Photograph of  a modern oil-fired heating boiler How to Diagnose Oil Burner Noise, Smoke, Odors

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Oil burner noise, odor, performance or smoke troubleshooting:

Some oil burner noises are normal, others indicate trouble - we explain the difference.

We also explain how to recognize & diagnose the cause of oil fired heating boiler noises, leaks, odors, or soot and smoke.

We describe 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 discuss: What oil fired heating system noises are abnormal and may indicate an operating problem or an unsafe condition? What can we do to reduce heating system operating noises? Diagnose & repair oil burner soot, puffback, rumbling, hard-starting.

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How to Diagnose Noises During Oil Burner Operation

Oil burner schematic (C) Carson Dunlop AssociatesThis article series answers most questions about central hot water heating system troubleshooting, inspection, diagnosis, and repairs.

What Oil Fired Heating System Noises are Normal and What are the Noise Sources?

Some heating system and heating oil burner noises are considered normal. These include noises coming from the following items:

The sketch above is provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

What oil fired heating system noises are abnormal and may indicate an operating problem or an unsafe condition?

Noises & soot buildup can lead to a potentially dangerous puffback which can damage the heating equipment and blow soot and smoke throughout the building. An experienced heating service technician may recognize the following diagnostic list of heating system or oil burner noises as well as perhaps other signs of trouble:

What can we do to reduce heating system operating noises?

Heating equipment located well out of occupied space, in an unoccupied basement, for example, are not usually a source of noise complaints in a building, though there are a few exceptions for which we have suggestions.

Articles at this website describe how to inspect, troubleshoot and repair heating and air conditioning systems to inform home owners, buyers, and home inspectors of common heating system defects.


Continue reading at OIL BURNER NOISE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for additional examples of oil burner noise sounds and their cause, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see OIL BURNER ODOR DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - odors often occur together with noises at oil burners and can help diagnose one another


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