Oil burner won't prime

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Old 10-11-18, 07:00 PM
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Oil burner won't prime

I ran out of oil and had to prime my oil burner today. After loosening the drain nut and hitting the on switch, the burner started and about a quarter cup of oil flowed out but then the burner shut off. I waited a few moments before hitting the re-start button but then the burner started again but shut off after a few seconds without any additional oil flowing. Repeated it a couple of more times with no success. The oil hat flowed out looks clean. I'd really appreciate it if any of you guys have any suggestions on what the problem might be?

If it's something like a clogged line, how do I go about blowing it out?

Thanks,
Pete
 
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Old 10-11-18, 07:39 PM
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Try purging a little longer. A 1/4 of a cup is not very much
When was the last time the oil filter was changed ?
 
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Old 10-12-18, 08:31 AM
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Thanks a lot, PJmax. I'll try it right away. I'll have to hit the reset button each time. Is there any problem with doing that?

It's probably been a few years since the filter has been changed. In the past the professional service guy has taken care of the system for me but, with money being tight right now, I'd like to do that myself ASAP this year. Can you tell me how I would do that and can I buy a replacement filter at HD or Lowe's?
 
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Old 10-12-18, 08:36 AM
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If it’s been a few years since the unit was PMed, the unit will need the filter and nozzle changed. The pump screen should also be checked. The combustion chamber will need cleaned and the unit should be tested with a combustion analyzer.
Electrodes may need adjusted or replaced as well.
You’ll need a soot vacuum as you’ll destroy a shop vac with the soot.
The filters may be why you can’t prime.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 09:40 AM
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Oil Burner Won't Prime

Thanks, roughneck.
Actually I had it serviced s couple of years ago but the guy didn't replace the filter. I plan to get it serviced again ASAP but right now it's getting colder here and I've got to get the heat on today.

I tried purging it again several more times but had no luck getting the oil to flow. I just looked at the filter and, by the looks of it, it could use replacing. It's a FulFlo, model # FB4 and the tube replacement model number that the manufacturer references on the label is RF4B. Which tube are they talking about here and would it be worthwhile replacing it at the same time as the filter? Replacing filter doesn't look all that difficult. Any tips or suggestions there? Would the filter and tube be available at HD or Lowe's?

Thanks again. Appreciate the help.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 09:44 AM
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Tube?
No, I don’t think that kind of thing is available at Lowe’s
 
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Old 10-12-18, 09:50 AM
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I’ve already had to try at least 10 times, at least, before it ran, but I think that was when I got a lot of air in the line after changing the oil filter and forgetting to fill the canister with oil. Not sure – because I’ve also run out of oil several times. If you put a little piece of clear plastic tubing on the bleeder port, and point it into a container, you should see a steady stream of oil with no bubbles and no foam when bleeding.

When you see the good steady stream you then close the bleeder port. If I remember correctly you only open the bleeder screw something like ½ turn. But not absolutely sure.

I think if you get air in the line which I think you do if you run out of oil, it seems like there are air bubbles trapped in the oil line somewhere, and when some (enough?) bubbles hit the pump, you lose flame. At least that’s the way it looked to me in the past. I would get a nice steady flow with no bubbles at the bleeder port and then all of a sudden – nothing. Bleed again and the same thing. For a while anyway.

Sometimes it would run for a few minutes after I closed the bleeder port, then it would stop and I had to prime again. I assumed it was seeing an air bubble again. Not sure though. But eventually it took off.

The other thing is I found that if you run out of oil it’s better to get a tank of oil and not try to restart with a few gallons of diesel from the gas station – unless you have to try. One time when I ran out of oil and got about 10-15 gals diesel from the gas station, as I did in the past, I could not get running again. Just would not prime after more than a fifteen tries. But as soon as I got a full tank it primed easily. I think maybe the feed from the bottom of the tank was helped with a higher pressure because of all the added weight.

So I would make sure you have a lot of oil in the tank and make sure you see a good steady stream with no bubbles coming out of the bleeder port using a piece of clear plastic tubing pointed into a container.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:10 AM
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Take a look at this link. Westwood replaced the FullFlo FB4 with the FB80. You can see the cartridge is “F80 Pure-Oil” and replaces the FB4. The cartridge looks like cloth or paper and fits into the canister. So there is no tube (maybe they called it a tube however).

Filters & Elements

A local plumbing supply might have those, otherwise I think you will have to order it online. patriot-supply.com is great. They deliver very fast and have great prices. supply.com might have it also.

here's a pic :

https://www.walmart.com/ip/F80-48-PU...iABEgI3vfD_BwE
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:11 AM
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Thanks, zoesdad. That info will come in very handy. The tank is pretty full so pressure shouldn't be a problem. Replacing the filter itself doesn't look very difficult. Other than wrenches, a new filter, some rags to wipe things up and a container to hold the old filter, is there anything else I'll need to do the job? Also, you mention filling the canister with oil. Since I don't have any fuel oil handy, I guess I'll have to use some diesel, right?

Thanks again for the assistance.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:21 AM
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zoesdad,

I checked Home Depot and they have the Westwood full canister filter replacement in stock. I'll try some local heating/cooling supply stores to see if they carry the filter inserts. Sounds like it would be a cheaper alternative.

Thanks again, Pete
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:23 AM
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When you open the canister it will be full of oil. Unless that oil has got gobs of junk in it, which it probably won’t, you can just pour that oil back into the canister after you put in the new cartridge. I just always pour the oil out and take out the old element, then put the new element in and pour the oil back in. You could leave it empty but I think you are supposed to put oil in the canister. I guess that minimizes the amount of air you have to purge at the pump later.

Don’t forget to close the shutoff valve before the filter. It will be somewhere between the tank and the filter.

Yes, you just need that element insert as shown on that walmart link. You don't need the entire filter housing etc.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:29 AM
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Okay, zoesdad. That'll save me a trip to the gas station for the diesel fuel. Will check to see if local vendors have the replacement filter inserts too. Thanks, Pete.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 10:34 AM
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Just remembered, when you change the element there is a big black rubber washer that comes with it (you can see it on the walmart link.) That goes on the top of the canister to make a seal. you will see it when you remove the bottom part of the canister. That needs to be in there straight when you tighten the canister back together. You’ll see it easily when you open it up.
 
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Old 10-12-18, 02:20 PM
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Don't do all this work and forget about changing the Pump Screen (aka Pump Strainer).

I know Roughneck mentioned it earlier in this thread; but this often neglected element is often the cause of ignition failures, especially after a tank has been sucked dry and all the crud at the bottom has made its way down to the pump.

My Pump Screen was neglected by the "professionals" for over 12 years before I discovered it being responsible for a serious clog.

My Oil Line and Gun Tube were loaded up with crud the consistence of black tooth paste.

I remember writing about it in a separate thread just a few years ago. Pump Screens only cost about 2 Bucks but many servicers around here NEVER change them . . . . they wait and replace the entire pump !

PS: If the Pump Screen is seriously blocked, then go ahead and change the Nozzle too.
 

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Old 10-12-18, 06:04 PM
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P,
Just putting in my 2 cents that might make it a little easier for you.

Shut the valve off at the tank before the filter. Undo the 5/8 nut and with a container underneath drop the canister. You may have to pry it apart with a screwdriver. You have a gasket between the housing and the can. Make sure you change that too.

Clean the cannister out good and put the new element in, replace the gasket and reinstall loosely, leaving a little gap and put a pan underneath to catch the small amount of oil if it spills when it reaches the top.

Slowly turn on your valve at the tank until you hear oil flowing. The cannister will fill and as it does it will force air out of the top until eventually it will just be clean oil. This will save you a lot of bleeding and under normal circumstances you wouldn't have to bleed at the pump at all.

At that point tighten filter completely air tight and open the valve all the way.

This way you're not using dirty oil on a clean filter. Now you are ready to go and bleed your pump. If your filter was clogged you most likely drained the oil line when you bled the pump so it may take a couple of times resetting the burner which doesn't hurt anything.

As was mentioned if your filter is clogged you may have to change the pump screen which should be done anyway but this might get you going for now.

As far as the fullflo element goes just ask for a fullflo FB4 element and it comes with a gasket in the package. All the fullflo's are the same.

Fullflo is a brand and they have changed the design of the element over the years but they all fit.

Hope this helps a little
 
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Old 10-12-18, 09:24 PM
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Make sure to have kitty litter on hand. Put a good amount down on the floor before starting. It's much easier to sweep that up then to remove fuel oil from concrete.
 
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Old 10-13-18, 04:10 AM
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Just a quick comment; you should ask a local service and installation company if you have a 1 pipe oil supply, "how much to change your system to a 2 pipe system that will self prime much quicker than a 1 pipe system. When I was still working, I never installed a 1 pipe supply due to the difficulty gaining prime. my 2 cents
 
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Old 10-13-18, 09:07 AM
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To SB's point if you did want to go the 2 pipe route you could just install a Tigerloop onto your single line to give you the same results without all that piping.

Just a thought.

http://www.supplyhouse.com/

In the search bar enter: Tigerloop for your options.
 
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