PSA = Public Service Announcement.
Most of you know that Dad is an HVAC man - the furnace guy, the central air man, you know - if you're hot in summer or cold in winter, he's the guy to call. Even I went to trade school for it and am still fully certified, although 11 years out of practice. The kids & I recently went up to visit Mom & Dad for Christmas break (more on that soon), and on the first day he shared this with me...
The previous week he got a call from a guy who was having problems with his oil furnace. Dad and Bro (he helps Dad out often) went to see what the problem was. It was not good:
Dad looked at it and knew immediately what happened. When he showed it to me, *I* knew what had happened too - and I haven't looked at an oil furnace in almost 10 years! What you see here is the result of a furnace fire. Luckily, the man was awake and realized what was happening and called the fire department. Very little damage to his house and no one was hurt.
So, when Dad got there and saw what happened, he asked what the man had done before the fire. The man said he'd pushed the reset button (that little hole in the pic), waited and nothing happened, pushed reset again... and the next thing he knew there was black smoke coming out of his kitchen vent.
Folks, this will not happen if you push "reset" twice. This kind of fire WILL happen if "reset" is pushed more than 3 times. This is the reason your HVAC tech will tell you to only push it ONCE, then call him (or her ). An oil furnace is a totally different, and sometimes dangerous, beast than an electric or gas furnace; those are 'easy' in comparison. Links - How Stuff Works ~ Oil Furnace, light preventative maintenance and Mother Earth News, 1/1/1986 ~ Oil Furnace Troubleshooting. If you have an oil furnace (and you'll know if you do) you should take the time to read those articles, even if you only read the first page.
If your oil furnace isn't working, push reset ONE TIME. Wait 60 seconds. If it still doesn't work, push the buttons on your phone to call your favorite/nearest repair technician.
I took a few pictures of the furnace as it sat in Dad's driveway. The only fix for this was to install a new furnace, and this one will be scrapped. No parts are left useable. You can see all the pictures here on Flickr, and I included some notes on the pictures as well. Hover over each pic to see the notes.
Love to you