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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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