Breville Dual Boiler, five+ years on - Page 50

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thedudeabides_1

#491: Post by thedudeabides_1 »

pcrussell50 wrote:Two service calls in two years? And you call that "chronic problems"? And besides, why would you (or anybody), return a machine for a simple leak that takes five minutes to fix with a ten cent o-ring? I will say that your case is a little more frequent than most. My last machine went five years with one ten minute o-ring change. I think that is more typical.
Peter, I wasn't attacking you, or questioning your judgement, I was merely offering my experience as an example of something that may well be typical. And, yes, you can call the problems I experienced "simple maintenance" if you like, but I've never had to replace a seal or gasket or valve in my Rocket, granted, perhaps I've been lucky.

pcrussell50 wrote: Some research? Notwithstanding the fact that this simple maintenance has been known for years...Pull the clip, take out the old o-ring, replace with the new one, replace the clip. No offense but if that is a bit much for you, you are in for an expensive service life in espresso.

Could have fixed yourself? Notwithstanding your miracle machine (mentioned below), of five years, five thousand shots, with absolutely ZERO attention (do I have that right?), everybody else with a saturated brew group machine, which is what it takes to match the BDB in thermal stability and other means of advanced extraction is not so lucky. If you follow La Marzocco's scheduled maintenance, you are in for $150 in parts alone, just for the first year maintenance. And it gets more involved as you go.
When I bought my BDB in 2012, I wasn't aware of the information on-line on how to do repairs. I didn't even look. I thought I had a defective unit. Which, from my way of thinking, I did. I don't expect to have leaks in three different $1000+ machines within 2 years. To me, that's not routine maintenance, it's a design flaw.

Evidently, Breville would agree (as you say, it has been fixed with a redesign). Also, why would Breville replace machines under warranty for something that's "simple maintenance." It's like a car dealership swapping out a car for bad wiper blades. I think Breville, to their credit, recognized that leaks are not something that should be an issue so soon. What's baffling to me is why it wasn't quickly re-engineered.

I did have one issue with the Rocket. After it had been sitting unused for an extended period (I think it was around 2 months) the steam boiler wasn't auto-filling. After removing the water level probe and draining/refilling the boiler, the problem disappeared. Not sure if cleaning the probe was necessary, or if just refilling with fresh water fixed it. I didn't include that because it seemed more my fault than the machine. I shouldn't have let it sit so long without draining the boiler. Other than that, all I've done for 5 years is a backflush after every session, detergent backflush every 150 shots, and I replaced the group gasket this year. If that makes it a miracle machine in your estimation, so be it.
pcrussell50 wrote: Two service calls in two years leads to ZERO confidence? Notwithstanding the fact that you did it only twice in two years, essentially a service call from an espresso tech each year, That's like taking your car to the dealership to change the wiper blades and add washer fluid. Obviously DIY skills will vary, but that's a little extreme.
Actually it was 3 times in two years. All 3 machines exhibited various leaking problems, and by then I'd read on-line that that others were also having problems, I lost confidence that my experience was just a run of bad luck. I decided to sell the third machine.
pcrussell50 wrote: What else does go wrong? Anything? Do you even know? Or just spreading FUD?
You either have a miracle machine, or a VERY big date with the piper coming up. Of course, yours is an E61 and you have to live with the capability restrictions of an E61, (something I could not do myself, but that is pure subjectivity). That is why I keep referring to saturated brew groups, which if my BDB were to ever develop a problem bigger than a wiper blade change and a fluid top-off, is what I would replace it with. But eight years in, that just hasn't happened.

Many problems? Besides the older versions needing o-rings every couple-three years, can you name anything else?
I didn't investigate any further after getting disgusted and selling it. However, reading through this thread, and others I've run across when trying to decide it a BDB was worth trying again, there seem to be a variety of problems still being mentioned: Bad solenoid valves, bad pumps, constantly tripping GFCI (possibly o-ring related), heat damage to the heated group (peeling coating/paint) and bad steam valves. I think those are the main issues I noticed, but I haven't followed it closely at all.

I wasn't recommending a Rocket or ECM, or whatever, I was merely offering my experience in case it was helpful to other people may share my bias toward durability and problem-free operation. But, of course, you're right, there's no guarantee when you buy a machine. One person may get a BDB and have no issues, and another might get a lemon Rocket, or some other brand. But, some brands have a reputation for durability and some do not, so you play the odds.

Regarding capability restrictions of the E61, that certainly hasn't bothered me. I never thought pre-infusion was critical. Having had experience with both the BDB and Rocket, I think they both make excellent shots when properly dialed in. Personally, I felt like my shots improved somewhat with the Rocket, seemed a little richer and sweeter, but that was just a purely subjective feeling after switching. I didn't do a side by side, and it wouldn't matter, just one person's subjective opinion.

Recently, ECM/Profitec have introduced a flow control valve for most E61 machines. With that, you can play with pre-infusion and various flow rates during the shot: https://www.wholelattelove.com/products ... rol-device

Looks like it could be an interesting thing to play with. But I'm in no hurry.
pcrussell50 wrote: I feel like Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi... "Amazing. Everything you just said is wrong". Breville does address these things. They no longer use o-rings on top of the boilers. It's been a year and a half since that update and there are no reports of leaks yet. But changing o-rings is sooo easy and cheap, I don't know how much of a win it is. They now make the group collar easily replaceable. There really isn't much else.

But if you are the sort to get your washer fluid refilled at the dealership, even those things will be of little use to you.
I'm glad I could make you feel like Luke Skywalker. It's kind of funny/sad how emotional you seem defending an espresso machine. I wasn't attacking you or Breville, just offering my opinion and my experience that's different.

I didn't realize that Breville had made a fix to the o-ring issue. That's great. I may be weird, but I like the idea of fixing problems that don't need to exist. I have idea what too them so long, but I'm glad they fixed it.
pcrussell50 wrote: What do we call simple maintenance a "work around" when it is a Breville, and "routine maintenance" when it is a saturated brew group machine. If you perform your own annual scheduled maintenance on a La Marzocco do you call that a "work around"? Does La Marzocco call their required maintenance a "work around"?
Again, o-ring replacement (at least on the frequency I experienced) isn't routine maintenance. Breville didn't mention it as so. It became a routine thing for BDB users, out of necessity, because of a design flaw. If Breville has fixed that, as you say, good for them.
pcrussell50 wrote: Who told you they did not update the o-ring scheme? What problems? Somebody has given you bad information.
-Peter
No one told me they hadn't, I just didn't realize that they had. I truly hope that resolves that problem. It's a cool machine that I could consider again, in the future, if it looks like it's become less of a hassle to own.

Cheers!

pcrussell50

#492: Post by pcrussell50 »

thedudeabides_1 wrote:Actually it was 3 times in two years.
"Three machines in two years", to me means two returns: the one you bought originally, plus first return, plus the next return. That equals three. If you made three returns, then you dealt with four machines in two years. Definitely not the typical experience.

Be that as it may, I went back after reading my long post and talking with some mates, and came to some clarity that some people truly do have zero inclination for even the simplest routine maintenance, and do take their cars to professionals for new wipers and air filters and such. So I went back and deleted the whole thing except the simple nut of the matter. I honor and respect your decision that the BDB isn't for you. No matter how quick and easy, the BDB isn't a zero maintenance proposition. And if you weren't taking advantage of the controllable pre infusion, it was right for you to move on to a machine that doesn't have it.
thedudeabides_1 wrote: I'm glad I could make you feel like Luke Skywalker. It's kind of funny/sad how emotional you seem defending an espresso machine.
Agreed. Which is why I deleted it. Several hours ago.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

pcrussell50

#493: Post by pcrussell50 »

Over in another thread, someone posted this:
My Breville products lasted 2 years and was not worth fixing.
Now, he did not specify whether he had a BDB or not, so it could have been a toaster for all I know, but it was a BDB-related thread where he posted this. And it got me to thinking... What makes a machine worth fixing or not? And to me, (other than o-rings and servicing the steam valve, which are yawners), it would be whether or not the machine was a better performer than some other machine you might consider.

For me, the reason to have a BDB is NOT that is makes ordinary espresso for an affordable price. It's that it has capabilities that are hard to duplicate at any price. And that is what makes it "worth fixing", to me. If this capability is not of interest or priority to someone else, I would not discourage in the least, looking elsewhere at other machines.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

pcrussell50

#494: Post by pcrussell50 »

Every so often, we should be glad that almost any challenges we face are related to an o-ring or a PTFE seal.
La Marzocco GS/3 Sometimes Reboots with Tea Button

This thing ^^^ has my head spinning. Soo glad it's not me. :?
Me:
I'm following this thread, because Jake and I are friends, my machine has the same "Jake-valve" profiling mod as Jake has on his, and I have always been a GS/3 fan But is it times like these that I am thankful that I only have to change an o-ring or PTFE seal every so often. This would be a real head scratcher to me.
-Peter
LMWDP #553

pcrussell50

#495: Post by pcrussell50 »

Re The hair clip pins that hold various water and steam tubes in place...

I have been as scrupulous as I have advised everyone else to be, about NOT dropping or losing them. And indeed have not lost any.

Still I stopped at the local mom'n'pop hardware store yesterday. The kind that has drawer upon drawer of various nuts bolts and fasteners. And sure enough, they had hairpin clips. So I picked a few and tried them out. Worked a treat These things are not a precision fit application. So any size that's close will work.

Still, do your best not to lose them.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

nindustrial

#496: Post by nindustrial »

Thanks to your enthusiasm on this thread, I recently got a BDB and am enjoying my first week using it. Picked up a refurb Sage from their authorized German repair outfit for just under $800 CAD. It has the updated group-head with the accessible screw-holes, but not the newer collar with the metal ramps. Haven't popped it open yet to check the boiler fittings version. Fantastic machine; just works(TM), and hopefully gives me many years of service. I feel I cheated the typical espresso hardware journey by starting with a machine with so much capability. Not ready to do the mods yet, but nice to know those options are in my future. I'm still learning to dial-in the shots; down the rabbit-hole I go.

I do have a water-filtration question for the gurus (you know who you are!); I am using the oft-discussed distilled water recipe of 100 mg/L KHCO3 and wondering if it's advisable to still use the supplied water filter in the water tank? If not, do you have anything mesh-like covering the water filter to keep out accidental particles? It feels naked to not put anything in there, and don't want to risk anything...

Bonus question - any suggestions for a cheap starter tamper that fits the OEM baskets well? I am living abroad at the moment without easy Amazon access, so might have to play the eBay lottery on this one.

TIA!

pcrussell50

#497: Post by pcrussell50 »

nindustrial wrote:Thanks to your enthusiasm on this thread, I recently got a BDB and am enjoying my first week using it. Picked up a refurb Sage from their authorized German repair outfit for just under $800 CAD. It has the updated group-head with the accessible screw-holes, but not the newer collar with the metal ramps. Haven't popped it open yet to check the boiler fittings version. Fantastic machine; just works(TM), and hopefully gives me many years of service. I feel I cheated the typical espresso hardware journey by starting with a machine with so much capability. Not ready to do the mods yet, but nice to know those options are in my future. I'm still learning to dial-in the shots; down the rabbit-hole I go.
Most of the mods are for taming today's cutting edge super bright, light roasts. If that is what you like, then The first "mod" is already done... and that is using the pre infusion in manual mode. Set your pre infusion pressure as low as it will go: PP55 on the menu. Then if you play with light acidic roasts and want/need a long pre infusion, start your shot by pressing AND HOLDING the manual button. Keep holding for as long as you need pre infusion. When you are done, release to get full regular pump power. This already is most of what Slayer does.
nindustrial wrote:I do have a water-filtration question for the gurus (you know who you are!); I am using the oft-discussed distilled water recipe of 100 mg/L KHCO3 and wondering if it's advisable to still use the supplied water filter in the water tank? If not, do you have anything mesh-like covering the water filter to keep out accidental particles? It feels naked to not put anything in there, and don't want to risk anything...
That is the best water possible. No harm in using the supplied filter, it's just that it is wasted. If you have the old school gray filter frame that uses the bean bag pouches, that alone will do all the particulate filtering you need. That dark gray filter frame thing has a wire mesh in the bottom bit. That is all you need. If you have the newer style white obelisk thing, you don't need any of that because your tank should have a wire mesh screen underneath where the filter sits.
nindustrial wrote:Bonus question - any suggestions for a cheap starter tamper that fits the OEM baskets well? I am living abroad at the moment without easy Amazon access, so might have to play the eBay lottery on this one.
You want a 58.4mm tamper (or 58.35). The Chinese are starting to do very good knockoffs of these for very good prices. You can try eBay and Amazon, but you might still have better selection with AliExpress. I've gotten several things there, like a 58.4mm chisel/wedge distribution tool.

HTH

-Peter
LMWDP #553

downy_ball
Supporter ♡

#498: Post by downy_ball »

pcrussell50 wrote:You want a 58.4mm tamper (or 58.35). The Chinese are starting to do very good knockoffs of these for very good prices. You can try eBay and Amazon, but you might still have better selection with AliExpress. I've gotten several things there, like a 58.4mm chisel/wedge distribution tool. -Peter
That makes sense because the BDB is Made in China, yes?
Next time someone's teaching, why don't you get taught..."

cccpu

#499: Post by cccpu »

pcrussell50 wrote: You want a 58.4mm tamper (or 58.35). The Chinese are starting to do very good knockoffs of these for very good prices. You can try eBay and Amazon, but you might still have better selection with AliExpress. I've gotten several things there, like a 58.4mm chisel/wedge distribution tool.
What do you think, just use a deep setting on an inexpensive distribution tool and forgo the tamper altogether? Cut one of the easier to mess up steps out of the picture to get a leg up faster? What are your thoughts?
LMWDP #583

pcrussell50

#500: Post by pcrussell50 »

downy_ball wrote:That makes sense because the BDB is Made in China, yes?
So are iPhones and Macs. But Nope. Nothing to do with that. And 58.4mm is 58.4mm no matter what country it's made in. And unlike certain Italian machines, which use plated brass portafilters the BDB uses solid stainless steel. And also unlike certain Italian machines which use 53mm portafilters, the The BDB uses 58mm commercial industry standard sized portafilters and baksets. You can use and I have, the commercial standard VST baskets, EPNW HQ baskets, or Breville's own baskets which are very very good as well in terms of precision hole spacing and size. For that matter, the BDB uses the same Italian Ulka pump as certain Italian machines, though the BDB one is specced higher than some others, for longer duty cycle with shorter rest times. It also uses an Italian solenoid. A lot of Italian machines still use nickel plated brass boilers. But the BDB, like La Marzocco, uses stainless steel boilers.
cccpu wrote:What do you think, just use a deep setting on an inexpensive distribution tool and forgo the tamper altogether? Cut one of the easier to mess up steps out of the picture to get a leg up faster? What are your thoughts?
This is what I do. I still do a proving tamp every so often. But if you set the depth of your grooming tool right, you don't need to tamp.

-Peter
LMWDP #553