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Is it possible RO water to trick the autofill probe causing the issue?

No one stated what water they use.

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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Hi guys I would like to know who is the one that have the problem of over filling all the time and never find the solution. I want to bring back the machine and look closer at the problem sending anot

Paolo said above he would swap a machine for a new one so he could understand what going on? Did you see his post above?

I’m sorry, the misunderstanding is yours. - Paolo, from ACS, himself, is asking you to send the machine he makes back to him for a replacement so he can study your machine and try to figure out what’

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Unlikely. I fill mine with distilled water measuring 0 TDS. There's always a little water in the boiler after I drain it and when I draw some off with a TDS meter after adding less than 500ml DI it measures less than 5 so by the time I've topped it up to just above 1.5 litres it's going to be even lower than most RO systems produce. 

It's possible they've all been scaled up if any minerals are present in the feed water and the boiler has never been drained.

Of course it could be something with the gicar unit or wiring. If it were firmware you'd probably see this in a lot more units and the problem would be apparent from the time it was manufactured, it wouldn't just manifest itself months into use.

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Good points Rob. I hope it is just faulty/dirty/scaled water level probe.

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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Maybe descale the service boiler before disassembling the lot. It may clear any scale that's on the boiler level probe. FYI the boiler level probe is the one with the metal armature off it with a black wire (grounding I think) attached (uppermost left in this image). Funnily enough my service boiler has been doing some odd things recently too, with a manufacturing date of April last year.

image.thumb.png.cbeadab189b2e74c35339c1a8330da1d.png

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The level probe is just conductive metal so it's not going to be faulty. Could be a continuity fault though or scaled up and preventing conductivity. Or a wiring could have come loose from vibrations.

@Cooffe

It looks like you've ot a leak around your temperature probe...

Could I ask you to outline your usage? Water used, mineral content, bicarbonate/carbonate content, frequency of steaming, frequency of emptying the boiler via the hot water tap.

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1 minute ago, Rob1 said:

The level probe is just conductive metal so it's not going to be faulty. Could be a continuity fault though or scaled up and preventing conductivity. Or a wiring could have come loose from vibrations.

@Cooffe

It looks like you've ot a leak around your temperature probe...

Could I ask you to outline your usage? Water used, mineral content, bicarbonate/carbonate content, frequency of steaming, frequency of emptying the boiler via the hot water tap.

That's just a generic picture I found on the internet, not my actual boiler lol. I think mine is an issue with overfilling. I've also noticed my PID showing about 136C on the service boiler when it's set at 126 (I think with a 16 degree offset). It is intermittent though so I'm not 100% sure whether it's a Gicar grounding issue

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Ok....so how has the boiler been used?

There shouldn't be an offset on the service boiler and if the pid does show 136c there's probably an issue with the settings affecting how quickly it responds to temperature changes. Have you had a look at the advanced settings?

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Probably going to get slated here but I tend to only empty the boiler when I descale so maybe twice a year (at least I've done it twice since I picked up the machine). As far as mineral content goes I use Ashbeck much to the disgust of some here, but do try to maintain a regular descaling schedule (once every 6 mo. or so).

Ref the PID settings, they haven't been modified since I bought it and they were already set to the recommended settings as Dave highlighted in the manual. Also the overshoot to 136C hasn't always been happening, I've only noticed it in the past month or two, and as far as I'm aware it's not overshot that much before (maybe by 1C or so but not 10).

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Have you removed the temp probe to have a look at it? 

It isn't just scale to be concerned with it's chlorides with 316l steel, especially in vapour. Ashbeck has 15mg/l which is enough to corrode 316l steel especially in steam applications (as low as 10ppm can cause SCC). Why are you descaling if you're using ashbeck, or are you just descaling the service boiler?

I fill my boiler with DI water and feed it with the following: 25-30mg/l Magnesium as CaCO3, Bicarbonates 50-55, Sodium 10mg/l. That's it. After 5 weeks of steaming about 500ml daily I need to drain the boiler and refill it with DI water to prevent scaling. So after 5 weeks the water has gone from having nothing in it to being saturated enough with bicarbonates and minerals from the above water that scale will soon start to deposit. 

If you fill it with ashbeck and only ever remove water via steam then (if you use it the same as me) you'll see the mineral composition double within 5 weeks and you'll have 30mg/l chlorides and about 84.4mg/ hardness as CaCO3, with an alkalinity of 40. At a boiler temp of 125c you're looking at scale depositing before you even get to this point and it'll continue for the next 15 or so weeks. 

I'm not sure to what extent you'd see corrosion from chlorides causing problems. I think it's likely it would take a very long time to see anything wrong with the boiler itself but maybe components with thin platings or sheaths could be affected, perhaps even the threads could get damaged. Honestly I prefer to just avoid the possibility.

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Hi Paul 

Bella Barista will call you and they are taking calls but please be patient as only two members of staff in the business due to distancing 

And only one Technical person who is dealing with all the technical enquiries if you left a number with reception or answer phone you will get a call back tomorrow.

If you don't by 10 am please call again as your message may have been lost or number recorded incorrectly 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was your issue resolved?

ive had a very similar issue with the boiler over filling right from the start and it was finally sent back to Bella Barista. 
 

the leak was coming from the vale off centre of the boiler even when the steam boiler was switched off. 
Ive just heard back from BB who said they are changing the control unit and testing it again. Maybe that’s the cause of your issue too?

 

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1 hour ago, heirborn said:

Was your issue resolved?

ive had a very similar issue with the boiler over filling right from the start and it was finally sent back to Bella Barista. 
 

the leak was coming from the vale off centre of the boiler even when the steam boiler was switched off. 
Ive just heard back from BB who said they are changing the control unit and testing it again. Maybe that’s the cause of your issue too?

 

My issue recurs intermittently. I've tuned my ears to listen in for the service boiler pump kicking in and running too long and if I kill the power in time it avoids overfilling and causing the issue.

Strikes me that it works perfectly almost all of the time but an occasional signal inconsistency associated with the fill level trips the pump on and causes all the issues associated with overfilling.

If BB have a permanent fix id love to no longer have the issue.

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21 minutes ago, DanW said:

My issue recurs intermittently. I've tuned my ears to listen in for the service boiler pump kicking in and running too long and if I kill the power in time it avoids overfilling and causing the issue.

Strikes me that it works perfectly almost all of the time but an occasional signal inconsistency associated with the fill level trips the pump on and causes all the issues associated with overfilling.

If BB have a permanent fix id love to no longer have the issue.

If it only happens occasionally there has to be a loose connection there that is effected by heat or vibration, could be the ground wires or I guess it could be a faulty brain box, possibly a bad solder joint but I'd imagine there's strict quality control over that...it could potentially be a loose crimp on one of the wires that vibrates loose and fixes itself. Or maybe scale on the probe. 

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It is not uncommon to have faults on / in electronic components subject to temperature changes, even the heat generated by the component can cause problems with soldered joints and PCB's       Problem is it is an absolute PIG of a job to find out where the problem lies particularly intermittent ones.

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I do not think there is such a thing as a 'trouble free set up'.  Many / most machines  have  varying amounts of electronics in them.

Coffee machines can be likened to cars, the more electronics you have the greater the potential for mystifying problems and expense .Electronic components = ££££;):exit:

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56 minutes ago, heirborn said:

so hypothetically if you wanted a trouble free setup would you have to go down the lever / hand pull route? 

Well no. Faults are rare. Some levers have pumps that fill boilers. You mean machines free from electronics like the flare? 

Your issue was the auto fill solenoid wasn't closing. Why that was is likely a bad connection to or in the gicar or just a faulty solenoid. Since bb have replaced the gicar I'm guessing the former but then again they previously sent you an anti-vacuum valve based on your description of the problem...

 

Edited by Rob1
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My Minima was exactly the same. Steam boiler kept overfilling to the point water came out the steam wand. Also leaked on the counter top. May well have been a loose connection, but mine had the Gicar replaced and then when it still happened, the fault was thought to be the fill probe. 

I loved the idea of mine, but based on the above I would say there is an inherent fault in these which ACS should probably look to adjust/remedy. 

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Hi it's very curious that the problem of overfilling appear only on machines sold in UK i don't know if the different voltage change something and only on few machines sold in different times, in any case replying to someone that have no problem if the steam boiler is off, i have to say that even is off nothing change because the switch turn on and off only the heating element the rest works as usual, i meant if the water level is lower the board turn on the pump to fill the boiler even if only the brew boiler is on. i don't know if the problem could be the water used also because on this board we cannot change the sensibility of the probe, but we have also received a machine back from BB with this problem and in our company unfortunately we have not found the problem. in any case we are still working on to find the cause and the solution.

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I was literally coming to the forums to do some searching as I experienced the exact same issue this morning - and found this thread right near the top! A fine mist of water ejecting from the top of the service boiler, PID read 62C at the point it started leaking. I have only had mine for 4/5 weeks (and 1.5kg of espresso blends arrived yesterday!) and have already contacted BB. If I find anything new, I'll let you guys know!

Minima issue 1.jpg

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I’m getting my machine back from BB tomorrow. 
 

I had a video call with Martin who walked me through draining the steam boiler and re testing. 
we replaced one of the valves but the issue continued to happen. 
 

it got sent back and the Gicar was swapped out for a new one and then Martin sent me a picture of what was the problem. Apparently it was dwarf that got stuck somewhere (maybe the solenoid?) I don’t have enough knowledge to know just from the picture but I can find out where it was exactly and get back to you. 

my machine was days old and had this problem from the start so award must have been stuck there when they drilled into the boiler for the various fittings etc. 

307A1A36-3B7B-43E4-87E3-3D269F78BA27.jpeg

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I was going to say, it could be a one off but the tapping was out. Knew I should of said it. You have it back and all is well.

Edited by Jony
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51 minutes ago, brad73 said:

I was literally coming to the forums to do some searching as I experienced the exact same issue this morning - and found this thread right near the top! A fine mist of water ejecting from the top of the service boiler, PID read 62C at the point it started leaking. I have only had mine for 4/5 weeks (and 1.5kg of espresso blends arrived yesterday!) and have already contacted BB. If I find anything new, I'll let you guys know!

Minima issue 1.jpg

Have you taken the top cover off yet?

Edited by Rob1
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Okay - minor update from my machine. I let it cool for half the day, then drained about 500ml from the hot tap (its a very slow trickle at room temp). Then, when I turned mine on again, it gurgled from 50C on the PID till around 100C, only a small amount of water on the top of the boiler. It was gurgling from the steel nut (with the little C-clip on top) - the second pic from the OP.

Its now been on at temp for 30 mins and is dry, no leaking at all. Maybe it was just a one-off overfill? I shall see over the coming days.

@Rob1, no i haven't removed the top cover, I have just been peeking through the slots with a torch. I'd rather not remove it at this early stage of owning it (though I would hope it wouldn't void the BB warranty to take it off?).

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I had a similar issue. When the steam boiler is switched on the valve you described seals with pressure. It will leak 1-2 drops which is normal. The problem occurs when the steam boiler is off, and it just keeps filling and leaks out of the valve once it a full to the brim. 
 

you should test it with the steam boiler off and see what happens but it could be a number of issues that cause it - faulty earth, a lose connection elsewhere, fill solenoid Gicar controller or maybe swarf like I had. 

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