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Verona Pump Problem


teejay41
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Hi All,

 

I have a problem with my three-year-old Quick Mill Verona insofar as the rotary pump has stalled/seized. I can hear it electrically buzzing, but there is no rotation. I'm pretty sure it's not an electrical fault but excessive scale build-up within the pump head as it is well overdue for a descale. But this creates a Catch-22 situation. I can't flush descaler through the machine if the pump won't run, so how do I get round the problem? I know I should have descaled sooner, so it's my fault it has happened... any advice gratefully received. Thanks in anticipation.

 

In all other respects, the Verona is still superb.

 

Tony

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Sounds like you need to remove the pump from its motor and from the machine and set about stripping it down and descaling it

I also do 

https://join.worldcommunitygrid.org?recruiterId=596475 Letting the idle processors on phone and PC help humanity

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/vesuvius/ Even though I have a lever

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The FOT compact rotary pump heads are not easily user serviceable and it's very hard to get hold of the parts, perhaps even impossible now. I have never heard of one jamming with scale, so I think you might have a different problem.

 

1. are you sure there is no rotation?

2. Is there a blockage

3. Has the pump simply seized

4. It might be a faulty RPM motor start/run capacitor and the motor can't generate the required torque, or even start.

 

I've just a gut feel that it's not a scaling issue.

 

If you remove the pump from the motor, and can turn the pump with your fingers (it might well be a bit stiff, new pumps are stiff), then it's not siezed. Then give the motor a go and see if it spins. If it does, use a leather glove and if you can SAFELY apply some resistance to the shaft, see if the motor has any turning force from a standing start.

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

 

 

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Dismantling the pump head for a descale is a right faffle & may not return it good working condition. A new pump head isn't that dear....say £50

Does your m/c have a gauge for the pump pressure ?

Thanks Espressotechno. If it does prove to be a scale problem and descaling won't fix it, I'll go for a new pump. The pressure gauge used to show about 10 bar, but recently, this has dropped to about 8.

 

Tony

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The FOT compact rotary pump heads are not easily user serviceable and it's very hard to get hold of the parts, perhaps even impossible now. I have never heard of one jamming with scale, so I think you might have a different problem.

 

1. are you sure there is no rotation?

2. Is there a blockage

3. Has the pump simply seized

4. It might be a faulty RPM motor start/run capacitor and the motor can't generate the required torque, or even start.

 

I've just a gut feel that it's not a scaling issue.

 

If you remove the pump from the motor, and can turn the pump with your fingers (it might well be a bit stiff, new pumps are stiff), then it's not siezed. Then give the motor a go and see if it spins. If it does, use a leather glove and if you can SAFELY apply some resistance to the shaft, see if the motor has any turning force from a standing start.

Hello Dave... thank you for your prompt reply. Yes, I'm sure the pump is not turning. I don't think there can be a blockage, as I have used only commercial bottled water which has always seemed clear and pure. The pump could have seized - I have never lubricated or serviced it. It could equally be a leaky or failed start capacitor. I presume it will be electrolytic, and if so, will have a finite life. If your gut feeling is that it is not a build up of scale, that's good enough for me... I'll look elsewhere. Thanks again.

 

Tony.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All who responded to my non-running QM Verona pump plea for help. In the end it turned out to be excessive scale that had seized the pump.

 

We removed the pump and freed it off by turning it gently with a spanner and eventually running it slowly with a vari-speed power drill. It was then refitted to the motor and it ran OK - no need for a replacement. Since then, the whole machine has been thoroughly descaled with citric acid and is now performing perfectly, the pump running as quietly, if not more so, as it ever has. We also dismantled the Group's lever mechanism, polished the surface of the cam and lubed throughout with food-grade silicon grease. Lastly, the whole machine had a much needed clean and polish with S/S aerosol foam cleaner, and the whole thing now looks and performs like new! Great machines, these Veronas... so glad I made that choice.

 

I now have the pump pressure sitting exactly on 9 bar during a shot (temperature 196°F / 91°C) and the static steam pressure bang in the middle of the green at 1.25 bar with a steam boiler temperature of 254°F / 123°C). During milk stretching, the pressure drops to 0.95 bar, but that I think is because I have chosen to use the no-burn wand and the 4-hole tip. I have no issues with heating the milk though... takes about 20 secs for around 70ml of blue-top milk. Being of an age where degrees Farenheit makes as much, if not more sense to me as does Celcius, I have opted for °F on the PID's display, for the display's °F resolution is twice as good as °C.

 

My grateful thanks to everyone who chipped in to help, especially to El carajillo, with whom I communicated extensively by PM and 'phone. He helped me enormously in the dismantling process and with numerous pieces of excellent advice.

 

Tony.

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If it got that scaled, then you really need to have a better maintenance regimen and think about using bottled water of the right quality. It's amazing what damage lack of maintenance can do to a machine over time!

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

 

 

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If it got that scaled, then you really need to have a better maintenance regimen and think about using bottled water of the right quality. It's amazing what damage lack of maintenance can do to a machine over time!

I wholeheartedly agree Dave. My fault entirely and most remiss of me. Rest assured that my maintenance schedule will be much more rigorous and frequent than hitherto. Hopefully I have got away without any permanent damage... just shows what excellent design and manufacturing quality these tough Veronas are!

 

Tony

 

Addendum: By the way, the steam boiler which I believed to be made of copper, appeared to be of S/S if the grained appearance and light grey colour of the top plate is anything to go by. Is that the case? The machine is 3 years old.

Edited by teejay41
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Addendum: By the way, the steam boiler which I believed to be made of copper, appeared to be of S/S if the grained appearance and light grey colour of the top plate is anything to go by. Is that the case? The machine is 3 years old.

 

I wouldn't have thought it was steel, I never heard of a specification change?

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

 

 

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Good to hear you've been able to sort out the problem and have your Verona running again.

 

I believe that my one (which is about the same age as yours) also has stainless steel boilers. When I collected it from Bella Barista the first one had a fault (pump timer not working) when they tested it in the showroom. The top was taken off to have a quick look before they decided to abandon that plan and just get me another one off the shelf instead. While we were checking that one, I commented on the boilers to their technician and he said that he thought that QM had gone over to using the SS boilers a little while before. Possibly about the same time that they made a few other enhancements (including the pump timer).

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Good to hear you've been able to sort out the problem and have your Verona running again.

 

I believe that my one (which is about the same age as yours) also has stainless steel boilers. When I collected it from Bella Barista the first one had a fault (pump timer not working) when they tested it in the showroom. The top was taken off to have a quick look before they decided to abandon that plan and just get me another one off the shelf instead. While we were checking that one, I commented on the boilers to their technician and he said that he thought that QM had gone over to using the SS boilers a little while before. Possibly about the same time that they made a few other enhancements (including the pump timer).

Hi Markk.

 

Thanks for your post.

 

My Verona was bought shortly before the PID Timer Mod. But the Steam boiler does appear to be 'stainless steel pale grey' - at least, the top plate, as the cylindrical wall is covered with insulated cladding. I wouldn't have noticed it, but when we had the machine apart for the pump job, I had DavecUK's 'Closer Look' article open on the iPad, and viewing the 'innards' photo from the LHS, the colour difference was immediately obvious. I didn't look at the Brew boiler, so can't comment on that. I presumed it was still brass.

 

At the time when the timer mod. came out, I felt a bit cheated, as it wasn't retro-upgradeable. But I now use Brewista scales with integrated auto-timer, so there's no need for the PID one.

 

Very, very happy with the Verona. I firmly believe that given the choice all over again, I'd go for exactly the same. Well done Sir, for for reaching the same decision yourself!

 

Tony.

 

Addendum: One thing I wish had been included was a warning that the water tank was getting low. The number of times it has run out and the machine shut down during a pull... infuriating!

Edited by teejay41
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Hi Tony,

 

I also use the Brewista scales and like them very much. I keep intending to try using the integrated timer. I suspect there could be a benefit in timing the actual length of the pour as against the length of time the pump is running (with the machine's timer). The latter also includes the pre-infusion time and I'm not sure if that's a good thing as it can be quite variable.

 

The main other machine on my 'short list', at the time, was the Profitec (600 ?). In the end it seemed to me that its only significant advantage over the Verona was its stainless steel boilers but I decided that, on balance, the features and build quality of the Quick Mill outweighed that feature. Discovering (very shortly after making my decision) that the Verona now also had the stainless boilers, really made my day ! It could be a false memory but I think that the technician thought that the two companies were buying their boilers from the same manufacturer.

 

It is a great machine and I think that we largely have DaveUK to thank for that. It was his input, tweaking and attention to detail that resulted in a machine that was significantly better than the one it was based on and (I think) at the time, was better than any of the rest at around that level.

 

I know what you mean about the water tank. I try to keep it fairly topped up but I have been caught out a couple of times.

 

Mark

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