Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-13-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 210
Share |
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Yesterday, I began prepping my forced air oil furnace for the season. I cleaned the heat exchanger, and changed the fuel filter. At the end of the season last year, I let the oil tank run dry, so I put about 20 gallons of diesel fuel in the tank from the service station just to get it running and all checked out before the oil man makes a delivery.

Now, I've performed the task of changing the fuel filter on my grandmother's furnace many times over the years. Her furnace is in a crawl space, and has a single oil line going to it. The oil tank is out in the yard behind the house, so it's higher than the furnace. The typical way I did hers was after replacing the filter and cleaning out the can, was to crack open the valve and let some oil run into the can, and fill up the new filter. I would then re-attach the filter, and priming up the burner was a sinch.

This procedure however didn't work so good with mine. I've got a Rheem Lo-boy in the ground-level basement of my tri-level. The oil tank is outside at about the same level. After changing the filter, I opened the valve to let a little oil flow in...no oil! So, I figured the oil pump on the burner would suck some through. I put the filter together, cracked open the bleed valve, threw the switch, and nothing...3 resets later, I pulled the filter can back off to see if any oil had gotten through. It was still dry!

This is a one-line system. Will the burner "suck" the fuel from the tank if it's below the level of the burner? The tank was run completely dry, so I imagine the burner has some ability to do this, but I am wondering if I can get it started, or will I need to wait for the oil man to come with another 200 gallons or so to get the level in the tank high enough to flow out the line.

av-geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,256
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Need more oil. They have 2 pipe systems for below the burner tanks and that allows them to pump some back to the tank so they have more lift. Don't run it dry too often or the pump can get damaged. You may also have crud inside the pump now and apparently some have a removable cleanable screen in the pump. Beenthere knows more about them. Post a closeup well lit pic of the burner and pump.

__________________
"Cut it twice and it is still too short".
yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 24,778
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Cracked the bleeder open? As in barely open?
__________________
When posting in certain forums, knowing your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 194
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


get yourself a bicycle pump , take out the cartridge re-install bowl gently blow air back into tank. let some oil run out to check flow.also disconnect line at filter and furnace and gently blow out line. re-install filter make sure gasket at filter bowl is new and tight and make sure strainer in pump if it has one is properly cleaned and cap gasket is in good shape and tight.
hpyjack2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 05:57 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PENNSYLVANIA
Posts: 2,229
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Send pictures as requested and put some more oil in that tank then find the blockage.

Sounds like it has to be in the line or shut off valve between the tank and the incoming side of the filter.

Tip never run a oil tank dry and shut down the burner when receiving oil until it settles.
__________________
No Warranty Means- If it breaks in half you get to keep both halves.
COLDIRON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 210
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


fuel delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. I'll check the pump screen after the delivery, and see if I can get it primed up then. Thanks for the help guys! If I still don't get oil, I'll try pushing some air down the line back to the tank.
av-geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 194
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


are you going to be there? make sure you have buttoned up everything you might have open or loosened before delivery-bleeders, gaskets etc.. you don't want it all over the floor. first thing I would check after delivery would be to take off filter bowl and see if you have a good flow. If not. a GENTLE tap on the open firomatic might start the flow. if that checks out, put filter back together and see if you can prime it at burner. it that checks out I would then check and clean pump strainer. nozzle???
hpyjack2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to hpyjack2013 For This Useful Post:
taxmantoo (10-15-2013)
Old 10-14-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
Haverhill Trade 1965
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 532
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Is your filter on the tank? If any crud in the tank solidified while it was dry then the fitting from the filter to the tank could be blocked. If you fill the tank you will have 200 gallons of oil behind the blockage if you have to unscrew the filter fitting to clear it. I wouldn't want to be the one trying to thread it back in then.
Duckweather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2013, 06:56 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 194
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


didn't say unscrew the filter assembly. I said take off or unscrew the filter bowl, and there should be a firomatic valve between the filter assembly and the tank. so if the valve is working properly you should be able to close the valve and unscrew the whole filter assembly, which really isn't necessary the BOWL will do. be careful if this is an old tank they can become brittle and porous. keep an eye on the bottom.
hpyjack2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 210
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Okay, oil man came today and put in 200 gallons. Tonight, I opened the valve and tried to get it to prime...nothing. I Took the filter off, as can be seen in this photo, opened the valve, and the weight of 200 gallons of oil couldn't get anything flowing, so there's probably an obstruction in the line somewhere.

Another thing I noticed however was that I'm not getting any suction from the pump. I took the cover off the pump and cleaned the strainer in it. It was somewhat dirty, but not all too bad. After re-assembling it, I took the oil line off and while the burner was running, just stuck my finger on the open fitting...it was not sucking against my finger at all, nor was I getting any air spitting out the bleeder valve.

...so it looks like I've got two problems. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and force some compressed air up the line, but it also looks like I'm going to need a new oil pump.

BTW, you may see that there's two lines there...the other one is NOT connected. It went to the old underground tank, and is not long enough to make it to the above-ground tank.
Attached Thumbnails
Oil  furnace won't prime after filter change-oil-furnace-small.jpg  
av-geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #11
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,256
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Lesson to be learned. Try not to run out of oil. If it sat dry all Summer the air in the tank may have hardened the crud at the bottom. Don"t fill your car up while the delivery truck is filling the gas station tanks either as lots of crud gets stirred up. Go to the next one.
__________________
"Cut it twice and it is still too short".
yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yuri For This Useful Post:
COLDIRON (10-16-2013), hvactech126 (11-16-2013), jmon (10-16-2013)
Old 10-16-2013, 04:33 AM   #12
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 24,778
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


May have a broken pump coupling.

Does your line come out of the to of the tank, or the bottom.
__________________
When posting in certain forums, knowing your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2013, 05:50 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PENNSYLVANIA
Posts: 2,229
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Good question, does your line come off the bottom of the tank ? If it does is there a shut off valve right where it comes out ?
__________________
No Warranty Means- If it breaks in half you get to keep both halves.
COLDIRON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 194
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


those pumps aren't vacuum pumps. they aren't necessarilly designed to "draw" a whole lot of suction. they rely on the flow of oil and gravity to do a lot of the work.establish your flow of oil first. bottom of the tank, side of the tank it really doesn't matter where the outlet is. yeah bottom will plug easier. make sure there is a shut off at the tank. disconnect the line at the tank and see if you can establish a good flow of oil there.remember be "gentle" old or new things happen. If you are going to use compressed air make sure pressure is set low. I used to use an old bicycle pump-nice and easy and gentle, once you establish a good flow of oil at tank. leave line disconnected , disconnect from burner and blow out line between burner and tank. re-establish flow of oil through line,before attaching line and it helps to clean out any sludge. make sure filter cartridge is the right one.bleed filter before tightening. -let oil flow out of sides then tighten filter bowl. make sure the gasket is good on pump strainer gasket. they are paper thin and don't leave much room for error. now try priming the pump. a short piece of flexible plastic tubing works great. let it run till you get a good stream. shut if off disconnect the nozzle line from the gun assembly loosen at at pump, swivel and run the pump again and see what you get for stream. let it run to make sure you are getting a good stream. shut it off and re-connect nozzle line , keep your fingers crossed and try firing of burner and hope the nozzle isn't plugged.don't try blowing out line with it connected to tank. make sure it is disconnected at opposite end. depending on how old line is you can rupture it. is buried or is it exposed?

Last edited by hpyjack2013; 10-16-2013 at 06:54 AM.
hpyjack2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 210
Default

Oil furnace won't prime after filter change


Line comes out the bottom of the tank. That's a good suggestion! There is a valve on the line near the bottom of the tank...I may have turned that off last season. DUUH! Will check it tonight after work.

The whole intention I had last spring was to run all the oil out the tank before this unit was replaced. We were thinking we would have a sale of our old home,and would use the money to get a gas HVAC system, among other things. Well, the people renting it wanted to lease it for another year, so the oil furnace is getting a second life. Oh well, they are paying another year on my mortgage! Thankfully, it's been moderate around here, so this isn't an emergency yet.

av-geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
old furnace with bizarre filter setup utek HVAC 2 10-14-2013 08:49 PM
Heil Furnace - Filter adbolton HVAC 0 01-17-2011 09:23 AM
Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea? mibson HVAC 9 01-16-2011 12:11 PM
filter in concord 80 plus furnace hyyx632 HVAC 5 12-12-2008 10:21 PM
Problems with new furnace..Overheating, having to reset. Furnace too big? Tommy2 HVAC 41 12-01-2008 01:55 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.