Oil Furnace Repair: Furnace Ignition Problems

Most types of oil furnace repair jobs can be accomplished by the do it yourselfer. An oil furnace is a work horse. They generally last upwards of 10 years and they tend not to break down as often as other types of furnaces or appliances in the home.

There are several different moving parts in an oil furnace. One component that sometimes fails is called the furnace ignition. Below you will find common problems that are associated with the furnace ignition. You will also find recommended steps to take to correct the problem.

Ignition Is Not Sparking

This is a fairly common problem. It generally can be fixed by pressing the reset button. You can locate the reset button on the stack control. In addition to pressing the reset buton, you should also take a damp cloth with a little oil remover and clean the stack control. If this does not fix the problem, ou need to place a phone call to your local HVAC specialist or technician and have them take apart the component to further diagnose the problem.

Electrodes Are Dirty

If your Ignition system is an older model, you may have electrodes. The ingnition system will fail to spark if the electrodes are dirty. They become covered with soot over time and then prevent the ignition system from firing. Clean the electrodes with a cleaner that is specially made for oil furnaces. This should do the trick.

Tripping the High Temperature Limits

Every furnace has what is called a high temperature limit. When an ignitor fails, you can sometimes trip this limit. This is one of the most common problems when it comes to a failed ignitiion system. The limit is sort of like a fail safe. It prevents the furnace from getting too hot. If a furnace were allowed to exceed certain temperatures, when the increased temperature reached the combustion chamber, the furnace would blow and the house would catch fire. Most often, a low voltage transformer that is no longer functioning can cause your ignition system to fail. Replace the transformer in the oil furnace. Remember, when replacing the transformer, make sure the unit has been turned off for several hours and is no longer hot to the touch.

For the Do-It-Yourselfer

If you are not comfortable with troubleshooting or fixing some of these common problems in your oil furnace, it is advisable to call your local HVAC technician to diagnose and repair some of the problems that can occur with the ignition system. Since the oil furnace is a needed appliance in your home and is costly to replace, tampering with it when you are unsure or uncomfortable is not wise from a money savings standpoint but is also not a good idea from a safety perspective. Always be sure to be on the safe side when dealing with your oil furnace and the repairs required.