Breville Dual Boiler, five+ years on - Page 47

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JayThree

#461: Post by JayThree » Nov 11, 2019, 2:42 pm

Yes, mine has screw holes in the group:

Image

I haven't seen that much information about the group collar, but from what I've read I think this means I have the newer design that's more reliable. Is that correct?

pcrussell50

#462: Post by pcrussell50 » Nov 11, 2019, 2:49 pm

Not so much more reliable, but easier to change the inner group collar... IF you wear it out and it starts leaking... Which is not a given. From 2011 through most of 2017, those "easy repair" screw holes were not there. Yet not everybody wore our their inner group collar. A few did and a few didn't. I never wore mine out. But if you did wear it out, and you did not have the easy repair version (which didn't come out until mid-late 2107), it was a fairly big job to replace. If you sent it in to Breville, they would replace your machine rather than spend the labor. Now, with the screw holes, it's an easy DIY job. NOT something to send in to Breville for.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

ballison78

#463: Post by ballison78 » Nov 14, 2019, 10:05 pm

Sorry about your experience with the BDB. I was sooooo close to buying one some time ago. So many features for the money. I guess what turned me off was when I saw the inside of the machine. Definitely constructed like a mainstream consumer appliance. That said, I am a huge Breville fan. They make excellent products in many categories.

pcrussell50

#464: Post by pcrussell50 » Nov 14, 2019, 10:21 pm

ballison78 wrote:Sorry about your experience with the BDB. I was sooooo close to buying one some time ago. So many features for the money. I guess what turned me off was when I saw the inside of the machine. Definitely constructed like a mainstream consumer appliance.
LOL. I'm the opposite. Not particularly a fan of Breville, even having grown up in Australia. We have a couple of their appliances that my wife bought at yard sales and thrift stores. I haven't taken them apart so I don't know what consumer appliances look like on the inside. I don't get the idea they're meant to be repaired.

But boy oh boy, the BDB sure is. It's sublimely reliable and easy to repair and maintain. It's almost as if they designed it specifically to make ordinary repair items easy to reach... which in fact they very well may have, given their business model and it's dependence on infrequent and easy repairs. With no more proprietary unobtainable stuff than any high end machine. I don't know of any machines in its performance class that can touch it for the combination of reliability and maintainability. In that sphere, it's simply unmatched.

From the day I bought mine back in Fall 2011, I was about to buy a GS/3. When the BDB came out and started killing the Scace tests and getting rave reviews from pro baristas, I decided to try one out, fully expecting to toss it in the rubbish eventually and then get my GS/3. But. No. It just keeps going and going and going, giving no reason other than being bored and wanting something else and being willing to pay for it, to replace. This has not happened for me. I lean towards the pragmatic though. I have my BMWs for fun. But all my other cars are boring, carefully chosen appliances that I keep until the wheels fall off. This is what my BDB is turning out to be. The glamor and the glory long gone. Now it's just a reliable every day tool, that coincidentally had ahead of it's time capability for dealing with today's super light roasts before they were even a thing. That part was blind luck, admittedly.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

*sigh*

#465: Post by *sigh* » Nov 14, 2019, 11:41 pm

JayThree wrote:Yes, mine has screw holes in the group:

I haven't seen that much information about the group collar, but from what I've read I think this means I have the newer design that's more reliable. Is that correct?
I had mine wear out in my old 920, and they replaced it with the version you have. It's definitely a big job to replace the old version and nearly impossible to find the part you need. The new version is much more accessible,.plus they added a little metal ramp where the portafilter ears first lock in which should help with wear issues as well.

User avatar
lancealot

#466: Post by lancealot » Nov 15, 2019, 1:04 am

pcrussell50 wrote:With no more proprietary unobtainable stuff than any high end machine.

-Peter
Can you really say this?

If I have a quickmil, or a profitec or a la Marzocco, or la spaz, and I need a part, say a control board, boiler heater, steam valve, or a side panel, I feel like my vendor should be able to get those things for me. I've never owned those machines and I have never needed any of those things. It is just my impression, based on nothing, that I could get those parts for those machines if I need them.

Not so with the BDB. And I AM basing this off experience. Neither general nor obscure parts are widely or consistently available. Sure they have a very good record of supporting customers with replacement machines. Sure we have discovered many fixes and work arounds. But those are not the same thing as being able to get almost any part you might need and fix it yourself.

Am I wrong?

pcrussell50

#467: Post by pcrussell50 » Nov 15, 2019, 1:26 am

I was thinking more of the brew path and the "wearable" parts. The pump brand and form factor are the most common on the planet. You can use any OPV you like. Including ones from the brands you listed. The solenoid, while easily available is a standard Lucifer base like dozens of others including the Silvia.

True, you can't buy replacement side panels. It doesn't even have them. Or if the buttons get a little scuzzy from your dirty fingers, you can't exactly replace them. But who does that anyway?

And finally, if one does have a legitimate breakage (IOW not one of the easily replaces seals), like the others you listed, for the fixed repair fee which includes shipping both ways, and costs no more than a bare minimum visit from a La Marzocco tech, you'll probably end up with a brand new machine and a warranty. There is no way on the planet that Breville would actually replace a boiler element. If you burn one of those legit, you're getting a brand new machine for your troubles. (In reality, you probably just melted the $0.59 thermal fuse which is also not proprietary and you can fix yourself as easily as some under the boiler repair on a QM or LM.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Qporzk

#468: Post by Qporzk » Nov 21, 2019, 11:46 am

Inspired by the posts here, I decided to replace the pump and OPV on my BDB to make it a bit quieter and make adjusting the brew pressure easier. Things I learned:

- The pump is a pain to access. Most of my time spent was trying to fish it out and get everything disconnected
- I used the Crem OPV here to save a little money: https://www.wholelattelove.com/products/6476946750258 THis ended up causing me a headache, as it has too much threading on the part that goes into the pump. It ended up breaking the little plastic retainer in the pump neck, and caused flow to cease completely. I ended up stealing the retainer from the old pump, and had to ream out a washer to prevent it from happening again. Not ideal.
- The BDB side panel is really hard to drill through. But at least now I don't have to take the whole thing apart to change the pressure!
- The 4mm straight pipe fitting I used didn't have enough thread to fully seal into the top of the OPV. I had to dremel off some of the hex so it would fit. Other than just trying different fittings, I'm not sure the best way around this.

In the end, I'm not sure this was worth it, but at least I have a different setting to play with now.

pcrussell50

#469: Post by pcrussell50 » Nov 21, 2019, 12:13 pm

Ryan, back before I converted to rotary:

1) Instead of drilling through the side of the machine, I just left the top cover screws out. That way you can just lift off the top cover and make and OPV adjustment any time you want. That said, once I had it set to 9.5 bar on a blind basket, I never really needed to touch it again.

2) Not sure I understand what you are talking about re the pump to OPV junction. There was nothing to break on mine. I used a brass necked pump ($26 delivered Amazon Prime), and the brass OPV and screwed them direct together with nothing but teflon plumbers tape. No washers. Nothing to break.

Since I'm not using it any more, I'll remove my brass pump later today and post up some pics of what I mean.

Sorry to hear your negative experience. Most people have had nothing but positive.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Qporzk

#470: Post by Qporzk » Nov 21, 2019, 12:51 pm

Peter,

In hindsight, leaving the screws off was probably the better idea, but I can't un-drill a hole :lol: My machine is pretty visually beat up, so I'm not too worried about it.

As for the pump, I had the same issue as this: ULKA EX5 pump not working on an Elektra Semiautomatica

In post #7, the part labeled 3 in the image is the part that broke. Apparently this inhibits flow if it is broken or compressed too much. I would imagine that using the suggested OPV from some of your previous posts, along with not tightening it to the pump too hard would have saved me some frustration.

On the whole, I wouldn't say I'm disappointed/had a negative experience, just that from a cost-benefit standpoint I'm not sure it was worth it given the couple of issues I had. If my post helps someone avoid these issues, I'd say this mod moves way closer to worthwhile.