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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    CT.
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Well it's been a year & 4 months with my Energy Kinetics system 2000, so I thought I'd do an update on my first review
    I first want to say I'm very happy with the boiler, it's been great for both heat & hot water & quietness. As far as oil savings, absolutely wonderful! I saved 260 gallons of oil in one year! It actually would have been much more, as it was computed with just simple math over an exact years time, the K factor & other things were not included in the number. When I talked to my oil guy he was very impressed as the winter before was very mild in CT so he figured it was closer to 300-325 gallons saved if the winter's were the same. I also must say we are taking much longer showers now, and I now keep the heat at 68-70 rather than 66, and I also am heating part of the basement,so the savings would be more than that! I just went from Sept3 09 to Dec. 29 and only used 189 gal. of oil in 4 months, I usually get 2, 200-250 gallon deliveries in that time.
    original review
    I bought the ENERGY KINETICS SYSTEM 2000 OIL boiler (EK1) back in Aug. of 2008 and as of this post had it for 6 winter months. If you are thinking of getting one of these please read on as I can save you a lot time & effort. I'm doing this because I feel that after research on the web etc. my questions just were not being answered! I'm just a homeowner that wants to help other homeowners, and that others won't have to go thru what I went thru!
    I started looking almost 8 months before I bought a boiler and did many many hours of web searches, reading blogs etc., looking at boiler lit and talking to 9 local heating contractors ( and getting bids) as well as 2 heating contractors that would never make a dime on me as I was too far away.
    The short ver. of the story is this...I ended up talking to a friends husband that owns a large oil co. in CT., they also install boilers & service them. It was too bad that he would not install mine as I was too far away for him, but the info I'm about to share is straight from an oil co. owner that wasn't going to see a dime in his pocket and had nothing to gain.
    He said that over the last 25+ yrs he had installed many diff. boilers, all kinds of controls and programmable thermostats etc, as far as he was concerned the Energy Kinetics System 2000 was the only thing that really did save his oil customers 100's of gallons of oil a year!
    He told me that he went thru his records from over the last 10 yrs. & looked at all the diff. brands of oil boilers (many of them listed in other posts on this topic) and the System 2000 was the clear winner. Some of the boilers he mentioned he didn't install, but the bottom line was some boilers, like the Buderus with the controller, saved some oil like 5-8 percent, but the System 2000 customers were saving 35-45 percent on oil consumption! He took into account the K factor for each year, as well as service records...so it wasn't a few min. of quick going over the numbers, but many hours of work to come to this conclusion.
    The next thing he said was to make sure I bought it from someone that can service it. The only thing was, as others have said, some oil co's I got quotes from also wanted me to buy the oil & expensive service contracts from them. One company went so far as to say if you don't buy oil from us you're on your own for service! (they were the highest bidder at over $10,000 & tried to get me to buy the Buderus to boot! gee maybe because they would sell more oil?) I was lucky to find a dealer that was close to me that didn't sell oil, just installed & serviced boilers.BTW I found this out from calling the Energy Kinetics co. directly in NJ,nice folks & very helpful too! And yes a real American answers the phone!
    I ended up getting the stainless steel 40 gal. hot water tank as I have acid water, as well as an extra zone valve as a back up and the "dummy" board in case the control board got zapped by a lightning strike or a power surge.
    I also needed a new oil tank as mine was well over due and was also 50 yrs old. After much research I bought a Roth tank that was shown on TOH. It's a plastic tank inside a metal one. The only issue I ran into was air in the line. The old tank took oil from the bottom but the Roth sucks it from a few inches above, which is good, as you never need to worry about crud getting into your burner or clogging the filter BUT it also is easier for air to get into the line! I guess when the oil is delivered it creates a lot of air bubbles & foam in the tank. In my case the tank was moved from 50' away to 5' away, so it was even more of an issue. One day in Dec. I got an oil delivery and a few hours later my burner stopped working. Pushing the reset button didn't work...so my dealer had to come out to get the air out,nice guy didn't even charge for the service call. The solution was to put in a Tigerloop , which takes out the air and self primes if need be.
    I also had a few issues right off the bat. This is kind of funny. After telling my wife how great it's going to be to finally have unlimited hot water for showers (it used last no more than 3 min., I had a tankless before.) She comes home from work after a long hard day the first day we got the System 2000 gets in the shower soaps up...and you guessed it, no hot water! I didn't hear the end of that for weeks! anyway.My dealer came right over and found a problem with a board or something on the hot water tank and replaced it. The hot water has been great!
    I also had an issue with one of my zones not working as the wiring to the 2 wire thermostat was backwards. I guess that stuff happens in 50 yr. old houses...so even if it's 90 deg out when you get it installed ck all the zones to make sure they work!
    As far as my savings,I have, for the last 50 yrs, always got 2 deliveries of oil of about 250 gal each in Jan.& Feb, this year I only got one delivery each month! 500 gallons saved in 2 months, that's great in my book! I also saved about 180 gallons from Sept. to Dec.
    I save $20 a month on electric as the system doesn't go on every 2 hours like the old burner did to keep the water hot all the time and there is only one small circulator and not the 2 big ones I had. This was a bonus I wasn't expecting! During the warm months the burner only went on 2 times a day rather than 12 times. At first I thought there would be an issue that the one circulator could handle the whole house & hot water, but now after going thru one of the coldest winters in 20 yrs. it not an issue.
    I also found out later from my dealer that on an older round type thermostat,to move the anticipator(the little metal arrow at the bottom of the unit)all the way to the right, or for least amount of time. This helped even out the heating.
    Another thing I found out from a phone call to the co. is not to drop the temp. more than 3 or 4 degrees in a day as it will take a long time for the house to heat back up. If you need to do more of a temp. swing than that, then get a programmable thermostat and have it programmed to the temp you want 45 min before you come home.
    BTW I also noticed our basement is colder because the boiler does not hold any heat, so if you're relying on heat from your boiler to take the chill out of your basement you better put a zone down there. Just so you know the system comes ready to install up to 4 zones plus your hot water zone, just cap off the zones you don't need & add zones later as you need them.
    Other things I like,it's VERY quiet, we have a movie theatre for the kids in our basement as well as my high end stereo (I'm into Lp's if that gives you any hint) and it's so nice not hearing that darn burner anymore!
    I had the optional air intake from outside, this helps in an older home as it doesn't suck in cold air thru cracks in the house to feed air to the burner as well as making it quieter.
    And just so you know, I also got the chimney (stainless steel) liner thru Energy Kinetics, they make a very well made liner & cap, much nicer than the ones on line or even from my local tin shop and the cost was about the same. I got this because I noticed soot was showing on the joints of the cement blocks...so I knew there was a co2 leak somewhere.
    One of the things that the system 2000 doesn't have is the air vent on the exhaust end of the system. It always used to bother me that to see that big 6" round opening with a little thin gauge metal flapper door sucking out my heated air up the chimney.
    I also should mention that I like the control board, it's really nice to see what's happening with the system, like which zone(s) are calling for heat. It's also neat to see the circulator light on after the burner goes off getting every last bit of heat out of the boiler into my house!
    I would also check into any state & federal rebates. I got a CT state rebate of $500 it was a pain to fill out & took 2 months to get but hey $500 it was worth it. I just heard from the EK that as of right now the System 2000 doesn't qualify for a $1500 rebate, the federal guidelines for boilers are WAY out of date. All the ways this system saves heat & oil as I said above, are not even considered in the federal guidelines...what a joke! To tell you the truth, I'll make up that money in less than a year.
    So, what would I change? as I said at the beginning I have acid water and I wish I could have gotten all brass fittings & tubing and no copper for all of the domestic hot water lines, connections & heat exchanger, but that's all that I can think of,maybe a little better quality control on the hot water board...being picky here...it could have been damaged during shipping or when installed.
    Well...I told you it was going to be long and I hope it helps you make your decision to me it's a no brainer once you know all the facts and as a friend of mine always says,that's my story and I'm stickn' to it,good luck!
    Last edited by lrlvideo; 12-26-2009 at 03:12 PM. Reason: adding original post to this one

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Hey all,

    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.

    Take care,
    Mike.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.

    Take care,
    Mike.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics 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.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.
    Last edited by Wingerr; 05-11-2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: sp

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    pcdelux,

    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

  10. #40

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    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.

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