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Old 08-09-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Our oil burner is on its last legs, and we plan to replace it within the next few months. Within the last few weeks, however, it has begun to make a loud rumbling noise when it fires up to heat the hot water. (The heat is off thanks to summer weather) At the same time the rumbling happens, there is a strong smell of oil/fumes throughout the house. Sometimes we get the smell without the rumbling sound, but most often they occur together.

At this point, we're concerned for safety while we wrangle the money together for a new burner. Any ideas on what could be causing this and/or a reasonably quick (preferably DIY) fix to tide us over for a few weeks, or is this an emergency situation that needs to be handled immediately/ professionally?

Current system is: a Weil McClain boiler, Carlin burner - all about 22-25 years old.

Thanks.

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Old 08-09-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Disconnect power and turn off the oil feed.

If you are getting fumes I would call a local company.

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Old 08-09-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


When was the last time it was cleaned and inspected. If you are getting fumes in the house there is a problem. Turn it off and call for service. Trying to fix an oil burner with out any experience can cause you to soot up your house. Paying someone to come in will be money well spent. Also what makes you think it is on it's last legs? Is the boiler leaking or are you having any other problem in the winter when your heating.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


The system was serviced about 5 months ago. We've been regular with our services and cleanings. I'm mostly just wondering if the rumbling and oil smell sounded like it could be a relatively inexpensive fix that we could have done to buy us a few more weeks before we purchase the new system, or if this was indicative of a more serious problem. We just don't want to put in a lot of money to a unit we're going to be replacing within the next month or so, but would like to buy a little time so we can save up a bit more money and decide on what kind of replacement system to purchase. We've gotten lots of advice on what brand to put in, and are trying to sort out our options.

So, any thoughts on the problem?
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Rumbly and an oil smell problem can be dangerous. You have unburnt oil AND bad combustion. The nose cone could be damaged or other problems which are expensive to repair. Get a new burner ASAP.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Could be simple. Could be an expensive repair. Can't tell from my side of the internet.

But, Yuri is right, you have a dangerous situation.

Have it checked now. If the repair is too expensive. Atleast you'll know you have to move up your time table.
If its a simple inexpensive fix. Then you can have it done. And not have CO fumes in your house.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:15 PM   #7
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Just wanted to say thank you for the responses. Our service company wanted $130 to come out and look at it, so we decided to pull the trigger on the new heating system, which will be put in this Tuesday.

We powered it all down, but needed hot water for some dishes yesterday. Fired it up quick and my wife saw a good amount of white smoke coming from the vent pipe outside. It will stay off now!

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #8
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Rumbling and Smelly Burner


Leave it off so you don't get a chimney fire or soot up the boiler badly.

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