So, I was going to put a bunch of helpful links to mods and common maintenance (which is oddly about all that ever seems to be necessary on these machines to keep them running), on the first page of the: Breville Dual Boiler, five+ years on
which has kind of become a de facto "BDB owner's thread". But Dan suggested that since that thread was already huge, maybe I start a new one, with a bunch of helpful links on the first page.
I expect this to be a work in progress in case anyone else who is a marathon BDB owner discovers the so far elusive, big unfixable problem. So here goes:
What you will face going forward, (and this applies to any machine you may one day have in your espresso journey): Any machine that deals with hot, pressurized water, in the presence of electricity, is going to have certain maintenance requirements. There are generally two philosophies in dealing with this. Preventative maintenance, and "fix as you go". Breville is very much a "fix as you go" type of company, and thankfully, waiting until something breaks rarely comes with any kind of serious damage on this platform. The only pitfall is a psychological one... By not doing preventative maintenance, things will break. And when things break, people tend to think their Breville machine is junk and seek something else. Then they spend four or five times as much for a La Marzocco or such, where you do expensive yearly PREVENTATIVE maintenance, so that things don't break (as often). And guess what? Then people are even more certain their Breville is junk. But this is a big logical mistake of course. And leads to incorrect conclusions and beliefs about the durability of these machines.
All maintenance and repair begins with removing the top cover: See: "Removing the top and accessing the innards" here: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espres ... 603#716603
Once the cover is off, don't bother trying to disconnect all the wires from it. Just find a way to prop up the cover out of the way, without straining the wires.
1) RULE NUMBER ONE!
Use scale free water. IOW water with no calcium or magnesium (the components of scale). Or water with low enough Ca or Mg AND a pH that prevents scale formation. See this post: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance
2) Drippy steam valve
The steam valve on all these machines eventually develops a slow drip when warmed up. Sometimes in as little as a year, sometimes two or three. There is a thread here on HB discussing all about it and before we figured out how easy it is to fix, a bunch of posts about possible solutions. Cutting to the chase, the easy, no parts fix: Breville Dual Boiler ball valve detail, pics
. If you don't ever want this to happen to you, pretend it's a La Marzocco or other high end machine and flip the seals every year. As with other BS myths about proprietary non-user-serviceable parts, you can also buy replacement seals on Amazon for next to nothing for a bag of 100. But by and large, you don't need them. Just keep flipping the ones you have.
3) GFCI tripping, runaway heating
Sounds terrible. "This machine is a disposable appliance grade POS" Right? Wrong. Easy fix, almost free. OR easily preventable if you choose that route by changing your o-rings every year or so like La Marzocco. What is happening is that common silicone #007 o-rings sealing the 4mm PTFE water tubes into the top of the steam boiler need replacement. Once the insides dry out and you have fixed the leaks with new o-rings, normal operation resumes. A bag of 100 of these size #007 o-rings is $9.99 on Amazon. Your children will be dead of old age before you run out. Detailed thread:http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espres ... 603#716603
Since early-mid 2018 Breville changed the method of sealing the PTFE water tubes on top of the boilers to some other scheme that looks more robust than the o-rings. We do not know when or if they will leak, or what to do about it if they do. Too early to tell for these newer machines.
4) The solenoid. Starts getting "buzzy" for some people after two or three years. Might be due to scale. I remove and inspect mine about once a year. But I use scale free water so not had any problems or cleaning to do under the base of the solenoid. If you need to replace it, Open the cover and direct replace. But a new one here: https://www.ereplacementparts.com/solen ... 39484.html
This is a standard Lucifer base solenoid, so any other Lucifer base solenoids should work, too like the one from the Silvia.
5) The pump. Rarely needs replacement. But As with other BS myths about proprietary non-user-serviceable parts on the BDB, it uses the same Italian Ulka vibe pump as any other prosumer vibe pump machines out there...you can also buy replacement pumps on Amazon for next to nothing. https://www.amazon.com/Ulka-EAP5-Vibrat ... 00NMNA138/
These are pretty much the only common items that wear out and need repair. One more general catch-all thread for repairs: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espres ... nes/726101
in progress... links to follow text. check back later
Flow and Pressure Profiling
In order to keep this post from becoming huge, I expanded this section in a different post of this thread: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance
1) Straight out of the box, this machine already has programmable pre infusion. This is more and better than almost all of the high end machines on the market. And it has full manual override of time. So if you want to pre infuse not according to a pre set time, but rather, until is "looks right", you can do that too.
2) If you want more, you can move a microswitch out of the way and get current model conical valve GS/3MP style pressure profiling, in which the excess is vented to the drip tray. Not very elegant, but it works. A few posts down, here: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance
3) If you want to go whole hog, you can do what we call the "Slayer Mod", which gives you beginning to end flow control, without
venting/wasting to the drip tray. This is actually better-than-Slayer level control over flow. (2) is so easy it's a joke. You can't really even call it a mod. This one (3) is just easy. A few posts down, here: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance
Plumbing and conversion to Rotary pump
Easily done, with no permanent changes to the machine itself. About as easy as installing an under-sink softer filter and plugging it's output into the pump, then running that to the back fo the BDB. The difference in quietness and refinement cannot be understated. A HUGE aesthetic upgrade.
Brass OPV and brass necked pump
If you aren't ready to commit to plumbing, (which must be done to go rotary), the brass necked pump and brass OPV give a much more refined, damped, and quieter sound and feel. Nowhere near rotary level. But something.
This video demonstrating the rotary pump AND flow control. About halfway through the pull, I speed the flow up and towards the end, you can see I slow the flow down (the way everyone should as the puck erodes... If your machine has the capability):