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Help! Oil tank ran dry, refilled and boiler firing up but no heating or hot water!

(18 Posts)
wineandworkout Fri 10-Nov-17 16:37:12

Can anyone help? The boiler seems to be doing its usual thing but it's not burning any oil, so the heating and HW are not on. I've bled the line from the oil tank to the boiler, and also bled the central heating pump - liquid coming out of both but still no joy. The oil tank ran dry which has maybe caused the problem ... it was refilled this morning.

Kursk Fri 10-Nov-17 16:39:25

You could have a blockage in the burner, on on the fuel filter. Draining the tank means all the sludge at the bottom of the tank gets pulled through the system

wineandworkout Fri 10-Nov-17 16:41:04

Thank you Kursk ... that sounds ominous. Could that be the case even though there is oil coming out when I loosen the nuts on each side of the filter, do you think?

Archfarchnad Fri 10-Nov-17 16:41:52

I'd second the idea it might be a blockage caused by sludge. We're always given dire warnings by our oil tank maintenance company about the dangers of letting the tanks run dry. I think you might need to get professionals onto this.

Archfarchnad Fri 10-Nov-17 16:42:40

Dangers in the sense that it buggers up the system, not 'exploding' dangerous!

mineofuselessinformation Fri 10-Nov-17 16:43:49

Bleed the air out of the connector pipe. There will be a bleed
nipple on the boiler.

Kursk Fri 10-Nov-17 16:43:52

It’s hard to tell, there should be a decent flow of oil after the filter. It’s possible that there is some but not enough

wineandworkout Fri 10-Nov-17 16:48:45

Thank you all ... would more bleeding help, do you think? It's an outdoor boiler so completely encased in a metal box - no controls at all on it.

Pradaqueen Fri 10-Nov-17 17:40:08

Wine, I have had the same problem. You will have to call the boiler chap out I fear. It'll be crap lodged somewhere in the system. Tricks for getting it free have thus far surpassed my knowledge. Get another jumper on and give them a ring. I do feel for you, this never seems to happen in our house in July!

blueskyinmarch Fri 10-Nov-17 17:44:16

We managed to do that - twice. Both times we had to call out 'boiler man' to fix it.

Scrowy Fri 10-Nov-17 17:45:52

You need to get the professionals out.

You can't let oil powered boilers run out if oil. It completely knackers them (technical term)

Do you have a oil monitor in the house for future? We have one that plugs into a socket in the kitchen and beeps and flashes when the oil gets low.

Scrowy Fri 10-Nov-17 17:47:55

Are you sure there are no controls on it? Ours looks like a metal box but there is a hidden bit you can pull out which has the pressure dial etc in.

Kursk Sun 12-Nov-17 13:34:51

There are YouTube videos that show you how to dismantle the burner and clean it. It’s much cheaper. Plus you know what to do I. The event something goes wrong in the future.

wineandworkout Sun 12-Nov-17 21:18:52

Thanks ... problem is that the boiler is outdoors and completely enclosed in a metal box that has to be unscrewed to open it. I'm not sure it's safe to tinker, though I have asked an electrician friend what he thinks. I don't think the boiler is damaged by sludge etc because it does seem to be firing as usual - it just seems that there is no oil reaching it.

amyboo Mon 13-Nov-17 08:05:46

We did this once (first winter in the house after moving from a place with gas heating). Ending up having to have some bits in the boiler replaced as gunk from the bottom of the tank had got into the boiler. Cost a few £100 to fix I seem to remember. Heating guy advised us not to go lower than 300l in the tank in future (our tank take 3300l).

wineandworkout Mon 13-Nov-17 16:07:08

IT'S WORKING!!! I had to unscrew the casing to get into it, and it just needed resetting. Was a bit worried about getting electrocuted but the engineer couldn't come out and I got too cold to care smile

Currently basking in toasty home ...

Kursk Mon 13-Nov-17 16:21:35

Well done!

Don’t worry about getting fried, the worst that would happen is you get covered in heating oil which is basically diesel.

christmaspudding1 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:14:37

now get that oil monitor installed grin

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