Oil Fired AGA Cooker Coking Up

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Mar 24

My first AGA cooker (bought in 1996) was an Oil fired one, it was an reconditioned original standard AGA with a Don's conversion kit. It worked fine until we had it serviced! After that it seemed to be forever going wrong as the burner kept coking up, the flame burnt yellow and the AGA went cold. Also it was forever loosing heat when we wanted it to be hot such as at Christmas. When we moved out the new owners ripped it out along with the bespoke kitchen!

I have since learnt that the coking and going cold appears to be a common problem with oil fired AGA cookers.  I think it's more so with oil conversions but I have also read that purpose built oil AGAs get the same problems. I have been told it's because the quality of kerosene in this country is of a low standard. I do know that you can pay a higher price and get a better quality fuel but I still think you are going to get the problems associated with an oil AGA, and you are still going to have to get them serviced twice a year. They will also cost you about £25 a week to run. I do know that one of the ways around this is to fit a oil fired pressure jet conversion to the AGA which means a service of once a year, see the link for the other benefits. AGA Rayburn don't approve of these conversions apparently. The other way is to buy a 30 Amp AGA (which I have and it's great) or get a wood fired Esse which is alot cheaper and 'green'. You can get an add on electric module for the Esse so then you will have the best of both worlds.

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  • Sorry but that’s a nonsense article. Any oil fired AGA that is ‘coking up’ requires proper service as coking is a result of poor combustion, older models (with multiple burner rings inside) need someone who understands how this principle works to set them up properly. Secondly they need to run hot, turning them down when not in use simply reduces the efficiency of the burn, and cokes them up, keep them hot and happy.
    As for running costs it’s no where near £25 per week for an oil fired AGA with the ring burners, you are looking at less than £1 per day.
    Once properly set-up an oil fired AGA of this type will run for over a year before needing another service, that service will comprise inspection, new wick and de-coke, although de-coke is less of an issue with the UK oils burning so cleanly these days.
    Oil burn-heat-temperature might be an issue for some regions/suppliers so a quality burn-additive may be required to help that.
    There is no good reason to dismiss old oil fired AGA’s, because people do not understand how to set them up, maintain and use them, too many people hack modern conversions into them at great expense for poor running and performance.
    Many oil fired AGA’s served their owners well for 50+ years, so learn how to use one, and find someone who knows how they work, happy days.
    I have service AGA’s and oil burners for over 30 years (before moving on…) so know AGA’s very well indeed.

    • ivydale

      HI thanks for your comment Stephen. It’s nearly twenty years since I got that AGA in my cottage in North Wales and from what I can remember it did work very well until we got someone local to service it. Yes you are right he probably didn’t know what he was doing and the flame went yellow and it basically stopped working. I then got a guy who was ex AGA from LIverpool to sort it out and service it regularly until I moved and it started working fine again. As you say Happy Days.

      I’ve since cleaned lots and lots of oil AGAs where the customers have been more than happy with them. The point of this post was to say there might be other considerations and fuel type for your AGA. I now have a 30 amp AGA and although it breaks down now and again it doesn’t need servicing twice a year like an oil AGA.

      As for coking up, looking back I think a lot of people blamed it on the coke, but I now think it depends of the company delivering it and how they do it. Is the supply pipe contaminated because they have supplied another fuel at the previous stop? – I didn’t know then that oil tankers can carry more than one fuel.

      You’re right about the cost I’ve just looked it up and from a reliable source (Spillers of Chard who I bought my last new AGA from and currently service and fix my two AGAs – one in a house I rent out) they say it’s about £15 a week for an oil 2 oven AGA and £20 a week for a 4 oven AGA. See there chart here:

      http://www.cookercentre.com/aga/aga-running-costs

      My, in the head, estimation of costs has been blurred by a few ladies who have mentioned to me their huge oil bills. I cleaned three AGAs now, all oil where the lady of the house has mentioned that the cost of their oil was £600 a month. God knows what’s happening there but two of the houses were barn conversions with vaulted ceilings and I think the costs they quoted me where for heating these huge, and probably uninsulated ceilings.

      I’m glad I’ve looked at this as the running costs of my AGA in my house I rent out, a gas one isn’t as bad as I thought.

      Today I recommend the new AGA Dual Control to every one as AGA have stripped out the complicated electronics of the 13 amp and made it a lot cheaper to run. The 13 amp AGA was really expensive to own.

      Graham