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  1. #1
    Teresa Leister's Avatar
    Teresa Leister Guest

    Exclamation Oil Furnace Question

    We actually are home renters, we have oil heat. Our furnace has been burning through 100gals of oil in about 18 days. Then one day about a week ago, it just stopped running. I noticed that the "pilot light" wasn't lit an attempted to relight it, with no success. I called the homeowner to inform them of this and they sent someone out to look at it. He said that there are holes in the lining of the combustion chamber and that it is very dangerous to run the furnace in this condition, he cut the power supply to the motor and said that by law he could not restart it or he would be held liable if anything bad would happen. So the homeowner was thinking of puttin in a heat pump and getting rid of the oil all together then decided that it was too costly (@$10,000) and so they want to have the oil furnace repaired. So my questions are.... Is a combustion chamber with holes in the lining repairable? Is it safe to run a furnace that has had these rapairs done? Is there any kind of state inspector that I can call to come check this out before and after the work is done?

    Thanks in advance for any info that can help in this situation!!!

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    The oil furnace can be repaired if the parts are available but it may not be worth repairing. If the heat exchanger has holes in it the furnace is most likely very old and inefficent.....probaly in the 60-80% efficiency range. But since the owner is not paying the fuel bills he doesn't really care about that!

    I would make sure the repair person gets a permit for the repair from the local code enforcement department. This is no guarantee that the work will be done properly but it is about all you can do. The permit will at least mean the the repair person is licensed. I would also install a CO detector in the house.

    A heat pump would be your best bet if possible as far as operating cost go.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    Help this "furnace challenged" Florida inspector out...

    I didn't know oil furnace had pilot lights. Don't they use an electrode to ignite the oil?

    Dom.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Help this "furnace challenged" Florida inspector out...

    I didn't know oil furnace had pilot lights. Don't they use an electrode to ignite the oil?

    Dom.
    Yep, a step-up transformer ignition. I have never seen an oil-fired system with a standing pilot and I don't know how that would even work. The oil needs to be atomized (ie - made into a misty spray) to ignite.

    Teresa, oil-fired systems do not have pilot lights. They have electric ignition.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    Some of the old oil heaters did have pilots. They were gravity fed.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Some of the old oil heaters did have pilots. They were gravity fed.
    How did the pilot remain lit? Did it maintain a constant low mist of oil at the pilot?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Oil Furnace Question

    You light the heater with liquid fuel...not vapor....in the combustion chamber. Here is how to light one of the "newer" gravity type heaters.


    Lighting the stove:
    1. Remove the catalyst (stainless steel mesh cylinder) from the burn pot.
    2. Turn all supply valves on.
    3. Turn control knob on carburetor to setting 1.
    4. Press on/off control lever on carburetor to start (it pulls up and clicks to shut stove off and pushes or clicks down to on position).
    5. When a small amount of oil begins to appear in the burner bottom, take a wooden kitchen match and light the oil (a small piece of crumpled tissue
    paper can be lit and tossed into the burner if desired, or use an alcohol-gel fire starter).
    6. When oil is lit, replace the catalyst and shut the door (a slightly cracked door is helpful for a short period of time to aid initial light-up of oil, but should not be required for more than 30 or so seconds). Until the flue pipe warms up and draft is initiated, your Oil Classic will burn with a high, yellow/orange flame. This is normal during start-up. It is simply burning off excess liquid oil that accumulates in the burner bottom before the catalyst turns red and begins to vaporize the fuel.
    7. Within a few minutes, the stove burner should begin burning blue at flame base and yellow at flame tip. At this point a pressure check should be made, and the draft stabilizer adjusted to within the recommended pressure setting range (see draft pressure chart on page 7).
    8. Run the stove for at least 30 minutes on low or medium to allow the whole stove and chimney to come up to operation temperature.
    9. Turn the control knob to setting 1 and run for about 10-15 minutes and check the pressure once again.
    10. You are now ready to adjust or “tune” your Oil Classic according to the following carburetor adjustment section.



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