Loose La Pavoni Fill Cap (Potential Hazard) - Page 5

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drgary
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Postby drgary » Feb 10, 2016, 11:46 am

kahvedelisi wrote:Experienced first hand, I can easily say every single piece of this brand new machine is failing.

a) Manufacturer did not respond neither mine nor the vendor's emails for a long time. Later on we received a response simply stating "it is what it is, nothing we can do". I disagree with that, you can easily go back to using quality material! Also let them know what I thought.
b) The cover for the sight glass went dull and blurry with heat and regular use (I will post before and after pictures later).
c) Every now and then I have to open & fix the pressure valve so it won't stuck and keep releasing steam non-stop (which prevents the machine from operating).
d) Saved the best for the last. Group head to boiler joint (that rhomboid shaped section) is leaking during pulling shots! How awesome is that?!? (again I will post pictures later)

I am never ever buying another Pavoni product. Never! And I guess I will go ahead and Frankenstein the current one slowly in time.
So, the short version, you guys were not kidding when you said Pavoni went cheap in recent years.

Once again, thanks to everybody, and drgary, I can't thank you enough!


You're welcome!

Slightly off topic, but:

b) I replaced the plastic sightglass cover with an older metal sleeve sightglass.
c) Christopher Cara taught me to use something solid like a tamper to give a firm tap to the pressure valve. That will break up scale and/or stop it from steaming too much. This avoids the hassling of disassembly/reassembly. I had the same thing happen on 2nd and 3rd generation La Pavoni Europiccolas.
d) If the group head to boiler joint is loose, please inspect your boiler to group gasket, your group bolts and their threads. Steel overtightened into the brass (copper?) group can strip the threads. A bit of DOW 111 or similar can help seal that area. Hand tightening just until bubbling stops can help. Also make sure you have at least four threads into the boiler. Sometimes people add heat break gaskets and don't compensate by lengthening the bolts for safety.
Gary
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RioCruz
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Postby RioCruz » Feb 10, 2016, 12:01 pm

kahvedelisi wrote:...I am 100% sure OldNuc's prediction will come true and I will be holding 2 separate pieces in my hands again.

Please keep us posted if/when this happens. Might be of interest for future projects.
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rpavlis
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Postby rpavlis » Feb 10, 2016, 12:46 pm

The 1999 real brass La Pavoni shown below shows one solution to low quality La Pavoni fill caps. (You can test whether brass or steel with a magnet.)

Image

I took a piece of brass metal stock and turned the cap from it and attached a piece of ebony to it with a threaded rod. (I used epoxy resin to secure the threaded rod to both the ebony and brass piece. I cut the threads with an M32x2 die.

This machine also has other modifications: a brass sight glass cover, a brass handle, brass rods capped with "acorn" nuts for the lever pins, replacement of the plastic piston (inside) with brass, an ebony and brass steam knob held in place with stainless set screw, not roll pin, a brass drip tray.

The image below shows portafilters with modified handles and, for this topic, two more ways to modify boiler caps:

Image

The bottomless portafilter has a brass handle. It does not get hot because the portafilter is stainless--a terrible heat conductor. The other one has an ebony handle, and the attaching rod is brass. The first boiler cap has a pressure gauge that reads from -0.1 mPa to 0.15 mPa. It is attached to another cap prepared as above. The second boiler cap has a thermometer well that is long enough so that the temperature is read below the surface of liquid in the boiler. The thermometer well cap has two screws in the top to aid in screwing it out of the boiler.

I take the attitude that when things fail, I should try to replace them with something other than an OEM part when the reason for the failure is a poorly designed OEM part! La Pavoni should make a serious effort to make its machines so that one does not need a lot of machine shop work to make them the wonderful machines they should be!

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dsc
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Postby dsc » Feb 10, 2016, 3:11 pm

I think the best way to fix this would be to drill a small thru hole through the wooden cap and plastic insert within the cap and drive a metal pin through both pieces to locate them against each other. Another way would be to broach a keyway in the outside cap, broach a keyway in the plastic bit and stick a key in between but I'd say this would fail rather quickly due to rather fragile materials used.

T.

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kahvedelisi
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Postby kahvedelisi » Feb 10, 2016, 6:26 pm

Once again, tons of useful information, which can only be found in HB 8)

At least I was able to get 3 superb tasting shots back to back. Cheers to all!

Image

drgary, I will definitely work on that group-boiler joint. Tomorrow starting with tightening 2 bolts. If it doesn't work, then I will dissemble.
In regards to safety valve. You may find this funny but a dear friend of mine taught me a trick. I do secure the sides of a vacuum cleaner, making it air tight and vacuum it. Either that is the reason it works or just luck, not sure :lol: but I will try knocking trick as well.

Also the pictures previously promised. You can see dried out water drops which came out of the boiler-group joint.

Image

sight glass cover, only after a month of use.
Image
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drgary
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Postby drgary » Feb 10, 2016, 6:33 pm

The sightglass cover may look that way because the sightglass gaskets aren't sufficiently tightened so that steam is leaking. Mine didn't fog up. Again, tighten just enough. You don't want to break the sightglass. What does this have to do with a boiler cap anyway? :lol:
Gary
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kahvedelisi
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Postby kahvedelisi » Feb 10, 2016, 6:53 pm

drgary wrote:What does this have to do with a boiler cap anyway? :lol:


Actually it doesn't have any relation, just more problems, I wonder what more will come :lol:
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OldNuc
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Postby OldNuc » Feb 10, 2016, 8:24 pm

You need a good AFLAS o-ring that does not cook in there and shrink. EPDM is not rated for the temperatures it is being exposed to. Can you get an o-ring into the country by mail? If so I will send you a couple.

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jone9081
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Postby jone9081 » Mar 28, 2016, 3:28 pm

i see someone else with the plastic sight glass problems....can we make this separate thread. I started with a milky end on each plastic cover and now i'm seeing what looks like melted plastic on both ends of the new replacment cover. i have a one year old europiccola.
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