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Dayks

Alex Mk1 Service Advice.

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Hello everyone,

 

The Izzo Alex Mk1 that I purchased on eBay, as posted here is due to arrive tomorrow.

 

http://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?35394-Bargain-Izzo

 

http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/332065097970?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&_mwBanner=1

 

Looking at the machine it will need a good clean and most likely a thorough descaling when it arrives tomorrow.

 

I am hoping some members here will have some experience with this machine and could let me know what parts I will need to clean or descale.

 

Also is there anything else I should check or service and how will I do this?

 

I am also looking at insulating the boiler, does anyone know a suitable insulation for this, I searched online but mostly found old answers or brand names from the US or Australia.

 

Thank you very much for your help, I will add some pictures when I receive the machine and as I clean it.

 

Andrew

 

Edit: Also, is the Vivi just a rebrand of the HX version of the Alex?


Sage DTP - Compak K10 & Niche Zero

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Bella Barista may know this machine as they are Izzo distributors.

They also hod a great selection of parts.

 

I drop my machine off to them for servicing (Alex MkIV) and it comes back as good as new each time.


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Thanks Glenn, looks like the previous owner talked to bella barista and got some parts for it in 2013.

 

Here is the machine.

 

DSC_0006_zpshrcdegh8.jpg

 

DSC_0007_zpslx4bt7gz.jpg

 

DSC_0008_zpskte4om9e.jpg

 

It is definitely the MK1 as it only has a boiler pressure gauge.

 

It seems to be in a lot better condition than I expected, and a lot heavier. I had to adjust the pressurestat as it was set to 1.75 bar (dropped to ~1.15).

 

There is no bad smell from the water or steam wands and the milk from it tastes fine (after a thorough descale).

 

I am having an issue though, the portafilter supplied with it seems to be a bad fit, the portafilter does not lock fully in the 12 o'clock position, now this is not necessarily an issue (had the same on my classic after I changed to gasket) but the spouts also hang over the edge of the drip tray.

 

DSC_0011_zpsshbiph9k.jpg

 

Neither of these are a deal breaker, however the next issue is a problem, first issue was when I went to backflush, the portafilter sprang open and shot the cafiza everywhere, tried again the the blank filter empty and it did the same, at this point I thought it might just be an issue when backflushing, until this happened.

 

DSC_0010_zpsq5urhony.jpg

 

Same thing happened with the first shot I tried to pull, tried a second and kept my hand on the portafilter so I was able to stop the shot when it started to move this time.

 

Can this be an issue with the portafilter being a bad fit or could it be more serious? Can anyone recommend me a portafilter that does fit?


Sage DTP - Compak K10 & Niche Zero

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You need new seals.

The gasket/seals are likely to be hard and the pressure will make this happen.

 

The portafilter fits, just change the position of the spouts when you get the new gaskets/seals too..

They don't lock in 12/6 - usually some offset (eg 7/1 or 8/2 even)


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It's just your group gasket. I think they come in different thicknesses so you may need a thinner one or maybe this one is just hard and not giving at all. It looks great and good to see it arrived in one piece. I would have gone for it myself but my only previous experience with a courier and a coffee machine ended in disaster (although didn't cost me anything). Maybe I'll give the next one a go myself.

 

If it were me, I'd do a full strip down and deep clean and re-assemble with new seals and gaskets then it should be good for a good few years

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Thanks for the help, I have ordered a couple of the 8mm and 8.5mm silicone gaskets and the IMS E61 shower screen while I was there.

 

Bit of a pain though as everything else with the machine seems to be working well, but I won't be able to make a coffee with it until next Thursday or Friday most likely.

 

Might have a look at taking apart the E61 tomorrow and soaking it in a cleaner, will have to refresh myself on how to do it first though.


Sage DTP - Compak K10 & Niche Zero

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Well fitted the above last night, gave it a good clean inside before fitting the new ones and it has helped but not entirely solved it.

 

Fitted the 8mm first and although it was less violent I had to hold the portafilter in place to stop it coming off.

 

Figured I would give the 8.5mm a go to see if it fixed it but just made it worse than before.

 

Damaged the first 8mm getting it out so fitted the second and it is a bit better, hopefully it will shrink a bit in time so I can lock the pf in further and get it to stay in.


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The problem is the portafilter itself, your not using the original alex portafilter and the one you are using almost certainly has much thicker "ears". if you want to continue using that portafilter, it's going to need to lock well to 6 O clock and need a thinner gasket...possibly 7.5mm. it's also possible, but I think unlikely, that the lugs on the PF your using are either worn, or not right in some way.

 

I was going to suggest you do the Gicar relocation modification to prevent the Gicar box from failing, but it looks like you got a later model than the one I used to have and Izzo had started relocating the Gicar box themselves after feedback from me.

 

Only other thing to do is keep a spare MATER XP110 pressurestat as the entire power for the heating element is switched by the micro-switch in the stat itself...not a great strategy and can cause them to fail earlier than they should. If you ever do change the stat, you could consider adding a 25A AC/AC SSR in series with the stat, so that it handles the current and the stat just handles millivolts.

 

Last thing to check would be the Anti backflow valve, which often leaks back to the tank if the machine has been used in hard water........but if running plumbed, you don't have to really worry about it as the water pressure itself prevents back flow. Any appreciable amount of back flow will result in the HX emptying enough to stop the thermosyphon and the group can get too cool.

 

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/search:site/q/izzo%20alex

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/search:site/q/backflow

 

I wrote a lot of stuff about the machine, I had one of the early models, so even had to make my own rubber motor mounts....yours probably has them. I was the person responsible for them bringing this machine to the prosumer market well over 10 years ago and suggesting the tanked variant, rather than plumb in only (as well as some other changes), it was a commercial machine only back in the day.

 

Edit: Also, is the Vivi just a rebrand of the HX version of the Alex?

 

No the Vivi was in production at the same time, but was prosumer only, in fact I think it was designed first (names Vivi and Alex were after the daughters of the owner).

Edited by DavecUK

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: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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The problem is the portafilter itself, your not using the original alex portafilter and the one you are using almost certainly has much thicker "ears". if you want to continue using that portafilter, it's going to need to lock well to 6 O clock and need a thinner gasket...possibly 7.5mm. it's also possible, but I think unlikely, that the lugs on the PF your using are either worn, or not right in some way.

 

I was going to suggest you do the Gicar relocation modification to prevent the Gicar box from failing, but it looks like you got a later model than the one I used to have and Izzo had started relocating the Gicar box themselves after feedback from me.

 

Only other thing to do is keep a spare MATER XP110 pressurestat as the entire power for the heating element is switched by the micro-switch in the stat itself...not a great strategy and can cause them to fail earlier than they should. If you ever do change the stat, you could consider adding a 25A AC/AC SSR in series with the stat, so that it handles the current and the stat just handles millivolts.

 

Last thing to check would be the Anti backflow valve, which often leaks back to the tank if the machine has been used in hard water........but if running plumbed, you don't have to really worry about it as the water pressure itself prevents back flow. Any appreciable amount of back flow will result in the HX emptying enough to stop the thermosyphon and the group can get too cool.

 

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/search:site/q/izzo%20alex

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/search:site/q/backflow

 

I wrote a lot of stuff about the machine, I had one of the early models, so even had to make my own rubber motor mounts....yours probably has them. I was the person responsible for them bringing this machine to the prosumer market well over 10 years ago and suggesting the tanked variant, rather than plumb in only (as well as some other changes), it was a commercial machine only back in the day.

 

 

 

No the Vivi was in production at the same time, but was prosumer only, in fact I think it was designed first (names Vivi and Alex were after the daughters of the owner).

 

Thanks for all of the information Dave, I did read your review of the MK2 and noticed that the internals on this MK1 were different to yours (such as the holes on top and the gigar box) and thought it must be a later revision, it is quite loud when running though so not sure it has the rubber mounts.

 

Do you have any suggestions for a portafilter that will fit it?

 

Edit: Also do you know during what time frame the MK1 was manufactured? The Label under my drip tray is very work and you can only really make out the parts that were stamped. All I can see is 1588 on one line and 220 below (poss voltage).

Edited by Dayks

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Pretty sure you got a MKII, I think the MK1 was sold as a prosumer machine for a year or so, am also sure you will have the rubber mounts. You have to get a portafilter with "thin ears", preferably Izzo ones.


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: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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Pretty sure you got a MKII, I think the MK1 was sold as a prosumer machine for a year or so, am also sure you will have the rubber mounts. You have to get a portafilter with "thin ears", preferably Izzo ones.

 

Thought all of the MKII had two pressure gauges, that was what convinced me mine was the MK1 despite the differences. I have not looked for the rubber mounts so quite possible I have them.

 

Do you have any idea who would stock an Izzo portafilter as I cannot find one, if not, do you know any of the others that fit? I have seen some bottomless ones with "wing" measurements 6.2mm or 7mm but I need a double spout as well.


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Thought all of the MKII had two pressure gauges, that was what convinced me mine was the MK1 despite the differences. I have not looked for the rubber mounts so quite possible I have them.

 

Do you have any idea who would stock an Izzo portafilter as I cannot find one, if not, do you know any of the others that fit? I have seen some bottomless ones with "wing" measurements 6.2mm or 7mm but I need a double spout as well.

I use the Rocket branded bottomless portafilter from BellaBarista on mine which fits nicely. Locks in at 7 o'clock as opposed to the 6 o'clock of the izzo one that came with.


LR - Ceado E37S; Baratza Preciso; Aergrind; Comandante MK3 - Syphon & V60 - patience

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Bella Barista stock these.

 

Mine is an NS branded one - pretty generic but works well with Duetto


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Thanks, I sent an e-mail to Bella Barista earlier to see if they can recommend any that will fit, I will probably wait until they respond before making a purchase, seems that finding an Izzo branded one is next to impossible, have only managed to find a single spouted one costing £105 pounds from Sweden.


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I wouldn't worry about branded products - they are silver with a black handle in keeping with the machine - and will develop their own character through fair use.


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Hello, I've just seen your post. Did you end up getting a portafilter? If not, I've got a couple that came with my Alex Duetto - a single and a double - and don't use either of them, so you'd be welcome to one of them for the price of postage. Let me know.

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Hello, I've just seen your post. Did you end up getting a portafilter? If not, I've got a couple that came with my Alex Duetto - a single and a double - and don't use either of them, so you'd be welcome to one of them for the price of postage. Let me know.

 

Hi @broadwick

 

That would be great, I am definitely interested in the double, please let me know how you want to arrange it. (You will need to get up to 5 posts to PM)

 

Andrew


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Hi @broadwick

 

That would be great, I am definitely interested in the double, please let me know how you want to arrange it. (You will need to get up to 5 posts to PM)

 

Andrew

 

OK, well this should be my fifth post. As you can see, I'm not a particularly active member of the forum so I don't know how private messages work. Can you now send one to me since I've reached the qualifying number of posts? If so, just send me your address and I'll get one in the mail.

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OK, well this should be my fifth post. As you can see, I'm not a particularly active member of the forum so I don't know how private messages work. Can you now send one to me since I've reached the qualifying number of posts? If so, just send me your address and I'll get one in the mail.

Thanks broadwick, I have sent you a PM.


Sage DTP - Compak K10 & Niche Zero

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@broadwick

 

Thank you, the portafilter arrived yesterday and is a perfect fit, please let me know if you want me to cover the postage costs.

 

Looks like the problem was the replacement portafilter that came with the machine, glad it is working fine now, although I am a little annoyed with the seller though as they had the same issue and did not put it in the listing.


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Have noticed over the weekend a leak from the lever when backflushing.

 

Searching for the issue online it looks likely that a washer has perished.

 

Would this kit be a suitable replacement and does anyone know of anything better?

 

https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/generic-e61-group-head-service-kit.html

 

Thanks.


Sage DTP - Compak K10 & Niche Zero

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Depending on use you probably only need the two small rubber washers which fit on the spindle. Not sure if you can obtain them on there own.

 

It would be worth removing the cam spindle, carefully pushing out the two washers (back to back in the barrel).

Clean and polish the cam spindle , clean the washers. Lubricate the cam and spindle lubricate the washers then fit them but turn them around, reassemble and try machine.

 

Lift the lever to the mid position when you start to dismantle, this ease the pressure on the cam and makes replacing easier.:good:

Edited by El carajillo

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Depending on use you probably only need the two small rubber washers which fit on the spindle. Not sure if you can obtain them on there own.

 

It would be worth removing the cam spindle, carefully pushing out the two washers (back to back in the barrel).

Clean and polish the cam spindle , clean the washers. Lubricate the cam and spindle lubricate the washers then fit them but turn them around, reassemble and try machine.

 

Lift the lever to the mid position when you start to dismantle, this ease the pressure on the cam and makes replacing easier.:good:

 

I was actually looking for just those washers but could only find them in kits.


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