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Bats in my System 2000/Beckett AFG!

Dock Member Posts: 4
8yr old System 2000 Frontier model.  Love it, runs great, no problems except on 3rd return temp sensor, all warranty, except this last one.  Fired up the other morning with a terrible racket, sounded like a bearing gone bad or alien invaders.  Shut it down quick.  Checked outside air supply, PVC pipe & screen a mosquito can't get through, all OK.  Opened up the Beckett AFG & inside the squirrel cage blower was the remains of a bat.  The only thing I can figure is he came down the 30' chimney, thru the boiler, thru the nozzle, & into the blower!?!  I've heard bats don't have bones, only cartilage, so I guess it's plausible.  Anyway, all besides the point.   This is supposed to be one of the most efficient boilers out there.  While pulling the bat/blower out, I noticed what I had always assumed to be there, wasn't, an inlet air shutoff.  Energy Kinetics says don't need it, energy purge, cold start, low mass, 90 seconds to hot, blah blah.  Cold start is a relative term, when it shuts down there's 2.5 gallons of 120 deg. water.  With a 30' chimney & 20 deg. outside, it doesn't take long for it to be a genuine cold start.  i think heating 2.5 gal from 60 to120 deg. a few hundred times per year adds up.  Anybody see a problem with retro fitting an inlet air shutoff (part# 5861)?




  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Beckett air inlet shutoff:

    They were a bad idea gone worse. They were prone to sticking in some position between closed and open. Wherever they decided to stick determined how much trouble you had.

    My self and most guys ri them out when we see them knowing that as old as they are, it's just a matter of time.

    Man, can that make soot.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,216
    Cold start will save fuel

    The heat lost up the chimney is the price to pay for not keeping it at 160 or higher. There is a point when the theoretical savings are dwarfed by the waste if things go wrong. Like Ice sailor said they can cause a lot of soot when things go wrong. Keep It Simple. If that shutter was worth the savings They would have it on their boiler.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    Good Heavens Batman

    I never had problems with Beckett's air inlet damper that some had. They did need to be cleaned due to lint build up, but never had one stick in any position
  • World Plumber
    World Plumber Member Posts: 389
    Air shutoff

    Tech support doesn't recommend the air shutoff. They stop the air flow and the nozzle heats up and drips causing smoky stats and other problems.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    I have a few problems with System 2000.

    I know that I won't make any friends by saying it.  We had a local guy installing these things like hot cakes.  Big radio ads, the works.

    Right now I have at least 5 of them in my scrap pile, from this year alone, that are all less than 10 years old.  All have been homeowner requested replacements. 
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    Air inlet Damper

    If that is Beckett's reasoning for removal of them, my answer is post-purge. The new controls can do that. the only problem I had was the centers would eventually strip out and put the unit out.  No more of a problem than any other pump coupling. As far as the pile of System 2000's, like any unit, the installer is who makes it what it is. Having EK's tech manual and an understanding of system goes a long way. 
  • Dock
    Dock Member Posts: 4
    Answers begat more questions

    Thanks for the answers, guys, but they raise more questions:

    #1 Icesailor: Where do you sail?  We sail around the Hudson Valley.  I should be going to Bantam Lake today, but I'm not, I hear it's a 10+.  Check this out:


    When these shutoffs stick, why, is it due to lint?  Would think outside air would alleviate that, although bats might tend to make it stick.

    #2 Charlie: "The heat lost up the chimney is the price to pay for not keeping it at 160 or higher."?  If it were kept at 160, you'd lose even more out the chimney, although I suspect bats would be less of a problem.  I maintain this myself, & if it (the air shutoff) gets cleaned &/or lubed as part of a regular yearly maintenance routine, might it not be reliable?

    #3 billtwocase: Was there any correlation with outside vs inside air as to how dirty they'd get?

    #4 World Plumber:  "Tech support doesn't recommend the air shutoff."  Is this Energy Kinetics tech?  I would think with the lower shutdown temp this might be less of a problem.  I do have an outside tank, but have a Tiger Loop mounted on the boiler, plus the filter next to the boiler, so the fuel going in is at room temp.

    #5 meplumber:  Where were you when I put this in?  If I moved I'd want to take this boiler with me.  For me (other than the bat) the only problem has been the return temp sensor, which when it starts to go, makes it intermittently act, well, sort of batty.  Couldn't be much easier to change out though.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Beckett Damper:

    Bill, You were lucky. I do as few Becketts as I can and have found more than one that was screwed up. Most just didn't slide all the way open. Or stuck part way closed. And if you ever need to change a motor on a burner with one, you will want to remove it. My neck is getting hot just thinking about doing that.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Sailing Becketts:

    I avoid docks with de-iceing pumps.

    Eastern New England. NEIYA. I've sailed from Eastern MA to Maine, NH and Vermont. Never hit NY. Colchester is as far NW as I have ever gone and Belgrade ME as far NE. A couple of guys from here went out your way last year but that is one long hike for me from Cape Cod. Did you ever see Jef Brown's video clips on YouTube of last Presidents Day at Ames Farm on Lake Winnipasaukee? Go to YouTube and "search" "iceratz". There are three videos there. One with all freeskates on Cape Cod on Lake Wequackett. The others are at Winni where there were over 100 boats. They had a couple of those 100" YO stern steerers from out your way to a bunch of skeeter bubble boats. And every thing else in the middle.

    I saw on the Yahoo Group that some were going to Bantum Lake.

    Never sail alone. There's always thin ice somewhere.
  • Dock
    Dock Member Posts: 4
    I avoid docks with de-iceing pumps?

    Sounds like you might have some experience? The previous owner of my 100 yr old stern steerer sailed into the icebreaker maintained channel, while in the midst of a vino induced fog.  So I tend to avoid channels & vino when sailing.  I had seen the videos, the camera was installed on the Burgers' (father & son) boat 'Hound'.  Here's a recently added safety link from our HRIYC.org site:


    Talked to a non sailing acquaintance, who had saved herself (fell thru during dog rescue), because she had seen the Dr. Giesbrecht video

    So, did the inlet air shutoffs that you saw, get stuck from lint, & if so did they have outside air (that wasn't next to a dryer vent)?  Damn snow.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Sailing Bats

    Mittens Romney has a bunch of them in front of his palatial home on Lake Winni. I avoid them and him like the plague. Not only is that water cold, it's deep too.

    Booze and Ice (sailing), a very bad combination. Mix fog in any form and it is an invitation to disaster. I was sailing on Lake Winni two years ago and sailed into a whiteout wind shift. I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I got out my pocket GPS and went from there. Thank God for GPS.

    Never sail alone. There's always thin ice, somewhere.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    AFG Air Dampers:

    If you know that Beckett doesn't use them anymore and doesn't recommend them, and need to change a motor with one on, you will remove it. I promise you. If you get it off, you will not put it back on the new motor because it will most likely not be working.
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