What to look for in a used Breville Dual Boiler?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Dog_Two

#1: Post by Dog_Two »

I've all but settled on upgrading from my 2007 Gaggia Coffee to a Breville Dual Boiler. They are a bit scarce it seems but I can get a black one direct from Breville I think. On the other hand, I may have an opportunity to pick up a used BDB locally for less than $900.

Never having used a BDB before, what are some of the things to look for when trying out a used unit? The seller says there are a few cosmetic issues, small dent in the back, one on the side, and that the steam wand seeps a little. I've read a bunch on self-repair and mods, and all looks well within my abilities.

Seller says he can show it in operation. Things that come to mind w/o opening the unit - display works, menus work? Both boilers heat up? Able to actually pull a shot? Pressure gauge works during shot? Good steam from wand?

What else to look for?

bgnome

#2: Post by bgnome »

One thing to look for is whether it is a 900 or 920 model. The 900 is no longer supported so Breville is no longer providing parts for it. Look for a black drain plug in the lower front of the machine, just above the drip tray over by the steam wand. This allows you to drain the boiler in a 920.

Dog_Two (original poster)

#3: Post by Dog_Two (original poster) »

Ah, great info, thanks!

Photo shows a black drain plug, so a 920 model.

luvmy40

#4: Post by luvmy40 »

You probably won't be able to check the solenoid for scale before buying, but if you do buy it, you should inspect that and replace all the o-rings in the steam boiler circuit and invest in a replacement set of steam boiler water level probes for when they, inevitably start to leak.

IMHO, $900 for WORKING BES920 is on the high side of reasonable. If I were in the market, I'd try to get it for less, but likely pay the $900 if they are firm. The parts are relatively cheap and the work is not difficult.

DO NOT RUN THE DESCALE PROGRAM!!!!!!!

Dog_Two (original poster)

#5: Post by Dog_Two (original poster) »

Great, thanks for the advice!

I remember reading about problems running the descale program. I'll do some searching on the issue.

Thanks!

Dog_Two (original poster)

#6: Post by Dog_Two (original poster) »

Timing was perfect this morning. Another machine showed up on local craigslist that is in excellent condition. Picked it up, got it home, gave it a once and twice over, and have made a couple cappuccinos already. The previous owner apparently is even more particular than I am about equipment. It basically looks almost unused. They had all the standard accessories, all the docs, plus a bottomless portafilter.

Question about locking/unlocking the portafilter - it is very tight to lock, and feels a bit metal-on-metal "grindy" when unlocking. Is that normal for this machine? Gasket and grouphead look fine. No scratches on the portafilter wings.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

Glad it is working out for you!

If someone else comes along to this thread later on and wonders, I'd also ask "what kind of water do you use with it?"

Poor answers (for most areas):

"What do you mean?"
"I use a [insert any taste-focused pitcher] filter"
"I use bottled water"
"We've got a filter under the sink"

Better answers:

"I use [one of the noted "scale-free" bottled waters mentioned in the Water section]"
"{Muni supplier name] test report shows that it is non-scaling (and low chloride"
"I mix my own from distilled or RO water"

Ask more questions with

"Distilled"
"RO"

luvmy40

#8: Post by luvmy40 »

Dog_Two wrote:Timing was perfect this morning. Another machine showed up on local craigslist that is in excellent condition. Picked it up, got it home, gave it a once and twice over, and have made a couple cappuccinos already. The previous owner apparently is even more particular than I am about equipment. It basically looks almost unused. They had all the standard accessories, all the docs, plus a bottomless portafilter.

Question about locking/unlocking the portafilter - it is very tight to lock, and feels a bit metal-on-metal "grindy" when unlocking. Is that normal for this machine? Gasket and grouphead look fine. No scratches on the portafilter wings.
The factory gasket was very tight in my BDB. I changed it for a Cafelat gasket and it is smooth as can be.