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This is a short addendum to my earlier post here:




A number of us buy secondhand so lets think about that for a start.


First off you cannot be certain that everything is still how the manufacturer put it together.


I am going to suggest that you should assume it may have been "worked on"


I have read a couple of posts today relating to getting an electric shock from the machine and the simplest answer to why that happened is:




EVERY TIME you are working on an electrical machine UNPLUG IT then try to turn it on to double check.

Now lets revisit that thought about the wiring etc not being quite original. The most important connection is that of the safety earth, that little yellow and green wire.


It is not unheard of to find this connected to the base plate alone. If this is the case then when you undo the base plate for access inside the grinder then the body is no longer earthed. If at this stage you plug in to observe things in action and there is a fault you could get a shock from the body of the machine. Solution? add a wire from the earth terminal of the incoming mains lead direct to the machine body (mostly any bolt on the body will do) best to use ring terminals if you can. Another benefit here is that you are not relying solely on the base plate screws for safety in normal use.


I am all for you folks doing modifications and your own servicing but please... THINK SAFETY AND DOUBLE CHECK


Thanks for reading

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Very well put.

Giving up the Lidl espresso maker and starting the long journey into real coffee


now with Compak K6, Gaggia Classic

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And don't forget to check the wiring in the plug when you buy something second hand, when I did some pat testing I was amazed at the number of plugs that either had no earth wire the wrong fuse, loose flex or even on a couple of occasions the L and N reversed - and that was in a high street coffee chain !. A lot of us buy second hand ex commercial equipment particularly grinders, even if it has a PAT test sticker on it don't trust that its safe, most big pat testing firms are cowboys who don't test the equipment properly.

keep calm and grind flat

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Thread made sticky - always good to have a reminder from time to time

Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Can I just expand on this - if you’re working on the electrics of your machine, it’s worth investing in a cheap multimeter to help troubleshoot. You can also use this to continuity test I.e check an electrical connection is or is not present.


On any machine plugged into into the mains, any exposed metalwork should have a continuous connection to the earth pin on the plug that you can test with a continuity tester. It’s one of the most important things safety wise so I would encourage any / every one to check when finished working on your machine before plugging in, or after buying second hand. It could genuinely save your life.

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Just some further thoughts on buying vintage machines particularly old grinders and old levers from the 60,s and 70's


These often predate various European electrical standards, common faults are


1 No earth - sometimes its in the cable but not connected

2 Old cable - the early pvc type often goes hard and wont flex but will crack - replace

3 Cable diameter is too small - very common weedy thin cables - look to replace with 1.0mm or 1.5mm depending on wattage

4 Cable is damaged - v common in commercial gear, any damaged insulation, nicks, odd bumps then replace

5 Switches are often faulty or worn out - replace

6 euro plugs - all are crap, total crap of the worst kind - don't use an adapter replace with an new UK made plug - MK brand- don't take an old plug off something fit a new one with insulated prongs. If your unlucky enough to buy a machine from Cafe Italia they often come with a two pin to UK adapter - they are crap, replace with a UK three pin plug

7 Get a sparks to do it and test it if your not sure,

8 Be aware that a lot of domestic wall sockets are previous DIY jobs and may have dodgy wiring and sometimes no earth buy a wall socket tester for £15 - you just plug it in and it tells you if L,N and Earth are all in the right order and working properly.

keep calm and grind flat

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