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Thread: Faulty pstat?

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    Default Faulty pstat?

    I have an ECM Mechanica Profi. Into its third year which I bought second hand from here just over a year ago. At first, on switch on the water would boil and then boiler pressure would increase until about 1.3, then drop to 1.0 then cycle again etc, it would rise to the 1.3 in just a few minutes. Now Ive noticed that after boiling it climbs to around 0.5 then a click and it rises to 0.6 etc until eventually it gets to 1.3 but it takes around twenty minutes to get there instead of around a couple. Is this indicative of a faulty pstat or perhaps something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmH View Post
    I have an ECM Mechanica Profi. Into its third year which I bought second hand from here just over a year ago. At first, on switch on the water would boil and then boiler pressure would increase until about 1.3, then drop to 1.0 then cycle again etc, it would rise to the 1.3 in just a few minutes. Now Ive noticed that after boiling it climbs to around 0.5 then a click and it rises to 0.6 etc until eventually it gets to 1.3 but it takes around twenty minutes to get there instead of around a couple. Is this indicative of a faulty pstat or perhaps something else.
    It could be something else...I'm left wondering if my interpretation of the information is correct and whether there is extra information available.

    1. Does this only happen at first switch on, once it's done it is it normal after that?
    2. I'm not clear whether you try opening the steam valve at 0.5 after the click....what happens if you do?
    3. Have you removed the top and had a look at the vacuum breaker as the boiler starts heating up
    4. Does it always do it or only sometimes
    5. Anything else that is different or you don't think would be significant?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it could be a few things...the answers will help narrow it down.
    ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: Just loads of stuff I forget I have.

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    Thankyou for your response DavecUK.

    1. Yes, once the pressure eventually gets to 1.3 it stays there. After initial switch on and after the water boils and pressure starts to build, you can hear something switching on/off (pstat?), which turns the boiler on/off to raise pressure. This now starts at around 0.4 bar rather than 1.3. It does eventually get to 1.3 but over a longer period.
    2. I have tried opening the steam valve, you get reduced pressure steam but not much else (see above for more on 'clicking, I think thats the pstat switching?)
    3. Sorry, not sure what the vacuum breaker is (I'll search in a min). Once the water boils, steam hisses through some relief valve and then it closes and pressure starts to build. There is no change here.
    4. It is consistent, Ive only noticed it during the last week or so because I normally switch on and walk away. But Ive watched it happen half a dozen times now, each morning.
    5. No, not changed anything

    Thanks again

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    I had hoped it was the vacuum breaker (hissing thing that closes), sticking closed, false pressure building because the trapped air was expanding as it warmed up. A slow leak from the valve allowing it to escape and then it heating again (hoping you had missed that happening. However it dounds like that's not the case. The other thing it could have been is a faulty gauge, but it doesn't sound like it's that.

    So yeah it sounds like the pressurestat....possibly it frees up once it gets hot enough? You could try turning the adjuster on the top (I think it's a MA-TER), but put up a photo....back and forth a bit, just in case it's sticky...if that doesn't help remove it, invert it and inject some descaler inside (leave for a bit) to see if that helps. If none of that works, just buy another, if it doesn't fix it you have a spare (useful as they don't last for ever). Although I did think water your way was soft, or am I wrong?

    When refitting ensure threads are clean and just use about 6 turns of PTFE not threadlocker.
    Last edited by DavecUK; 6 Days Ago at 05:09.
    ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: Just loads of stuff I forget I have.

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    Thanks Dave,
    I did try back and forth adjustment of pstat screw before powering up this morning but it made no difference. It is a MA-TER one. I'll take it off tomorrow and do as you suggested. Also give Bella Barista a ring for the part.
    Thanks again, Malcolm

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    Just a quick update. The soak with descaler made no difference.
    I phoned Bela Bella Barista who suggested there may be some water in the tube that connects the pstat to the boiler, its a kind of tube with a coil at the bottom. I'll take off and blow down the tube later.
    One thing I did notice was that after switching the m/c off the boiler pressure took a long long time to reduce , over an hour. And with the steam valve open just stayed on the place it was at (about 0.3 bar at at the time). Ive never monitored this before but kind of expected it to drop away pretty quickly. Any ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmH View Post
    Just a quick update. The soak with descaler made no difference.
    I phoned Bela Bella Barista who suggested there may be some water in the tube that connects the pstat to the boiler, its a kind of tube with a coil at the bottom. I'll take off and blow down the tube later.
    One thing I did notice was that after switching the m/c off the boiler pressure took a long long time to reduce , over an hour. And with the steam valve open just stayed on the place it was at (about 0.3 bar at at the time). Ive never monitored this before but kind of expected it to drop away pretty quickly. Any ideas.
    Well from your answers before they discounted the gauge being faulty...this sort of comes under point 5.

    A bad gauge can stick on the way up and the way down, but your comment that the steam was weak suggested it wasn't a bad gauge? i suppose there could be 2 faults....not likely, but possible.
    ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: Just loads of stuff I forget I have.

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    Yes, Id kind of discounted the gauge because it follows the pstat clicking on/off, slowly registering the increase in pressure at each click. I can speed this up by opening steam valve and force a click if you get me, hard to explain. Not sure why it doesn't register zero pressure with machine off and steam valve open mmm, Id never looked at this before. While Im doing that experiment with the pstat tube I'll take the gauge tube off and perhaps blow down that, wonder how much puff you need to produce half a bar!. I think your right, may be two faults.

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    For those following this, hopefully a final update.

    There was indeed some water in the tubing that connects the pstat. There was also water in the tube that connects the boiler pressure gauge, also, there was some build up of scale on the boiler end of this pipe. I soaked in a citrus solution blew it all out and re-connected all the pipes.

    Its now operating as I remember.

    When I first bought this machine (Just over a year ago) the steam wand was moving slightly where it connects to the case, I had to fix this (ocd!!!). This necessitated removing the case, I couldn't get to the nuts with the case on. Watching utube videos this was done with the m/c on its back. Which I did. What I didn't do was remove water from the boiler which perhaps I should. Apart from this the machine has stood upright. With the m/c on its back water could enter these tubes.

    Sounds like it may be time for a descale though, although did that 9months ago and always use Ashbeck water

    Thankyou Dave for your thoughts and advice, hope this thread has been useful to others.

    Malcolm

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    Makes a refreshing change when someone reports back after being given advice and includes the outcome / result.

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