AGA BLOG – WHY IS MY OIL AGA SOOTING UP?

What is an oil fired Aga and how does it work. And why is it sooting up?

If you are reading this article then I will presume your oil fired Aga has been repeatedly sooting up. We will get into the main reasons why your Aga might be sooting up. But first.

What is an oil fired Aga?

An Aga is a traditional heat storage cooker, heated by a single vaporising oil burner. The Aga is designed to be on and up to temperature at all times.

How does an Oil fired Aga work?

The burner in an oil Aga is a 6 inch pot burner with a well in the middle. The well in the middle feeds into an inner and outer Channel and there are four perforated steel shells. There is a plug or a lid for the centre well and then there is a lid that fits to the top of the shells. In the channels there sits the Wicks. The wicks are there to absorb the oil so when you first light the Aga its just the oil soaked wicks that are burning. Once the burner reaches 400*C the oil entering the burner will start to vaporise and it is these vapours that burn.

The Aga has two settings. High fire and low fire. These are set to the manufacturer’s instructions. And are measured in cubic centilitres per minute.

When everything is set up as it should be. The high fire should give you a nice clean blue cone visible above the lid of the shells. The low fire should be glowing incandescently and burning around 2/3 of the way up the shells.

Why is my oil Aga sooting up?

OK so lets now take a look at the main reasons why your Aga is sooting up.

The first cause of sooting with your oil Aga is due to the wind or chimney downdraught.

When the wind is blowing in a certain direction across the terminal of your chimney or flue.  It can have the same effect as putting a cap on the chimney pot. Meaning the products of combustion are unable to escape, and back up in the chimney, causing incomplete combustion.  In turn causing your aga to soot up.

Another reason your Aga will soot up is if it hasn’t been set up correctly.

An oil fired Aga can be a delicate beast but once tamed should be as reliable as clockwork. If we take on a new oil Aga that has a history of being problematic, then we will only advise that we recommission the Aga. This means that we set it up as if it were a brand new install.

We do this by making sure the burner is clear of carbon and is

level in the combustion chamber. Then we check the oil control valve is operating correctly with a good flow of oil into the valve. Once this has been established we make sure the oil depth is set to 6mm in the burner. Then the high and low fire flow rates are set. The Aga is then lit and allowed to reach the point it begins to vaporise. We then tweak the high and low fire by eye to give us the perfect flame picture. The last thing to check is that the electric head (square box onto of the control valve) is operating correctly.

If you are experiencing problems with your oil Aga and would like expert help or advice. Then why not call our Aga specialists on 01484941003 or send us an email

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