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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowcarb View Post
    Anyone have any leads on a replacement plate heat exchanger that matches the port dimensions of the Energy Kinetics model 14U heat exchanger?

    My dealer wants $500 for the replacement part.

    I didn't see anyone directly address this question, and I have a similar problem - our boiler technician says the replacement plate exchanger part is $560. I called Energy Kinetics to ask them how much the part is, and they won't divulge that information to consumers, so there's seemingly no way to know how much I'm getting ripped off. I did a search ****** and found some copper plate exchangers that look similar to the one on the EK-1 and they cost between $90 - 140.

    Anyone have any idea (a) how much this part really costs, and (b) where I could find a replacement part to buy and install myself?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    I am a service tech and oil burner repair company owner who has had more expierience with System 2000 than I care to remember. When they run, they are ok. As soon as there is a problem other than a pump or the basics, you have to go through Energy Kinetics. That means they charge what they want. Gadgets are great until they goof up. They are a steel boiler which will never last as long as a quality cast iron boiler and if the computer get hit by a power surge, you have two service calls because the board needs to be sent to the company. I like simple because simple works. A properly sized boiler with an add on outdoor reset such as Argo will save you more money because it will out last and you are not at the mercy of one company. Also, if the Argo outdoor reset fails and you have an Argo Pump relay, you can simply unplug it to get the customer heat at two in the morning. Thats my professional two cents.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Daniel, are the prices you were quoted for a loose plate exchanger or the installed price? If loose those prices sound a bit high. If installed I think the price is still a bit high. Why is it being replaced, leak or fouling? If it's fouled it can be cleaned with a de-limer such as CLR. If that's the case I'd install what's called a Scale Stopper in the cold water line to prevent it from happening again. It's a supply house item, replace the cartridge yearly. If it leaked perhaps you have a water condition that should be addressed.

    I was a service tech for 40 years and started servicing EK in the early 90's and loved them. I disagree about steel vs cast iron. I serviced both and replaced as many cast iron as steel due to leaks. As far as "gadgets", the only "gadget" on the EK is the system manager. It's really no different in construction than any other control board on most modern and efficient boilers and furnaces and because EK has a rebuild program that gives a core credit for returned managers, replacement of a failed one is relatively inexpensive.

    I like the fact that the manager is not an optional addon, every system has one. Outdoor reset is not necessary and there's nothing to adjust.

    If the manager fails and you don't have one just slip in a service board for temporary operation. That's an item available to any service person for about the cost of 2 six packs of beer. It's also one of the best ice sc****rs you can get anywhere.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    I also must disagree on cast vs. steel. I am changing out cast iron American Standard boilers from the 50's that aren't leaking and steel boilers from the late nineties, including system 2000's that are leaking all over basements. Steel rots out, cast iron cracks from dry firing or or such, but not rotting. The cast iron in the new boilers is designed to handle the shock of cold water coming back. The manager on a system 2000 is tempermental and prone to fail if there is a power surge. We live in the country where that is a normal thing that happens. I also do not like having zone valves because you put all the work on one pump, so when it fails you have nothing. I mean no disrespect, but I personally wouldn't sell one to my customers on a dare. The manager is just like spending the moeney on the Buderas(?) control that comes with a bible to read to learn how to run it. That makes things more complicated. As I said, simple works. I stand by Utica Trifires with a Bock 40SK as being as efficient as the System 2000. I can also buy any control on it from my local warehouse.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    I will agree that there are many old CI boilers in the field that don't leak. There are also a lot of steel boilers that are just as old still in use that don't leak. Steel boilers only rot out of there is a leak in the system allowing fresh water to feed back in. That's not the fault of the material, it's neglect of the system.

    If you are replacing System 2000's from the late nineties with something else you are cheating the customer of their warranty coverage. I guess they're OK with that?

    I do agree about the complexity of the Buderus control which is why most (about 70%) are sold without it. However, if you have a problem with wiring the thermostats to one side of the EK system manager and zone valves to the other then turning on the switch, I don't think I'd want you to service my heating system. With that outlook I don't think the manufacturer would want you selling their product either.

    I installed and serviced System 2000 for quite a few years and had minimal issues with them. I used to offer other boilers for replacement as well but found that with them doing most of the near boiler piping and wiring my work was made a lot easier and quicker.

    I installed Weil, Burnham, Peerless, Slant Fin and a few others but found that my trips to the supply house for materials were cut almost to zero to complete a job. You would not have to dare me to install another EK, I'd do it just for the fun of it.

    As far as surges, the system has had built in surge suppression since about 2001. Even with all the bad weather we had in the past several months none of my customers lost a manager.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Jim, as a person who gets paid to teach about System 2000,(vermont oil dealers assoc.) I don't think you have a unbiased opinion about them. You can attack my ability to troubleshoot this boiler, but the reason I have changed to other boilers when removing the System 2000 is because the customer wanted nothing to do with them after the issues with things going wrong. Thats all I have to say. I know what my expierence over 20 years has been and I know what my customers want.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    Just had a System 2000 EK-1 boiler installed. I have a Stiebel Eltron SBB300Plus indirect tank that I'm using for hot water, eventually to have a solar hot water system hooked up to the lower coil. I asked the company to hook up 4 zones in the house plus hot water to the S-E tank (the house formerly had no zones, but did have 4 separate returns). They said they had to use one of the zones for hot water so could only do 3 zones in the house. No big problem, 4 zones was probably overkill anyway. We combined two returns from the 2nd floor into one zone. But in an early post I read that the hot water to an indirect should be hooked up to the hot water terminals on the System Manager. Does it matter if domestic hot water is hooked up to zone 4 or Hot Water on the System Manager?

    An unrelated problem - the system was hooked up with a mixing/tempering valve because the solar panels can potentially raise the temperature in the tank quite high. Whenever I draw hot water in the house then turn off the fixture the cold water feed to the mixing valve gets hot. So the feed is cold while I'm drawing hot water and cold water is being drawn to temper the hot water water from the tank, but as soon as the fixture is turned off the cold water feed gets hot, as hot as the feed from the tank. Is this simply the way tempering valves work, or is the valve faulty? I'm also considering the possibility that sediment has gotten into the valve and causing it to work incorrectly because during testing of the new boiler, the fixtures in the house plugged up with sediment and had to be flushed out. Another consideration - the installation sheet on the tempering valve indicates that thermosiphoning can occasionally be a problem and the tempering valve should be installed below the cold water feed to the tank. However, the cold water feed to the tank is at ground level - simply impossible to install the valve below the feed. I was thinking of installing a check valve but don't want to bother if the problem is with sediment in the valve or a faulty valve.

    Another thought I just had - because of the way System 2000 continues circulating hot water from the boiler into the indirect tank even after the aquastat has stopped calling, the tank temperature gets up to about 135F even though the aquastat is set at 110F with a 5F differential. So I would think that any System 2000 set up would have to have a tempering valve or should anyway to prevent scalding, or is this temperature overshoot a function of having the aquastat hooked up to zone 4 instead of hot water?

  8. #68

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    The hot water zone of the manager is used for either a PE and storage tank OR an indirect. However, consider that when the tank aquastat has satisfied, the burner stops and there should be enough cool water at the bottom of the tank to purge the boiler down without overheating the top of the tank.

    Perhaps your dealer could get some assistance from EK. Do you know if they have called them for assistance in the overheat problem?

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    The problem with the mixing valve is separate from the overheating problem - I think anyway. If I don't draw hot water in the house the cold water feed to the mixing valve doesn't heat up even when the tank is at 135F. There is some heating of the hot water pipe at the top of the tank, but it only extends out to the mixing valve cold water feed after I've drawn hot water.

    The burner does indeed shut down when the aquastat is satisfied. I guess I was wondeirng if the hot water zone of the manager functions differently from the zones normally used to heat the house, or is it simply another zone that's just marked differently on the system manager?

    Since hot water rises and the coil for the EK-1 is in the top of the tank I don't see how the cold water in the bottom of the tank would be able to absorb the extra heat being put into the tank during the purge process. Are you saying that it's normal for this system to be able to maintain temperatures in an indirect tank close to the desired temperature setting? Right now I'm losing a lot of heat from the DHW pipes, supply and return from the heat exchanger etc - so much that I'm planning on insulating them (based on the standby heat loss number for this tank I had figured the boiler would only have to run once every two days to maintain temperature, assuming no hot water was drawn). I think if the temperature in the tank wasn't overshooting I'd be seeing short-cycling. Right now the boiler is coming on twice a day to maintain hot water in the indirect.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Experience With Energy Kinetics System 2000

    There are 2 basic differences between the hot water zone and the heat zones on the manager. 1)The hot water zone is the only one that can switched to have hot water priority. The post purge timing is fixed at a MAXIMUM of 5 minutes. Purge will not exceed that. 2) Heat zones can be switched to have a MAXIMUM purge of no more than 5 or 20 minutes. In either setting the purge will stop if the return temp drops to 105.

    If you find that the purge cycle on yours is longer than 5 minutes there is a dip switch that can be turned on maximize it at 5 minutes. Consult the owner's manual or the label on the manager mounting plate.

    A hot water cycle with an indirect will be a little different than with a plate exchanger and storage tank. With the indirect hot water is generated by convection. Hot water generated by the coil rises and pulls some cooler water from below with it. As the coil cools the convection current slows and hot water generation decreases. At the end of a cycle there will be 80% hot water in the tank. This can mean that cycles will be a little more frequent.

    With a plate exchanger and tank there is also a bronze circulator that moves cooler water from the bottom of the tank throuigh the exchanger and into the top of the tank. A special dip tube distributes the hot water about 20" down in the tank and blends it. Because the flow is forced transfer is faster and at the end of the cycle 100% of the tank is heated.

    When I installed my system we were not yet living in the house so I was able to time the interval between cycles with no use. It was approx 36 hours with the aquastat set at 120. Oil consumption has not changed in 14 years for hot water production (10 gallons a month) and we have never, ever run out.

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