Troubleshooting Problems for Your Coquitlam Oil Burning Furnace Service

Regardless the manufacture of your oil furnace, most oil burners encounter the same problems. By conducting an initial inspection of an oil burner that is not functioning properly, you could actually save yourself time (and money) by assisting your Coquitlam Oil Burner Service technician. With little more than a voltmeter, you can do a rudimentary inspection of your oil burner between visits from High Mark Plumbing or should you experience a furnace failure.


The first most obvious place to check is with the power supply to your furnace. Visually check all fuses and breakers to assure power is being delivered to the furnace. Sometimes, even when the fuses or breakers appear to be operating properly, there could be a hidden problem. By checking for power across each circuit with a voltmeter, you can assure power is being supplied as designed. Replace any defective fuses and reset any tripped breaker as indicated.

Oil Filter

Depending on the quality of the oil you are burning in your furnace, the oil filter may become clogged more quickly than expected. A dirty filter will inhibit the oil’s path to the burner and eventually stop the flow altogether. If using a burner that has the option of burning waste vegetable oil, filtration is essential prior to putting the oil in your storage tank. Screening out foodstuff and other materials prior to introducing waste vegetable oil into your system will help. Remember that if your storage tank is outside, vegetable oil thickens at a much lower temperature than standard heating oil. As such, it is recommended that you use a mixture of no more than 50% vegetable oil to 50% heating oil.

A great alternative to screening waste oil is to invest in a waste oil centrifuge. This piece of equipment will ‘spin’ out the heavy matter in any waste oil. It is still advisable that you visually inspect your oil filter at least every 6 months.


After inspection/replacement of the oil filter, check the RED reset button on the burner. Push the button to restart your furnace’s burner. If the burner does not start, check the power supply to the motor. Using a voltmeter, and exercising a healthy respect for electricity, check the power across the motor — this is best left to the professionals if you are not comfortable checking the voltage across the power leads. It is strongly advised that if the motor does not restart when the reset button is pushed, call High Mark!

Oil Pump

By listening to the oil pump, you can tell if it’s working properly. A buzz or any noise without rotation while powered likely indicates the pump needs replaced. Again, replacement of the oil pump is best left to the professionals. Without the proper tools, you may wind up causing a catastrophic failure of your furnace!


This is a check that is absolutely not advised for the average do-it-yourself-er.

With an excess of 10,000 Volts and substantial amps — handling the transformer is highly dangerous!

Oil Nozzle

The oil nozzle sprays the oil into the combustion chamber at a very high pressure; creating an oil mist that burns efficiently. Because the opening in the tip of the nozzle is very small, it can clog very easily. Keeping your oil (especially wast oil) as clean as possible and filtered properly, should keep the oil nozzle clean. Removal of the nozzle can be quite messy — best left to the professionals!

Please note: this is in no way meant to replace the recommended yearly maintenance/inspection/repair of your oil furnace! It is meant only as a guide should you run into a problem and want to speak somewhat knowledgeably to your service technician.