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Old 11-18-2007, 02:22 AM   #1
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


My folks have a 53 year old oil furnance. Two weeks ago, they had a repair guy out because there was a stronger than usual oil smell. The pro cleaned it, replaced the nozzle, filter, make some adjustments and said it was good to go. However now when it starts up, it makes a loud boom. They haven't had anyone come in and power vacuum any of their ducts/vents in several years. Could it be that the furnance isn't igniting fast enough because of the vents/air or does something else need to be adjusted again?
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #2
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


Is it a "Boom", or more of a "Whoosh" when the burners ignite. If more of a Boom like a shotgun or handgun going off, then it would be something to get checked out. The Whoosh could be from the maintenance that was done to tune the system.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:11 AM   #3
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Is it a "Boom", or more of a "Whoosh" when the burners ignite. If more of a Boom like a shotgun or handgun going off, then it would be something to get checked out. The Whoosh could be from the maintenance that was done to tune the system.
a boom noise means that the oil is not being ignited sone enough mite mean transformer is bad or igniter points need to be adjusted
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:31 AM   #4
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


I had an old furnace that did similar things, and it ended up needing a new transformer.

(on a side note, I'd start saving up for a new furnace. That one's on borrowed time. Plus the new ones are so much smaller, quieter, and more efficient.)
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


I hope they also checked out your heat exchanger. The air used for ignition and fueling the oil flame is not the same as the enviromental air in your ductwork. A stronger than usual oil or burning smell throughout the house might indicate a cracked heat exchanger. If that is the case this problem could be deadly.

As a previous poster said, if this furnace is 53 years old, it is long past the time it should be replaced. Throwing good money into something this old is a waste.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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oil furnance "boom" when starting


If your going Boom, I'd suggest inspecting your ignition points. No offense but sometimes you pay for professional service and dont get what you paid for. We had oil heat and experienced something similar, it turned out to be the ignition points needed cleaning, delaying the ignition untill after it had been pumping fuel a while. We were home when it blew for the last time, scaring us all. Upon immediate investigation (Hey! It really went BOOM) we found the access door opened, the latch broken off and the internal water channel cracked. A new furnace was not a choice. We chose Gas this time due to better/easier supply and a cleaner burn(and I personally noticed a reduction of soot on towels and linens I had always dismissed as dust).
You got your money's worth out of your furnace, Upgrade and sleep easier. If possable ,Before the winter grip sets in, meantime, check your Ignition ASAP. Watch it in action, have someone turn the thermostat on and off while you observe it fire up and shut down. Also, after doing this and your familiar with what to look for, leave the furnace off long enough to cool down fully. Then observe the ignition sequence when it starts up from 'cold'.
The ignition may be delayed upon cold starts only and you wouldnt see the delay if the furnace had been running. I notice you didnt mention if the points were cleaned and checked or the transformer. You DID pay for professional service-thats included-call the repairmen who did the job and complain. Politely at first, but 'boom'-Naw! Fix It, he was paid to fix it,(unless he expects to get the job to replace it next too). If your guy was reputable there should be NO Charge to inspect his own work- especially if he just did it before this new problem started. Knowing what to look for will help you explain the trouble to the 'repairman'
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