Fuel Blog

What To Do When Your Heater Won’t Start

It’s that time of year. The weather is turning cold, and it’s time to turn on the heater after it has rested peacefully in the basement all summer. You turn up the thermostat, flip the switch aaaaaand…nothing. Your heater won’t start. What do you do? Here are few things you can check as a homeowner before calling for a service technician.

Check the Oil Level In Your Tank

check your gauge when your heater won't start

When your heater won’t start, the first thing to check is your oil tank. Most of us go all summer without thinking about getting an oil delivery, especially if we don’t use it to heat our domestic hot water. Does your gauge read ¼ tank or more? If not, you may need to schedule an oil delivery.

If you don’t have a gauge or you have an underground tank, an easy way to determine your oil supply is to use a yard stick or tape measure to gauge the oil, in inches, that remains in your tank. We have a handy chart that will help you convert inches to gallons based on your tank size.

Check The Emergency Switch

check the emergency switch when the heater wont start

There’s nothing worse than paying for service call and having the technician simply flip the emergency switch and have the heater come back on. If your heater is located in the basement, these emergency switches are sometimes located at the top of the cellar stairs, and resemble light switches. In a dark stairwell, they are easily flipped by accident. Check this switch and make sure it’s turned to the on position. This is the second checkpoint when your heater won’t start.

Try The Reset Button


Somewhere on the heater itself there should be a button clearly labeled “RESET”. Turn your thermostat up to the highest setting, and press this button, but only once. The heater should turn right back on provided that you have oil, the emergency switch is on, and there are no issues with the heater. If you try this and and still the heater won’t start, then it’s time to call a technician.

7 Oil Company Is There For You When Your Heater Won’t Start


If you’ve checked all the criteria above, and your heater won’t start, you can call 7 Oil Company 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our technicians will be out in a jiffy to get your heater going.

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