Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

How To Re-Start An Oil Burner After Running Out Of Oil


When your oil burner runs out of heating fuel which is usually home heating oil there can be a few things that can go wrong and that will prevent you from starting the oil burner again quickly and easily. It doesn’t matter if you have a Beckett Burner, Carlin or even a Riello oil burner, the steps below will be the same. The only difference is that the oil pump bleed screw and a few other things might be in a slightly different place but the principles to get the burner are still the same.How To Re-Start An Oil Burner After Running Out Of Oil

You off course will want to make sure to get an oil delivery before trying to restart your oil burner again. If you do not have enough money to buy oil, you can always use a few gallons of diesel fuel to get your oil burner running again.The first thing to do is to get an adjustable crescent wrench ready because you will need this wrench to bleed the oil lines free from air. The oil pump and oil lines will become “air locked” because the new full you just put in the tank pushed air into the lines.

Looking at the front of the burner you will want to locate the oil pump on you Burner. On most oil burners like Beckett the oil pump bleed screw will be on the left side of the burner. If you have a Carlin burner it will be more towards the front of the unit. Once you find your oil bleed screw on the burner oil pump you will want to crack the bleed screw loose and then just hand tighten it back up for a moment.
Beckett Oil Burner
Now is the time that you will want to bleed the air out of the oil lines and to do so you will do the following. Place your wrench on the bleeder screw and hit the oil burner safety reset. Once the burner motor kicks on you will want to open the bleeder screw for a few seconds until all of the air is free from the line. You will first see a rush of air and then a stream of oil. The thing to remember is that in the old days oil burner motors would have a 45 second “lock out” and the new models these days will have a15 second lock out because of the new safety reasons. So when you are bleeding your oil you may need to reset the oil burner more then once to get all of the air free from the lines.

Once you open the oil lines the first time and most of the air comes out the burner may possibly start, it will all depend on how much air is in your oil lines, how far away your oil tank is will also determine how much air or how many times you will have to bleed the burner oil pump. Once all or enough of the air is out your oil burner will ignite and you will have a running burner.

At times you can also run into a problem here and there so here is a couple of common scenarios just in case you do get stuck and can not get the burner re started.

Problem: “I don’t have a oil bleeder screw on my burner, or I just can’t find it”

Solution: Every oil burner including Beckett, and many others all have a bleeder screw on the oil pump, look around the pump more and you should see it.

Problem: “I have bleed the oil burner several times but it still won’t start”

Solution: There could be something else wrong with your unit, You may need to keep troubleshooting.

Problem: “I have not enough money for oil, can I use diesel fuel?”

Solution: Yes, you can use a few gallons of diesel fuel to get your oil burner running, and in fact this is common among most people when they run out of home heating oil.

It is always best to not run out of home heating oil, so that your oil burner does not have to be bleed at all and all of this can be avoided.


  1. Great helpful site!
    So I have a newer Beckett Genisys Burner and I ran out of oil.
    I had button with a red light under it. When I pushed it the burner would start up, while In the process of bleeding the burner, the water temp got up to its set level and the light went out!
    No matter how long I hold down the button the burner wont fire and the red light will not come back. There are no other lights lit on the burner.
    Is it time to call someone yet?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. This article was a God-send! Thank you! After 3 years in this, and spending over $ 400 on getting this burner to fire again (ran out of oil twice) I am wondering why I never checked the Internet. Simple, and straightforward. Thank you, again.

  3. We accidentaly tried to reset the burner before trying to bleed it and now it wont work. WHAT TO DO!?

    • Hello, Natalie.
      Try this out.
      First you need to push the reset button 1~2 times and then slowly open the bleeder about a half turn, so that the fuel can go flowing. Make sure you locate a glass container underneath it, and you need to watch it until it makes a smooth and gentle stream of fuel flowing. If you see that, then start to tighten the bleeder nut and ignite the furnace. At first the stream of oil will look dark colored, but don’t be panic as it is just a result of diesel and residual oil mix inside the tank.

  4. hay i ran out of oil and got some put in but when i went to reset the boiler switch it would do nothing it like there no power even getting to it can anyone advise me :(

  5. I have had an air lock in my return line and so my pump won’t pump, so I cant bleed the line. I’ve had to get a hand pump to suck oil through the return lne. Is there an easier way?

    • I don’t see a reply to this comment and it sounds similar to my problem. I had identified my pump as being bad so I ordered and installed the new one tonight. I’m tried about 6 times to prime the pump and it won’t bleed at all. I have the two pipe system with the return and I was told I really didn’t need to even do that. However, I wanted to see oil coming through just to ensure it’s working but no luck. I have oil in tank, valve on, fittings tight. Thanks, Eric

  6. After changing the filter and turning the AF/AFG Beckett Burner back on it tripped out due to air in the line. After the third reset it would no longer reset. I read in the manual there is a restricted lockout. Where is this reset? I can resume the bleeding process and I’m home free, hopefully.
    Very happy with the burner, safe, quiet, clean an economical to operate.

    • You should see the green LED flashing at a 1/2 second interval. Open the bleed screw then press the reset button (just below the LED) for 30 seconds. This resets the lockout and fires the burner. Close the bleed screw when air is no longer coming out.

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