old coal/now oil converted furnace will not ignite

Old 01-18-10, 09:09 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PA (Northumberland)
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
old coal/now oil converted furnace will not ignite

I have an old (previously coal now) oil furnace that will not ignite. I have pressed the red button and it attempts to ignite but will not. I made the mistake of doing it five times in all (over a span of several hours). I have read this can be fixed by changing a part but am not famillar with doing so.

I have a two part question if someone can assist me please.

1. Is the igniter easy to change and if so can I show pics of the furnace to have someone show me where and what needs to be changed?

2. Secondly, Can I soak up the fuel (or do I need to worry about the amount?) I have placed in the system so there is no possibile explosion when it does start?

I am not knowledgeable with HVAC work but am good with my hands and am intelligent. If someone takes the time to assit me I can follow directions and do thank you in advance for taking the time to reading my post.

I am a machinist and do high end interior renovation (minus hvac work) by trade. I am currently in law school and have been in the legal field for over seven years now. If you assist me I can maybe assist you or someone you know.

If anyone can assist me I would graciously appreciate it. bbd25 where its hot or please feel free to answer here so others can learn from my questions. I will offer any guidance I can (I am not a atty yet so I cannot give legal advice but can guide you to the right answeres

Thank you kindly


Last edited by ceb193; 01-18-10 at 09:16 PM. Reason: mistake of wording
Old 01-18-10, 09:45 PM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 4,469
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Congratulations on your developing professional accomplishments. I have some doubt that the world is better off by losing a skilled tradesman in favor of gaining another lawyer, but let's hope it's a big plus!

Sorry I can't help, but I'm not an oil Xpert.
Old 01-19-10, 03:25 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,826
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
There is a lot of stuff to know about oil, so that it burns clean and the furnace and chimney run at optimum efficiency and stay safe.

You do not want to flood the combustion chamber with fuel. This can lead to a runaway fire that can be quite scary - to be there helplessly listening to a roaring inferno in there you swear might cause a meltdown or send fire up the chimney. That is why they recomend only one push of the reset button.

One guy I work for had oil burners, and he went and took a course they offered at the tech school.

The part you might be thinking of that is often changed is the nozzle. They come in different spray patterns and volume output(gph), based on fuel and furnace.

But there is much more than nozzles to be aware of. Grady is the resident expert here - and maybe he'll stop by. Since he hasn't so far, I put in a couple cents worth.

May be worth your while to call up an oil man (sometimes oil delivery companies have their own service dept.) to see if serviceman would mind if you watched, so you can learn, for the first time, anyway. If not this way, you have a lot of reading up to do. It can be done, I guess, if you are interested.
Old 01-19-10, 05:53 PM
Skip4661's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 255
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The thing I can tell you about oil is that oil goes boom and can make a furnace dance.
Old 01-19-10, 06:32 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 12,682
Received 41 Upvotes on 39 Posts
Oil Burner

The best advice I can give in this situation is to call a local professional. Having pushed the reset button 5 times (6 cycles counting the furnace's own initial cycle), you could have a considerable amount of oil in the chamber. There are numerous causes for ignition failure & without knowing what caused yours, I would be foolish to suggest you try this or that. An experienced oil burner service person will know how to handle your situation.

For your own safety & that of your family as well as the servicer's, be sure to tell him/her you've pushed the button 5 times. It could be the difference in safely getting heat or seeing lots of big red trucks with flashing red lights in front of your house, or what's left of it.

Please post back & let us know how things went.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: