How to re-light an oil burner furnace

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you run out of heating oil, you know that someone needs to re-light your furnace. This can cost over a hundred dollars or more if you have a technician do this. This guide will walk you through the simple process of re-lighting your oil burner.

What you need

To relight your furnace you will need:

  • Some diesel fuel (in place of heating oil)
  • A wrench (size may vary)
  • Collection container

Getting Started

First, you should know that if it’s after hours or the weekend that most if not all oil dealers will charge extra fees to deliver oil and will also charge extra to re-light your furnace. You should know that you can use ordinary diesel fuel from any service station. It’s more expensive per gallon but it’s cheaper than having the service deliver off hours. You’ll need about 2-3 gallons per day to heat a standard house on a cold day. You’ll use less if it’s warmer. The station will sell a 5 gallon container for diesel and you can use that to have 2-3 days of supply and save on fees.

Re-lighting your burner

After you’ve added the diesel, you need to clear the fuel line of air. To do this, you need put your collection container below the burner. Locate the air release valve – it will have a screw that will open with a wrench. It will be at the end of the fuel line from your oil tank.

The air release valve is to the right of the fuel line entering the burner

Open the valve. Then press the red re-light button. You’ll hear the pump start. Wait for the oil/diesel to start coming out of the valve and then close it (turning it the opposite way you did to open it).

The red re-light button looks like this

If the burner does not light when you close the valve, you may need to press the re-light button again.

The key is to have the pump suck the diesel/oil you’ve put in the tank to the oil burner. Opening the valve breaks the vacuum in the line and once fuel starts coming out of the air release valve, closing it will allow just fuel to make it to the burner.

Good luck and enjoy the savings!