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Nov 9, 2023 11:42:55 AM by Lauren Mangano

How to Prime/Reset Your Oil Heater After Running Out of Oil

Oil heaters are a reliable source of warmth during the chilly months, but they rely on a constant supply of heating oil to operate efficiently. If you've ever run out of heating oil, you're familiar with the discomfort and frustration it can cause. The good news is that you can easily prime and reset your oil heater to get it up and running once you've refilled your oil tank. In this blog, we'll guide you through the steps to get your oil heater back in action, so you can enjoy a warm and cozy home again.

Learn the steps in video form above

1. Check the Oil Tank

Before you start, make sure to check your oil tank's gauge. It should be filled with heating oil. If it's empty or extremely low, it's important to contact your oil supplier for a prompt delivery. Once your oil tank is refilled, you can begin the priming process to reset your heater.

2. Bleed the Fuel Line

Locate the burner and fuel pump

Start with the burner and remove the cover if there is one. The fuel pump is a motor-like component attached to the fuel line. You may find it on or near the oil burner.

Check the fuel lines

Next, determine how many fuel lines connect the heater to the oil tank. If you see two, it means that your heater is self-priming and you simply have to hit the reset button to get it working again. If you only see one, continue reading to learn how to manually prime the heater!

Identify what type of control you have

Take a look at the control, which is part of the burner, to see if there is a reset button. Press and hold the reset button to allow the burner to restart. For this specific Honeywell control shown in the video above, there is no typical red reset button. This control will sense that there's no flame and will show a lockout. To get it out of lockout mode, push and hold the "i" button for a few seconds to allow the burner to reset.

Gather your materials

Next, grab a container for the oil, a few rags to catch any dripping oil, and a 3/8 wrench.

Open the valve and bleed the line

Place the wrench around the bleeder valve, which is usually a small brass or steel screw on or near the fuel pump. Place the open container or bottle underneath the bleeder valve and slowly turn the wrench about a quarter or half of the way to open it slightly. You'll hear a hissing sound as air is released.
Look for a steady stream of oil without any air bubbles. Let it go for about 10 seconds, then close the valve with the wrench.

3. Monitor the Burner

Once the burner has restarted, monitor it closely for any unusual sounds, odors, or issues. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, turn off the heater immediately and contact a professional for further assistance.

4. Assess the Oil

After you finish priming the heater and confirm that there are no other issues, it may be helpful to check the color of the oil. The color should resemble a bright cherry red, similar to a juice. If it comes out looking milky or sludgy, or if water has settled at the bottom, you may have an issue with your oil tank or heater. If this is the case, make sure to contact your local heating professionals to check out the system.

5. Adjust the Thermostat

Set your thermostat to the desired temperature and ensure the oil heater is operating smoothly. It may take a little time for your home to warm up fully, so be patient.
After you've completed these steps, your heater will be primed and ready to keep you warm! Running out of heating oil can be inconvenient, but it doesn't mean you have to endure a cold home for long.  Remember to prioritize safety throughout the process, and if you encounter any problems or are unsure about any step, don't hesitate to contact a professional for assistance. With your oil heater back in operation, you can enjoy a cozy environment during the cold season.Contact ECI Comfort

If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200 to learn more.

This entry was posted in Heater Safety, Fuel Oil, Oil Tank, How To

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