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BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BOILER NOISE SMOKE ODORS
BOILER OPERATING PROBLEMS
BOILER OPERATING STEPS
BOILER PRESSURE & TEMPERATURE SETTINGS
CARBON MONOXIDE WARNING
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
NO HEAT - BOILER
NO HEAT - FURNACE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS
Reset Switch - Heater Primary Control
STACK RELAY SWITCHES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STEAM HEATING SYSTEMS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
WATER HEATER NOISES
This article series describes the installation, use, maintenance, and repair of oil filters used on oil-fired boilers, furnaces, and water heaters. We discuss tracking down air and oil leaks at or near the oil filter canister and we describe proper oil filter location and problems to check for during oil filter cartridge changes.
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How to Change a Heating Oil Filter: Step by Step Procedure for Servicing the Oil Burner Oil Filter Cartridge
The oil filter cartridge should be changed during oil heating equipment annual cleaning, service, and tune-up. You should not have to change oil filter cartridges more often. If the cartridge clogs and leads to service calls or heat loss between annual service calls then we suspect the oil tank is contaminated with water or sludge - problems that need to be corrected at the oil tank.
The procedure for changing the oil filter cartridge is simple, but if it's performed improperly you could be left with no heat.
Once you have installed the new oil filter cartridge inside the canister you will need to bleed air out of the canister and filter before restoring the system to service. If your heating oil tank is at a level higher than that of the filter itself this is an easy task as oil may flow from the tank through the filter without even having to run the oil burner.
But most heating service techs simply turn up the heat to cause the oil burner to turn on, bypassing the cad cell relay if necessary to keep the burner running even before actual flame ignition.
Watch out: do not try this burner-on method if you don't have the necessary training: pouring a dose of un-burned oil into the combustion chamber is dangerous and risks a puffback.
With your catch-basin below the oil filter canister, simply loosen or remove the air bleeder screw located on the canister top just before the canister outlet fitting (red arrow in our photo at left, courtesy of reader E.S.).
Then open the oil supply valve to permit oil to flow from the oil tank into the canister. You may hear or feel air escaping at the air bleeder opening.
Once you see a clear flow of heating oil at the bleeder opening you can replace the screw that closes that port.
Watch out: don't forget to include the fiber washer that seals the screw to the canister head or you may have oil or air leaks at the canister.
Tips for the Follow-Up Check for Oil Leaks After Oil Filter Cartridge Change
After any service procedure that disturbs oil line, filter, or burner oil piping fittings we recommend checking for evidence of oil leaks again after the system has been in use for a day or so, because slow leaks and small leaks in the oil piping system may not show up immediately.
Clean the floor beneath and around the heating oil filter and oil piping. Check back in a day or two for fresh heating oil spots on the floor (below left).
If you leave a clean paper towel below the oil filter and connectors it can make spotting an oil drip easier.
Fix any oil leaks immediately. An air leak into the oil piping system leads to improper oil burner operation, risking a dangerous puff-back, or loss of heat in the building.
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