Photograph of  a modern oil-fired heating boilerFixing an Oil Burner that Won't Run
Oil burner no-start diagnostic FAQs

  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about oil burner inspection, diagnosis, & repair, troubleshooting procedure, how to get the oil burner running again, best order of diagnostic steps.

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Q&A on why an oil burner won't start or won't keep running:

Frequently-asked questions and answers about why an oil burner will not start or will not keep running when it should.

These oil burners are used on heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters and some other heating appliances.

This article series escribes how to recognize common oil-fired heating appliance operating or safety defects, and how to save money on home heating costs

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Oil Burner Won't Run: Diagnostic Steps - what to check in what order

Oil burner schematic (C) Carson Dunlop AssociatesThis article series explains the inspection, diagnosis, & repair of oil burners used in heating appliances such as hot water boilers, steam boilers, & water heaters.

These questions about troubleshooting oil burners were posted originally at OIL BURNER WONT RUN

If your heat is not working properly, and the problem does not seem to be the oil burner itself, see NO HEAT - BOILER - hot water or steam heat

or see NO HEAT - FURNACE - forced warm air heat

On 2018-04-10 by (mod) - can't get oil burner going after ran out of oil


That's a common problem if you've run completely out of heating oil. Even after the oil tank is filled, the oil piping, oil filter canister, and oil pump or fuel unit at the oil burner may have so much air in those components that the air needs to be bled out.


On 2018-04-10 by Jason

Can't get it to start up after I fueled the tank

On 2018-02-27 by Ronald Dooms

I run out of oil and furnace will not start

On 2018-04-10 by (mod) - Replaced a circulator, but the main floor won't heat up


If we're sure the circulator pump is running, then see AIR-BOUND HEATING SYSTEMS - home - as a reasonable place to start checking

On 2018-03-28 by Nina

Replaced a circulator, but the main floor won't heat up. the pipe coming out heats up, but doesn't run through main floor. What could be the problem?

On 2018-04-10 by (mod) - My boiler need reset after every run.


Let's start by trusting the service tech. If there's oil (and perhaps sludge and debris) in the oil storage tank then that can be clogging the oil filter, piping, or nozzle, causing improper burner operation. If that's the case the tech can probably show you water and sludge right in the oil filter canister.

On 2018-03-27 by Jake

My boiler need reset after every run. I observed when the hot water is running I don't have that issues . Tech told water in my oil tank

On 2018-03-23 by (mod) - intermittent failures of oil burner


Check for a loose electrical connection, a bad transformer, then fuel flow.

On 2018-03-23 by Horace

Having trouble keeping furnace going--Sometimes goes several days no problem, then I might have to hit reset button several different times in course of a day.

I have replaced cad cell, primary control (twice),reset electrodes, changed filter, blowed lines out with air. Need help or suggestions to further diagnose problem.

On 2018-03-23 by (mod) - oil burner pilot?


Sorry I'm confused: oil burners don't use a pilot light.

I think it'd be smart to call a service technician who can check, service, and adjust the oil burner. It's not possible to get those adjustments just right by eyeballing things.

On 2018-03-03 by Shane

Clogged oil burner nozzle (C) MikeFurnace ran, changed nozzle with new one and now furnace won't light

Oil furnace kicks on but no pilot light, what do I do

On 2018-02-24 by (mod) -


I've seen this problem on oil burners and agree it can be difficult to diagnose. I think of it as a problem in which the burner does not restart after having been off for a long period of time.

Typically I will check electrical connections, try replacing a cad cell sensor, and check for a weak or bad Transformer.

It's also important to notice weather the burner is not starting on the first try or whether it is in fact attempting to run and then going off on reset. That would be an indication that it needs cleaning and service. Don't forget to also check the obvious things like a bad oil filter

On 2018-02-24 by Kurt

Beckett burner works fine when running during cold weather, but locks out after warm spell or at the beginning of heating season, when furnace hasn't been running for the summer

On 2018-02-06 by (mod) - burner & fan motors trip breaker, effects of bio diesel on motors, bearings, fans


It sounds to me as if the motor or motor shaft or fan shaft bearings are damaged. Such a situation is unsafe. Do not keep re-setting the circuit breaker. The equipment needs to be repaired.

Research on the effects of adding ethanol to diesel fuel that I've reviewed has not focused on an effect such as you described.

But there has been mention of failures in diesel fuel injectors

See this discussion

The performance FMEA for E-diesel use concluded that the loss of engine maximum power was the most significant adverse performance effect. This was followed by possible fuel pump cavitation causing vapor lock or fuel vaporization in injectors and potential fuel filter clogging problems. Recommended actions to address these possible adverse effects included:

are of E-diesel compatible materials - Source cited below.

On 2018-02-05 by Ernesto

On our Hot water pressure washer, Fuel pump and burner fan are not turning, they are to hard to turn and the breaker switch always popping out, The diesel we are using is from the City yard and someone told me that it may is something in the diesel because the OSHA regulations IS THERE SOME FUEL ADITIVE OR DIFERENT DIESEL? OR SOMETHING ELSE? Thanks

On 2018-01-25 by Jeff

Nice infomation

On 2018-01-21 by (mod) - bad cad cell might explain burner off on reset


Could be a bad cad cell eye but also could be a burner out of adjustment needing cleaning, adjustment, filter, nozzle.
A service tech will check fuel flow, nozzle pattern, smoke, CO2, air adjustment, wiring connections etc. See the typical checkpoints in the article above.

On 2018-01-21 by Mike

I have to reset the relay button every time I have to start the furnace what is the problem, could it be the relay or the cat eye please help me with this problem

On 2018-01-06 by (mod) - low water signal from boiler

Does your boiler have an inoperative automatic water feeder?

In an emergency can you add water manually?

On 2018-01-04 by Bobsmith

When I go to start my boiler ,it gibes me a low water signal.The pressure seems fine to me

On 2017-12-30 by (mod) - oil burner needs cleaning, nee nozzle, oil filter, and adjustment.

Your oil burner needs cleaning, nee nozzle, oil filter, and adjustment. Do not keep trying to re start it

On 2017-12-30 by jim - grizzle on the oil burner electrodes

what would cause this please?

build up of grizzle on electrodes stops ignition

On 2017-12-20 by (mod) - random refusal of burner to kick on

Yes that sounds like a failing control relay in the primary control or the aquastat

On 2017-12-20 by Jeff D

My oil furnace sometimes and only sometimes randomly will not kick on at all. I turn the power off for a minute than back on. It comes right on. I'm thinkinking a relay or something.

On 2017-12-08 by Willie

How to set fuel mix and air mix

On 2017-12-06 by (mod) - where to find step by step diagnostics if an oil burner won't run


When an oil burner won't start or won't run, and when I have no other information about it, my best advice is to try going through the flow chart of diagnostic steps in the article above on this page: OIL BURNER WONT RUN

Keep in mind that a normal homeowner does not have the tools nor training to diagnose nor to properly adjust an oil burner, so once you've checked the obvious points like: have electrical power to the system, have oil in the tank, tried the re-set button ONCE only, then it's time to call your oil heat service company.

On 2017-12-06 by Vanessa Mitchell

Am disabled new oil filter and have prime buy burner still want come on

On 2017-12-02 by (mod) - Ducane oil furnace only runs when hit reset button twice.

Check also all of the things a service tech would review like fuel unit strainer, combustion air, flame smoke level, oil line leaks, draft.

Sometimes the reason you have to press the RESET button more than once is that on your first try you have not waited long enough since the primary control shut down the oil burner. The primary control reset switch needs to cool down, often for several minutes, before it will allow you to reset-it.

See these Ducane furnace manuals that might help you out

You can also contact Ducane

On 2017-12-02 by Shaun

I have a Ducane oil furnace and it will only run when I hit the reset button twice. So after hitting it twice it's fine until the next turn on. I've changed the filter and nozzle with no luck so far.

On 2017-11-29 by (mod) - oil burner is spraying fuel - turn it off immediately


Watch out: you describe a dangerously improper operating oil burner. Turn it OFF and leave it OFF while calling your oil company for service/repair.

Typical causes: dirty oil burner nozzle, displaced flame head turbulator

On 2017-11-29 by Peter

The jet is still spraying fuel and the flame ignites a long distance in from the nozzle. The problem is that the flame does not stay going it pulses on and off and then trips out completely. What could be the cause of this?

On 2017-11-19 by Anonymous

Won't stay on when running

On 2017-11-11 by Rick

My home heating oil burner is starting. But when it knocks off an going to kick back in for the second time its like its going blow wit a niose wonder what it could be

On 2017-10-30 by Terry

What is the problem when u push the turn on bottom but the boiler goes off and won't stay on? Also whats the problem when I need a plumber because no water is in the radiator, what is the problem?

On 2017-09-27 by (mod) -

If one radiator is hot then the boiler surely has been running.

Your plumber might be right that pipes are clogged somewhere but tracing the route of pipes can help sort that out: if the hot radiator is *past* the cold radiators in the direction of hot water flow in the system then something else is wrong - perhaps air-bound radiators.

I would start by searching InspectApedia for AIR BOUND RADIATORS or search for COLD RADIATORS to see the suggested diagnostic and repair steps. It may be as simple as beeding air out of your radiators and piping when the boiler is up to temperature.

But I'm not one to ignore your observation about the new towel rail: pull the screws, inspect the screw holes to see if there was a wire (perhaps a thermostat wire) that got punctured.

On 2017-09-27 by Angie

There isn't a light on restart button on our oil boiler. Water in all rads but only one gets hot upstairs, all others stay cold. Boiler starts initially, but after a minute or two switches off. We had a new towel rail fitted in bathroom and it's since then that we have this problem. Plumber says we need to have a system flush. Any help appreciated.

On 2017-08-28 by (mod) - yellow sludge coming out of oil pipe and boiler won't fire up


I'm not sure what "oil pipe" you refer-to, but from what you describe there may be an unsafe chimney as well as oil burner.

Watch out: I would leave the system OFF and call for repair by an oil heat service technician. Let me know what you're told and we may be able to suggest additional questions to ask the service tech or things that need attention.

On 2017-08-28 by Al astair

There is a thick yellow sludge coming out of oil pipe and boiler won't fire up

On 2017-08-24 by (mod) - manuals and help fdor Grant Boilers sold in the U.K.


I suspect that the sensor for the thermostat is either defective or it's not making good thermal contact with the boiler surface or well used to monitor boiler temperature.

Here's an example, though this is not the control on your Grant boiler: AQUASTAT L7224U UNIVERSAL
discusses the problem of poor temperature sensor contact in the sensor's insertion well on a boiler. Some technicians omit the thermal-conductive grease that is required.

If I'm right that you're using a U.K.-made Grant Boiler, you can also contact the company directly to get the installation, operation, and service manual for your boiler or to ask their technical support team for help.

You didn't give me a model name/number, but we provide access to Grant's boiler manuals at GRANT BOILERS Grant Euroflame

On 2017-08-24 by Simon

Hi, have a grant boiler, unless the thermo attached to the boiler is on 85 degrees, tgevburnervwill not fire up?
Is this a fault with the thermo?

On 2017-04-23 0 by (mod) -


if you don't have the operating instructions for your oil burner look at the burner itself for its label, model, serial number, as chances are it's another brand than Williamson - like Beckett or Carlin. With that info you can find the PDF (or ask for help) decoding the error codes/signals, as they're rather equipment brand/model specific.

WATCH OUT: be sure the beep is coming from the heater and NOT from a carbon monoxide or smoke detector - if it's the latter the building is unsafe as there's a CO hazard or a fire hazard.

See WILLIAMSON Manuals Williamson Thermoflo / W-T Manufacturing

On 2017-04-22 by Joe

Intermittent beep coming from Williamson oil burner furnace is running fine only two years old

On 2017-04-15 by (mod) -


The soot situation is good evidence that the system is not working properly and is unsafe, perhaps risking an OIL BURNER PUFFBACK explosion - use the box above to search Inspectapedia for that phrase.
There are a variety of possible causes: improper set-up, combustion air, nozzle, electrode settings, chimney draft, etc.

Sometimes during work on an oil burner some oil is spilled by the worker - in the combustion chamber. Igniting that unburned oil is always scary and can cause an OIL BURNER PUFFBACK explosion; use the search box just above to look for that article to see details.

But if there is a chronic problem such as oil leaks, bad burner shutdown cycle, or other causes of sooty operation, then the smoky conditions will continue.

Shut such systems down and call for repair to avoid worse trouble.

On 2017-04-15 by (mod) - I got an oil burner on the internet - it smokes badly


As my much smarter friend and Tampa inspector Mark Cramer says, " well, .... it depends"

If the leak loses enough water the boiler could be damaged or even become unsafe, a condition more likely if other safety features such as a temperature relief valve or a low water cutoff (not on most residential boilers) is missing or fails.

In any event the boiler SHOULD be shut down and most likely needs replacement.

On 2017-04-15 by Rick

I replaced my friends oil burner unit with one I got through the internet. It starts up and smoked really bad for a little while but did clear up, After a day or so they dad to shut it down because thier little white dog was turning black with soot. What do you think the problem is?

On 2017-04-15 by Delaney

Oil boiler water jacket split and leaking. Will this stop the central heating from coming on?

On 2017-04-15 by (mod) re: I replaced an oil burner but the new one smokes badly


The soot situation in the new oil burner case you describe is good evidence that the system is not working properly and is unsafe.

There are a variety of possible causes: improper set-up, combustion air, nozzle, electrode settings, chimney draft, etc.

Sometimes during work on an oil burner some oil is spilled by the worker - in the combustion chamber. Igniting that unburned oil is always scary and can cause an OIL BURNER PUFFBACK explosion; use the search box just above to look for that article to see details.

But if there is a chronic problem such as oil line or nozzle adapter leaks, a bad burner shutdown cycle, air leaks in the oil piping, or other causes of sooty operation, then the smoky conditions will continue. And little white dogs become little gray or even black dogs.

Such oil burner systems should indeed be shut down and the homeowner should call an experienced, trained oil heat service technician for repair to avoid worse trouble.

While I congratulate you for trying to be a generous help to your friend - by replacing their oil burner - in my OPINION, unless you're trained and equipped as an oil heat service technician it is impossible to set up a new oil burner correctly and safely. That's because in addition to knowing where various parts go, the heating system's draft, combustion air, oil line pressure, temperature, CO, CO2 are all measured along with smoke as part of proper oil burner setup.

With older 1725 rpm oil burners one could eyeball the flame, spit on the flue (sizzle rate told old timers if the temperature was in range), and get the burner working acceptably - often. But newer high speed (3450 rpm) more efficient oil burners require equipment, measurements and adjustment for proper operation. Spitting doesn't work any more. I've given it up.

On 2017-04-15 by Rick

I replaced my friends oil burner unit with one I got through the internet. It starts up and smoked really bad for a little while but did clear up, After a day or so they dad to shut it down because thier little white dog was turning black with soot. What do you think the problem is?

On 2017-04-15 by (mod) re: oil fired heating boiler split and is leaking water


As my much smarter friend and Tampa inspector Mark Cramer says, " well, .... it depends"
If the leak loses enough water the boiler could be damaged or even become unsafe, a condition more likely if other safety features such as a temperature relief valve or a low water cutoff (not on most residential boilers) is missing or fails.

In any event the boiler SHOULD be shut down and most likely needs replacement.

On 2017-04-15 by Delaney

Oil boiler water jacket split and leaking. Will this stop the central heating from coming on?

On 2017-03-27 by (mod) re: signs of a bad oil burner motor or control or electrical shorts

This sounds like a failed control or perhaps a motor bearing. To avoid a dangerous puffback explosion it's best to leave the system turned OFF and to call for professional repair.

On 2017-03-27 12:25:56.710143 by Bonnie McCartney

I push the reset button and you can hear the electrical power jumping from the transformer, but it won't fire up until I tap it with a hammer on the pump or motor. It will run a cycle or two but then it will not come back on until I push the reset button and hit it again with hammer.

On 2017-03-24 by (mod) re: pussing the reset button repeatedly

"Second time" on reset means that there is either a failing control or more-likely a poorly-operating burner that's causing the cad cell to shut down the system.

Search InspecApedia for OIL BURNER PUFFBACK using the box just above to see what I'm worried about.

Time to call for repair.

On 2017-03-24 by Beckett 7505 burner won't start second time

So my burner will not fire for a second time when either my aquastat or t stat are calling for heat / hot water I use the shut off and click it back on and either or both will fire and work for one cycle and then an hr later the t star will call for heat and I would have to repeat

On 2017-03-16 by (mod) re: the oil burner fuel unit bypass plug


Replaced bypass plug: what's up. Are you using the internal bypass or is this a 2-line oil supply system? Be sure you've got that right.

I'm unclear on what device you're installing on burner to adjust a drip rate and why that's needed. An oil burner should never "drip" - if there's a drip - say after the burner shuts down then there's a problem to find and fix such as an air leak in oil piping or a fuel unit that's not shutting off cleanly.

Oil leaks at the burner or in piping or at the filter absolutely must be found and fixed - air leaking into the system when the fuel unit is operating will cause sooting, improper burner operation, and shut down on safety-reset.

Watch out: don't keep pressing the reset button or you risk an OIL BURNER PUFFBACK explosion (search InspectApedia for that phrase to read more)

On 2017-03-16 by Mike

Installed new oil furnace & Beckett Burner. Have replaced bypass plug, oil pump, primary control, removed compression fittings, and put device on burner to adjust drip rate. Furnace has run no more than a day at a time, 2 oil leaks from burner. Burner is " new technology" type. What next?

On 2017-03-11 by (mod) re: oil burner keeps going off on reset


When an oil burner keeps going off on safety-reset, there can be any of a number of cleaning or adjustment problems, most of which will be listed in OIL BURNER WONT RUN

You need to call your oil heat service tech for cleaning, inspection, repair help. This isn't something that a homeowner can correctly nor safely do on their own, though it is useful to read through the typical diagnostic procedure to rule out something obvious and also to be prepared to understand what the service tech is going to do, say, explain, recommend.

Watch out: do not keep pressing the reset button or you risk an OIL BURNER PUFFBACK EXPLOSION (search for that phrase to read details).

If the burner will start and run for 10 minutes or longer after pressing a reset then it's probably not leaving un-burned oil in the combustion chamber and you can limp along with heat while you wait for your oil heat service technician to get to your home.

But if the burner runs poorly or doesn't keep running, do not keep pressing the reset button.

On 2017-03-11 by Anonymous

Hi Gentlemen,

I have a Beckett oil furnace, with a Honeywell igniter, lately it needs to reset to ignite and heat, not always, but enough to let the house get extremely cold. Any tips on what it may be? Getting sick of going down and hitting reset a few times a day :(

On 2017-03-04 18:18:36.684426 by (mod)

Unclear what's the question

On 2017-03-04 02:26:37.435056 by Anonymous

No oil on oil filter

On 2017-02-26 by (mod) re: boiler turned itself off, now what?

First confirm that there is power to the boiler

Next confirm that all boiler on-off switches are "ON"

Then find and press the reset button on the primary control ONE TIME

On 2017-02-26 by Sue

Hi my boiler has switched off ( No lights are on) I have checked indoor thermostat that light is working, i have checked the digital box where you can programme stuff and tried everything on there, i have checked fuse connection but nothing is making the boiler switch back on..Any ideas please?

On 2017-02-21 by (mod) re: oil burner won't start, no red lights, pushing the reset doesn't work


If your burner is not igniting the oil it will indeed turn off after about 20 seconds. DO NOT keep pressing the reset button as doing so risks a dangerous PUFFBACK EXPLOSION (Search for that phrase to read details)

So if there's no ignition and if you see that you have plenty of heating oil, it's time to call for repair by a trained tech. I would not keep replacing parts as that risks unnecessary expense replacing things that aren't at fault.

On 2017-02-21 by Tony

My boiler does not start. No red lockout light, when I push lockout button fan runs for a short time then shuts down. The fuel system appears to be functioning correctly and I have already changed the Control box.........Any Ideas?

On 2017-02-18 by (mod) re: oil burner keeps going off on RESET


Watch out: When an oil burner keeps going off on reset DO NOT keep pressing the reset button. The risk is that un-burned oil accumulates in the combustion chamber and then is ignited to cause a puffback explosion.

Search for PUFFBACKS, OIL BURNER to read more about that worry.

If going through our checklist doesn't find an obvious problem it's time to call a trained service technician.

Often the obvious problem is a dirty nozzle or oil burner nozzle electrodes, but there may be an underlying issue that causes those problems, like dirty oil, missing filter, water contamination, air leaks in oil lines, even a loose electrical connection or a dirty cad cell eye.

On 2017-02-18 by john

run for about 10 to 60 seconds then shuts down ,oil furnace, beckett burner

On 2017-01-28 by Emily

We did everything on the check list that's why I was wondering if it was my control box?
I did everything on the check list. That's why I was wondering if it was my control box?

On 2017-01-27 by Ruko

high winds go down the chimney and shuts off oil fired heater.

On 2017-01-27 by (mod) re: oil burner won't fire


When your furnace will not fire, my best advice, since I have no other information about your system, is passed through the checklist of diagnostic suggestions in OIL BURNER WONT RUN.

I start by making sure there's power to the heater and that there is fuel and then I watch what happens when I try to start the system.

On 2017-01-27 by (mod)


Sorry, but I don't know what control you are referring to by the term ignition box

Try this, make a note of the brand and the control identification numbers that will be on a label either on the controller inside of its cover. Then you are I can find the installation and operation manual for that control and we can interpret what the indicator lights on the control mean.

On 2017-01-27 16:32:05.618266 by Anonymous

My furnace will not fire

On 2017-01-27 by Emily Thompson

I have a Honeywell oil furnace ignition box, the light is a steady red light. I change the thermostat, the electrodes, eye, nozzle. Yes I am getting Voltage. Do I need a new ignition box?

On 2017-01-24 by Ruko

high winds go down the chimney and shut oil fired furnace off.

On 2017-01-23 by Timothy jackson

Will not ignite

On 2017-01-13 by (mod) re: no fuel comes out of the oil burner nozzle

Sounds like a clogged nozzle tube, nozzle adapter, or nozzle.

On 2017-01-12 by Maurice picard

Fuel up to side of burner none at nozzle brand new burner and nozzle

On 2016-12-30 by (mod) re: draft regulator door keeps banging


If by "flapper" you mean the draft regulator in the flue vent connector between heater top and chimney, then it sounds as if there is a burner operating problem; flickering electric means there's an unsafe condition in the electrical system - perhaps a shorting wire or control at the heater.

You want to TURN OFF the equipment and call for emergency repair.

Keep me posted.

On 2016-12-30 by Linda

When the heater kicks on the flapper keeps clapping to the point that it seems like it's gonna choke out and electric flickers in the house

On 2016-12-28 by (mod) re: loose or bad electrical connections on an oil burner


I'd look for a loose or corroded electrical connection in the thermostat wiring and furnace heater control wiring.

If your heat is hot water ( boiler not furnace) I'd also look for poor thermal contact at the temperature sensor)

On 2016-12-28 by Eric

My furnace runs fine 98% of the time, but once in a while, the thermostat kicks on, but does not turn furnace on. I checked all wires, and replaced thermostat. Still does it. Please help!

On 2016-12-21 by (mod) re: ask the oil heat service company for an expert


I'd call the service manager and politely ask for a senior, experienced service tech to diagnose what has gone wrong.

On 2016-12-21 by Reuben A. Larson

Our furnace was working fine until we had it cleaned. Now it runs fine for about 6 hours and then it shuts down. Furnace repair person has put on a new cycle controller but it still shuts down after 6 hours. What do I do now ?

On 2016-12-20 by (mod) re: don't keep replacing parts on the oil burner that keeps going off on RESET

Before replacing parts arbitrarily I'd prefer to call an oil heat service tech. There could be any of several problems but a system that keeps going off is also potentially unsafe, risking a puffback explosion.

On 2016-12-20 by ekj06

I'm having to hit the relight button on my oil forced-air furnace every couple of days. I replaced the igniter a couple of years ago. Maybe a relay now?

On 2016-12-20 by (mod) re: oil burner won't keep running, shuts down and needs the reset button

Sounds like cleaning or repair to a nozzle, filter, screen, electrode etc. is needed. DO not keep pressing the reset button or you risk a puffback explosion. Search for OIL BURNER PUFFBACK EXPLOSION to read details

On 2016-12-18 by Gary

I hit the reset button on my oil furnace it will come up to temp called for it shuts down the when temp drops and heat is called for again it will fire up then shut right down. Any ideas?

On 2016-12-16 by Anonymous

My oil furnace keeps shutting off after 5 min...
Can you healp please

On 2016-12-16 by Fred thompso n

Carlin primary code latchup

On 2016-12-16 by Jennifer

My oil furnace has been running fine but we run out of oil my husband bled the line hit the reset button it come on went back off done this twice but won't come back on what do we need to do

On 2016-12-15 by scott

my oil furnace comes on heats when called to,,heats up to temp called for but after burner is off the blower never shuts off???it cuntinually runs ...

On 2016-12-13 by (mod)


Let's start by going down the diagnostic list at OIL BURNER WONT RUN


On 2016-12-13 by (mod)

AUTHOR:Gola (no email)
COMMENT:We have replaced oil pump to our burner but continue to have to press reset to start sometimes and it will cut off after starting sometimes what is problem?

On 2016-12-11 by (mod)

It sounds to me like a wiring or a control error. However if the motor homeless and is tripping a reset button then the problem could be a seized motor or a seized fuel unit that the motor cannot turn.

On 2016-12-11 by Peanuts

Have changed all components,igniter,fuel pump, control box. Motor will not come on. I have checked the motor and it runs smooth and quite. Will not start while installed on boiler. What's up with it?

On 2016-12-09 by (mod) re: Beckett oil burner won't start


To debug I'd scan the suggestions in the article OIL BURNER WONT RUN. It'd be helpful to know more about what happens: in particular, when the TT calls for heat, does the oil burner not run at all? Or does it run but the burner doesn't ignite?

If the latter, do not keep re-starting the burner as you risk a PUFFBACK EXPLOSION (Search InspectApedia for that term for details).

If the former, could be a loose wire, bad control, or a motor that's seizing up or overheating and shutting off on thermal reset.

On 2016-12-08 by jimdreg

My Beckett oil burner won't start when the thermostat calls for heat 'some' of the time. Every once in awhile I have to turn the power switch to it off and on a couple times to make it start. I replaced the Intermittent Ignition Oil Primary unit but that made no difference. What is causing this?

On 2016-12-06 by Anonymous

Why does igniter on becket burner bridge with gunk

On 2016-12-06 13:00:13.940354 by derek

there is a mix between water and oil squirting from the right hand side of the burner? is this dangerous

On 2016-12-05 18:45:00.357900 by Mark

The wind goes down the chimney, and shuts the burner down, causes?? fixs??

On 2016-12-01 by Anonymous

Oil burner lights stays on for approx 4hrs then goes into lockout

On 2016-11-23 by Matt

I have a Smith oil burner. The burner shuts off at the aquastat high temp but the temp and pressure continue to rise.

On 2016-11-22 by (mod) re: furnace won't re-start and no red or green lights show. and re: oil leaks at the oil burner

Sounds like a tripped breaker or blown fuse, Anon.

TJ: your fuel system is leaking and spraying fuel inside of the oil burner gun. THIS IS UNSAFE and risks a puffback explosion. It needs expert repair. I suspect damaged threads or a loose connection in the gun assembly. Turn off the system and call for repair.

On 2016-11-22 by Anonymous

Furence shut off wont start no red or greene light on reset

On 2016-11-16 by Tj

I have a Beckett forced hot air furnace and fuel is coming out off the ignition box? Just put new nossell in. Why would it do that

On 2016-11-11 by Daniel

Becket burner - boiler has shut off several times over the past week , but starts right up after the reset button is pushed

On 2016-10-20 by (mod) re: Circulator pumps run but boiler wont' heat up


If your New Yorker boiler turns on when there is a call for domestic hot water (at plumbing fixtures) then it's supporting a tankless coil (or an indirect fired water heater) and we know that the boiler itself works.

Now if the burner does not turn on when there is a call for heat, that could be because the boiler water is already hot enough that the primary control is not turning on the burner.

Feel the outlet piping from the boiler and check the circultor(s) to see if hot water is circulating. If not, that is if the circulator doesn't run or if the circulator runs and the water is cold, then the primary control or its sensor are probably faulty.

On 2016-10-20 by Joe

I have a New Yorker furnace oil hot water it comes on when hot water is turn on and needed . But when you turn on thermostat for heat (three zones ) there circulator comes on but the furnace does not turn on to heat up .

Changed the control box put a new one it turned on for few seconds then shut off . still have same problem . Circulator comes on but does not turn on furnace shut off all thermostats circulators shut off . Could you tell me what the problem could be

On 2016-10-12 by Bobby Wells

I have a oil birner furnace and it kicks on but wont ignite. Then shuts off after a min. Or so. I forgot to shut the valv

n the tank when I had it filled. Mine burns diesel. Well not knowing, all the fuel leaked out of the unit . Now it wont fire up.......

On 2016-10-01 by Donald

OilBurner won't start

On 2016-08-28 by (mod) re: dirty oil burner nozzle causes system to go off on RESET

THe most common reason that an oil burner goes off on reset is a dirty or clogged nozzle assembly.

Another common problem is air leaks in the oil piping.

On 2016-08-28 by Rick

For a oil hot water heater,After pushing re-start red button,ignition runs for a few seconds and stops.Would the problen most likely be th eHoneywell controller or dirty nozzles?

On 2016-07-02 by (mod) re: bad ceramic insulators on the oil burner nozzle assembly

I see that problem when the ceramic insulators are shot, the electrodes are dirty and shorting, the contacts between transformer and electrode rod back ends are poor, or the transformer is shot.

On 2016-07-02 by Anonymous

spark not reaching the top of electrodes

On 2016-06-25 by (mod) re: no spark visible at the oil burner electrode assembly

Certainly; if you don't see a spark between the igniters and the head is clean, not shorted out, and the unit has power, then that's a good guess.

On 2016-06-25 by Dave

I have a Wiel Mclain oil burner. It's getting fuel,the motor is running but it doesn't ignite.I can hear it click,but it won't ignite. Could this be the ignition transformer?

On 2016-04-26 by Davidc

Have one 2 pipe if it sits they have to reset does not do this every time I try to catch it

On 2016-04-24 by craig

Looking at the electrodes through a Crack I can see what appear
s to be a bright misfire of some sort,,,THIS IGNITION problem coupled with lncomplete combustion is causing a shutdonw..whatsup..

On 2016-03-14 by (mod) re: noisy oil burner startup


You may have a combustion air problem, the wrong nozzle pattern or size, or another mis-adjustment. Unfortunately it's no longer possible to properly set up an oil burner by eye and spit - a bit of training and use of CO2, stack temperature, and smoke measurements are also needed.

On 2016-03-13 by todd

burner rumbles on initial firing then quiets down. i have a new nozzle and filed electrodes to a sharp point and adjusted .

On 2016-02-25 by John scifo

After reseting it runs reaches desired temp & turns off normal hav to reset before it turns back on

On 2016-02-21 by (mod) re: check oil burner fuel unit output pressure / flow

a service tech would probably check for pump output on the burner side

On 2016-02-21 by Peter

Air in fuel line. Every few days.
Plenty of fuel in tank. No water just air.
Could it be the pump, 10yrs old?

On 2016-02-16 by (mod) re: seized oil burner fuel unit (oil pump)

Sounds like a seized or failed fuel unit. The burner should be going off on reset.

On 2016-02-16 by Anonymous

I have a fuel oil furnace that won't do anything it has high and low voltage at primary control, have jupered r and w still don't run have individual tested components all good solenoid valve has small amount of fuel leaking around shaft what can I do next?

On 2016-02-15 by (mod) re: possible bad oil burner control

That sounds like a bad control. Before replacing it, turn power off to the heater, wait a couple of minutes and turn it back on. Try once more.

On 2016-02-15 by Robbie

Thanks for the feedback, yes I left it sit and turned the power off to it for 6 hours came back turned the power on still locked out, pushed and held reset for over 1 minute still just keeps flashing, I'm going to get a new primary control as soon as possible and replace it and see if that helps, I have a R8184G 4009 I might hook up and see if it works because it'll be a week before I can get a new R7184B or I'm some place I can get someone on to look at it, thanks

On 2016-02-14 by (mod) re: oil burner reset button won't re-set

Good question Robbie. My answer is ... as my mentor Mark Cramer (Tampa FL home inspector / educator) says: ... it depends.

When a primary control trips off on reset, if you depress the re-set button rather quickly (say a minute or two) after it has tripped, it may not re-set. Depending on the particular control's design it may need to be off and left alone 5-10 minutes, as some controls include a thermal device that heats up to cause the tripping, and it has to cool.

If after a good wait - say 10 minutes or longer - the control won't reset then something else is wrong.

Watch out: don't keep pressing the reset button. If you press it and it resets and the burner runs for 10-20 minutes or longer you can have heat while waiting for the repair technician. But if the burner tries to start but trips off on reset quickly, you're sending unburned oil into the combustion chamber. Light that off after a few button presses and restart attempts and you could cause a dangerous puffback explosion.

Search Inspectapedia for PUFFBACK EXPLOSION to read details.

On 2016-02-14 by Robbie

Have a question, my R7184B will not reset, if u hold the reset button for 1 minutes 5 minutes however long it won't reset, sounds like to me it's gone bad because it should atleast reset and then if there's a problem lockout again right, but since it won't reset at all its probably gone bad??

On 2016-02-08 by (mod) re: I hit the oil burner reset button three times and now it won't start


You need to call for professional repair. DO NOT KEEP PRESSING THE RESET BUTTON as you risk a puffback explosion.

On 2016-02-08 by Julie

Hit the reset button three times and it came on but now will not come on at all only makes a click sound

On 2016-01-24 by (mod) re: oil burner goes off on reset once a day

I would call for repair - any of several problems could be the cause but the risk is ultimately loss of heat or a puffback explosion.

On 2016-01-19 by Tom Greco

Oilburner shuts off on its own once every day have to keep turning it back on every day

On 2016-01-17 by Dee

My furnace starts up then stops. I have to press the reset button every time I want heat. Help me fix this it's getting cold.

On 2016-01-09 by (mod) re: suttering starts at the oil burner

I've seen complaints about on-off stuttering starts with oil burners before, usually traced to either a loose wire or a failing control.

On 2016-01-09 by Bruce

We were having a problem with the furnace which was that upon startup, it would click off and on again in rapid succession, and after doing that, I'm guessing about 6 or 8 times, it would then stay on. It didn't do this every time, but seemed more apt to do it when it had been off for several hours, particularly in the morning. I believe it did this for at least 2 or three weeks, and seemed to be getting worse.

We finally made an appointment to have it looked at, and two days before the appointment, the problem vanished (we cancelled the apt.). It has been fine now for about two weeks. We are under no illusion that it has fixed itself, so expect the problem will come back sooner or later. Any idea on what could have caused that, and how the problem could just disappear (even if temporarily) on its own? It's rather bizarre.

On 2015-12-30 by (mod) re: compare oil burner temperature with aquastat settings

Check the boiler temperature and pressure when the boiler turns on - compare those to the aquastat settings; the low limit may be turning on the boiler for a tankless coil;

On 2015-12-30 by Jeremy

It is a forced air furnace. I will check thermostat wires. Any other ideas of forced air fuel oil furnace?

On 2015-12-28 by (mod) re: oil furnace comes on even when room temperature is above the thermostat setting


A failing control, temperature sensor at the boiler, or even shorting thermostat wires can cause intermittent boiler operation, as can troubles at the circulator pumps (see )

The things you repaired are good to do but don't address the controls for the system.

Running a few times an hour sounds excessive tome. I'd start by reviewing the aquastat settings (see AQUASTAT SETTINGS at found via search of our site)

On 2015-12-23 by Jeremy

My fuel oil furnace works with thermostat but will come on even when temp is above the setting. The burner and pump run for 60 seconds a few times an hour even when not needed. Put new filter, nozzle and flushed lines. Still does it, any ideas?

On 2015-11-27 by (mod) re: just hit reset one time

Try the reset button ONCE. that might get you heat whole you wait for a repair technician.

Check for clogged oil filter or nozzle.

On 2015-11-27 by Anonymous

burner wont start up was running before but is now not ignting . it was filled with 400g of fuel and we let it settle for four hours and was working

On 2015-11-23 by (mod) re: then check the oil burner aquastat settings


Good observation; now check the aquastat settings: on a typical aquastat multifunction control the LO must be 20 or more below the HI or it's locked out and will never run the boiler.

On 2015-11-23 by Anonymous

Thanks for your response. Yesterday I shut off all the thermostats when the boiler was hot and watched it throughout the day as the temperature dropped...right past the low limit set point, so my best guess at this point is a bad limit or other control part. Does that make sense?

On 2015-11-23 by (mod) re: possible chimney or draft problem fouls the oil burner

If the problem only occurs on windy days I suspect there may be a draft regulator order after adjustment problem or possibly something as simple as a missing chimney cap
Steve, the fact that your oil burner restarts when you push the reset button suggest to me that the problem is not a thermostat or sensor but more likely a problem with the oil burner itself or its fuel supply.

On 2015-11-22 by Steve

Any ideas? Boiler occasionally goes cold despite calls for heat. After reset it comes on and runs fine, for a while (last time for a week) before going cold again. It's like it does not recognize a call on temp drop. Could it somehow be flue related (maybe superstitious but it may happen on windy days). Any thoughts on what it could be are appreciated. Thanks!

On 2015-11-17 by (mod) re: do not keep pressing the oil burner safety control RESET button


Any of a number of problems can cause the burner to fail to ignite: out of fuel, clogged filter, dirty nozzle.


doing so risks a dangerous puffback explosion as you are leaving un-burned fuel in the combustion chamber. If the system finally ignites you could have a hell of a sooty boom.

It's time to leave the system shut off and call your heating service company.

Keep me posted

On 2015-11-17 by cameron

My oil burner turns on only when I hit the reset button the fan will turn on for 30 second but the burner will not ignite

On 2015-11-01 by Anonymous

My oil burner comes on for less than a second and goes off at odd times. Runs and heats great though.

On 2015-10-19 by Frank

My burner won't come on upstairs zone but it work in downstairs zone.I changed the zone valve, checked the thermostat. What else should I check?

On 2015-10-19 by Anonymous

I have a blinking green light?

On 2015-10-15 by Steve

Turn breaker on reset does nothing Stat all the way down motel or pump does nothing help

On 2015-09-30 16:24:08.595857 by rick

furnace hums but will not come on

On 2015-09-18 13:08:26.253843 by Brett

My boiler wont start by itself i have to keep hiting the reset button


Continue reading at OIL BURNER WONT RUN - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



If the oil burner starts but does not run properly see these diagnostic articles

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