Installing an Oil Burner

Under most circumstances, oil burners and oil-fired units should be installed in rooms that provide adequate clearance from the combustible material. The only exception to this rule is when specific instructions are given otherwise. In this case, the manufacturer provides or specifies a suitable combustion chamber (stainless steel, firebrick, etc.).

All local codes and ordinances take precedence over the oil burner manufacturer’s installation and operation manuals.Where local codes do not exist, install the oil burner in accordance with the most recent instructions and regulations of the National Fire Protection Association and the provisions of the National Electrical Code (ANSI/NFPA 70-199 or latest edition).

Only certified HVAC technicians or those with equivalent experience should attempt to install an oil burner.

Some sort of manual shutoff control should be provided for the oil burner in order to stop the flow of oil to the burner when the air supply is interrupted. This must be placed at a safe distance from the unit and in a convenient location. These manual shutoff valves generally consist of either a switch in the burner supply circuit (for electrically driven units) or a shutoff valve on the oil supply line.

Primary safety controls (automatic shutoff devices) must be provided for all oil burners and oil-fired units that operate automatically without the need of an attendant on duty—in other words, those types of equipment found where a stationary engineer would not be employed (i.e., noncommercial and nonindustrial locations).

One problem encountered when converting solid-fuel heating equipment to oil use is the accumulation of potentially dangerous vapors in the ashpit of the unit. This can be avoided by removing the ash door or by providing bottom ventilation to the unit. This precaution is unnecessary if the ashpit also serves as a part of the combustion chamber.

Never install or permit the installation of an oil burner until the boiler or furnace has first been inspected and found to be in good condition. The flue gas passages must be tight and free of any leaks.

All oil burners listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada meet the safety requirements detailed in the various booklets of the National Fire Protection Association.