We have an oil-fired hydronic heating system. The boiler is approximately 30-40 years old, and the system was checked and cleaned at the start of this winter. When the burner is running, you can hear it from the first floor. We've noticed that sometimes, after running for a few minutes, the burner will shut off for one or two seconds, and then immediately start up again.

This behavior doesn't really make sense to me, but I'm not sure if it's just a quirk or an indication of a problem. What could be causing the shutoff and then immediate re-ignition? Should we check it out or just stop worrying?

1 Answer 1


Get it checked. Sudden stopping and reigniting can cause blowback. Not real dangerous, but if it stops and loads up with enough fuel and lights, it can blow back smoke and soot. What you are hearing is not normal, at least talk to your licensed tech about it.

  • blowback sucks ... I came home one day to a layer of soot coating everything in my basement.
    – Joe
    Feb 22, 2011 at 0:07

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