Diagnosing A Broken Waste Oil Heater – Quick Checklist

Broken Waste Oil Heater

Diagnosing A Broken Waste Oil Heater – The Quick Checklist

What happens when your waste oil heater stops working?

Do you know how to quickly troubleshoot your unit you can do to get the heat back on?

It usually happens when you come in to an icy cold shop first thing in the morning and the furnace won’t start. Employees are freezing and unhappy. Work slows down. What you need is a way to get the heat back on, NOW!

But often times your service contractor doesn’t answer the phone, and if they do, they can’t come out for weeks. Or maybe you just don’t know who you can call.

We know how frustrating it can be for your heat to go down when you need it most.

At TCHEM Industrial Services we get these calls every day from frustrated shop owners looking for a quick way to get things back on. Many times we are able to diagnose their problem over the phone so they can get up and running in the meantime before we get out for a more permanent fix.

We want to help you get your heat back on as quick as possible, so we’ve put together a quick list of things you can check.

Broken Waste Oil Heater

The 6 first things to check when your heat goes down.


  1. Do you have power? Your unit can’t fire without power. It should have a power indicator light on the burner. Is it on?
  1. Is the heater block working? You unit will not run if the heater block doesn’t reach and approximate 140 deg. Open the access door, if the block isn’t very hot to the touch, your heater block may have gone out.
  1. Is the il pump working? The second thing the unit needs is a steady supply of oil. The pump supplies this, so make sure it’s running.
  1. Is the line clogged up? If the pump is working but it’s still not getting oil pressure at the unit, check the filters. Your unit should have a filter at the tank, one in the suction strainer, and one in the pump. Check these and clean if clogged.
  1. Are the fan blades dirty? The bucket style fan blades on the blower motor become dirty over time losing their shape and ability to move air. This causes the high temp safety cut off switch to constantly cycle the unit on and off
  2. How does the exhaust look? Ash builds up in your unit. This can cause back pressure keeping your unit from burning properly. It can allow create an insulation effect keeping the unit from providing heat. Check to see if ash build up is present.

Over time if a unit is not serviced, things can become clogged or dirty causing the unit to not run properly or a safety device to cut the unit off.

If you’re having trouble with your unit, give us a call and we can talk you through the diagnostic. We are happy to answer question and help you through your issue.

We can get a technician out so you can get up and running as soon as possible so you can feel the heat and not the headache.

Broken Waste Oil Heater inside
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