Care & Service Tips for Burner Nozzles

An oil burner nozzle is an intricate piece of hardware, designed to do an accurate job of atomizing and metering fuel oil in the spray pattern best suited to a given burner. You can help assure top performance of this vital component by following the important guidelines in this section.

Until installation, keep nozzles in their original containers

and preferably in a suitable box or rack. They should not be permitted to roll around in a drawer or toolbox or carried loose in pockets. On service calls, they should be kept in a clean nozzle box. 

Handle the nozzle carefully

after removing from its individual container. Pick it up by the hex flats and by all means avoid touching the filter or strainer with greasy hands. This can force foreign material into the nozzle where it can finally work its way into the slots. The possibility for problems is even greater with nozzles of lower flow rates since they have smaller slots…easier to clog.

Nozzles should always be handled with clean tools…

again to reduce the possibility of contamination. To properly service a nozzle and check its performance, it’s recommended that you use a pressure gauge, vacuum gauge, and a complete combustion analyzer including a handheld smoke pump tester.

Be sure the strainer or filter is in place

on the nozzle before installation. Do not disassemble the nozzle before installing it because great care has been taken to make sure the nozzle is absolutely clean on delivery.

Before installing a new nozzle, it is very important to flush the nozzle line and adapter

with at least a pint of oil pumped through it to remove sludge and dirt. Or you can blow out the line with compressed air if it’s available. Failure to do this has been the reason for numerous callbacks for plugged nozzles.

The nozzle orifice is polished to a glasslike finish.

Don’t ruin it with a wire or pin, or by bumping it with a wrench. This can cause streaks in the spray.

Don’t blow into the nozzle.

While this may seem to be the handiest and quickest way to “clean” a nozzle, you run the risk of contaminating it instead.

A nozzle can become overheated due to back pressure in the combustion chamber.

This results in coke and sludge formation both inside and outside of the nozzle. Follow furnace or boiler manufacturer’s specifications.

Burner Nozzle Care & Service Tips

Watch as Beckett Trainer Alan Wornham demonstrates some burner nozzle care and service best practices.

Verify burner placement.

Improper burner placement into the combustion chamber may lead to poor performance or nozzle overheating. Follow appliance manufacturer’s specifications when available.

Make sure the fuel tank is clean.

Water and sludge in the tank can clog lines, filter or nozzles.

Be sure the supply line filter (between tank and burner) is adequate for the size of nozzle used.

It will remove many of the small particles which may be present in the fuel oil or formed in the tank. Filtration is particularly recommended for burners using small nozzles. The filtering element should be replaced at each summer cleanup and the line flushed out with oil. The Delavan line filter should also be replaced annually.

Nozzle Cleaning.

A quality nozzle should last through a normal heating season provided that an excellent to superior grade filtration system is used. A Delavan nozzle is a fixed precision metering device with no moving parts. When not overheated, there have been cases where a nozzle has worked several heating seasons trouble free. However, most service organizations have shown that the best results can be obtained, and more economically, by replacing nozzles annually. To clean a nozzle properly is a painstaking, time-consuming job. And in the lower flow rates, it’s practically impossible to see whether the orifice and distributor slots are thoroughly clean without the aid of a microscope. Also, disassembly of or tampering with the nozzle will void the manufacturer’s warranty. In the long run, you will save your time and the customer’s money by a program of nozzle replacement.

General Troubleshooting Guide for Burner Nozzles

Like any piece of equipment, certain conditions affect an oil burner nozzle’s performance. Our troubleshooting guide provides tips to address some of the most common causes for nozzle performance issues as well as some of the most Frequently Asked Questions by Oil Heating Service Technicians

Annual Appliance Maintenance Checklist

Now that we are in the heating season, many burner service contractors are performing the annual clean-up or servicing of their customers’ appliances. What exactly does the serviceman do on these annual clean-ups? Let’s review a list of things that are usually involved from the experts at Beckett.

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Have questions about our spray-nozzles or fluid handling systems? Looking for help on a unique application? Need help with a budget estimate to determine overall equipment costs? Please don’t hesitate to reach out — we’d love to help.