prima-coffee.com: coffee & espresso equipment and accessories

Pasquini Livia 90 Rebuild(ish)

Postby mrskemp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Hi all,

First time post.

I recently picked up a non functioning Livia 90 (serial # 13441) on Craigslist for a great price and I want to get it back up and running.

Although I am seriously inspired by this gentleman: Restoring my new Pasquini I think I am going to start by aiming for solid functioning machine first as this is my first quality espresso machine.
Here it is:
Image
A little dirty, but not too bad.

I cleaned it up:
Image
Gauge is obviously broken as it is all the way right, whether it is on or off, or even disconnected.

I put water in it and turned it on. Steam steamed, and hot water hot watered, but not a whole lot of water from the brewhead. Further inspection show a seriously dirty brewhead lacking a shower screen. Not good signs in terms of previous owner care. Here is the brewhead after a bit of cleaning:
Image

What are the two little tubes doing that dangle into water tank? I figure some sort of overflow, but should they have any kind of fitting on the ends other than what is shown?
Image

So after leaving it on the counter over night, there was a puddle underneath.
I sourced the leak to the pump, which looks like a mess and would explain the low water at the brewhead.
Image
I have already ordered a new one from Fluid-o-Tech. Very nice people, actually have the exact model on hand, located nearby in CT, and only $43!

Here it is with cover off:
Image

Image


A little snooping around and I found this:
Image
Someone has been in her before with a vice grip on a fitting. Not a good sign.


Ok, then. Questions:

I figure this thing has never been cleaned. Should I just start disassembling and descaling? Will I find that fittings won't come undone? Should I pull apart the boiler itself? It appears that pretty much every part is available for this machine. What is the consensus? How far should I break it down?

Or should I throw a new pump in there, attach a new shower screen, insert a new gauge and simply see how it works?

I will keep posting to show progress.

Thanks in advance.

Carter
mrskemp
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 27, 2013
Location: Warren, RI

Postby allon on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:36 pm

Before dropping too much on it I would attempt to determine the state of the heat exchanger. A gauge all the way up like that may be a sign of freeze damage which can rupture the HX (and other parts).

The boiler may have been emptied (else it would also be destroyed) but the heat exchanger is a little more difficult to drain.

Try the following - fill the boiler but don't bring it up to temp. Open the hot water valve. Run the pump (like pulling a shot). If water comes out of the hot water valve you may have a problem.
LMWDP #331
User avatar
allon
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Location: Northern VA
www.wholelattelove.com: our caffeinated commitment to you
www.wholelattelove.com: our caffeinated commitment to you

Postby mrskemp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:53 pm

Thanks for the response.
How do I fill the boiler without bringing it up to temp? The gauge is all the way up like that even when disconnected and out of the machine, needle will bounce, but stays on that side. Does that change the diagnosis at all? Also, when I had it on, it got hot, steam came from steam wand, and hot boiling water came from hot water side, hot water came through the brewhead, just not as much as it should.

Thanks,

Carter
mrskemp
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 27, 2013
Location: Warren, RI

Postby allon on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:21 pm

If you turn the machin off (with boiler full) and wait for it to cool down, then the boiler will not be pressurized.
Opening the water valve should do nothing with no boiler pressure.

With the water valve open and the steam valve closed, running the pump (into a blind PF - should have though of that first) shouldn't do anything. If there is a leak between the HX and the boiler then it will pressurize the boiler and force water through the open water valve.

Just a Q&D check, though really, you should check the HX positively before dumping a ton of money into other parts for the machine. A damaged HX can be the end of the boiler for a machine - if the boiler is knackered, then the machine is good for parts only, usually. Thus checking the integrity of the HX should be done for a machine of questionable origin, especially in light of the pressure gauge being all the way up like that.

I'm not trying to alarm you - it is entirely possible that the HX is fine.
But it would be a good idea to check before going much further. The test I proposed (sorry, forgot about the blind PF) would tell you if there was something seriously wrong, but might not reveal a minor leak. It's a sanity check, but not conclusive.
LMWDP #331
User avatar
allon
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Location: Northern VA

Postby mrskemp on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:35 am

Ok, I will try this when the new pump comes in. I am only into it for $120 so far ($80 purchase price, and $40 new pump.)

And just a quick clarification question, if it did have a freeze problem and the HX is screwed, would this affect the boiler itself? (zero leaks when heated up, with full steam available. The pump's leak was just a slow drip.) Or just the HX? The HX is available as a replacement part for $160. I hope that I don't have to go there, but considering the low price, I would.

Thanks, and will update soon, hopefully.

Carter
mrskemp
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 27, 2013
Location: Warren, RI

Postby mrskemp on Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:58 am

An update:

I pulled the machine farther apart.
Image

Disconnected the pipes, pulled out the boiler.
Image

Detached the heating coil from the boiler and decalcified everything.
Image

Nothing like seeing a torch and a sledgehammer on the espresso machine work table. (torch for gently heating up the boiler and heating coil to separate them.)
Image

A look into the boiler. That is the HX pipe in the center. Very low pressure tests have it holding water. No visible sign of damage. :
Image

Upon putting it all back together with a new gasket between the heating coil and boiler, it warmed up and started hissing. Source of the hissing was a valve that Pasquini(Bezzera) calls the safety valve. Designed to release at 2,5 bar. I pulled it apart, cleaned it, adjusted it a little down, and no more hissing.
Image

Got it all back together again and turned the pump on. Pump sound, no water. Decided to move back down the trail of water and checked the 3-way valve first. Wasn't letting water through. Removed, semi-dissasembled, cleaned and reinstalled.
Image

Fired it up again, and voila!. Pump works, boiler pressure gauge works (1,2 bar), no leaks anywhere, no hissing, and hot water at the group head.
Image
(Grinder is next on my list of items to search for a deal on craigslist. Although I have modded this one to give me an almost acceptable grind, it is seriously laboring to do so.)

Then to draw my first shot. Don't even have a tamper yet as it is on it's way from sweet maria's with some choice green beans for roasting. Searched around and find this, some steel rod stock that i have been dragging around with me for years. Not the full 58mm, but close enough.
Image

After some fiddling with grind and tamp, I pulled a pretty decent little cup of espresso.
Image
Image


Ok, so if you are still with me, I have another question.

To ride the so called HX hump, I pull water through the portafilter to 'cool' it. About 4 oz will get me down to about 196 degrees or so. But in doing this I have discovered an odd behavior that concerns me. I will turn the pump on, water will start to flow for an ounce or two, then it will stop for a second or two, then start up again. The pump runs the whole time, no change in pump sound. Shots have been turning out quite nicely, so I can't figure out if this is normal behavior or not. Sure doesn't feel like it. I suspect that three way valve, but wanted to hear input from others if they have it.

Thanks all.

PS. Lots and lots of parts for the Pasquini Livia 90 at 1st-Line, either listed under Pasquini, or also under Bezzera as the functional bits of the Pasquini ARE Bezzera. Along with a new HX for $60, one could even buy a new boiler for this machine! Although $200, it does provide piece of mind when opening it up and digging through a non-functioning machine.

Here is a link to PDF of a parts diagram for the Bezzera 99, although the exterior wrap is different, it is basically the same machine. http://bezzeracoffeemachine.com.au/imag...0rev01.pdf



C
mrskemp
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 27, 2013
Location: Warren, RI

Postby MerleApAmber on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:42 pm

Carter,
beautiful document, thank you for sharing the journey!
-Chris
MerleApAmber
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Nov 23, 2012
Location: Georgia, USA

Postby no7fish on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:36 pm

I have a similar but little older pasquini. I purchased it without a portafilter and in rough shape, although the internals worked. I'm glad to know there are parts available should I decide to poke around inside it!

Mine has started doing the same thing you refer to. The pump will operate consistently but it appears to run water, then pause, then proceed with the shot. I have to admit it seems to make a fine product, but it feels wrong to me also. I haven't been inside to get at the root of the issue.

I have started to wonder whether I'm getting enough pressure at the grouphead, and whether it is a sign that the pump is tiring or there may be scale in the system somewhere. I don't have a pressure sensor to determine if that is the case but I've been meaning to rig one up to my portafilter. I was previously afraid to, but if a new pump is only $43 then it's worth investgating!

thanks for the info, and I'm eager to hear if anyone knows more about this pausing issue.
no7fish
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 01, 2013
Location: ATL

Postby timothyday on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:05 am

Great photos and story about your rebuild. I too have a new-to-me older Livia 90 (serial #88, no kidding #88) and it's working pretty well. I did the take down, clean up and put-back-together and have the machine almost working perfectly. Though I am also experiencing the pump-hesitate-pump issue that you and another user describe here. I've been treating it like an involuntary pre-infusion, but it is a little odd. It's like there is air entering the line between the 3-way and the brew head or some such.

I'll post here if I make any progress on troubleshooting.

Cheers.
timothyday
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 04, 2013
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Postby betxs on Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:39 am

For Pasquini help, manuals. etc...
Contact:
Pasquini Espresso Service
Mike Fleischman
1501 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tel: # (213) 739-0480 ext 23
Fax: # (213) 385-8774
Liviahelp@pasquini.com
mikef@pasquini.com
betxs
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Location: TX