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Very interesting discussion on the System 2000, and I thought I'd keep it going with my own experiences with a system 2000 we had installed in Ocotober,2008. (About 1yr, 3 months ago).
First of all, I live in interior alaska, so we do rely on and use a lot of heat in the winters up here. We replaced a trusty old (25yrs?!) Burnham v-14 along with other home efficiency upgrades (new doors/triple pane windows), and we also intalled a wood stove upstairs, so fuel savings will be hard to isolate to just the new boiler. We had some problems with the old boiler over the years, mainly burner parts, and the domestic H2O coil would clog up every year (we have alot of minerals in our well water...only filter is a sediment one).
The system 2000 has worked well for us...quiet, fuel savings (From 900gal/year to around 500gal--not sure how much is due to boiler). All the benefits mentioned in previous posts.
Two negetives that were due to how it was installed:
-Took longer to get Hot Water to our faucets because they had to add a bunch of piping to get to the sys2000 hot water tank--the old storage tank was alot closer to the faucets. This might have been preventable with a better plan for positioning of the burner, or maybe putting the storage tank where the old one was instead of underneath the boiler.
-Not sure about this, but it seems like it takes longer for the baseboards to heat the house than with the old burner. Just something my wife and I thought we noticed--not sure why this would be, the H2O temps are the same w/ the sys2000. We do hear some gurgling noises now when the heat kicks on the first time in the morning, so maybe we have some air pockets.
Last week, I noticed that the domestic water pump to the hot storage tank was on constantly, because the system was calling for hot water. Yep, the exchanger clogged up w/ scale. Lasted about as long as our coil used to. Our service tech suggests getting a new heat exchanger, and having the old one cleaned out at a radiator shop--and then start switching them out--so you can clean out the dirty one off the boiler, and use the clean one. I was hoping they could put hose bibs on each side so I could isolate the heat exchanger and run vinegar through it (maybe let it sit overnight) a few times a year--like we do our tea pot. I don't know about the Scale Stopper that was mentioned earlier....I'd have to reasearch that one some more. I guess another alternative would be to get a water treatment system....i do like only having to change one yarn type filter every month though.
Overall, I'm happy with the system. We dealt with the coil problem every year anyway (I'd have to clean out with Sizzle).
We'll see how it does for the long run, right? If I have any updates, I'll try to post them. Not sure if anybody is still listening to this thread anymore, though.
If the scaling in the plate exchanger is from minerals then the Scale Stopper will prevent that. Have it installed in the cold water makeup line to the tank. Replace the cartridge once a year. Less hassle than cleaning the PE.
Thanks for the quick reply, Jim.
I know our old coil had a reddish brown encrustment in the tubes, which i sizzled out once a year. There may be some dissolved iron involved, hence the red color, but I think it's mostly minerals? No smell to our water, btw.
My only concern is, what is the scale stopper injecting into the water, is it safe and does it change the water in any way?
I've got the new exchanger....cost me 2 bills, and i'm going to change it now.
Thanks for the reply, and I'll continue to research the scale stopper. I know some people go for an indirect option, and I'm wondering if that might not be something to think about here.
The Scale Stopper is compliant with FDA CFR-21, which means it's safe to drink. I have installed dozens of them and know firsthand they do work to prevent mineral buildup. The manufacturer recommends replacing the cartridge every 6 months but practical experience, my own and others, indicates that once a year is sufficient.
An indirect is certainly an option but that will in time need to be cleaned. For what that would cost you can buy the Scale Stopper and cases of cartridges.
I replaced an electric baseboard system with the System 2000 12 yrs ago in a 2100' gambrel cape. I had a problem in that my fireplace andchimney had only one flue that served the fireplace. This required that the furnace be vented out the side of the house. I had the furnace cleaned every 12 months and it worked fine for 2 yrs. I started having problems and it was determined that I needed a powered vent which helped the overall efficiency. After 6 years, the whole fire chamber collapsed and the soot and smoke backed up into the house. The initial conversation with the heating/contractor didn't go well as he refused to do anything about it but quickly changed his tune when I threatened to go public about the System 2000. The company eventually agreed to replace the furnace. Besides the above mentioned problem, There was the problem of the soot being vented outside that constantly stained the clapboard siding and needed to be repainted every 6 months. Another problem not associated with the System 2000 was that the hot water pipes running to the upstairs bedrooms was run threw the space between the front sloping roof and the bedroom wall. The first really cold night caused the pipes between the roof and br wall to freeze. The contractor came in and had to put antifreeze in the closed loop which solved the problem. My suggestion is to pay attention to how the system is vented, particularly with a conversion from electric baseboard to a hot water system. I'm sure that the system has been refined and improved since then, but as my son is contemplating buying an electrically heated home and is talking about converting to oil, I have to think very hard about recommending the System 2000.
Any oil fired system that is power vented is liable to cause some amount of staining on the side of the house. Although EK's newest style power vent termination minimizes it, there is still some possibility of minor staining. I used to have the style you probably had originally and changed it to the newer style a number of years ago. It made a noticeable difference.
If I understand correctly the original installation was done without a power venter. The system was never designed for that and may be what helped kill the chamber. I have owned a power vented System 2000 for almost 13 years and it has been relatively trouble free. I have definitely recommended it to friends (and they're still friends).
The problems you had with the system were not related to the design or manufacture of the system but rather an incorrect install and poor setup. EK went beyond what most other boiler manufacturers would have done in a similar situation.
I've had the System 2000 installation done 18 months ago, and it's been a mixed bag for me, with issues of fuel oil odors and recently, the system going into some kind of failure mode with all the LED indicators lighting up.
When I had it first installed, it stopped working and needed service calls to resolve purge air in the lines. Only after they finally installed a Tiger loop did it continue running. This system may be very sensitive to fuel delivery for some reason, since another poster indicated similar issues until installation of the Tiger loop device.
Ever since the installation, there's been a distinct smell of fuel oil in the boiler room, which I initially attributed to residue from the installation and added lines for the Tiger loop.
It persisted more than 8 months without diminishing, so after notifying the company, they sent someone over to check it out. Despite the obvious odor, because they didn't see any actual liquid leakage on the fittings and lines, they deemed it a non issue, and suggested putting a cup of vinegar next to the boiler to absorb the odors. Seemed a bit odd to me, but I did just that.
Unfortunately, it didn't do much more than create the curious mixture of simultaneous vinegar and fuel oil smells. I was quite suprised to find a subsequent bill in the mail from Marran Oil for $90 for this service, which did nothing to resolve the problem. After trying to dispute the charges, the company owner has since stated they will no longer take responsibility for their installation, so I emailed EK to find out if they have any suggestions for a better company for servicing.
There's been no response from the company about this, so I assume because it's territorial, they can only tie in the single company for a particular area-
If the system was trouble free it'd perhaps be less a concern, however, recently the system periodically goes into some lockup mode where all the panel LEDs are lit up, even unconnected zones, and the burner is inoperative.
I've found that turning off power for a minute and then switching it back on will restore operation, but this will not be practical during winter months when it needs to run continuously to keep the pipes from freezing when I'm not able to periodically cycle power.
There were no manuals provide to the owner that may indicate what kind of mode it's entering.
If there are any suggestions for diagnosis or competent servicing companies in Long Island that will deal with the System 2000, please let me know-
Looking back, I did find it a bit odd and disconcerting that one of the installers recommended calling the company as soon as I have any problems rather than letting it go for too long. It seemed he was telling me to anticipate issues with the system, which I really didn't want to hear, but as it turns out, was good advice.
Other than the fuel smell and the periodic reset requirement, it's actually done well as far as efficiency and HW delivery; during summer months with no heat requirements, it's used about 10 oz of fuel oil a day, running for 6 minutes per day based on the run time meter I installed for tracking purposes. With the old system, the boiler room would use more on the order of 10 times that during idle conditions. The boiler room was cozy and warm with the old system, and cold with the new system (which is a good thing)
I have to say the points made about finding a responsible and competent company to do the installation is critical for this system, because it seems to be important for its success.
This recent issue with the system manager going into lockup mode may not be an installation issue, but hopefully can be resolved without resigning the $7500 installation to the heap.
I had a System 2000 installed in early 2005. Local dealer who
did not sell oil so no oil contract was added. Installation was somewhat short-cut but I guess that went with the price. Around $7500.00 installed. Immediately I saw 45-50% oil savings over a monster 70's unit that belched smoke on startup. Has been hard to get hot water temp down even under warranty but liveable. Heat
exchanger so far been ok with pretty hard water here. It is being treated before it gets to unit. The digital manager did do
some strange things at first,flashing lights and running circulator for heat side with heat shut off. Intermitent until finally the one of the relays behind manager started to buzz constantly. I work on new cars and am ASE certified so testing bad relay-computer issues not out of my league. I came up with controller, Service tech said relay, changed it, still had problem. Repair was under warranty, digital manager swapped
but I got charged service call for repeat fix. I know but at the
time just wanted it fixed. Recently the mysterious circulator
issue has reappeared. After two years of working OK. It seems as if I wiggle the wires going into the temp probe I can make it act
up. Wondering if this is common and if anyone knows of any sources for temp probes. Last time I called Energy Kinetics they would only sell to distributors. Unemployed right now and cannot afford to throw too much at it. I've been shutting it down and turning it on when hot water needed.
Thanks in advance for any help
The sensor has a 5 year warranty so that might still be covered depending on date of original installation. However, any charge for labor is not covered.
Is there any manuals or information available for determining the error indications that come up on the panel? There was no information at all provided by the installing company, nothing as much as a user manual, which may be in keeping with the expectation that the servicing is locked into the authorized servicing and installation company. The only thing I've encountered were brochures for selling the system.
Being the first burner installation I'd had to undergo, this may be the norm, but most everything else usually comes with a pamplet or something with some information.
It'd be nice if the owner of the system was provided with some modicum of information as to what it means when all the panel LEDs light up simultaneously with the circulator running non stop, and the burner off.