E61 doesn't release pressure after group cleaning

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mikel51
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Equipment: Rocket Cellina Evoluzione, Baratza Vario
Location: Des Moines

Postby mikel51 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:10 pm

Hi,
Over the weekend, I took apart the E61 group on my Rocket Cellini Evoluzione (1 3/4 years old), replaced the gaskets, and lubed the cam and pins. I did this because the thermosiphon leaked overnight and I hoped to make it pressure tight like when new. After reassembly, I found that the group doesn't release pressure from the drain valve after pulling a shot and returning the lever to the down position. I have to release the espresso basket slowly because it is still under pressure after pulling the shot.

I took the machine apart again and looked carefully at the cam and pins. I am pretty sure that the cam is activating the pins in both up and down positions. I tried loosening the bottom nut on the drain and found that when loose enough, that water will drip out the bottom when the lever is in the brew position (but not in the off position), but after tightening, again, no pressure release. I notice that with the lever in the preinfuse/middle position, water comes out of the brew group basket, so I assume this means that the cam is properly opening and closing the bottom pin (which actuates the preinfusion valve?).

I have now disassembled and reassembled several times, and as far as I can tell from the diagram, it is put together correctly.

Any suggestions about how I might be able to fix?

I got the courage to try this after reading several posts about fixing drips, so this is my first post and my first attempt at espresso machine repair/maintenance.

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erics
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Postby erics » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:34 pm

As I said in a previous post, amazing things can happen when you are a litle more specific as regards your location other than "United States".

But, in the meantime, go here - http://www.espressomyespresso.com/ and repeat your disassembly/reassembly procedure by checking out "How-To-19 -Overhauling and Lubricating the E-61 Group."
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at erols dot com

mikel51
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Equipment: Rocket Cellina Evoluzione, Baratza Vario
Location: Des Moines

Postby mikel51 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:20 am

That did it. Thanks. Actually not sure how it is assembled differently. Last time I used the directions at: http://coffeetimex.wikidot.com/e61-group-servicing. Now I am pretty proficient at this and won't be intimidated about lubricating or replacing seals the next time it starts leaking or squeaking :D

mikel51
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Location: Des Moines

Postby mikel51 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:35 pm

Well, I don't think this really took care of the issue. Now I am getting some pressure relief through the drain when the lever is in the off position, but I am not getting complete relief--there is still pressure on the brew basket when I remove it. Also, the release of liquid through the drain valve seems less forceful than before rebuilding. So I am wondering if it could be due to one of several issues:

(a) I still haven't assembled the group properly.
(b) The cam and/or pin(s) on the preinfuse and drain valves are worn such that there is slight opening of the drain valve, but not full opening of the drain valve. The red arrows pointing to potential wear points.

Image

Any thoughts or suggestions? Does wear of cam and/or pins commonly cause this problem? While I am guilty of using the machine for several months while having to force the cam into the brew position, I would be surprised if that caused enough wear to cause the drain valve to not fully open. If the answer is (b), I can solve by getting new valves and a new cam. If the cause is (a), I am stymied.
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erics
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Postby erics » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:02 pm

The order of disassembly of the group is less important than the order of reassembly but certainly following the procedures exactly as written in Randy G.'s article is best. At this point, I think you would be best served by replacing the valves and cam and applying a little lubricant as contained in the article. Here is a pic of the lower portion disassembled:

Image

Naturally, wear at the points you indicated can effect the amount that the exhaust valve opens.

As regards reassembly, the camshaft and its support structure should be the last to come out and the first to go in.
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Skål,

Eric S.
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E-mail: erics at erols dot com

XCman
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Postby XCman » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:13 pm

I had this same problem first time I took mine apart and replaced the valves. It turned out then when I put the cam back in it wasn't sliding in between the upper and lower cams. Brew worked fine, no pressure release in the down position. Now when I reassemble it, I take off the mushroom, and remove spring and brew valve. Put the cam in and then put the brew valve and mushroom back on. I haven't had any problems since I started reassembling this way.

mikel51
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Postby mikel51 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:05 pm

Thanks erics and XCman. I did take it apart again, firmly seat the cam and the pin, and completely button up the lever assembly before putting the top and bottom assemblies in place. Now I have a full power blast on the drain valve when backflushing.

I have seen some posts that talk about an easy way to lube the cam by simply removing the lever assembly, lubing and reassembling. This experience suggests that I won't be able to do that very effectively and would want to remove the top and bottom assemblies when lubricating the cam.

BTW, erics, I have one of your thermometers in the brew head and it has helped me enormously in standardizing espresso making--thanks for the research and engineering.

Little Tokyo - Coffee, Espresso, Teas, Chocolates
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erics
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Postby erics » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:12 pm

Lube the cam with a Q-tip by removing the mushroom and brew valve. True, you can't get everything but this is a lot easier than complete disassembly.
Skål,

Eric S.
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E-mail: erics at erols dot com

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Randy G.
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Postby Randy G. » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:53 pm

How to lube - easy method - with full-length video:
http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/HowToE61LUBE.html

Complete disassembly:
http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/HowToE61overhaul.html
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genovese
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Postby genovese » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:35 pm

mikel51 wrote:I have seen some posts that talk about an easy way to lube the cam by simply removing the lever assembly, lubing and reassembling. This experience suggests that I won't be able to do that very effectively and would want to remove the top and bottom assemblies when lubricating the cam.

Thanks for confirming my own experience with this same issue. I wiggled and jiggled the cam till I was blue in the face without getting it back in against the spring-loading from above and below. As Eric implied, things are much easier after relieving the pressure from above, which enabled me to get the cam back in with the lower valve assembly in place.