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Oil Delivery and furnace needed adjustment even after turning the system off for a hour.

raptor1 Member Posts: 3
Need help in finding out what caused my problem with my oil furnace after a oil delivery
I got a 200 gallon delivery of oil last week from the same supplier I have used for many years
My tank is in the ground and I always turn off the furnace for about a hour during filling .
After the hour passed I turned back on the system and noticed it was sucking a lot of air and almost stalling.
My burner was just serviced last month by the same guy that's been coming for years as well.
The tech checked the oil filter which was spotless and replaced the nozzle with a new one. Same condition
as before. He did a smoke test and a test with a little red glass jar, not sure what you call it. And made a adjustment and it was running fine again. My question is what caused it to misfire and run bad. Lower cetane fuel oil?
Should I ask the fuel oil company for a credit because now I had to pay the service man and oil company too.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,116
    Tank is below the burner? If so, it lost prime for some reason. And there are a lot of reasons... the tech. should have (and may have) found it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • raptor1
    raptor1 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks yes tank is below the boiler. Could be I did not think of that
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,132
    Is this one pipe or two pipe fuel system?
    I'm curious as to how you deduced it was 'sucking a lot of air'?
    Air and high vacuum can appear to be the same in certain conditions.

    How much fuel was in the tank before and after delivery? How big is the tank.

    No such thing as lower cetane fuel oil. It's all the same unless you have a supplier that will delivery premium (at a premium price).

    It's possible the delivery stirred up the crap in the tank (which you know you have because you turn off your burner for an hour) and possible caused a restriction in the oil line.
    Changing the filter could've released the restriction and everything was back to 'normal'

    You should have your tank tested to see what's going on in the bottom. You should probably also start using additives to help with fuel quality.
    That tank is probably very old and may be near the end of it's life.

    Although the tech checked the fuel and changed the nozzle, he should've went a little farther and check the fuel pump and fuel line with pressure & vacuum tests.

    There's virtually no chance of getting a credit from the oil company if you didn't use their tech considering no one really found a problem.

    If it happens again (without a delivery) the tech should know how to check the pump and oil line, pressure & vacuum. He's the one you should be searching for a credit.
    If the same thing happens again right after a delivery, I'd lean toward more of what I stated earlier.

    The little red glass jar is for checking CO2, and is pre modern combustion analyzer. And not what a modern tech would or should use as part of a combustion analysis.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,919
    I thought the red jar was for CO? It's been a long time since I've seen anyone use a wet kit for combustion analysis! Steve is correct, about everything actually, especially the part about how a technician should be using properly calibrated digital testing equipment to ensure proper combustion.
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,032
    > @SuperTech said:
    > I thought the red jar was for CO?

    It's for CO2. If I remember right, 12 pumps, last one squeeze pump kept depressed. Turn over twice.
    I thought the fluid wasn't available anymore.
  • kevinj_4
    kevinj_4 Member Posts: 91
    HVACNUT said:

    > @SuperTech said:

    > I thought the red jar was for CO?

    It's for CO2. If I remember right, 12 pumps, last one squeeze pump kept depressed. Turn over twice.

    I thought the fluid wasn't available anymore.

    Still available, I redone mine a year ago.

    18 pumps as recall then rotate. I am no longer in the field & only take care of a couple oil burners.

    Ten pulls on the smoke tester.
  • raptor1
    raptor1 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Steve
    The tank is a 550 in ground. I know I'm pulling out asap. Its a two line system to the tank. So I guess I wont call for a credit Thanks for the answer on the cetane I did not know it was all the same. I just noticed it was drawing alot more air and almost st haling. When the tech changed the nozzle it still did not fix until he adjusted the air intake. The level of oil was approx 50 gallons when filled. I run out at 35. I really just wanted to find out if I could get a credit. Even my tech said no.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,454
    You probably let the oil level get too low and possibly pulled in air or sludge. It would be best not to get to within 15 gallons of your run out position The oil line does not go to the bottom of the tank. Tank gages are inaccurate. A stick with the proper chart is reasonably accurate....if the tank is level

    As far as wet kits go they still work.

    Red fluid measures Co2. They also had a "dumbbell" for measuring O2 which as I recall was green fluid I think.

    Westwood products still sells wet kits For some that only test a few burners a year for friends and relatives they make some sense. You can't justify having a digital analyzer calibrated.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited April 2019
    After my 50 year old 275 gal tank in cellar got almost empty, ~25 gal , I called for a fill up. Then few hours later had no heat. Nossel and filter were plugged up. Fill up had stirred up sludge in tank. Eventually found fuel only dribbled out line from tank. Blew line out back into tank with 150 psi air tank. flowed free again.

    In summer let tank run empty and vacuumed 8 gallons of black liquid out of tank, scrapped/vacuumed muck off inside walls. Put what I vacuumed out in buckets to settle for a week, got 5 gal of black water and 3 gal of clean good oil. Never had a problem since then. 50 years of condensate from humid summers and cool tank in cellar. Weather pressure changes pump air in /out of tank as cloud pressure systems blow by.