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FIXED WGO-3 Smell of heating oil

ws91

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
9
Location
new hampshire
Model Number
WGO-3
Brand
-major brand-
Age
More than 10 years
Hi—
A couple weeks ago my wife and I began smelling heating oil when our boiler comes on. It seemed mild but remained pretty distinct for several days. Last Sunday, we were away for the day and returned to the house to find the smell of oil fairly noticeable throughout the first floor. (Boiler is in the basement, the house has two floors above it, then an attic).

Yesterday a technician came. He told me that there was some buildup around the igniter, and replaced that piece, and installed a new filter, and I think did some general cleaning. He said it seemed like it was running well. Last night and today, however, the smell of oil seems noticeably MORE prevalent throughout the entire house—including the second floor, where our bedroom is.

Immediately after he left, I wondered if the new filter could simply be amplifying the smell a bit—sometimes this seems to happen after a car's oil change. I'm doubtful about that though, any thoughts? Is there any reason the smell would be more prevalent after the boiler maintenance? I don't know this system well, but I started to wonder last night whether there may be a leak in the flue or elsewhere in the exhaust system, and that could be why the boiler maintenance has made the odor more prominent?

I will also note—we rent this house and have lived here for under two years. Age of boiler is unknown. My assumption is the previous tenant/owner (the house was sold about a year ago, but we've stayed renting it) didn't really do any maintenance. The new owner plans to completely redo the heating system once we move out, and consequently hasn't done any maintenance since he's owned the house.

Any input appreciated.

Will
 

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Lilguy

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
4
Location
United States
We had a hot water oil burner with 1000 gal underground tank for 40 years before converting to NG. Our old farm house had the entire basement remodeled to become a kitchen with dining table and a separate dining room. Furnace area was just behind sets of sliding doors. The only issue that would produce any odors, extremely rare, was incomplete ignition, fuel leak or exhaust chimney restriction. Ours was an old Kewanee boiler, huge thing. Is it a raw fuel oil smell or exhaust fumes. You appear to have a relatively newer oil boiler with all the safety systems. We converted to a NG system with the same type boiler as you have now, no issues in 27 years.
 

ws91

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
9
Location
new hampshire
Thanks for replying. To anyone interested in how this turned out (so far): a first tech came by and replaced the igniter, he thought there was a delayed ignition, or a blockage, and some heating oil was not igniting and that's what we were smelling.

Turns out, the night after he came the smell got way stronger. The next day a second tech came, and we realized that the more substantial problem was a severe blockage at the base of the chimney. Basically none of the heat was properly venting upwards. Since that was cleared out, it has been much better.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
115,831
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Glad to hear that Will.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 

Lilguy

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
4
Location
United States
You should install CO monitors, they are inexpensive and just plug into a wall socket. We’ve had them for many years.
 
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