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There are a lot of potential sources for problems with oil and gas units, but most of them give off warning signs that fall under these three categories: odors, noises, and water problems. As for your customer service team, representatives should know what these warning signs mean in order to give your customers the best service possible. Here’s what you should know about problems signs before customers come calling…


Oil odors

A properly functioning system should never smell like fuel oil, and most customers know that. So when things start to smell gassy, your company will be the first call they make. The smell they’re sensing is usually a gas leak, burner malfunction, heat exchanger failure, or an issue with the exhaust system.
Smoky-smelling burners
Much like oil smells, customers are quick to call about this kind of unusual odor (and rightfully so). With an exhaust fan or fireplace running alongside your oil burner, a backdraft pulling in gases through the exhaust system into your home will stir up this smell.


​Whistling & running water

When the faucet’s not on, but your customers hear otherwise, they’ll give you a call. Sometimes they’ll be dealing with sludge buildup in the pipes, insufficient water flow, or air in the pipes.
Rumbling & booming
When a burner doesn’t ignite correctly and needs to be serviced, it may sound like more than just a “hard start,” and more like a “boom.”
Arduous-sounding fuel pumps
This may be the result of a clogged delivery system, like in a filter or supply line somewhere along the system.

Water Problems


When the water just won’t warm up as quickly as it used to, or doesn’t warm up at all, you’ll be getting a call. As a result, your customers may need a new water-heating unit. After all, water heaters don’t last as long as customers may expect (they’ll actually need replacing 7-13 years after installation).
Leaks & rust
A leak in your water heater, as your customers will no-doubt expect, also means it’s time for a fix or replacement. With leaks, they may also notice rust in their running water, as water tanks rust from the inside out.

No matter what reasons your customers have for calling, or how messy or dangerous their problems may be, they’ll always be relying on you to resolve their issues. So it’s not only important to know the ins and outs of the oil industry, but also the minute (or sometimes not so small) problems your customers may be calling to communicate with you. When you know their problems from their first warning signs, you’ll be better equipped to deal with them properly.

At Insta Answer, we have over 50 years of experience handling customer calls with care, urgency, comprehensive knowledge, and complete competence. We’ll take all of these issues off of your hands, so you can get back to the rest of your business. We know the oil and gas industry, we know how to navigate any issues that may arise, and we know exactly what your company needs. We’re here for you. Call us today at (877) 631-9711 to see how we can handle your calls.

Picture of Steve Samuels

Steve Samuels

A respected contact-service executive and thought-leader, Insta Answer CEO Steve Samuels has over 30 years experience in the industry. Steve posts his insights here on our blog weekly (and sometimes more.)

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