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  1. #1

    Question

    I came across my first oil fired furnace today, and I have to be honest I do not know much about them. To the best of my knowledge there are not many here, none of the techs I have talked with have ever seen one here. What are some signs of the system not running correctly? How do they differ from a Natural Gas furnace?

    Thanks for any information, 98% of heating equipment I work on is HPs or Strip heat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,754
    walk away from it until you have had training.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Quincy, Il
    Posts
    24
    They're really not that difficult. I taught myself how to work on them in the military. That is all they had was oil fired furnaces, dryers, and hot water heaters. the components aren't to much more diffrent then natural gas furnace. You have electrodes (to ignite), cad-cell flame sensor. Big transformer for spark, ususally 100,000 volts, fuel pump set @ 110-120 psi mounted on burner assembly. You may run into a stack switch or something like that. I know that nozzles have a screen on them, and should be replaced every year with the exact replacment. Number on nozzle indicates number of gallons of fuel burned per hour. Electrodes tend to gum up and prevent proper ignition. Also electrode gap is important. Don't remember the exact gap but I think it is 1/8 in. Same with cad-cell. Needs to be cleaned. May be more to the civilian models. I've only worked on mainly military models. Best thing for you to do is get a book that covers oil-fired furnaces.

  4. #4
    I agree with you, that is what I did. The home owner was a little upset, she told me my company was the only company that agreed to take a look at it. The service manager of the company I work at does not anything about oil fired, so there is not much anyone could say to me. I have a little information on this type, but not enought that I would feel comfortable working on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Quincy, Il
    Posts
    24
    What problem are you having with it?

  6. #6
    Nothing that I know of, customer just wanted the system checked out. From what you wrote there are several things that need to be done to these furnaces. I will study about these, I would like to know how to work on them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,305
    They are not really that bad.. Do some reading up on it..

    How or where does the customer get oil for it? The oil company has a service tech for oil equipment??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... the components aren't to much more diffrent then natural gas furnace. You have electrodes (to ignite), cad-cell flame sensor. Big transformer for spark, ususally 100,000 volts,
    Um, no...more like 10,000 volts for old style transformers, 14K volt with the new solid state ignitors.

    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... fuel pump set @ 110-120 psi mounted on burner assembly.
    Um, no....more like 100 psi with older burners, 140 or more psi with new oil fired equipment.

    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... You may run into a stack switch or something like that.
    Um, ditto.....no stack switches anymore, solid state equipment has long since replaced mechanical warp switch safety resets.

    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... Electrodes tend to gum up and prevent proper ignition.
    Nope...electrodes that gum up are signs of big problem elsewhere, electrodes barely even wear out nowadays.

    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... Same with cad-cell. Needs to be cleaned. May be more to the civilian models.
    Nope....a cad cell that needs cleaning is sign of a big problem elsewhere. Cad cells stay clean with proper ignition and a clean boiler.

    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... Best thing for you to do is get a book that covers oil-fired furnaces.
    I haven't seen a book available to homeowners that would present MODERN oil burner repair acceptably. The books you find are soooo outdated, it's laughable. Best thing for you to do is call a tech...instead.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tidewater, va
    Posts
    2,144
    I don't get to chime in on these threads very often, so excuse me for taking the chance. Shorty, you are to be commended for seeking knowledge on something that you are not familiar with. I think that everyone on this site would agree that it it is much...MUCH wiser to back away and think about or even seek out information before diving into something head first. Here is the problem: t527ed makes a valid point but what can you do? You said it yourself, your SERVICE MANAGER doesn't know anything about oil fired machines yet YOU are expected to...that is what being a service tech is about a lot of times. It alays makes me laugh when I think about the bs that people will put up from doctors and then they hold HVAC techs to some standard that is unattainable. I don't know how long you have been a service tech, but I can't count the times that I have arrived on a jobsite and seen equipment that I didn't know existed or even what it was supposed to do and the maintenance or plant engineer expected a factory rep. Oh well, I guess that we have to do the best that we can.
    I am getting away from the topic here. If you don't have many furnaces , and i suppose living in Florida, you wouldn't see many like you said, there is no need to get all tooled up for oil work. However, if you want to do a fair job of servicing this machine, you should really take a look at how it is burning. If you plan on ever servicing any boilers (an you should always be looking at advancing) ther is a fair chance that you will need a smoke tester, if they are oil fired. Maybe you could justify getting one through the shop and test the amount of smoke this burner is making. It sounds like you are doing some research and you should go to the Bacharach website and read a little about combustion.
    Take care and good luck.

    r404a

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    Originally posted by t527ed
    walk away from it until you have had training.
    I agree. There are too many things that can go wrong.
    I wouldn't work on a freezer either. If you don't have the parts to replace that need replacing and Bacharach oil tune up kit, and the know how to be sure it is running correctly, walk away.
    If someone is delivering oil to them there must be someone out there that works on oil fired units.

    [Edited by oil lp man on 11-02-2005 at 06:03 AM]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,323

    Thumbs up R elative A ccuracy

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by casturbo
    [B]
    Originally posted by mister freeze
    .... the components aren't to much more diffrent then natural gas furnace. You have electrodes (to ignite), cad-cell flame sensor.

    Big transformer for spark, usually 100,000 volts,
    Um, no...more like 10,000 volts for old style transformers, 14K volt with the new solid state ignitors.
    ................

    What's a 0 here or there?

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    Designer Dan
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  12. #12
    I am not sure if the company that supplies the oil has someone to check the furnace. The home owner told me the the supplier said she needed someone to check the unit out, to make sure everything is alright this winter. I know that heating oil is very rare here, if gas is used it most of the time is natural. When I was in HVAC training, there was a section on oil fired, but it was removed because the teacher tought it was not nessary.

    Thanks for the replys

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    717
    Shorty 6801; just out of curiousity, how long has it been since this oil furnace was installed?
    Normally a furnace/burner should be serviced (tune-up) annually.
    And who, or where is the "tech" that originally did the initial setting-up?
    btw, i,m sure glad a poster or two corrected Mr freeze on his erroneous info. Maybe he ought to join Shorty in learning more about oil heat,etc

    ps;That oil supplier must be doing a flourishing business with only one or two customers in the whole area... lol

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