Ran Out Of Heating Oil – Furnace Won’t Start [QUICK & EASY FIX]

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 19, 2023
Affiliate disclosure: When you buy a product via our links, we sometimes earn a referral fee. Learn more

When your furnace won’t start, it’s most likely because you ran out of oil.

There’s no room for panic because it’s a pretty common issue and you can do it all by yourself.

You will have to restart your furnace, and you will learn step-by-step how to do it properly to prevent any further issues.

Let’s jump straight to it.

Steps To Restart Your Furnace After Running Out Of Oil

1. Fill the tank

If your oil tank gets too low, the furnace will probably shut off and stop heating.

This is done because of safety measures.

The first step would be to fill the fuel tank before doing anything else.

2. Reset

You simply have to press the reset button. Usually, the furnace will start working again.

It isn’t necessary to bleed the fuel line, but you can do it if your furnace doesn’t restart properly after you’ve put more oil inside the tank.

If the furnace gets completely out of oil, it may need some extra help starting up again. That’s why it’s recommended to refill the tank before the oil gets extremely low.

3. Turn off the furnace

If your furnace didn’t restart properly, you have to bleed the furnace for it to work again.

There’s usually a switch on your furnace that allows you to completely turn it off.

You will notice a red light if your furnace has already been turned off when you restarted it.

📍 Recommended reading: How long does a furnace last?

4. Manual work

Now it will take a bit of manual labor to have everything up and going.

You will need an adjustable wrench and flexible nylon tubing (1/4 inch diameter).

Now, grab the container to catch the oil waste that will pour out of your furnace – I usually use an old bucket.

In case you want to reuse the oil that will drain out, make sure that the container is completely clean.

Also, some oil might end up on you, so make sure that you wear your old clothes and bring a towel.

5. The bleeder valve

First, you need to find the fuel pump that has tubes going to it.

The bleeder valve is located on one side of the fuel pump and it has a hex nut on it. It’s usually metal or a rubber plug.

Sometimes it can even be hidden on some furnace models, so be patient until you find it.

Loosen the nut a bit and tighten it again – don’t unscrew the nut completely.

6. Attach nylon tubing

You can now slide the tubing into the bleeder valve. You should position it so the other end rests inside your container.

Why I recommend attaching nylon tubing to ensure that oil won’t splash and that the whole process will be much smoother and cleaner.

7. Turn on the furnace

Now, you should turn on the furnace.

In the fifth step, you have to loosen up the nut and then tighten it up again – now you should loosen it again.

It usually takes less than one turn to get oil flowing. Make sure to loosen the valve until oil starts coming out.

If your furnace still doesn’t turn on, you should call a professional technician to inspect it further.

8. Tighten the valve

When the oil comes out, it’s time to tighten the valve again.

The burner should be on and you can even hear it running. If it happens, you have properly restarted your furnace and it should work now properly.

If it doesn’t turn on, you can loosen the bleeder valve a couple of times until fuel comes out.

This is a proven step-by-step method that works for most furnace models.

To check these steps in action, you can watch the video here.

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.