Common Oil Furnace Problems & Troubleshooting

Common Oil Burner Problems and Solutions

  1. No heat or insufficient heat
  2. Intermittent heat
  3. High fuel consumption
  4. Burner system noisy
  5. Diesel fuel odor from burner system
  6. Electrical insulation odor from burner system

No heat or insufficient heat

Possible CauseProcedure
No fuelCheck fuel tank gauge and have tank refilled if necessary
No power to circuitReplace fuse or reset circuit breaker
Relay or stack heat sensor trippedPress the reset button no more than twice.
If the system doesn’t start, call for service
Oil leaking at pump fittingsTighten fittings
If no improvement, have the pump replaced
Electrodes faultyCall for service
Nozzle faultyReplace nozzle
Photocell dirty or faultyClean photocell or replace if necessary
Stack heat sensor dirtyClean soot buildup out of stack heat sensor
Coupling brokenCall for service
Pump seizedTest pump pressure
Call for service
Motor seized or overloadedPress reset button. If motor is silent or hums but
does not turn, call for service
Pump pressure too low Test pump pressure
Call for service
Oil filter dirtyReplace oil filter
Oil strainer dirtyClean strainer or replace it if necessary
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Intermittent heat

Possible CauseProcedure
Fuel supply lowCheck fuel tank gauge and have tank refilled if necessary
Oil filter dirty Replace oil filter
Oil strainer dirtyClean strainer and replace if necessary
Pump pressure too highTest pump pressure
Call for service
Motor overloadedPress reset button. If motor is silent or hums but
Does not run, call for service
Pump seizedTest pump pressure
Call for service
Nozzle faultyReplace nozzle
Photocell dirty or faultyClean photocell or replace if necessary
Stack heat sensor dirtyClean soot buildup out of stack heat sensor
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High fuel consumption

Possible CauseProcedure
Nozzle faultyReplace nozzle
Pump pressure too low or too highTest pump pressure
Call for service
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Burner system noisy

Possible CauseProcedure
Motor bearings dryLubricate motor
Coupling misaligned, loose, or brokenCall for service
Pump worn outTest pump pressure
Call for service
Draft regulator misadjustedTurn counterweight screw on draft regulator to allow more or less air flow
Incorrect oil/air mix causing flame roarCall for service
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Diesel fuel odor from burner system

Possible CauseProcedure
Draft regulator wide openAdjust counterweight on draft regulator
Stack or heat exchanger blocked with sootCall for service to have stack or heat exchanger cleaned
Pump leakingCall for service
Nozzle faultyReplace nozzle
Electrodes faultyCall for service
Stack damagedCall for service
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Electrical insulation odor from burner system

Possible CauseProcedure
Ignition transformer or motor overheatingCall for service
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