Dual oil line hookup at oil burner (C) D Friedman Heating Oil Line Buzzing & Vibration
Causes & Cures for oil line noise

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Heating oil piping buzzing noise or vibration in the oil burner supply & return piping:

Causes & effects of noise & vibration in heating oil supply or return piping or at oil line fittings, valves, or other locations.

Vibration or "buzzing" sounds at heating oil equipment may appear to originate in the oil piping itself - which is possible, but more-often the actual vibration source is at the oil burner. Beware that vibration can lead to oil line or equipment oil and air leaks, loss of heat or even a puffback explosion.

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Heating Oil Line Buzzing or Vibration can lead to oil heat system puffback and loss of heat

Heating oil filter at the oil burner (C) Daniel FriedmanThis article discusses the causes & cures for buzzing noises & vibration in the oil piping line(s) between an oil storage tank and the oil burner(s) that it supplies.

Watch out: leaks in heating oil appliance piping or filters can be much more serious than just a drip spot on the floor.

The same leak that allows oil to drip out of the oil filter or piping connections allows air to be drawn into the system when the oil fuel unit (oil pump for the water heater, oil fired boiler or furnace) is running.

That air leak into the system results in improper oil burner operation, soot clogging, and even a loud bang at oil burner start-up or worse, a dangerous puffback. See OIL BURNER SOOT & PUFFBACKS.

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Separate from buzzing or vibration detected at the heating oil piping itself, this separate article at HEATING SYSTEM BUZZING NOISE discusses other sources of vibration & buzzing in heating equipment.

Question: my oil heat service company wants to put a snake in my oil line to "fix" a vibration noise

I don't know if boiler or furnace is the correct term; my heating system has pipes going through baseboards that circulate hot water to make heat. It does not have ducts or vents where hot air comes into the house.

There is no smell at all. I just had the second company replace the firebox and heating coil. I looked in myself and it was absolutely clean. This is an oil burner.

As for getting a senior technician, the company owner is the one who came back. I'm 65 and he looks older than me. But he didn't look for loose bolts or anything. Of course it wouldn't make the loud noise when he was here. It's a buzzing/vibrating noise which is heard all over the first floor, especially near the 2 fireplaces. He said the flue didn't need cleaning.

What he said was that he would put some metal snake inside the oil line to absorb the vibrations. I've spent the weekend reading hundreds of posts and websites about noises from furnaces. None say anything about inserting something to absorb vibrations to decrease noise.

They all say, as you do, that it's loose or bad bolts or parts, bad bearings, something with the blower motor or wheel. I'm thinking that since it was not making this noise before the new firebox was installed, that they damaged or didn't tighten something during the work.

The only reference I've seen to putting a snake into an oil line is when there is a clog in the line. That's a sputtering, coughing noise, not a steady vibrating buzz.
If you have time, I'd like to know if you've ever heard of putting a snake into an oil line to absorb vibrations that cause noise. - Anonymous by private email 2017/09/11

The reader question and comments above are a continuation of a discussion about the diagnosis & cure of a hard-to-track-down buzzing noise at an oil fired heating system. The discussion starts at HEATING SYSTEM BUZZING NOISE

Reply: List of Causes of & Cures for Buzzing & Vibration Observed in Heating Oil Piping

Hot water in pipes type heating means that your heating system is best called a heating boiler or just "boiler".

If the oil line is vibrating it can transmit sound to other parts of a building. I'm not familiar with a metal snake inside of an oil line that would itself cure a vibration problem but sure, let him try whatever he wants. I suspect the service company figures that there may be a debris blockage in the oil piping.

At OIL LINE CLOGGING FIX we describe other ways people un-clog a blocked oil line.

You don't need to learn all of these parts but you're welcome to print this page or the oil line vibration article I'll refer below as information that you can give to the owner with my request that I'd much welcome any critique or suggestions he has to offer and am glad to credit and cite technical content contributors:

Once a service tech has checked or repaired common causes of oil line vibration such as

has double-checked for loose bolts or parts such as

and has ruled out defective parts or components that may be having abnormal vibration such as

and made sure that the oil piping is not rubbing on or touching other metal systems like water supply or drain piping (or for a forced air heat, the metal ductwork)

Cures for Buzzing & Vibration Noise at Heating Oil Piping

Oil filters and vacuum gauge at boiler (C) D Friedman


Continue reading at HEATING SYSTEM BUZZING NOISE - causes of buzzing & vibration in heating equipment, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see BUZZING SOUNDS sounds from A/C, heat pump or inverter or from other equipment in, or, or near buildings






Or see these

Heating System Noise Diagnosis Articles

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OIL LINE BUZZ & VIBRATION CURE at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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