Photograph of oil burner pointing to the transformer used for ignition (C) Daniel Friedman FAQs on Oil Burner Noises & Sounds
Diagnose & fix noises at the oil burner

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Diagnostic questions and answers help diagnose heating oil burner noise, smoke, and odors. How to diagnose loss of heat, heating boiler noises, leaks, odors, or smoke.

These questions and answers can help you diagnose and fix heating oil burner noise or sound complaints.

This article series describes the cause and cure for just about any noise that you might hear at or near an oil burner, where it comes from, what it means, and what needs to be done about it.

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.

How to Diagnose Noises & Odors During Heating System & Oil Burner Operation

Oil burner schematic (C) Carson Dunlop AssociatesThese questions & answers on oil burner noise diagnosis & cure were posted originally at OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS - Be sure to review that article.

Also helpful is our OIL BURNER NOISE DIAGNOSTIC INDEX to varoius sounds at oil fired heating equipment and what they may mean.

[Click to enlarge any image] Sketch at left provided courtesy of Toronto home inspection & education firm Carson Dunlop Associates.

On 2018-03-19 17:42:16.522805 by (mod) - oil burner make screeching noise


I would like to have given a sharper answer but cannot from so little information.

The problem could be a bad coupling (motor to fuel unit), a bad motor bearing, or something else. You need an on-site experienced service tech.

On 2018-03- by Johnny

oil burner make screeching noise when releaseing pressure for a few seconds

On 2018-03-02 by (mod) - rattling sound in the copper pipes

I'd start with an exam of the oil burner to see what's moving and causing the noise, as a repair may be more urgent than steps to secure or sound-isolate the pipes themselves.

Also have your heating service tech check for air in the system as that can make a rattling sound.

On 2018-03-02 by Rebecca

There’s a rattling sound in the copper pipes. It keeps us awake. What should I do?

On 2018-02-12 by (mod) - noise like this pop 15 seconds after burner stops


Is this perhaps temperature-change-induced flexing of metal ductwork?

On 2018-02-12 by Kevin

I own rental buildings and I have been maintaining oil fired boilers for many years. I never heard a noise like this pop 15 seconds after burner stops. Otherwise, unit is working fine.

Metalic popping noise 15 to 20 seconds after oil fired boiler oil burner cycles off??? Happens every time.

On 2018-01-01 by (mod) - click button: should the burner fire up?


I'm not sure what button you asked me about. If a heating system was turned off and then has been turned back on at is power supply switch it should run in response to the wall thermostat.

If it does not you can check and depress the reset button on the primary control one time. The system in either case would need a service or repair call

On 2018-01-01 by Karen

Oil burner, If your boiler is off from the Winter, when you click the button on the equipment attached, should it start up? Should the fire come on?

On 2017-12-01 by (mod) - Riello burner motor failure


Armed with the installation and operation manual for your boiler we could look up the error light codes to see exactly what's happening, but to find that one needs the model number.

Anonymous: the motor could be failing; or it could be something as simple as normal vibration being transmitted to the building by poor oil line mounting; I suggest scheduling a service call.

On 2017-12-01 by Andrew

My camray outside boiler with rielo moter has a separate test switch unit that has a limit light that comes on and switches boiler of at least once a night does anyone no the problem thanks

On 2017-11-27 by Anonymous - Becker oil burner that is making a humming sound

I have a Becker oil burner that is making a humming sound when it’s running. The burner fires and stays on and the blower motor is running smoothly. What could this be? Thanks.

On 2017-05-08 by (mod) - Grant Euroflame boiler groaning noise


I cannot guess what's happening in the boiler from the information in your note, but it does sound as if it makes sense to call for service/repair. A buzzing can be a bad relay or control, a leak, or something else that affects the reliability or safety of the heating boiler.

When a noise continues long after the boiler is turned OFF I suspect that if it's related to heat at all it's a thermale expansion or contraction of materials.

Here is a copy of the manual for your Grant Euroflame boiler

I am guessing you're asking about a Grant 50/70 Euroflame boiler. Information and manuals about this specific boiler can be obtained from

Grant Engineering (UK) Limited
Hopton House, Hopton Industrial Estate, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2EU
Telephone: (0870) 7775553 Fax: (0870) 7775559
email: website:

On 2017-05-08 4 by catherine

I have a grant module 50 / 70 boiler and on Saturday I had the heating and hot water switched on. I forgot I had them on until I heard a groaning noise from the boiler.

The noise continued for hours after I turned the heat and water off. I tested it earlier a d it fired up wen I turned the water on so it's working bt I can hear a buzzing noise inside the boiler. Something to worry about?

On 2017-04-21 by (mod) - sleek every 15 seconds

Brad: not sure I understand what's the question. Squeak? Noisy motor bearing?

On 2017-04-21 by Brad Herspold

I have a sleek every 15 seconds running to the thermostate

On 2017-02-26 by (mod) -

Then something was not found and corrected during the "cleaning" - I can't know what was actually done. For example if "cleaning" failed to replace a nozzle or left the burner improperly adjusted or left air leaks in the oil piping, etc. the system is not working properly nor is it safe.

On 2017-02-26 by (mod) fixing an air bound system

I'm not sure what you mean by "boiler feed" - if you refer to the water feed valve, I suppose that a leak in that valve might introduce air into the system but it seems unlikely as an air source. Search InspectApedia for AIR BOUND HEATING SYSTEMS to read the sources and fixes for air in the hot water system

On 2017-02-26 by J Tuffarelli

In a oil burner can the boiler feed cause air in system if not working properly

On 2016-12-11 by Darrell

Hotwater boiler noisy expansion tank hissing sound.

On 2016-12-11 by James

Oil burner cycling too fast what's the answer

On 2016-09-03 by (mod) - a mechanics' sthesoscope can help

Sometimes a mechanics' sthesoscope can help find the noise source: motor vibrations can be transmitted via piping, for example. ALso check for a combustion problem or a chimney hazard. Sounds like a safety concern that merits a service call.

On 2016-09-03 by Jeff

Tankless oil burner used to heat the house and provide hot water. It is summer, so no heating.

When we call for hot water, the burner sounds normal when right at the burner, but there is a loud, continuous rumbling noise that you can really only hear upstairs in one of the bedrooms.

Getting complaints from the occupant! My daughter. Been doing this for years. I keep looking around but coming up empty. Any ideas?

On 2016-09-03 by Anonymous


On 2016-08-30 by (mod) We have to keep hitting the red button

Watch out: DO NOT keep pressing the reset button - the risk is ultimately a OIL BURNER PUFFBACK EXPLOSION- search for that phrase to read details.

You are right, hubby is mistaken: the burner needs cleaning and service and perhaps repair.

On 2016-08-29 by Laura

Our water heater, which I believe runs on oil I'm not entirely sure doesn't heat up. We have to keep hitting the red button for it to start up and fill. Tonight it stopped about 10 seconds after hitting the button. I hit the button again and smoke was coming from the chimney.

Then the biker room started smelling really strongly of a burning smell. You could even smell it outside the house. My husband thinks it's nothing but I'm concerned....

On 2016-05-24 14:47:54.621077 by francois

The burner was cleaned but the problem stayed?

On 2016-05-24 14:43:56.762295 by Francois

The oil boiler furnaces smokes thick black smoke at the thimy. Whats wrong ? Please help !

On 2016-05-17 by (mod) Renal oil direct vent burner making popping noise when starting

Not sure that popping is, Fred nor where it's coming from: burner flame, electrical, mechanical. The system could be unsafe, risking a puffback explosion - good reason to call for professional repair. Keep us posted.


On 2016-05-16 by Fred

Renal oil direct vent burner making popping noise when starting

On 2016-03-30 by Anonymous

Call your kill oil heat service company, typically the same people from whom you buy heating fuel.

Your heater may be unsafe to operate

On 2016-03-30 by Mona

Have a VERY old desiel run furnace...turned on tonight and smelt like burnt pop corn just in kitchen vent. Turned off fan and lowered temp in house calling in someone tomorrow, not sure who to call

On 2016-03-23 by (mod) Stanley cooker has started to squeak

I don't know, Brian but perhaps. I'd look at the bearings, clean them if the cooker provides a procedure for doing that, and I'd look into the instructions for any advice on lubricating them.

On 2016-03-22 by Brian H

My Stanley cooker has started to squeaks when it first fires up, is this because the bearings in the motor are on the way out

On 2016-03-12 18:09:43.036119 by (mod) -

Sounds like a problem with the oil line, perhaps clogging, or at the filter (clogging) or in the fuel unit on the oil burner. Just guessing as of course by mere e-text we're missing more clues. It's time to call for repair. let me know what your service tech says.

On 2016-03-12 14:19:56.707395 by Judith

I do not know where to begin, my oil burner stopped ( summer winter type) so no heat or hot water.
I hit the reset fire but not starting. I called the for help.Yes oil in tank almost full.yes it was serviced in late summer.

A vibrating buzzing sound It was replaced then all h broke loose

. I am up to a tiger loop. Between all of this the pipes are banging clanging just before the burner stops all together and at start up system .

I must also back up the system will work for a week then shut down with the noise. I can prime and burner will start and stay on for a week at a time. So let's say it has been going on for about a month.

Do I need a new burner? will the Tiger loop work? or what is the matter(Cause) of the havoc.

On 2016-03-05 by (mod) beckett burner has a weak flame


Your system needs service and repair by a trained service tech. One cannot correctly adjust a modern high speed oil burner just by eye.

I suspect your system is leaking oil, perhaps at the nozzle adapter or on the high pressure oil line, but the problem could be elsewhere.

On 2016-03-05 by Micheal

I have a beckett burner in my furnace that has a weak flame and only runs about a couple of hours then starts to puff and then eventually goes out .

Then i have to dry the burner gun of wet oil to be able to start it again sometimes i have to wait a couple hours before i can fire it up again

On 2016-02-29 by (mod) popping tin noises from oil storage tank


Where is your oil tank? Outdoors or inside exposed to temperature changes may indeed cause on occasional flex of the tank sides or ends that might make the noise you describe. Can you tell me the age of the oil tank? I'm betting it's less than 30 years old. Newer tank = thinner metal.

On 2016-02-29 by Nicole

My husband just filled our oil tank a couple of days ago about 1/2 way and it has been making these noises like "popping" tin.

It almost makes me think that the pressure from the season/weather change is causing it. (Thats just what I would associate the noise with) Is that something anybody else has experienced or am I way in left field?

On 2016-02-15 by (mod) - oil burner clicking noises

I woiuld turn off the boiler and call for repair. You don't want to risk an oil spill or a puffback explosion.

On 2016-02-15 by cody

Oil fired furnace making odd clicking noises and turning on and off and back on again before completely turning off very rapidly. Strong smell of oil when this happens

On 2016-02-02 0 by Anonymous

burner running with smoke escaping into house.

On 2015-12-16 by (mod) burner running with smoke escaping into house.


Watch out: turn off the oil burner or heating system from its "emergency off" switch immediately. If you can't find that switch turn off power at the electrical panel

The risk is a dangerous house fire, chimney fire, or puffback explosion.

Then call for emergency heat service.


All chimneys need periodic inspection and it would not be unusual for an oil fired chimney to need cleaning; especially in the lower flue or in the flue vent connector (between the furnace and the actual vertical chimney) soot and debris accumulate, can block draft, and can be unsafe.

On 2015-12-15 by Jennifer

My 12 year old Weil McLain oil burning furnace is cleaned once a year. It's been less than a year and I have started to notice a slight burning smell, almost like an electrical burning, when the furnace is running. However, it is still heating.

I thought it also could be that I need a chimney cleaning, but I'd never heard of cleaning an oil furnace chimney. Suggestions?

On 2015-11-26 by (mod) Loud noise like a engin running coming from my oil heating boiler even when it's turned off


If power is OFF to your boiler it should not keep making noise - the situation sounds unsafe: I'd call the heating service company you use and ask for an inspection by an experienced tech. MEanwhile turn off power to the unit at the electrical panel or fuse panel.

On 2015-11-24 by Catherine gRtland

Loud noise like a engin running coming from my oil heating boiler even when it's turned off

On 2015-10-12 by bucky

Excessive smoke after unit turns off

On 2015-09-22 by (mod)

It sounds as if your system needs cleaning and tuning; I suspect that on a short on-cycle it's not heating enough to achieve complete combustion. Normally that happens after just 5 minutes.

On 2015-09-22 by rick

question I have oil smell or similar coming from furnace after shut down and blower still running . if furnace runs longer than 20 minutes thers no smell

On 2015-05-30 by Rob

My boiler makes a continuous venting sound even when it is off

On 2015-03-31 by (mod)

Dennis we list common oil burner noise and soot causes in the article OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS - home. Any of these can blow soot out of the damper, especially at oil burner start-up.

It's time to call for heating service lest you suffer a heat outage or a puffback explosion

On 2015-03-30 by Dennis

I have an oil furnace the emits soot from the damper regulator-what may cause this.

On 2015-03-20 00:55:31.406580 by Rumbling noise

Same spec nozzle - sure.

AR - don't know, probably not, he just keep replacing nozzles like a gloves.

Tracking - combustion chamber, some kind of misfiring.

Stethoscope will render you effectively deaf, half of the house vibrating and can be heard all the way from across the street.

And it is sporadic, thus cycling power does not really lead to constant replication of malfunction, usually turning power off and then back on solves the problem. I'm not taking chances and trying to shut it off as soon as possible.

On 2015-03-19 23:03:08.844590 by (mod) -


Was the nozzle replaced with the same spec as original? Did the service tech try an AR (anti rumble) nozzle?

Has the noise been tracked down at all?

Try a mechanic's stethoscope on the external parts when the burner is starting up: motor, blower, fuel unit, side of boiler, flue.

On 2015-03-19 18:06:08.146640 by Rumbling noise

Well, going back to rumbling noise. Nozzle was replaced so far three times, filter cleaned, etc.

Still sporadically upon start up burner trying to take off like a helicopter, in fact it does sounds like a helicopter in the basement, after few seconds of operation it does quiet itself and going to normal sounds of burning flames, or if I'm fast enough - cycling power will restart burner properly.

Yesterday, it began "warming up" engines ;-) before tech even left driveway. I'm not going to pay third time for service call, since apparently he is unable to resolve the issue.

On 2015-03-19 by (mod) soot from the damper

Could be some unburned fuel and ultimately a risk of a puffback. After asking an experienced service tech to take a look I'd discuss with him or her whether we should try installing a quickstop valve on the oil line to the burner.

On 2015-03-19 by Ron

My external EOGB burner is annoying neighbours due to a loud noise every time it fires up. It burns cleanly and doesn't smoke or make any soot.

Burns better now that I have changed over to kerosene from biodiesel but it's more noisy. I'm very reluctant to remove the burner and fit a smaller nozzle with the associated setup problems.

Is it possible to reduce the noise nuisance by the use of an external silencer or should I make an enclosure for it?

On 2015-03-16 by (mod) EOGB burner is annoying neighbours due to a loud noise every time it fires up

black soot from an oil heating system is not normal, the system needs service.

And the situation is unsafe as there is a risk of a dangerous oil burner puffback.

On 2015-03-11 by kathy

we heat with kerosene and my moble home has film of black soot on everything i can wipe every day and is is this normal my husband say yes oil burner couple years old what do i do


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