Can someone tell me if my steam gauge fluctuations are normal?

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amamet
Posts: 35
Joined: 12 years ago

#1: Post by amamet »

I just "rebuilt " my recently purchased 2017 ecm synchronika, new brew boiler (had a crack), rebuilt E61, new steam gauge (other one didn't zero out) removed and descaled steam boiler (all fittings removed and boiler bathed in drugol) cleaned and descaled all copper lines. everything properly flushed after descaling. cleaned and lubricated vacuum valve on steam boiler.

I have the pid set at 200 for the brew boiler and 265 for the steam boiler. the brew boiler pretty much stays at 200, occasionally 199 or 201 but usually pretty steady at 200. the steam boiler initially stops at 265 then drops a little to say 264 then up to 269 and drop degree every few seconds back to 265, at that point I can hear the boiler kick on and it goes back to 268-269 then slowly drops again. this goes on and on continuously. the gauge drops and rises along with the temp. seems to fluctuate between 1.4 to 1.2 continuously. is this normal or should it maintain pressure/temp for a longer period of time? I neither see nor hear any leaks, hissing etc...

ive ony had this machine for a short period of time so ive never seen it working properly to begin with and ive never used one either so I have no reference to go to
thanks
allen

amamet (original poster)
Posts: 35
Joined: 12 years ago

#2: Post by amamet (original poster) »

latest observation is while set at 265, it drops from 268-266 every 10 seconds or so, when it hits 266 I hear the boiler gurgle and it goes up. is the boiler heating (ever so slightly) every 10 seconds too much/quick?

Cuprajake
Posts: 551
Joined: 2 years ago

#3: Post by Cuprajake »

They do fluctuate

When I had the Evo leva you could go into the pod to change the way it reacts to the reading

Some pids will over shoot more.

Older machines had a physical pressure stat like my old londinium

Jrodanapolis
Posts: 149
Joined: 4 years ago

#4: Post by Jrodanapolis »

This is normal and is a function of how the feedback loop works. I dont know if the ECM uses a pressure stat like the LMLM, but I would guess ot does.

The pressure stat feeds a signal to the board, which either tells the steam element to be "on" or "off". When on, the element heats up and pressure rises. When off, the steam boiler slowly cools, so the pressure decreases. Most steam boilers don't use a PID like a brew boiler because it doesn't matter the exact temp of the steam as much as it does for brewing coffee. PIDs work in a similar way, but the range of temps they allow is much smaller, so the heat goes on/off much more quickly.

Check out the ideal gas law (steam is a gas!) to see that PV = nRT... when temp rises on the right side of the equation, either pressure or volume rises. If you're in a confined space, like a sealed steam boiler, the only thing that can rise is the pressure.

Nunas
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#5: Post by Nunas »

The Synchronika uses a PID to control the temperature of both the brew and steam boilers, not a pressurestat. I don't notice any significant movement of the steam boiler pressure once it rises to stability. Of course, when steam is used, it drops, then recovers when the heater comes on. While the machine is on and warmed up, I do notice that once in a while the PID will bring one or the other boiler's heater on to maintain the temperature. Since the topic is a used/rebuilt machine, and since the PID parameters can be changed by the user, I wonder if resetting the PID to the factory default might solve the issue. If nothing else, doing a reset of the PID would eliminate a number of variables that might cause issues with a used machine.

amamet (original poster)
Posts: 35
Joined: 12 years ago

#6: Post by amamet (original poster) »

how does one reset the pid on this machine? I guess I can google it but if someone really knows how id love to know too
thx
allen

Nunas
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Joined: 9 years ago

#7: Post by Nunas »

With the machine off, hold the plus key and turn it on. Keep holding the + key until the screen reads PRS, then release the + key and turn the machine off. This will reset everything to the factory settings for a new machine. If this does not work, and it might not on an older Syncronika, do the same procedure holding the minus key.

Pressino
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#8: Post by Pressino »

Another thing to check is the boiler fill lever sensor. The water level setpoint, which can be adjusted by the sensor rod height, can affect the heater cycling time.