Issues with your oil furnace can leave you in the cold if you don't know what to do. One common issue is with the feed line nozzle. This is the nozzle at the end of the line that feeds oil to the burner. Without oil, the burner can't ignite and heat won't be produced for your home. Sediment in the oil or tank can get into this line and nozzle, resulting in a clog. The following tips can help you avoid the problem, or at least get it fixed if it does occur.
Tip #1: Don't Let Your Tank Run Empty
Sediment settles to the bottom of your oil tank. If the tank is allowed to run dry, the refilling process will disturb this sediment so it recirculated into the oil. This can then be fed into the oil line and lead to a clogged nozzle or line. Your best bet is to refill the tank before it runs empty, perhaps at a quarter of a tank. This way there is enough fuel in the tank so that the sediment is unlikely to be disturbed by the refill. If your tank does run empty, allow the sediment to settle for a little while, and then bleed the line to make sure there are no clogs before igniting the pilot for the burner.
Tip #2: Perform Annual Maintenance
Sometimes nozzle problems are caused by corrosion and debris on the nozzle itself, not from sediment inside the tank. Seasonal maintenance can help you catch these problems. A check of the nozzle and line is a normal part of a regular furnace service performed by an HVAC repair technician. If you are doing it yourself, inspect the nozzle and the hardware around it for any signs of black corrosion. If the line is looking corroded or the metal is damaged, you will need to replace the nozzle with a new one.
Tip #3: Check the Alignment
Sometimes the nozzle gets knocked out of alignment so that the pilot light isn't positioned correctly to ignite the fuel feeding into the burner. The cooling and heating of the air around the nozzle can also cause the metal nozzle to warp, leading to an alignment issue. If the nozzle is simply knocked out of alignment, you can gently move it back into place so it is line with the pilot light and burner. If the metal has warped, you will need to replace the nozzle with a new one or call an oil repair technician to do this for you.