Breville Dual Boiler, five+ years on - Page 91

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
pcrussell50 (original poster)

#901: Post by pcrussell50 (original poster) »

Diggidy wrote:Sorry - but are there any good instructions on doing this? Is the rotary pump inside the machine? The main benefit being quietness I assume?
Yes, quietness and bling/bragging rights. I do not believe it makes better espresso.

I could tell you how I did mine but it's actually so easy I'm almost embarrassed.

First some conditions:
1) The pump is driven by a motor, so the pump and motor are one assembly. Together they will be too big to fit inside the machine even though the BDB has a ton of extra room. This may be a mental barrier for the "home barista" mindset, but many of the large commercial machines have their pumps mounted outboard from the machine. It's why they too are so quiet. This also keeps things nice and reversible as you don't have to remove the stock pump.

2) I plumbed it from a softening filter I keep under the kitchen sink, directly to the pump, which is also under the kitchen sink. Plumbing is by FAR the easiest way to do rotary.

3) My pump/motor has it's own on/off switch separate from the machine. This adds simplicity too. But more importantly it gives me to ability to energize the 3-way solenoid at the machine with the regular machine buttons without having to run the pump at the same time. So I can let water into the puck at line pressure only without having to add pump pressure to it. Combined with my needle valve for flow control (Slayer mod), it's the ultimate in flow control.

4) I do keep a little water in the reservoir for steaming. Since the BDB has it's own separate pump and sensors for filling the steam tank, why mess with a good thing? I keep just enough water in it that I can barely see it in the sight glass. This is one of the huge things that makes this so easy.

Still interested?

-Peter
LMWDP #553

thenewmath

#902: Post by thenewmath »

Hello folks!
Well, I've finished reading 91 pages of discussion and I feel informed, if overwhelmed.

I got a great deal on a BDB in need of repair - the owner said they couldn't get it over 3 bars of pressure.
I performed this test
from Breville on how to test pressure, and got no movement on the pressure gauge at all.

I'd (uninformedly) guess that means the pump is dead? There's definitely some moderate buzzing going on, so perhaps a solenoid replacement is needed as well? I've seen the links to these procedures but just wanted to make sure these are the proper options, since I hadn't noticed anyone saying that their machine registered zero pressure before pump/solenoid replacement. Will order some #007 O-rings and replace those while I'm messing with things (I'm not handy at all so probably better to dive in and deal with everything at once.)

The machine is from 2013 based on the serial number. There's some light-ish corrosion on top of the boilers but nothing major.

I am an absolute, day-one espresso rookie, so I know this question is pretty remedial for the advanced topics in this thread. Am happy to move it elsewhere if that's preferable, or answer any questions that could provide more info.

Thanks for any help!

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IMAWriter
Supporter ♡

#903: Post by IMAWriter »

Matthew, you're in the right place. I'm a BDB newbie, but a long time coffee person. These BDB "pioneers" will have your back!!
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

pcrussell50 (original poster)

#904: Post by pcrussell50 (original poster) »

thenewmath wrote: I got a great deal on a BDB in need of repair - the owner said they couldn't get it over 3 bars of pressure.
I performed this test from Breville on how to test pressure, and got no movement on the pressure gauge at all.

I'd (uninformedly) guess that means the pump is dead? There's definitely some moderate buzzing going on, so perhaps a solenoid replacement is needed as well?
Assuming the gauge itself is OK, a no pressure situation is more likely due to a blockage than a dead pump. (As a side note, it is important to know how to hear the difference between a buzzy solenoid, they get buzzy as the age, and normal vibratory nature of the pump).

Blockage: Usually caused by scale (water with too much calcium or magnesium or both) or corrosion (water with too high chloride content, NOTE: chloride is NOT chlorine and filters that trap chlorine do NOT trap chlorides). Fortunately a good bit of the time, the solenoid houses the primary blockage and a new one often fixes the problem. But If it's downstream of the solenoid, you are looking at a new group and a new group is a step beyond the easy DIY and into the more medium difficulty levels. A reasonably handy person could do it. But it's not a five or ten minute job, and you will have to cut some wires and re connect them to the new group with wire nuts, or crimp and solder, etc...

Pump: If it really is a dead pump (I am skeptical), they are cheap to buy and pretty easy to swap out. Breville uses the industry standard Italian Ulka pumps that you can buy anywhere. One of the enduring myths about the BDB is it's proprietary'ness. In truth, none of the main flow management gear is proprietary.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

AboHadi

#905: Post by AboHadi »

pcrussell50 wrote:Yes, quietness and bling/bragging rights. I do not believe it makes better espresso.

I could tell you how I did mine but it's actually so easy I'm almost embarrassed.

First some conditions:
1) The pump is driven by a motor, so the pump and motor are one assembly. Together they will be too big to fit inside the machine even though the BDB has a ton of extra room. This may be a mental barrier for the "home barista" mindset, but many of the large commercial machines have their pumps mounted outboard from the machine. It's why they too are so quiet. This also keeps things nice and reversible as you don't have to remove the stock pump.

2) I plumbed it from a softening filter I keep under the kitchen sink, directly to the pump, which is also under the kitchen sink. Plumbing is by FAR the easiest way to do rotary.

3) My pump/motor has it's own on/off switch separate from the machine. This adds simplicity too. But more importantly it gives me to ability to energize the 3-way solenoid at the machine with the regular machine buttons without having to run the pump at the same time. So I can let water into the puck at line pressure only without having to add pump pressure to it. Combined with my needle valve for flow control (Slayer mod), it's the ultimate in flow control.

4) I do keep a little water in the reservoir for steaming. Since the BDB has it's own separate pump and sensors for filling the steam tank, why mess with a good thing? I keep just enough water in it that I can barely see it in the sight glass. This is one of the huge things that makes this so easy.

Still interested?

-Peter
Hi Peter ,

I would be interested in your experience and insight into this rotary pump (And plumbed in) conversion

I previously had a commercial two Group head expobar machine plumbed into an under the sink water filter in our kitchen ( wife wouldn't let me drill any holes into the bench though so the hose, and drainpipe, were unsightly !) it got too bulky and needed frequent maintenance so I'm now back with my trusty BDB. I miss having the machine plumbed in!

pcrussell50 (original poster)

#906: Post by pcrussell50 (original poster) » replying to AboHadi »

Hello Yousif. I see you're in Wellington. I did a year of Uni at Vic in Wellington and lived in Lower Hutt. Bit of a long drive, but it was worth it.

Anyway, you will have to buy a pump and a motor to drive it. I placed my pump and motor under the sink, beside the filter. You feed the pump's input from the filter. Then I ran the pump output back up through the sink, sharing the hole that was already there with the filter water tap, here:


This line ^^^ runs left, to the back of the machine. It is attached to the machine where I disconnected the original vibe pump. So it joins the machine in the vacated spot in the tubing where the stock pump was disconnected. I can share more detail as you need or wish. I turn the rotary pump on and off using a separate switch from the the machine. That way I can use simple line pressure to pre infuse or soak the puck, without having to run the pump needlessly while doing so.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

thenewmath

#907: Post by thenewmath »

pcrussell50 wrote:Assuming the gauge itself is OK, a no pressure situation is more likely due to a blockage than a dead pump. (As a side note, it is important to know how to hear the difference between a buzzy solenoid, they get buzzy as the age, and normal vibratory nature of the pump).

Blockage: Usually caused by scale (water with too much calcium or magnesium or both) or corrosion (water with too high chloride content, NOTE: chloride is NOT chlorine and filters that trap chlorine do NOT trap chlorides). Fortunately a good bit of the time, the solenoid houses the primary blockage and a new one often fixes the problem. But If it's downstream of the solenoid, you are looking at a new group and a new group is a step beyond the easy DIY and into the more medium difficulty levels. A reasonably handy person could do it. But it's not a five or ten minute job, and you will have to cut some wires and re connect them to the new group with wire nuts, or crimp and solder, etc...

Pump: If it really is a dead pump (I am skeptical), they are cheap to buy and pretty easy to swap out. Breville uses the industry standard Italian Ulka pumps that you can buy anywhere. One of the enduring myths about the BDB is it's proprietary'ness. In truth, none of the main flow management gear is proprietary.

-Peter
Very informative, thanks! I'd guessed the gauge was okay since they said they were registering low levels of pressure.

The owner didn't use scale-free water, but did claim to descale regularly.

Sounds like my best bet would be to replace the solenoid and see if that takes the blockage with it? Replacing the group would be out of my skill range and put me into the $400 ship-it-back category.

I know it's tough to speculate on an unseen machine, but you say the blockage is in the solenoid "a good bit of the time." Just in the most ballpark way, could you take a wild guess and say if that's 30% of the time? 60%? 90%?
I'd hate to spend $70 on the solenoid to find out that I still need the same $400 replacement I'd have needed anyway. So I'm also mulling over just sending it in, with hopes of a new machine as replacement.

(Assuming they'll take it - I remember seeing somewhere in the thread that they care where you bought it and when, so since I bought it used I don't know their policy if you have no receipt/history.)

Thanks so much!

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pcrussell50 (original poster)

#908: Post by pcrussell50 (original poster) »

I would say 70%. At least. In any event, if you end up keeping the machine, you will need a new solenoid eventually anyway so it's not money completely lost.

When you run the machine, is any water pumped out at all? Even a little dribble?

Sadly I have little personal experience with scale damage and the BDB, because it was not my first machine and I was already wary of the damage that comes from it, and I treated my BDB accordingly right from the beginning. So most of what I know about scale and the BDB is passed on from having been on the forums for a long time.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

luvmy40

#909: Post by luvmy40 »

thenewmath wrote:Very informative, thanks! I'd guessed the gauge was okay since they said they were registering low levels of pressure.

The owner didn't use scale-free water, but did claim to descale regularly.

Sounds like my best bet would be to replace the solenoid and see if that takes the blockage with it? Replacing the group would be out of my skill range and put me into the $400 ship-it-back category.

I know it's tough to speculate on an unseen machine, but you say the blockage is in the solenoid "a good bit of the time." Just in the most ballpark way, could you take a wild guess and say if that's 30% of the time? 60%? 90%?
I'd hate to spend $70 on the solenoid to find out that I still need the same $400 replacement I'd have needed anyway. So I'm also mulling over just sending it in, with hopes of a new machine as replacement.

(Assuming they'll take it - I remember seeing somewhere in the thread that they care where you bought it and when, so since I bought it used I don't know their policy if you have no receipt/history.)

Thanks so much!
No worries there. I also bought my BDB used from ebay and when I did something stupid and burned the steam boiler fuse out, Breville just asked for the serial number of the machine and sent me the return packaging and label. About a week later, I got a email that my machine was being shipped back to me. They sent me a new machine.

pcrussell50 (original poster)

#910: Post by pcrussell50 (original poster) »

Trivia time!

Who here LOVES the built in automatic shot timer, but HATES that your shot time disappears five seconds later?

-Peter
LMWDP #553