www.wholelattelove.com: our caffeinated commitment to you

Used Fiorenzato Bricoletta loses pressure?

Postby roccster on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:29 pm

I recently bought a used Fiorenzato Bricoletta. The machine worked great at the other owner, but today I just finished installing it to the plumbing at home.

After plumbing was finished I turned on the water, and then the machine. After approx. 15min the pressure reached 1,7-1,9. For a while it stayed that way but then it started to go down. I flushed the machine through the group head, steamed some milk and then flushed the tea-water. When flushing the tea-water it suddenly dropped the pressure and nothing happened. Once and again it made some noises as if it tried to fill up, but the pressure didn't come back.

I changed to another water connection (in the bathroom), and turned it on again. I could hear that it filled up with water and after just a few minutes the pressure was up at 1,1. Once again I tried some flushing and slowly the pressure dropped and didnt come up again.

What can I do?
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby HB on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:44 pm

Sorry, are you referring to the steam boiler pressure or the brew pressure? A photo or video of what you're talking about would be very helpful.
Dan Kehn
User avatar
HB
 
Posts: 14237
Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Location: Cary, NC

Postby roccster on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:50 pm

Thanks for the fast reply.

Im pretty new to HX, but have been running a basic Gaggia for many years.

The way I experience it is that all the pressure goes away, brew as well as steam. I will try to make a video of the scenario next time (good idea). I can hear that the machine tries to do something (starts to hum), but then it stops and nothing happens (this is after the pressure has gone away).

The machine was pretty much emptied of water before moved to my place.
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby roccster on Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:23 am

Another thing that struck me is that the problem only seem to occur when I start using the tea-water. Just running the brew, and steam seems to work fine, but as soon as I tap some tea-water the pressure stops building up.
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby HB on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:06 am

If you mean the pressure in the steam boiler stops building up, the pressurestat is the culprit. The pressurestat regulates the pressure of the steam boiler. Without it, the boiler would either remain cold (pressurestat fails open) or heat up until it the safety over-temperature tripped (pressurestat fails closed). Based on what I understand, the pressurestat is intermittently failing to close; this can happen if the diaphragm has hardened.

Again, a photo or video of what you're talking about would be very helpful.
Dan Kehn
User avatar
HB
 
Posts: 14237
Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Location: Cary, NC

Postby roccster on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:22 am

Im really grateful for all your replies, Dan.
What you describes sounds very possible. I will record a vid. as soon as I have set it up tonight.

If we say that what you suspect actually is the case, how do you fix the diaphragm?

Ignore that, found info about the pressurestat. Maybe descaling will do, well lets se after I post the vid.

Thanx again!!
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby roccster on Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:37 pm

Forget my theory, videos on their way. Until you see them I just wanted to add that what actually happens is that the pressure goes up as before, but what I didn't notice before was that the pressure then drops constantly (even after it hits 1.0), until the pressure is gone, no matter what I do (water or brewer).
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby roccster on Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:30 pm

Videos:

Here i hope you can hear the water filling the machine (or heating up)
1

Just a quick look at the interior
2

Pressure almost at 2, and constantly dropping
3

Still dropping, after a quick flush its gone
4
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden

Postby realdoctor on Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:31 pm

The pressure gauge definitely is boiler pressure. The only relationship between flushing water through the HX and the boiler pressure I can think of is that it would lower the boiler temperature slightly. That, in turn, would reduce boiler pressure a little and might trigger the pstat.

My best guess is a defective pstat. It sounds like you have the equivalent of a really wide deadband. Check and see if you have a CEME or Mater - the Bricoletta did not use a Sirai. The CEME has a deadband adjustment, which normally should not be adjusted by the owner. If it is a CEME, you might be able to adjust the deadband and fix the problem. Otherwise, I would just replace the pstat and see if it fixes your problem. While the symptoms you describe do not clearly scream "pstat," I can't think of much else it could be. The pressure stat turns the boiler element on and off, and it is not turning it on when the pressure drops below the desired level.

My Bricoletta has a deadband of about 0.4 bar. Anything much larger would be off. Your initial readings of 1.7 or so would be too high anyway - a range from about 1.1-1.4 would be about right, i.e. the pstat should turn the boiler element on at 1.1 and off around 1.5 bar.

I cannot remember whether my Bricoletta uses a Mater or CEME - if you post a picture of yours, people here on H-B can easily identify it and tell you which screw adjusts the setpoint and which adjusts the deadband. It is quite easy to break the pstat by trying to adjust the deadband on a CEME, but if your pstat is malfunctioning, you may not have much to lose.

Jim
realdoctor
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Nov 27, 2007
Location: Vienna, Austria

Postby roccster on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:50 am

Thanx for your input, Jim.

After what i read, and other comments i got i to believe that the pstat is the first thing to suspect. I also got a tip that it might be due to scale, and that the scale makes the machine build a false pressure.

I also got a tip to check the water level by the water stick, and a magnet valve, but since there is no schematic available I dont know where to find these.

Another thing that bothers me is that this machine only have one light (on or off), all other Bricolettas ive seen has two.
roccster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Sweden