If the red light comes on when starting, this means that there is continuity in both exhaust heating and igniting elements and the heater cutout is also working. The most common problems with this heater is coke & soot build up in the bottom oiltray and clogging the bottom air intake holes, to remove this the heater box has to be dismantled.
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The heater should not have been affected by the what the maid had done. Turn off the power to the heater and let set for a bit, Check your thermostar settins, turn all the way dow and back up to what you want set the timer and give it a chance to heat up again. There might be a reset buttun somewhere so look around. I bet its cold in Austrailia right now.. Good luck-Ned
Regarding the wiring on my ancient Vulcan oil heater...I have only just received a wiring diagram (dated January 1969), which I am just about to get stuck in to. I hope that I can follow it (the drawing looks like the last copy of something that's been copied 1,000 times before on one of those old Roneo, wet ink, wind-it-by-hand copiers). The drawing came from a Vulcan agent on the very far side of Adelaide. Here's hoping. Ooroo, John. .
1. Check electricity is on.
2. Check oil is in the tank and valve turned on.
3. Switch the fan off at the bottom left hand corner.
4. Switch oil knob to No.1.
5. Set Air knob to No.3.
6. Operate re set button (right hand corner of heater under settings dial). Either press in until it clicks or if the pull out version pull out until it clicks.
Wait - ignition should take place in a few minutes and flames will appear on the left of the burner under the radiants.
You should get occasional yellow crests above the pure blue flame just visible below the top row of burner holes under the radiants.
After the red warning light goes out you can adjust to higher settings.
The radiants do not glow on low setting.
You can adjust the heater on to higher settings but this should be done gradually - no more than 2 settings at a time.
* The unit must be correctly earthed.
* Do not use anything except heater oil.
* Never attempt to re-light the heater when it is hot.
* If the red light does not appear when the oil knob is switched on, immediately turn the oil knob off. Reasons include: Heater is too hot; Electric plug turned off; failure of ignition system.
Good luck - no responsibility taken for the advice (but it is largely copied from my Vulcan heaters instruction manual which I still have (installed in 1967).