kshanticoffee.com: we love to make things and we also love coffee

Multiple problems with brand new Expobar Office Lever Plus.

Postby hamish5178 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:31 pm

I'll try to keep this short:

-Received from WLL last Wednesday, been working perfectly. Have Eric's Adapter installed, idle temps around 201F with boiler pressure set at around 1.1 BAR (I raised it, it was set at 0.9 when I received it with low grouphead temps)

-Last 48 hours, pump has not come on to refill boiler, ran out of boiler water today when running hot water wand, machine 'overheated' and the little red switch on top of the boiler was tripped. Re-set this switch but could not get boiler to fill.

-Found the water level sensor located on top of the boiler, pulled it out and reinserted it, voila, the boiler fills again.

-New problem: after this the vacuum pressure valve on top of the boiler would not close, so it would just keep releasing steam from the boiler, which would eventually re-fill itself. I disassembled the valve and put it back together and it sealed up, and boiler pressure rose to the normal level.

-Newest problem: boiler has been filling normally but the pressure has skyrocketed from 1.1 to 1.6 BAR and rising (I turned the machine off before letting it go any higher.) Tried dialing down the OPV (in case I had somehow managed to knock it earlier in the day, but I highly doubt this because of it's location relative to my other adjustments) but the OPV now has zero effect. Temperatures at the grouphead have also risen to reflect the change in boiler pressure, so the gauge isn't faulty.

Please help me, knowledgable people of HB! The machine has worked perfectly up until today, it's driving me nuts.
hamish5178
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Location: PA

Postby sashaman on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:50 pm

Hmm, I'm a tad worried by the work you've done with the machine so far. You say the boiler pressure skyrocketed to 1.6 bar, but you tried to adjust the OPV. Note the OPV has nothing to do with boiler pressure - it is used to regulate brew pressure.

It sounds now like your pressurestat is not working correctly, as it is not turning off the heating element after you've hit the appropriate boiler pressure. It is either not working, not connected correctly or not at the right pressure setting.
sashaman
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Jan 09, 2012
Location: Austin, TX

Postby hamish5178 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:55 pm

sashaman wrote:Hmm, I'm a tad worried by the work you've done with the machine so far. You say the boiler pressure skyrocketed to 1.6 bar, but you tried to adjust the OPV. Note the OPV has nothing to do with boiler pressure - it is used to regulate brew pressure.

It sounds now like your pressurestat is not working correctly, as it is not turning off the heating element after you've hit the appropriate boiler pressure. It is either not working, not connected correctly or not at the right pressure setting.


Either I don't know my terminology (I think this is the case) or I did indeed adjust the wrong thing. To my knowledge there are two pressure adjustments on this machine, brew and boiler. The brew pressure (I think) is adjusted by a brass flat-head screw that is accessible from the front of the machine behind the drip-tray. The thing I said I adjusted is a black plastic wheel that attaches to the boiler inside the machine.
hamish5178
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Location: PA

Postby sashaman on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:39 pm

Yep, that's good, you are correct. The OPV, which adjusts the brew pressure, is adjusted by turning the screw from the hole in the drip tray. The black plastic wheel adjusts the pressurestat.

Your pressurestat is stuck - this thread addresses a similar problem: New Valentina user needs help! Boiler pressure keeps rising. You should give WLL a call - while I haven't had major mechanical issues I've found them to be very helpful.

FWIW, it's good to hear that your grouphead was idling at 201 with the pressure at 1.1 bar. Sounds to me like they are now installing the thermosyphon restrictor by default, which results in a better idle temperature and an easier flush routine.
sashaman
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Jan 09, 2012
Location: Austin, TX

Postby hamish5178 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:51 pm

sashaman wrote:Yep, that's good, you are correct. The OPV, which adjusts the brew pressure, is adjusted by turning the screw from the hole in the drip tray. The black plastic wheel adjusts the pressurestat.

Your pressurestat is stuck - this thread addresses a similar problem: New Valentina user needs help! Boiler pressure keeps rising. You should give WLL a call - while I haven't had major mechanical issues I've found them to be very helpful.

FWIW, it's good to hear that your grouphead was idling at 201 with the pressure at 1.1 bar. Sounds to me like they are now installing the thermosyphon restrictor by default, which results in a better idle temperature and an easier flush routine.


Thanks for the response! I have a new problem, the machine now refuses to heat, though the red light stays on if the machine is on. This thing just seems to be cursed today. I've called WLL and initiated a return/exchange, I did speak with two of their techs multiple times today btw. Is it possible something got burnt out when it went through that high temp/pressure phase?

In regards to the temp, I was also very happy to see that. I actually ordered the thermosyphon restrictor with the machine but have not installed it, so I'm not sure if there is the correct size one in place or not.
hamish5178
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Location: PA

Postby sashaman on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:39 pm

Yeah, that switch is to save your heating element if it becomes exposed, but perhaps someone with more hardware knowledge than me knows how it could be the root of all the problems you're having.

An idle temp at 201 is exactly what I get when the portafilter is in, where before I installed the thermosyphon restrictor it would idle at ~210-212.
sashaman
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Jan 09, 2012
Location: Austin, TX

Postby Todd Salzman on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:44 pm

I am sorry and surprised by the list of problems you described. Every machine is tested and adjusted to our specification and our own custom/home made copper restrictor is installed. We set the brew pressure at 10 bar with the back flush disc in place which is about 9 bar with a flow of 2 ounces in 25 seconds. The steam pressure is set to .9 bar which will give about a 201 degree brew temp with our flow restrictor. This keep the brew group flush to an absolute minimum.

Your problems are very odd and they all seem to be unrelated but it is hard to tell for sure. The pressure problems are the pressure stat. The control system will turn off the heating element when the water is not in contact with the probe in the boiler so it should not have caused the high limit to trip. The vacuum relief valve is almost fool proof except for small leaks as minerals build up on them and they get older. It just sounds like yours got stuck the one time.

I will forward you my mobile number and please feel free to call me and we can review this machine if you like and also talk about the new machine when you get it.

Thanks very much
Todd Salzman
Whole Latte Love
todd@wholelattelove.com
Todd Salzman
Whole Latte Love
Todd Salzman
Sponsor
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 29, 2008

Postby hamish5178 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:25 am

I'd just like to publicly say that I've been very, very impressed with WLL throughout this process, both in terms of technical support and customer service. They really know their product inside and out. I'll post again once I receive my new machine.

Oh, and Todd, it would be nice if you made mention on your site that you're now installing the thermosyphon restrictor. I seem to have purchased one unnecessarily 8) .


edit: when I drained my boiler for shipping (via the release valve since the machine couldn't come up to pressure and push water out of the wand) the boiler water was very dirty. It looked like it was full of fine-ground coffee but there was no coffee smell whatsoever and you couldn't actually feel the grinds with your hands, there were just visible black/brown specks throughout the water. I have used only Brita water, and the tap water that is made with isn't terrible. Could this have been part of the original problem with the level sensor? What would have caused this?
hamish5178
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Location: PA