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About Nic

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    Self employed espresso machine engineer
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  1. Here are a few pointers: Is there any steam pressure showing on the pressure gauge (manometer)? From what you said, I'd suspect not, because if there was, you'd expect something from either the hot water outlet, or the steam wands - unlikely to all be blocked! If the boiler is getting hot, but not hot enough to produce steam pressure - probably a failed heating element: sometimes they fail in that manner; the boiler will get warm, as the element leaks to earth, but there isn't enough power to boil the water in the boiler. No water through the group heads - not connected to the lack of steam. Water should flow through the group heads even when the boiler is stone cold! That will almost certainly be a blockage somewhere: if the machine has been used (abused!) in a hard water area, you might find that the heat exchanger injector pipes are blocked with scale. Could also be blocked at the flowmeters. Or at the restrictors in the group heads. Just possibly, at the shower plates - take them off and see if there's any flow. I'm assuming that when you activate a group head the pump is running? If not, could be an electronic problem... Sounds like you've got yourself a challenge there! Good luck...
  2. From your pics, I only see one level probe - if there were two, then I might suspect a low level warning, but with only one.....I doubt it. If it was me, I'd start disconnecting electronic components one by one, to see if something is causing the alarm by not working correctly: flowmeter (also worth checking that it's connected the right way round), then touch pad. Also worth checking whether or not the fill control is working properly - if you disconnect the wire from the level probe, the inlet solenoid should open, pump should run, and the boiler should fill; earthing the wire (by touching it to a metal bit of the machine, boiler or chassis) should stop it filling. Possibly time to start thinking about the fact that you MAY need a new electronic control box...I still think may: might be something else causing the symptoms!
  3. That definitely looks like it's broken - looks as if it was originally brazed together. I'm guessing that if you put it all back together, you're going to get an almighty flood when the pump pushes water through that piece! Back to your original problem though....what do you mean by the "drain valve"? Expansion/OPV valve? if yes, that could be the cause of slow/little flow through the coffee. The issue of steam coming from the group head - not uncommon: does it resolve into water after a few seconds of running? To overcome this is the whole point of "temperature surfing" - if the machine is idle, water in the heat exchanger can easily get way too hot. Finally - have you actually tried running a shot, or are you just guessing that the pressure is lacking? It's quite hard to judge by just looking at the flow from the shower screen whether the preessure is right. As a rule of thumb, try running directly into an espresso cup with no portafilter - should fill the cup to the brim in say 10 secs or so.
  4. "Buzzing alarm" is a strange one - I wouldn't expect to find an audible alarm on a machine like that. The flashing lights are likely an alarm signal - that would be more normal. I suspect that the buzzing sound is something else. Did you find a nut to go on the inlet solenoid valve coil? That could buzz quite loudly if it didn't have a nut holding the coil down. let me know how you're going - I can give you some pointers as to how to proceed if you need!
  5. yep - opv valve (or expansion valve as I'd call it on a commercial machine). it's job is to allow water in either the heat exchanger or the brew boiler (depending on the type of machine) to escape at a preset pressure: the trapped water expands as it's heated, and the excess pressure has to go somewhere! Normally, on a commercial, I'd set the expansion valve to release pressure at 2 to 3 bars above pump pressure - so if the pump is delivering at 9 bars, the expansion valve will release any pressure in excess of about 11 or 12 bars. If it's releasing under pump pressure, it makes a very distinctive couple of noises: what you described is one of them, and the other would be a high pitched continuous screech while the pump is running. Sounds like you need to either adjust the valve (if possible), or strip and service it and set it correctly, or if neither of these options is possible, replace it. It's also worth checking that your pump isn't delivering excess pressure - I suspect not, since you didn't mention tweaking or replacing it.
  6. Any further progress yet? I just came across this thread - I'd say you're doing quite well so far, and you're not that far from getting it working. Message me if you need any advice - I could probably take you through a few things to try to work out waht the issues are! Good luck!
  7. Most parts shipped in advance (abt £3k worth), and some extras, tools etc in my baggage. Imodium? Nah...I've got a cast iron stomach (I think...hope!)
  8. So, I'm flying to Karachi, Pakistan tomorrow to sort out 8 Marzocco linea 2 groups - Some quite new (PID), some working "ok", some not. One ransacked for spares (so a rebuild), and one or two to convert to PID. Should be fun...and an interesting challenge! I'm going to try to post updates on twitter: @spressotech Wish me luck! All that to do in 5 days.....
  9. Bean to cup machine? Don't waste your money. You lose all control over the process... You could spend £5000 on one and still get nothing better than a mediocre coffee. You've been given good advice already...up to you!
  10. With that kind of budget, you should be able to get a decent 2 group machine and grinder (I have things in mind, but I don't want to advertise or push an agenda on here) - that'll give you the capacity you need now, and some room for expansion when you get really busy. Whatever, don't think about a 3 group - anyone who tries to sell you one is just trying to scam you! A 2 group (as opposed to a 1 group) will give you some (but not a huge capacity!) for hot water for tea and americanos. Otherwise, if you think you won't ever need to make more coffee than you said, go for a good one group and keep something in reserve for a dedicated hot water boiler.
  11. That definitely goes above the group disperser - it's a very simple one way valve. If not having it causes the machine to trip the electrics then you may have burnt out the element (because the boiler isn't holding water when the pump isn't running, and the element has fried because it's too dry). Although, if you completely stripped the machine, you may have got a wiring connection wrong on rebuild.... A parts diagram will help you. And maybe a wiring diagram as well? I think the tripping is more likely a wrong connection, which may not have actually damaged anything. Depending how quickly it trips after you power it up...
  12. Yep - I'd vote for Boscanova as well! You're on the money for that part of the world Southpaw!
  13. it's worth giving caracoli a try - their head barista was a competitor in this years UKBC (don't know how he did), so he can make a good coffee. That's the only one I know that's any good in Winchester - if you find anyone else please do let us know!
  14. Try dismantling the grind chamber - unscrew the adjuster all the way until it seperates from the body of the grinder. Then you can get to the threads to clean them up. It's a very fine thread (which allows the micro adjustment), and any crud in either set (on the ring that bears down on the top blade carrier or on the grinder body) can cause it to be very tight. So carefully clean up both sets - I use a nice stiff toothbrush for this purpose. There are 3 springs in recesses in the grinder body - be careful not to lose them! They often disappear at that stage when the temptation to empty the grounds out of the chamber is strong, and the grinder is shaken over the bin, upside down.Maybe just take them out and put them somewhere safe! Once you've brushed the threads clean, try putting the adjuster ring back into the grinder body (but without the top blade carrier or springs). Be VERY careful - you really don't want to mash the threads up by cross threading the two parts. If it feels at all tight at the beginning, STOP. Don't force it! If it's all nice and clean, you should be able to very easily screw it all the way down to the end of the threads - if it still binds at all, more cleaning is necessary! When you're happy, you can apply a small smear of lube to the threads, replace the springs and blade carrier, and again very carefully screw down the adjuster ring - it'll need a little downward pressure to overcome the spring resistance this time. Screw it right down until the blades touch - keep trying to turn the spindle nut in the centre until it won't move any more. When it won't move the blades are in contact. Then coarsen up by about 1/8 of a turn of the adjuster - spin the nut in the centre to verify that the blades are now apart. This should give you a ballpark adjustment to work from. Unwinding too far at this stage can cause the threads to clog up with ground coffee coffee, replicating the original problem, so don't coarsen up much before you do the first test grind: better to be too fine than too coarse! Simple, isn't it?! Easy once you've done it once or twice... Good luck! (And don't lose those springs! It won't work with even ONE missing. And don't cross thread it!)
  15. having had a quick look at the diagrams now.... Have you tried removing the disperser block above the shower plate? Held in by 2 allen key screws - it has some fairly small passages through it that could have got blocked. You'd know if this was the case without removing it actually: if you remove the shower plate, and leave the screw out, then try running water through, it should blast out of the screw hole (because it's not forced through the disperser). If that happens, then it's the disperser holes blocked. If there's still nothing.......hmmm, maybe the solenoid valve, as Systemic Kid said.
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