When it comes to an oil-burning furnace, annual maintenance is important. However, sometimes annual maintenance isn't enough to prevent certain component failures. For example, the fuel pump on your oil-burning furnace is a wearable part. Over time, the bearings and pump components will suffer wear and tear, eventually leading to failure. Here's what you need to know about fuel pump failure and the resulting furnace repair.
Signs Of A Fuel Pump Failing
When your oil-burning furnace is running, you shouldn't really hear much from the fuel pump. It should run quietly, delivering the necessary fuel to the furnace. During your annual maintenance, the pump will be cleaned and serviced, and the fuel nozzle replaced to ensure adequate flow.
However, as the fuel pump starts to suffer wear, you'll notice that it starts getting louder when it runs. This noise will progressively increase, leading to a squealing sound when the pump engages. The squeal can get loud enough that it interferes with the living environment on other floors in your home if you neglect it.
You may also find that your furnace starts to sputter as the fuel pump intermittently fails. Every interruption in the oil supply to the burner will result in the furnace sputtering. Left unaddressed, the pump will eventually fail completely, leaving your furnace inoperable.
Addressing A Failing Fuel Pump
Whether you're proactively addressing the early signs of a failing fuel pump or your pump has already stopped functioning, it's important that you have the problem fixed by a heating repair technician.
When you replace the fuel pump on your furnace, the entire fuel line system will need to be bled afterward. The old pump will be disconnected from the furnace and the input and output fuel lines will be removed. Then, those lines will be connected to the new fuel pump and the pump will be attached to the furnace.
Once connected, the new fuel pump will need to be primed and the lines will need to be bled. Bleeding is necessary because disconnecting the old pump introduces air into those fuel lines. That disrupts the fuel flow, which causes further sputtering and issues with your furnace.
The technician will bleed the lines and ensure that your new fuel pump is functioning as it should. Keep in mind that bleeding can take time with a new fuel pump because it takes time to draw fuel from your storage tank all the way to the furnace pump.
For more information on fuel pump failure and repair, reach out to a local furnace repair technician.
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