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Alex Duetto II steam boiler condition + insulation ideas


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Posted (edited)

Hi, I've been getting 'under the hood' of my Duetto II this weekend. Originally to solve the slow steam boiler fill up, but I've been having a look around I can see some build up ( I think calcium?) on the bottom of the steam boiler where the heating elements enter. So I was wondering if anyone had seen this or knows about it? Should I be concerned? Is it a sign of the seal failing maybe?

I've also got to sort out the insulation on the boiler as a lot of it has solidified and is crumbling away. I read @DavecUK blog about this using the snow skirt tree (http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/insulating-the-boiler-on-an-izzo-alex) but since that product doesn't look readily available he suggested to another blogger about using the pond liner (http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/boiler-insulation-duetto-steam-boiler). Is this still a good option, has anyone got any experience with this? I can easily find pond liner, but is there any thing I need to be aware of when buying it?

Thanks, Gordon

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Izzo Alex Duetto II - Compak E5 - VST baskets - bottomless portafilter

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Heating element gasket is probably leaking, might be on warm up might be all the time, as is another fitting to the left of it (which can be left until it gets worse probably), unless it's got some liquid from the heating element leak.  Use an impact driver to get the heating element off safely.

Pond fleece is great for that application. I used the thickish grey variety, but green would no doubt work.

This quality but smaller amount of course

https://www.amazon.co.uk/16m²-pond-fleece-500g-protection/dp/B00IMJ9G42

https://www.swicofil.com/commerce/products/polypropylene/191/properties

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @DavecUK. There's no water leaking out the bottom as I have placed blue paper towel on warm up to look for this. So I'm guessing it is either a small leak during normal operation. Still, better to get it sorted. I've found a Izzo boiler gasket on Belle Barista https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/izzo-pompei-boiler-gasket-tf18.html but it seems quite big from the photo, 14cm diameter. Is this the right one? 

When I had the Gaggia Classic, there was a seals service kit on eBay that had a detailed schematic of all the seal locations. I had a look for one for this machine but couldn't find something similar. Is there any schematics about seals/gasket sizes for this machine? Or any good websites to buy seals/gaskets from?

Good to know about the pond insulation, I'll see if I can get my hands on some. Maybe anyone reading this knows anyone with some small cut offs..!??

Edited by Gordonac
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Did I not give you some spare viton

SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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Err no 14cm is not right could it be a typo. It's a standard white teflon heating element gasket. They are all mostly the same size.

A link to what you saw would help me check...

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29 minutes ago, Jony said:

Did I not give you some spare viton

I don’t think so, or if you did the guy who picked it up may have forgotten to pass it on. But do you know any places to get them? I’m thinking I could do some research and pick a few standard sizes

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29 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

Err no 14cm is not right could it be a typo. It's a standard white teflon heating element gasket. They are all mostly the same size.

A link to what you saw would help me check...

Dont think it’s typo, they had a photo with the gasket next to a ruler. It’s here: https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/izzo-pompei-boiler-gasket-tf18.html 

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I've just give one away as well🤔

Just Google it, if the one on the brew boiler is still going order a piece from online

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SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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20 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

it says Izzo Pompei Boiler Gasket TF18, not Duetto, it won't fit.

 

Ah right! That would explain it!

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I think you may find they are 54 mm X 42 mm.  BUT.  check first..

Make sure you keep it centralised as you tighten up the element. A common source of leak is because it is not quite central.

There is a relief at the shoulder of the element which allows the seal/ gasket to move off centre

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Thanks @El carajillo having a difficult time trying to find the gasket along with its dimensions. Only place I could find it was clive coffee in USA! So I am going to leave the gasket replacement until it becomes more serious. At the moment there is no obvious leaking on warm up nor during operation, so I will keep a close eye and see how it develops. 

In the meantime, I've ordered the pond fleece and will get on with adding that. 

Thanks for all the help 

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Buy viton online which I mentioned already, which you cut yourself and its already on your brew boiler.

SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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24 minutes ago, Gordonac said:

At the moment there is no obvious leaking on warm up nor during operation, so I will keep a close eye and see how it develops. 

There is a good chance the leak is old and well and truly sealed by now. 

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On 11/06/2020 at 17:50, Jony said:

Buy viton online which I mentioned already, which you cut yourself and its already on your brew boiler.

Thanks @Jony yea it will be good to get one ready, I've worked out what Viton means now! Not done much of this before! @El carajillo you said to check first, but do you mean by taking the old gasket off or looking it up on the web - if it's looking it up on the web, I've tried and can't find it yet, do you know where you can find that sort of information?  Also don't have an impact driver, so I think I'll cause more issues by trying to replace it at the mo, and if it's not leaking then hopefully what @Nikko said is true and the seal will be good for longer. 

Pond liber is arriving Tuesday next week, so looking forward to getting that on. Will let you know how I get on! 

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 I just found where I bought mine from was on ebay, will dig the link out. Order viton first then sort it.

 

Just double check it's 3mm I've forgotten

 

Screenshot_20200613_183847_com.ebay.mobile.jpg

Edited by Jony
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SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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30 minutes ago, Jony said:

 I just found where I bought mine from was on ebay, will dig the link out. Order viton first then sort it.

 

Just double check it's 3mm I've forgotten

 

Screenshot_20200613_183847_com.ebay.mobile.jpg

Oh right, that's a lot cheaper than I thought! Is it easy to cut with simple tools like Stanley knife or even scissors? I'm guessing I'd just use the old gasket as a template? Just looking at the photo it looks bit thicker, but does it matter? Looks like you just tigheten to the gasket 

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Scissors yes and I used my dremel, don't over tighten, and grease both sides of the gasket lightly.

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SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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On 13/06/2020 at 18:17, Gordonac said:

Thanks @Jony yea it will be good to get one ready, I've worked out what Viton means now! Not done much of this before! @El carajillo you said to check first, but do you mean by taking the old gasket off or looking it up on the web - if it's looking it up on the web, I've tried and can't find it yet, do you know where you can find that sort of information?  Also don't have an impact driver, so I think I'll cause more issues by trying to replace it at the mo, and if it's not leaking then hopefully what @Nikko said is true and the seal will be good for longer. 

Pond liber is arriving Tuesday next week, so looking forward to getting that on. Will let you know how I get on! 

The measurements I gave you are from a spare one of mine, I think most are the same size. But to check just measure the O/ side diam of the one on your machine. (insitu)

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  • 2 months later...

Sad news regarding the instalment of the new insulation. Finally got round to taking it all apart, giving the parts a good clean and putting the insulation on. Then, on reassembly, the safety valve that screws into the top of the steam boiler has sheared off with the threaded part still in boiler (see the photos). Needless to say, I'm gutted! So bloody close!

My idea is to try and freeze a rod and then put it in and hope it expands enough to be able to twist the thread , but I'm doubtful it'll work. 

Has anyone got any other ideas or is it as I fear.... having to buy a whole new boiler?

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Izzo Alex Duetto II - Compak E5 - VST baskets - bottomless portafilter

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Ohh dear. Could tap out or screw it drill it slightly, it's a slight angle isn't it you over tighten it.

Edited by Jony
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SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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14 minutes ago, Jony said:

Ohh dear. Could tap out or screw it drill it slightly, it's a slight angle isn't it you over tighten it.

Not sure, I guess I must have over tightened. Makes sense given its a smaller thread. Yea drilling could be an option cheers!

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