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johnlevon

More reliable machine than Piccino?

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So, yet again, my Piccino steam boiler has broken. This is now the 3rd time in as many years.

Fracino don't really seem interested - just hand me off to a local repair guy.

 

So, seems like it's time to give up on them. Any former Piccino owners recommend something else?

 

I make maybe 2 cups of coffee a day on it.

 

cheers,

john

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I have had similar experiences with both my Piccino and the service from Fracino.

 

A real shame that that they appear to be neglecting that side of the business.

 

I’ll be interested to see how this thread develops!

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They've not even bothered to reply this time...

 

Do you know why the steam boiler is failing so often?

 

Where are you based, is your water hard or do you treat it....there would usually be some reason for this and changing machine may not solve the problems. Espresso machines hate hard water. I don't think Fracinos components are necessarily going to be unreliable. Mostly they, like other manufacturers, will use off the shelf products and certainly for the Piccino, they use off the shelf boilers/heating elements that other manufacturers also use. More information for people like me is going to be especially helpful to you.


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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I agree with both you and Dave. Yes, fracino's customer service varies from quite good to shockingly bad, but the parts under the bonnet are mostly generic, which is one of the things that appealed to me when I purchased the Classico.

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Turned out to be a different reason - apparently the last person to service it did something wrong? such that the boiler was over-filled.

I'm in a soft-ish water area. The serviceman did mention the gauge was likely a little clogged. Maybe next time I will get them to run it through to clean up.

 

Of course, not heard a peep from Fracino still.

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Posted (edited)
Turned out to be a different reason - apparently the last person to service it did something wrong? such that the boiler was over-filled.

I'm in a soft-ish water area. The serviceman did mention the gauge was likely a little clogged. Maybe next time I will get them to run it through to clean up.

 

Of course, not heard a peep from Fracino still.

 

Apparently....you are being fed a line of bollocks.

 

Really the right question was not about steam boiler reliability, but should I offload this and get a better machine that will make better coffee....answer = yes

 

I just don't think it's a great design and they want too much money for them. Even the PID dual boiler version was well over priced and I think people got a glimpse of my private engineering review feedback to BB when they sold their evaluation unit. treat yourself life is too short to keep abusing yourself with that machine. Get something better and a decent grinder if you don't already have one. You will thank me and may even start drinking more coffee.

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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I came across another one of their machines that had been fitted with a new boiler. A Heavenly. Owner had always used bottled water, assume a sensible one. Perhaps he only had it serviced when it misbehaved and had never descaled or used the filter. The cost of the filters is painful but I did find a German seller that offered them at much lower prices but he wouldn't ship to the UK. PID and small boilers - no comment but as @DavecUK mentioned it can't be very aggressive. I managed to get great tasting coffee out of my Piccino but different to the other machine I was using at the time. No worries about temp surfing, just do the same each time when I made a single drink for me from cold. If I wanted to make several on the trot then I probably would find that I needed something to indicate that the heating was on. One odd thing using the same bean was a much darker initial flow of coffee. More tuning may have given the same taste as my other machine at the time. Probably more coffee as I found when I switched to a Sage Dual Boiler. That has PID and other steps to get around small boiler complications. ;) The other way seems to be an E61 style group head. Pass. John -


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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I'm not sure what you mean by "line of bollocks". The boiler was definitely over-full, I could see it?

 

But thanks for the commentry on the Piccino, that's useful.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "line of bollocks". The boiler was definitely over-full, I could see it?

 

But thanks for the commentry on the Piccino, that's useful.

 

Line of Bollocks = not the reason for the problem and makes the consumer go away.

 

Best thing you can do it out the Piccino and get something much better


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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One interesting aspect of it is the simple question - is there a cheaper dual boiler out there? I've not noticed one. Is it better than similarly priced HX machines? ;) Or even dearer ones.

 

Internal parts boiler wise look to be the same as they use on some of there commercial machines as group heaters. They may not be but I suspect that they are. Other parts are common as well.

 

Seems the problem was overfilling. That could just be level sensing. A new boiler may be needed to cure that as it's part of the sensing circuit but maybe descaling should prevent that from happening. Other parts failing might make it look like it was overfilling.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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One interesting aspect of it is the simple question - is there a cheaper dual boiler out there? I've not noticed one. Is it better than similarly priced HX machines? ;) Or even dearer ones.

 

Internal parts boiler wise look to be the same as they use on some of there commercial machines as group heaters. They may not be but I suspect that they are. Other parts are common as well.

 

Seems the problem was overfilling. That could just be level sensing. A new boiler may be needed to cure that as it's part of the sensing circuit but maybe descaling should prevent that from happening. Other parts failing might make it look like it was overfilling.

 

John

-

 

John, it's not all about how much it costs....it's really not a great value for money machine.....yes it's technically a dual boiler, but doesn't perform like we would expect a dual boiler to perform, but I suppose it's good marketing.


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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I bought a Piccino for 400 quid brand new, it performs well, makes my 2 or 3 shots a day without much fuss. I haven’t steamed any milk yet though.

Would I have paid more for it? No. Am I thinking about flogging it and buying something ‘better’ maybe.... that Izzo in the sales section is tempting.....

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Some people buy a coffee machine with the express intention of changing it within a couple of years. others buy a machine and expect to have it for life. if it is the latter, then buy as good a machine as you can afford. the Piccino is a funny little machine and I think you could do better than that. This is also the trouble the Sage machines have. When they work, they work well but after the warranty has expired, you are left wondering is it going to work this time. They only have one repair outlet and a lot of the parts are not obtainable to mere mortals.


 You did not get me this time 

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I think that the Piccino is slated too much. The question I asked still remains. Anything else in it's price range probably has to be HX maybe a dipper or a poor performing one where flushing needs to be done with some care. It's pointless comparing it with anything else really.

 

The other problem for people buying is budget. There is a tendency for people to ignore that - ;) might say lucky them. A £2000 machine may be completely out of their reach. A £1000 one too. In this case they may have a choice - own some sort of espresso machine or not own one at all.

 

Price pass but I would expect espresso machines to include a pretty hefty margin for the retailer. Then it's up to them if they discount - or actually in some instances it wont be as it can upset other retailers that need it.

 

Sage well Sage is Sage. It turns out that some parts can be diy repaired some can't. On site repair is likely to be more expensive due to travel time. Costs compared with others. Don't know but one person takes their high end machine to where it was bought from every 2 years for servicing. No idea what that costs. ;) She didn't tell me. Some machines can be diy repaired to some extent with commonly available parts but all have something specific in them such as the boiler. Add an engineer, no idea, are Sage dearer, the same or cheaper.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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I think that the Piccino is slated too much. The question I asked still remains. Anything else in it's price range probably has to be HX maybe a dipper or a poor performing one where flushing needs to be done with some care. It's pointless comparing it with anything else really.

-

 

John, just because it sits in a price point doesn't make it a good machine. I have reviewed and tested more machines than most/all people will ever have in their lifetime and the Piccino doesn't really represent the best use of someone's money for an espresso machine, it isn't very temperature stablehaving wide swings in temperature, so the benefits of a dual boiler are largely lost. Most of the shots are going to be around 6-8C under temp....unless you can reliably surf when the heating element on, which is difficult, because you don't know when the brew boiler element is on. Steaming isn't great either. It's a machine built to a price with very little concern about true performance.

 

It's not about comparing with anything else, but about getting best value for money. If there was a used Piccino for £250-£400 depending on condition, I might say go for it...If buying new, there are better ways of spending perhaps a little more money, but getting a whole lot more performance. I realise your trying to help the other person and that's a good thing, I am only trying to inject some realism based on actual experience of this and many many other machines.


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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I wouldn't disagree with any of that only point out that in the buy new £700 range there are a number of what might be called odd balls about. Go up to over £1000 and things get better. Only other option is thermothingy machines and some cheaper HX machines. People might buy an HX machine and find it's a dipper - that sort of thing about coffee bugs me. Also maybe PID is very fashionable but is it the best way to do it. I have my doubts in some respects but marketing etc pushes it,

 

;) I bought my Piccino used as I thought that the new price was over the top really but in any case didn't want to spend that much. As I see Fracino I don't think that they take the home user market that seriously and on a cost & profit basis don't see much point in updating that range of machines. I came across a machine which from memory was a dual boiler German machine that looked internally rather suspiciously like a Piccino with PID priced if I remember correctly around £1000.

 

Now we have a hot water dispenser I could use the Piccino more easily. I can set it for 85C and set a volume out. :) Big problem - too many projects already and not keen on the group heat up time. I'd suspect the main problem with it is the use of a mechanical thermostat - a rather dated concept and if some company moved away from it there are a number of possibilities that are not PID.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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I bought a Piccino for 400 quid brand new, it performs well, makes my 2 or 3 shots a day without much fuss. I haven’t steamed any milk yet though.

Would I have paid more for it? No. Am I thinking about flogging it and buying something ‘better’ maybe.... that Izzo in the sales section is tempting.....

 

That's a very good price. They're around £800-to £900 now and aren't competitive at all. I bought my Classico 3 years ago for less than £800 and it's now around £1500. Absolutely bonkers.

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