Advice about bringing an espresso machine out of storage?

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hbuchtel

#1: Post by hbuchtel »

Hello All,

I'd like to get some advice about the following- Next week I'll get to see (for the first time) a commercial HX that I bought. It has been in storage for about 1 1/2 years. I won't have too much time to work on it so I'd like to buy any common replacement parts now.

So what parts will I definitely need to buy? It is a '95 Laurentis single-group (identical to the Astoria Argenta JUN-1) that was working when it was put in storage but hasn't been tested since. I've already bought de-scaler for the HX (I'm hoping to avoid de-scaling the boiler- reasonable?) and am planning on getting a new PF/group gasket.

Is there anything else that is sure to have worn out? Should I get gaskets for the steam/hot-water valves?

Thanks for any advice!

Henry

Here is a pic of the little fellow -
Image
LMWDP #53

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#2: Post by cannonfodder »

You will have to descale the boiler and HX line. They are two different systems. When I rebuilt my Faema, I stripped it to the frame and soaked all the copper in descale solution in a 30 gallon drum.

Hopefully the boiler and HX were drained prior to storage. If not, and it was subjected to below 0 temperatures, you could have a ruptured HX line or boiler.

Figure on replacing every gasket in the machine, group, steam and water valves at a minimum. If you pull the boiler to descale you may want to replace the heating element just for the sake of replacing it, you will need those gaskets at well. You may need to pull the group apart to scrub out the 3-way valve, especially if it was used in a commercial environment.

The pump may need replaced, they tend to seize if they sit for a long time. Sometimes they break free and work OK. The pressurestat could need replaced, the diaphragms tend to get stiff and sticky over time.

I see it is an auto which means there is a flow-meter impeller in there. Again, they can seize if it was not put away correctly.

So, you may need a box full of parts, or a handful. It really depends on how well maintained the machine was and if it was stored properly. From the photo, it looks to be in good shape so hopefully you will just need to descale the boiler and HX, replace the group gasket and steam/water gaskets.
Dave Stephens

OkcEspresso

#3: Post by OkcEspresso »

Since I have one of those and have torn in most of the way down, I'll comment. :lol:

I think you should hook it up to water and power it on. See if the pump runs and the autofill is working. Let it come up to temperature and see where water is squirting, dripping, etc (the caveat being if water does not flow into the boiler turn it off lest you cook the heating element). Listen for hissing and clanking and make sure the boiler pressure doesnt go into the red.

Pull a shot or two and look at the brew pressure and the group gasket. Keep an eye on the the copper pipe that drips down into the little hole on the drip pan (behind that stainless box). That is the drain from your 3-way valve and will tell you if your solenoid is sticking. Does it drip, drip, drip? Does it gush?

Move the steam wand around see how bad it leaks at the swivel. Watch the boiler pressure and see what the cycle is for your pressurestat. If it is huge (.5 bar), it either needs to be cleaned or replaced. I cant remember what mine was but it was pretty huge so I put a PID on mine.

As far as my emergency parts box goes:

- Group gasket, dispersion screen and gicleur screen

- Vacuum breaker

- Steam wand rebuild kit

- I have a second pump, motor and capacitor because of some silliness when I first bought it so let me know if you have trouble with yours.

Good luck,

Chris

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jesawdy

#4: Post by jesawdy »

Henry-

A lot will depend on how the machine was cared for in it's prior life, and how it was stored. Here is a recent thread on starting a machine from storage, Giotto Revival - After a year of inactivity.

I think Chris has nailed the necessary spare parts.

I would say it is quite likely that you will have to descale more than just the HX, but run the machine first to evaluate what all is requiring attention.

I have a few suggestions. First, when you first test the machine, disable the heater either by disconnecting or via the fill switch if so equipped. Second, if it has a rotary pump, it is usually very easy to detach the pump head from the motor, turn the pump shaft and see if the pump is seized or hard to turn (no sense in burning up the motor). With the pumphead in you hands, you can look for signs of leaking that would indicate you need to have it rebuilt or replaced. On the first fill up (heater disabled), I'd suggest removing the vacuum breaker or similar fitting and watching the boiler fill level manually. Test the dosing control and flow through the group. Now that you know you have water flow and fill control, you can replace the vacuum breaker and enable the heater to check the vacuum breaker and then the pressurestat operation. If that checks out, move on to the hot water/steam wands and valves. Look and listen for leaks as you work through the above process.

After you are more familiar with the machine, I would drain the boiler and inspect the element. When you get the boiler open and see what going on inside, you'll know for certain how bad the scale is (or isn't).

The above should get you well on your way to finding any problems.
Jeff Sawdy

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hbuchtel

#5: Post by hbuchtel »

Cool, thanks a lot guys.

I just put in a order of all the group/solenoid gaskets, rebuild kit for the steam and water valves and sight glass kit at espressoparts.com. Total came to about 1/3rd of what I paid for the machine :shock:

I'm really hoping that is all that is required... honestly I have neither the time nor the skills to do a complete rebuild, so my fingers are crossed!

Chris, what is the gicleur screen that you referred to? Is it this one- "Group Cap Filter Screen"? I went ahead and ordered one anyway- also got a group head jet/gicleur just in case it is completely clogged...

I'll be extra careful when turning it on for the first time. Chris, on the fill switch which direction is fill and which is heat?

Hey hey, I'm getting excited! :)

Henry
LMWDP #53

OkcEspresso

#6: Post by OkcEspresso »

That group cap filter screen is the part I was thinking of.

On the switch, it should be just a 2 position on/off. When you first plug it in, before turning the switch on (there is a delay), the autofill should kick in to fill the tank. If your motor or pump are shot, you will at least hear the solenoid clunk as it opens to allow water into the boiler. If you are hooked up to water, it will fill the tank at line pressure even if the motor/pump are not operating.

I would plug it in and listen for any clunking. If nothing happens after about 2 minutes, turn the switch to "On" and then listen again for solenoid or motors. If nothing happens within 1 minute. Turn it off. At this point, you have no water in your tank and run the risk of burning out your heating element. You would then begin the process of figuring out why the tank is not filling.

You can manually fill the tank by pressing a lever under the drip tray in the front right of the machine. That will begin filling the tank and then when the little red ball is visible in the sight glass, you can turn it back on again to see if the heating element is working. Personally, I would not operate it until I knew the autofill was working.

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hbuchtel

#7: Post by hbuchtel »

Well I've got a good look at her, everything looks good, but haven't been able to hook up the water connection yet- I should have predicted this, but the BSP->NPT connection is giving me heck... :cry:

Does anybody know how to tell the difference between a BSPT female and a BSPP female? I thought mine was a 3/8 BSPP, but a normal 3/8 NP parallel male thread only goes halfway and then stops... not far enough to make a connection with the tapered surface inside the fitting. Does that mean that I have a BSP tapered thread?

I've found the adapters I need on mcmaster.com but I don't want to buy the wrong one...

I've been reading all the related info on H-B but haven't found an answer... any help appreciated. I hope what I wrote made sense!

Here is another photo from the side-

Image

What a beauty, huh? ;)

Henry
LMWDP #53

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espressme

#8: Post by espressme »

Now that is a clean machine! Congratulations! :D
richard
richard penney LMWDP #090,

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jesawdy

#9: Post by jesawdy »

hbuchtel wrote:Does anybody know how to tell the difference between a BSPT female and a BSPP female? I thought mine was a 3/8 BSPP, but a normal 3/8 NP parallel male thread only goes halfway and then stops... not far enough to make a connection with the tapered surface inside the fitting. Does that mean that I have a BSP tapered thread?
Henry-

I feel pretty certain someone like EPNW should have a brass adapter to get you away from the BSPP mess, but....

I would suggest you get a 3/8" NPT male John Guest fitting and make use of the push-to-fit stuff to adapt to something more common. This gains you a quick way to disconnect and add a JG ball valve, check valve, etc.

The JG fitting is plastic, put a few turns of Teflon tape on it, thread that onto the end of the stainless braided hose that you have. It will eventually cross thread, but you will still have a seal.

Home Depot and Lowes carry the Watts/JG fittings, but I also found a collection of some more interesting bits at a much smaller local hardware the other week.

EDIT - Off topic, but can you tell me the make and part number on your rotary pump there?
Jeff Sawdy

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hbuchtel

#10: Post by hbuchtel »

jesawdy wrote:Henry-

I feel pretty certain someone like EPNW should have a brass adapter to get you away from the BSPP mess, but....
I think you are right, though it is hard to tell from the product descriptions! Devon at espressoparts said that the BSP<->compression fitting should do the trick.
jesawdy wrote: EDIT - Off topic, but can you tell me the make and part number on your rotary pump there?
Finally found time to pull it out- there is a big CMA sticker on it, as well as a smaller blue one that says "NSI component N009149." Stamped into the metal are these two #s: PA104 and F98. Hope that means something to you!

The pump shaft was frozen, now it turns with a wrench but not by hand. Hmmm... what to do?

Henry
LMWDP #53