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Gene Cafe E4 Error


PottyMouthedBuddhist
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I posted recently that beans roasted in my Gene seemed to reach first crack at a much lower temperature than other peoples - 205-215c rather than 220-240 as most people find. Since the beans were consistently reaching FC and roasting fine, I concluded that it may have been a problem with the temperature sensor.

 

I mailed Bella Barista regarding a replacement part, and they suggested I clean the fan and underneath it as a first test. So I removed the heating element and fan as per the Coffeetime Wikidot guide, only to find that both fan and gauze underneath were perfectly clean already.

 

And now, having reassembled the Gene, I am getting an E4 error after a minute or so of running. I've checked everything that I can think of and it all looks fine to me, so am posting here to ask for any suggestions people can give me to look at that I might have missed .As far as I can tell E4 is related to heating / air flow in some way or another, but I can't see anything that could be causing the problem.

 

I'm honestly beginning to regret buying this sodding thing, it's been nothing but hassle since I got it.

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Have you plugged the fan back in properly? Could just be a coincidence that you're getting the error now after removing th fan and it is entirely related to the temp sensor. It can only be put in one way around right, I can't remember if it's possible to put it in upside down...

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Nope, definitely all in correctly Rob, plus I can see one of the sensor cables going into the heater is chafed horribly with a wire in it that is now completely unconnected - I guess it must have been chafing on something for a while.

 

Besides, at £6 or whatever it cost it can't hurt to replace it because there was no dust under the fan and yet the temp readings were very low. The chap at BB concurred that the E4 error was caused by the sensor, so I'm pretty confident that will fix it.

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Quick question for @DavecUK though, who might know.

 

The temp sensor connects to the heater housing via a brass "nut" although it doesn't screw in and is meant to be loose and free apparently. The chap at BB said that it may need a bit of brute force but that it should just pull out of the housing.

 

I haven't given it any force yet, but just feeling it, I reckon it's going to take quite a bit. And I can also see that there are screws which allow me to take the heater housing apart, which presumably would make it easy to remove the sensor, since it connects right through the middle of the joint.

 

So would you recommend taking the housing apart for safety's sake instead of just using brute force? I've ordered heat resistant silicone anyway, so it should be an easy enough job to put back together?

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I don't know about the sensor, I checked the service manual and nothing. I can't remember what I did when I had a Gene. my suspicion is that it's put in and the sealant holds it in place. It's a tight fit and turning will probably assist in removal. From memory, there is not a thread tapped in those two halves of the damper in assy.

CFUK, the biggest, best and most friendly forum in the UK...with a wealth of knowledge among its many members.

 

 

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New sensor received and fitted, and E4 error cleared up.

 

I'm still hitting first crack a little early by my reckoning, so either I'm doing something wrong or mine is just calibrated differently. Don't suppose any of our Gene roasters are in the Bristol area and would be up for a comparison roast?

 

At least now I have coffee again :)

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  • 11 months later...

I had the E4 error on mine. Strange it would stop every minute approx. Sometimes when it reached 200 it would then work normally till end of roast. It would occasionally work normally i.e just got through the complete roast without any error. Changed the probes yesterday and the E4 has cleared up. Just for anybody else replacing the probes the one with the nut on it requires splitting the metal casing to take it out. It doesn't pull out, it can't as the probe inside is wider than the hole.

 

Now it is roasting fine but on the 3 roasts I have done so far it is now not rising much above 200 degrees. It would previously have reached 220-240 during a roast. The roast is working fine and if anything looks like I need to shorten the time a bit. Has anybody else experienced this? I was wondering if it was just an issue with the push in probe maybe not in far enough but that sounds too simplistic :waiting:

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I assume you've sealed the case again.

Yes I assume you mean re-tightening the screws holding the metal casing together? Was wondering that also if maybe heat was escaping due to it not being perfectly realigned but the casing is just two half's bolted together. Will have a go with a roast again tomorrow maybe with nothing in it to see if it rises higher. Strange hoping there are not different temp probes. Bella' site appears to have only one type.

 

BTW I reassembled it completely before trying a roast.

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No I meant with a high temp rtv sealant. I put some all around the heater box and down the crack in the back where the probe is. The abs case was beginning to deform on the right hand side because of heat escaping. Though I've never had an error code thrown out at me before aside from when I ran it on about 600w with the dimmer mod. I did have it click on and off before reaching temperature due to it over heating (cleaning the fan and grill and applying the sealant solved this). I'm not sure what to make of your issue but as its happened with two different thermocouples I'm guessing its the board that's faulty.

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Ah ok no haven't got any of that sealant. Wasn't any on it originally so doubt if that is needed. Found another thread on this late last night and will link to it. Something about older and newer boards and an issue sort of similar. Tried it just now and it got up to 230! Go figure! Not sure with beans it would get to that temp but will give it a go later this evening. Not sure if I have 230 or 240v element I am in Ireland. I thought I saw 230v when doing the probes. I reckon all these machines are a bit hit and miss. Any of the profile reading I have done has generally been very hard to mimic. It could be the voltage in my area but I reckon this machine is built to a budget and one has to accept the limitations. Will wait for the guarantee to run out before trying the dimmer mod.

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Ah ok no haven't got any of that sealant. Wasn't any on it originally so doubt if that is needed. Found another thread on this late last night and will link to it. Something about older and newer boards and an issue sort of similar. Tried it just now and it got up to 230! Go figure! Not sure with beans it would get to that temp but will give it a go later this evening. Not sure if I have 230 or 240v element I am in Ireland. I thought I saw 230v when doing the probes. I reckon all these machines are a bit hit and miss. Any of the profile reading I have done has generally been very hard to mimic. It could be the voltage in my area but I reckon this machine is built to a budget and one has to accept the limitations. Will wait for the guarantee to run out before trying the dimmer mod.

 

 

Funny enough it's actually one of the most reliable electrical things BB sell, far more so than espresso machines and probably only equalled by grinders!

 

Properly used and maintained, they can last for more than a Decade (and still look brand new after 5 or 6 years)...I would expect my old one (that I sold many years ago) is still going today....well I bloody hope it is?

CFUK, the biggest, best and most friendly forum in the UK...with a wealth of knowledge among its many members.

 

 

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Funny enough it's actually one of the most reliable electrical things BB sell, far more so than espresso machines and probably only equalled by grinders!

 

Properly used and maintained, they can last for more than a Decade (and still look brand new after 5 or 6 years)...I would expect my old one (that I sold many years ago) is still going today....well I bloody hope it is?

 

I can buy that Dave, the inside of mine which is approx 10months old at this point is pristine. My hit and miss comment relates to profiling and temps it reaches. It appears very variable in that regard more than likely due to the fluctuating voltages everywhere the beans how accurate the probes are etc. Delighted with mine and understand for the budget it would appear to be a great machine. Certainly anything more industrial or of a higher quality seems to mean a very big jump in price.

Coffee roasting wouldn't be for all I think. A lot of people just want to switch it on and come back when the beans are perfectly roasted :)

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  • 2 months later...

Just an update on this. Machine has been roasting beans perfectly (well to me anyhow) but temperature during the roast only ever makes it to somewhere between approx 204-210 degrees. Roasting times have definitely shortened. I set it for 16mins and often pare that back a bit. Happy with the roasts and no exact idea what is happening. I suspect the temp probe is for some reason not registering the correct temp. The white braided probe is just a push in so wondered if that was not pushed in enough. Difficult to see how that could cause that much of a temp reading difference. No more E4 errors.

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  • 2 months later...

just a further update. Discussed the issue with Jordan in Bellabarista and as others have found they and he are really helpful. He sent me over a 230v heating element and after installing it and running it for a few weeks temperatures are now hitting the expected levels during roasts. I did adjust the volume of beans I was roasting also down to 200g. This is advised on the american Genecafe website. Throughout this issue Bellabarista have been fantastic to me sending me a variety of parts to deal with the initial problem which was the e4 error. Happy days now.

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