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Heating Up: How We Fixed an Oil Heating System in Lisvane, Cardiff - Central Heating Cardiff, Swansea & South Wales

Heating Up: How We Fixed an Oil Heating System in Lisvane, Cardiff

When it comes to oil heating repair in Lisvane, Cardiff, trust our team of skilled professionals to handle the job with precision and expertise. We'll have your system working efficiently in no time.
Phil Collier July 8, 2024

Case Study: Troubleshooting and Resolving an Oil Heating System Issue in a Farmhouse in Lisvane

As a heating engineer, I was called to a farmhouse in Lisvane to address an issue with their oil heating system, which was not firing correctly. This case study details my systematic approach to diagnosing and resolving the problem, ensuring the comfort and safety of the farmhouse residents.

Arrival on Site

Upon arriving at the site, I first met with the homeowner to gather information about the system's recent behaviour and any previous issues. According to the homeowner, the boiler had been intermittently failing to fire, resulting in inconsistent heating. With this background information, I began my inspection.

Step 1: Fuel Pump Inspection

I started by examining the fuel pump. The pump is a critical component responsible for delivering oil from the tank to the burner. I listened for any unusual noises that might indicate a malfunction and checked the pump pressure. The pressure readings were within the manufacturer's recommended range, and the pump seemed to be operating correctly.

Step 2: Filters and Nozzle Check

Next, I inspected the oil filter and the burner nozzle. A clogged filter or nozzle can severely restrict oil flow, preventing the system from firing properly.

- Oil Filter: I removed the oil filter and found it relatively clean, indicating that it wasn't the cause of the problem.

- Nozzle: The burner nozzle was also inspected for blockages or wear. It appeared to be in good condition, but I decided to replace it as a precautionary measure to ensure optimal performance.

Step 3: Burner Assembly Examination

The burner assembly was the next component on my checklist. This includes the ignition electrodes and the ignition transformer.

- Electrodes: I checked the alignment and cleanliness of the ignition electrodes. They were properly aligned but had some carbon build-up. After cleaning them thoroughly, I ensured they were in the correct position.

- Ignition Transformer: I tested the ignition transformer to verify that it provided the necessary spark to ignite the oil. The transformer was functioning correctly, delivering a strong spark.

Step 4: Combustion Chamber Inspection

I then moved on to the combustion chamber, looking for signs of soot build-up or other deposits that could impede proper combustion. The chamber was relatively clean, with only minor soot deposits, which I cleaned to ensure efficient burning.

Step 5: Air Supply Verification

Proper air supply is crucial for efficient combustion. I checked the air intake and the air damper settings.

- Air Intake: I confirmed that the air intake was not blocked and that there were no obstructions preventing airflow.

- Damper Settings: The air damper settings were within the recommended range, ensuring the correct air-to-fuel ratio for combustion.

Step 6: Electrical Components Testing

Electrical issues can also cause firing problems, so I inspected the electrical components of the system.

- Thermostat: The thermostat was functioning correctly and set to the desired temperature.

- Wiring and Connections: I inspected all electrical connections for tightness, corrosion, or damage. All wires were securely connected and in good condition.

Step 7: Control Systems Check

I proceeded to check the various control systems, including limit switches and the control board.

- Limit Switches: The limit switches were operating correctly, providing necessary safety measures.

- Control Board: The control board showed no signs of damage or malfunction. I tested it to ensure it was sending the correct signals to the burner.

Step 8: Draft and Ventilation Assessment

Proper draft and ventilation are essential for removing exhaust gases and ensuring safe operation.

- Chimney and Flue: I inspected the chimney and flue for any blockages. Both were clear and functioning correctly.

- Draft Regulator: The draft regulator was working as intended, maintaining proper draft levels.

Step 9: Safety Devices Inspection

Safety devices such as flame sensors and other controls are vital for preventing hazardous conditions.

- Flame Sensor: I inspected the flame sensor, also known as the cad cell, for cleanliness and proper operation. It was clean and functioning correctly.

- Safety Controls: All safety controls and cut-off switches were tested and found to be in good working order.

Step 10: System Reset

After completing these checks, I attempted to reset the system using the reset button on the burner control. The system restarted, but the firing issue persisted, indicating that the problem was still unresolved.

Step 11: Oil Supply Examination

Having ruled out the other components, I turned my attention to the oil supply, starting with the oil tank and lines.

- Oil Level: The oil level in the tank was adequate, so a low oil level was not the cause of the issue.

- Oil Quality: I checked for any contamination or sludge in the oil tank. The oil was clean and free of impurities.

- Oil Line: Upon inspecting the oil lines, I discovered a kink in one of the pipes. This kink was restricting the flow of oil, preventing the system from firing correctly.

Resolving the Issue

With the problem identified, I proceeded to replace the section of the oil line that had the kink. Once the new pipe was installed, I rechecked all connections to ensure there were no leaks or obstructions. I then reset the system again and monitored its operation.

System Test and Conclusion

After replacing the kinked pipe, the boiler fired up correctly and maintained consistent operation. I monitored the system for an extended period to ensure that the issue was fully resolved and that there were no other underlying problems.

Preventive Measures

To prevent similar issues in the future, I recommended the following to the farmhouse residents:

1. Regular Inspections: Schedule routine inspections of the entire heating system, including oil lines, to catch and address issues early.

2. Oil Quality Maintenance: Ensure regular maintenance of the oil tank to prevent sludge build-up and contamination.

3. System Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the system’s pressure and performance, and report any irregularities immediately.

Case Study Conclusion

This case study highlights the importance of a systematic approach to diagnosing and resolving issues with oil heating systems. By methodically checking each component, I was able to identify the root cause of the firing issue and restore the boiler to proper operation. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to problems can prevent disruptions and ensure the reliability and efficiency of heating systems, particularly in residential settings like farmhouses.

Eric Collier & Son

Head Office in Cardiff

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