If you have an oil boiler, then it is wise to schedule a maintenance appointment in the fall before you start running your heater. A heating and cooling contractor is the best professional to call. Before the specialist shows up, make sure that your boiler is ready to be examined thoroughly. There are several things you should do to make sure that your HVAC contractor, like those found at http://stucksheatingcooling.com, can easily check all the parts and components of your system.
Get an Oil Delivery and Inspect Fuel Lines
Schedule an Oil Delivery
If you have not used your oil boiler during the spring and summer months, than your oil tank may not contain enough fuel to start your furnace. If your boiler cannot be started, then your HVAC professional will be unable to determine whether or not your system is running properly.
Contact your local oil supplier so that your tank can be filled at least one-eighth full of home heating oil. Make sure that you receive your deliver at least one or two days before your maintenance appointment. This is necessary, because the sediment or sludge that sits on the bottom of your oil tank can be disrupted when you receive an oil delivery. You want this debris to settle so it does not clog your fuel line.
Look for Oil Line Leaks
Once you receive an oil delivery, make sure that your fuel lines are straight and free of holes. You need to do this to make sure there is no air in your fuel line. Look for small kinks in the line, and use your hands to straighten them out. Inspect the ground underneath your oil tank and along your oil line. If you see any wet spots, then look for a small hole in one of the lines. If you notice a hole, then make a temporary repair to the copper tubing in the same way that you would fix a plumbing line. The easiest way to do this is to use epoxy putty from your local home repair store.
Try to lift up the section of the oil line to stop the leak, and cut a pea sized amount of putty from the material you purchased. Work the material in between your fingers until it is pliable. Immediately spread the putty over the oil line hole with your fingers. Keep the line elevated for at least one hour while the putty cures. Straighten out the line when you are done.
Speak with your heating specialist about an oil line replacement during your maintenance appointment. This is wise, because the oil may eat through the epoxy putty over time. A full replacement will offer a more permanent fix to the leak problem.
Fire Up Your Boiler
Before your heating professional comes to your home, you should figure out whether or not your boiler is running. This is best so that concerns can be addressed right away that are outside of the normal maintenance procedures. To fire up your boiler, make sure the furnace is plugged in and the appropriate fuse is activated so your heating system can receive electricity.
Bleed the Air From the Oil Line
Once you are sure that your boiler is plugged in, press the red button on the front of your furnace. This button manually fires the boiler. If the boiler does not fire, then make sure to bleed the oil line to remove air. You can do this by first locating the fuel pump that sits on the outside of your boiler system. At the bottom of this pump you will see a small valve that is closed off with a nut. This is called the bleeder valve and you must turn the nut to open up the valve. Before you do this, attach a small hose to the bleeder valve and make sure that the end of the hose sits in a small container. This will help you to safely collect the oil that is released from the valve.
Once the hose is attached, turn the nut so it is loose. Press the red button on your boiler again. Inspect the oil coming out of the hose and look for air bubbles. Once the hose appears to release a solid stream of fuel, tighten the nut on the bleeder valve. Your boiler should start normally at this time.
Run Your System
Once you have started your oil boiler, make sure that the system runs smoothly through several cycles. Turn on the thermostats in your home to keep your heating system running. At this time, you can test your thermostats as well. This way, you can discuss possible heating zone concerns if heat only turns on partially inside your house. Turn on all of your thermostats at once and feel the vents or registers in each room of your house to make sure they feel hot. You can also turn on each of your thermostats individually and listen to make sure that your boiler is activated by each of the devices.
It is always a good idea to schedule a maintenance appointment with a heating contractor every fall if you have an oil boiler heating system. You need to do a few things to prepare for the appointment though, and these things are explained above.