How to Change Oil Furnace Nozzles

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The nozzle on an oil furnace performs a vital role, as it evenly distributes a fine mist of fuel oil to the combustion chamber. If the nozzle isn’t working correctly or becomes clogged, the oil furnace and the heating of your entire house can be affected. Check the nozzle annually to ensure it remains in good working condition. While many homeowners opt to clean a clogged nozzle, it is usually just as easy to install a new one. Most replacement nozzles are inexpensive and more reliable than a nozzle that has simply been cleaned.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Disconnect the oil furnace from its power supply. Open your home’s circuit box and locate the breaker designated for the furnace or boiler. Turn the breaker off.

  • Close the oil supply valve on the furnace. The exact location of the valve will vary among different brands of furnaces and their setups. Most valves are located on the oil line that runs to the furnace’s oil filter.

  • Remove the oil line located between the burner assemblage and the pump. Use the proper size wrench to turn the coupling nuts on the oil line counterclockwise. Once the nuts are loose, remove the oil line. Handle the line carefully, as it may contain some excess oil.

  • Examine how the burner assemblage is connected to the frame of the furnace. The burner assemblage includes the furnace’s blower, burner motor and burner gun. The exact setup will vary slightly according to the brand of furnace. Most assemblages will be bolted to the furnace with several larger bolts. Use the proper size wrench to loosen and remove each bolt that holds the burner assemblage to the furnace.

  • Lift the entire burner assemblage out of the combustion chamber of the furnace. Handle the assemblage with care. There are electrodes located along the burner gun that are easily damaged if bumped.

  • Disconnect the nozzle from the tip of the burner gun. Again, use the proper wrench to loosen the nozzle by turning it counterclockwise.

  • Install the new nozzle. Hand-tighten the new nozzle by turning it clockwise. Turn it as tight as you can with your hand alone, then use the proper size wrench to tighten the nozzle by giving it another 1/4 rotation.

  • Reattach the burner assemblage to the frame of the furnace. Tighten all bolts and reconnect the oil line. Restore the supply of both oil and electricity to the furnace.

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