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Should I worry? Izzo Alex Mark 2 didn't turn on


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Happy Lock Down Saturday!

Hope everyone is well. with a baby, I'm not used to having time on my hand, but a housebound weekend changes all that!

I'm lock down ready, with a kg of local beans delivered just before lockdown, and milk from the milkman...

Until Friday morning, when the unthinkable happened! Came downstairs to find the machine cold! I checked the smart plug, fuse, water level (won't start with low water, but beeps) and still no power... luckly I grabbed the aeropress before the office was locked down... Later, the red (heating) light was flickering, and there was a bit of a buzz...  and then later, it was working fine... has worked fine today...

 

Should I worry?! I was having probs with water coming out of the steam wand and someone suggested that it might be the gicar... could this be further evidence?

Just keep a watching brief, or should I act now!?

Thanks!

Jon

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Or simply a bad contact on the level switch, sticking tank platform....could be something super simple.

Take the top off and have a look at the gicar...

Rad this article I wrote probably 15 years ago..hopefully you or a previous owner relocated the Gicar. When you click the first image it downloads a .pdf to your computer with far more detail about the issue.

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/izzo-alex-gicar-box-relocation

 

Edited by DavecUK

Nothing here...

 

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Hey DavecUK,

 

Thanks for your reply! I have only just had a chance to read your attachment, and not had a chance to open my machine up yet.

Hopefully you're right, and its something simple. Its been playing up since.. taking a long time to turn on. sometimes, its on, but no lights and heat, but the pump works when you lift the brew handle. 

Hopefully I'll get to open it up this weekend... Ill keep you posted!

Cheers!

Jon

 

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Finally had a chance to look inside. 

Gicar in original position.  Brown, but looks ok on the inside. I don't think I can move it right now. The connections all look good. Thought they might be corroded. Could open the top of the gicar, but get to the circuit boards (though I might be able to spot a bad component). Still works generally, so don't think one of the components have blown - guess it wouldn't work at all of that was the case.

Don't think it's the water tank sticking, as it would beep if that was the prob. Not sure which is the level switch. Will have a look.

Anyway, just a quick update, before babies patience runs out!

Cheers

Jon

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Annotated photos help otherwise people are not sure what you are talking about. e.g. what's a level switch mean to you? Photos might allow people with experience to see something you have not seen.

Nothing here...

 

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Hi DavecUK, all, 

Thanks for your reply. I've inserted some pics to give you an idea of what the machine looks like inside.

I've not annotated most pics as I'm not really sure what most parts are, and I'm not really trying to point out anything. I've named them to show what you're looking at though. You mentioned the level switch in your initial reply - thats its to tell the water level in the boiler? I guess it's the probe within the yellow box in the pic Possible_level_sensor.jpg?? this appears to be attached to a white with blue cable...  its connector for the gicar looks ok. can I check it with the multimeter? if so, would the other terminal be ground? is that yellow and green stripes? Is the level switch easy to clear/adjust?

Thanks again for all your help!

Cheers

Jon

 

 

Boiler_top_into_portafilter.jpg

Possible_level_sensor.jpg

Gicar_contacts.jpg

Gicar_Location_From_Back_2.jpg

GICAR_Location_from_Back.jpg

Gicar_with_diagram_and_discolouration.jpg

Plugs_for_Gicar.jpg

Top_of_Boiler.jpg

TopView_1.jpg

TopView_2.jpg

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Machines been leaking in a few places, connector top of HX unit, and at the safety valve, water used looks to have been hard (strange as you're in Devon). Have you owned the machine from new, recently acquired it, what's it's history?

  • Gicar looks toasty, could well be going bad (hope you took a photo of how it was wired).
  • Safety valve needs replacing
  • Insulation needs removing to inspect for further leaks
  • Machine probably needs a full service
  • E61 group probably needs going through
  • Clean it up inside, that way any issues and any new issues will be easy to spot
  • Pump should be disonnected from motor and inspect for leaking (check weep hole is positioned downwards)
  • Heating element connector might have been overheating, check not loose, corroded or a bad joint.

Nothing here...

 

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Hi, 

Wow, thanks for all your insights! Sounds like a scary amount to do/replace/buy!

I bought off the forums in about 2017. From looking back though my emails, I think it might have been in the midlands before me. I replaced the anti-vac valve last year (with help from you and the forum - https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/46159-replacing-a-anti-vacuum-valve-on-an-izzo-alex-mark-2/).

I took very careful notes of how the gicar was wired, and photos, before disconnecting it! I have rewired it and put it back (It was tricky holding the nut for the bolt!).

It sounds like I should remove the insulation, and clean so I can see a bit clearer. I'll see if I can find out about the safetly valve. I think I have a fair bit of investigation ahead of me!

Thanks again for the advice.

Bed now, and no coffee in the morning!

Thanks

Jon

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Good Morning, 

Rereading your list, I think I'll have to try and do it bit at a time.

I've removed the insulation, and taken some photos (see attached). I've turned it on and heated it up and seems to be working again (GICAR wires in the correct place!). There don't seem to be any leaks, although the newly (last year) installed anti-vac valve splutters a bit before sealing - I understand this is what its meant to do. Can I check that this (yellow box in photo Safety_valve_that_needs_replacing.jpg) is the safely valve that you mean? I think its out of stock at bella barista (https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/izzo-safety-security-valve-fe238.html and replaced by 2 other valves) - I'll send them an email to see which they recommend - looks like this will have to be a post covid-19 repair!

By going through the E61, you mean removing it, cleaning it, replacing anything that needs replacing, and replacing any worn bits? that sounds like a bit of a job.

I have noticed that there is a buzzing sounds then the red, heating light, is on. I think its coming from the back of the machine, near the GICAR, and the component mounted infront of it, but I can't be sure.

I haven't thought about the last couple of things on the list. It sounds like I need to take the machine apart quite a bit to get to some of these things.

I think I also need a new washer for the brew lever - it drips when I'm pouring a shot...

I think I also need to work out the correct names of everything so I can explain what I mean properly! thanks for the pointer to all the izzo info on the coffeetime.wikidot website!

Any idea of someone who could do a machine service in the South West?

Thanks again for all your advice.

Cheers

Jon

 

Safety_valve_that_needs_replacing.jpg

20200405_095629_606x1280.jpg

20200405_095643_606x1280.jpg

20200405_100813_606x1280.jpg

20200405_100828_606x1280.jpg

20200405_100847_606x1280.jpg

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Hi,

I've made a bit more progress this easter, but its a bit one step forwards, two steps backwards!

Yesterday I cleaned the boiler level sensor probe (didn't think it was too bad, see pics), and tried to replace the safety OPV valve, but unfortunately, it was the wrong size (ordered the 3/8 inch, when I think it should be 1/4 inch).

I also played around with measuring some of the electronics (voltage across the replay, impedance of the element, voltage across the element) but need to do these properly again. 

Today I have given it a good descale.

I'll let you know how I go!

Cheers

Jon

Old_and_new_OPV.jpg

Probe_before_cleaning.jpg

probe_after_soaked_in_citric_acid.jpg

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you might find that this is a thread adaptor. Use PTFE tape to refit, about 7 wraps....wrap it the right way....google search it if you don't know. Put a spanner on the nut just above the nut of the fitting and undo the bottom nut, you don't want to undo the valve itself.

 

image.png.9dfeeb8c5a693b8433ffdfe485050ab1.png

Edited by DavecUK

Nothing here...

 

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Hey DavecUK,

Thanks for this, but unfortunately, I don't think it is for this one - attached is a photo of it unscrewed

I guess I might be able to get a converter though - not thought of that,

thanks

Jon

20200411_193802_606x1280.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

I've finally sourced and fitted an equivalent safety valve - so now have removed the insulation, cleaned the water level probe, descaled it, replaced the safety valve. 

This weekend, I'm going to see if I can remove the metal wall behind the boiler, that the gicar sits on - to see if I can test the relay is working correctly, and get under the boiler.

DavecUK I'm still a little unclear about what you meant in a few of your recommendations.

What do you mean by E61 needing going through? do you mean change the shower screen and gasket? or take it apart?

To clean it up inside, do you mean clean what I can see, or should I be taking things out to clean underneath - I wonder if I should be removing the boiler, but that seems like a massive job.

I haven't looked into the pump/motor or element points yet.

Thanks again for your help and time,

Cheers

Jon

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1 hour ago, jpt198 said:

Hi All,

I've finally sourced and fitted an equivalent safety valve - so now have removed the insulation, cleaned the water level probe, descaled it, replaced the safety valve. 

This weekend, I'm going to see if I can remove the metal wall behind the boiler, that the gicar sits on - to see if I can test the relay is working correctly, and get under the boiler.

DavecUK I'm still a little unclear about what you meant in a few of your recommendations.

What do you mean by E61 needing going through? do you mean change the shower screen and gasket? or take it apart?

To clean it up inside, do you mean clean what I can see, or should I be taking things out to clean underneath - I wonder if I should be removing the boiler, but that seems like a massive job.

I haven't looked into the pump/motor or element points yet.

Thanks again for your help and time,

Cheers

Jon

Nutating is old hat and not recommended any more, I think even the guy who invented it wished he hadn't.

Going through the E61 group means living it attached to the machine but stripping it down. read the articles, it will soon make sense.

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/search:site/q/e61 maintenance

Nothing here...

 

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Hi all, 

Thanks DavecUK, those guides are fantastic! I've learnt more in one evening than with all the other reading I've done! thanks! it must of been a huge amount of work putting them together.

I have used the 2 spoon trick to clean behind my shower screen. I will order the E61 kit from bellabarista once they're open post corona.

I have had another look, and have worked out how take  off the back wall (where the relay and gicar is mounted). I was then able to work out which of the two was making the horrible buzzing sound - the relay, see video later.

The element resistance was 39.6 ohms, and had 95V dc going through it when on. I think this gives me info on whether the element is ok, need to find out. 

the bottom of the relay had 230V AC going thgouth it, and the top had a varying about, from 50 to 300 VAC - I guess depends on what the machine was doing. 

The red lamp sometimes flickers, with a loud click, and the relay has a horrible buzz when on - is this normal? I wondered if that was the origin of my problem? I have a feeling a buzzing relay is on the way out... I suspect this would be a cheaper solution that the gicar!

I have included a video with the buzz (ignore the baby clattering background noise!)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/yNRzbBuYzqpycKPw8

 

Cheers

Jon

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