfect adjustment) and you're getting soot deposits where the air comes out of the vents and maybe even if there are no visible deposits, if the flue clogs, it will affect combustion and can generate CO, carbon monoxide.
Get a CO alarm for sure, even if someone else does the work. They seem to screw up occasionally. Some of the webpages about CO detectors I looked at at the time seemed to say that oil furnaces can't cause CO but that's ridiculous. I know first hand. The alarm went off at 2AM one cold night, and I woke up, opened the window, turned off the furnace, and couldn't decide when it was safe to close the window, even though I was getting colder and colder. I guess I closed the window by 4AM but I didn't turn the furnace on until the service man came. The 4" flue had 1 1/2 soot all around leaving a one inch passage!!! They usually take it apart and vacuum all the way to the chimney, and of course if you've really had that much soot, you should have a chimney sweep sooner than normal. Though one chimney sweep tried to sell me a bill of goods, all new flue pipes and maybe, I forget, all new chimney pipes. (I have a round metal chimney, no masonry, for the furnace and one for the fireplace.) The next sweep agreed I didn't need any of that.
So for cleaning the flue, it's a little dirty job but you can do it yourself but the filters that normally come with wet-dry vacs will let the soot, which is small, right through the filter and spread all over the basement, maybe the whole house. You need special soot filters which when I bought them 10 or 20 years ago didn't fit and probably still don't the smallest cheapest wet-dry vacs. They do fit the 2nd or 3rd smallest (I can give someone the model if he wants) and that size is not that big, not too big for a homeowner.
I also clean the oil filter but never really find anything.
Another big problem can be running out of oil. When they refill the oil and you start up the furnace again, it won't run. There's air in the line and it won't suck. I watched what the delivery man did: Strangely*** however, cracking open the line just before it goes in the pump or the blower (I forget which now, it must be the blower housing) will cause it to suck the oil and when a little bit comes where you've loosened the line, stop and tighten the connection and you're good to go. ***I think I finally get it.
I also had my spark transformer fail. All the houses around here had identical furnaces when they were built, so when one owner got a new furnace I asked him for the burner of the old one. So I have one copy of every part, and that's where I got the new spark transformer. But they also sell online almost-universal transformers, with a newer design, but really no better than the old ones (old being 1979).
And they sell online just about every other part, including the control box.
I often have reason to turn off the power to the furnace. (The 110 volt power which has a switch by the laundry room door. Not the 220 volt power for the AC compressor outside, which just has a breaker in the breaker box and one in a box outside.) When you turn the power back on, it takes 3 or 4 minutes before the furnace will start up again. Just wait. That was scary the first time.
--
Moved in the end of May, had 4 friends from NYC for July 4th weekend. I
was the first of the bunch to buy a house, a nice house I thought.
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... I can understand how when they put more ooil in the tank that it might stir up some dirt and clog the filter/screen.

yes that has happened to me
The pump sounded like it was straining.
I checked the filter and it was full of gunk.
Happened right after a fill up.
m
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My oil furnace was running fine and did NOT run out of oil. I did get a new load of oil in to take me through the winter and within 24 hours the furnace needed me to hit the reset button. I did and the blower started and although I did not see the flames I could feel the heat and it ran for maybe 3 minutes and then shut down again.
This is not the first time it has happened. Almost every year I go through this. The technician comes out and I see him bleed the line and clean the oil filter (possibly he replaces it) Then he replaces the control that has the reset button and charges me 300 bucks or so.
I am wondering if possibly I don't need to replace that reset control module or whatever it is called and just need to clean/replace the oil filter screen. I do not understand how getting more oil would cause that to need replaced but I can understand how when they put more ooil in the tank that it might stir up some dirt and clog the filter/screen.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks Joe
When was the last time you had your oil tank cleaned out ?
"You might think that oil tanks need cleaning out because of some sort of tar buildup. Actually, it is not the thick pollutants you need to look out for, but the weak ones. Condensation forms on the inside of tanks, and the resulting water gets trapped. Water builds up at the bottom of the tank - remember: Oil floats on water. Oil tank cleaning is necessary to remove this problem. The result of this water is that a metal tank will corrode from the inside out.
Tank corrosion is an obvious cause of leaks. The mix of water, rust and oil will create a sludge in the bottom of the tank. The oxidized metal and water can also be drawn into the outlet pipe and mixed in with the fuel supply to your furnace. Oil contamination will damage you furnace and create blockages in filters and valves, increasing maintenance and repair costs.
For these reason it is important to get your tank cleaned out periodically. Experts recommend having your oil tank cleaned out at least once every five years. This is a messy job and involves having the tank pumped out. This is a task normally given to the oil supplier."
https://blog.smarttouchenergy.com/oil-tank-maintenance
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