Cimbali Junior D1 - it took 11 years...

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darilon

#1: Post by darilon »

So 11 years ago I made my first post about my old school la Cimbali Junior D1. It had a bad gicar box (autofill circuit didn't work on it). As a result of that it also had a fried boiler element. After fixing those I was pleased to be pulling shots from what is possibly the best home HX machine I could get. Over the years I've done a couple of things here and there, but there was always one thing that I just lived with - a slow leak from the boiler fill solenoid that would eventually over-fill the boiler. This caused a few minor flooding issues in my coffee/laundry room and a bit of friction with my wife. A few months ago I ordered a new solenoid after trying a number of different springs in the old one (I'm pretty sure the problem was just a 'tired' spring). I put that in today, being on a bit of a roll with repairing various appliances and tools. Finally I have a fully functioning machine. It only took 11 years...

spopinski

#2: Post by spopinski »

I truly love posts like this. If we take care of our appliances and other gizmos it will lasts. Not talking about modern elctronics like phones etc..

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Black-Wolf

#3: Post by Black-Wolf »

Happy wife, happy life :D

Enjoy your Junior. I'm currently in process of restoring one myself. Hope it doesn't take me eleven years.

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civ

#4: Post by civ »

Hello:
darilon wrote: ... - a slow leak from the boiler fill solenoid that would eventually over-fill the boiler.
Yes, a real PITA.
More so when you fill the D/1 manually, like I do.

Due to low mains pressure in my appartment, I have rigged a switch (interrupting the sensor -> Gicar lead) to fill the boiler when the machine is cold.
Otherwise (on auto) the boiler would slowly empy back into the mains supply.

But it's usually a seal issue, not the spring.

See Lucifer boiler fill valve leak

Best,

CIV

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

This is one lesson I learned the hard way regarding plumbed in machines.

https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/leak-controller
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

darilon (original poster)

#6: Post by darilon (original poster) »

My wife has me exiled to the laundry room with my equipment but she sure enjoyed her cappuccino this morning. I'm plumbed in to the laundry room on an extra garden faucet style tap that was handy. I'm using a pressure reducing valve to keep the water pressure about where I want it and over the years have gotten into the habit of turning it off when not in use. The new boiler fill valve is a Parker but the same specs as the old Lucifer it replaces and only required a small amount of modding to fit. It's sealing tight and I couldn't be happier. Old habits die hard. I still find myself checking to make sure the boiler hasn't overfilled and then I'm pleasantly surprised to see it's all as it should be. I couldn't be happier.

darilon (original poster)

#7: Post by darilon (original poster) »

civ wrote:Hello:

Yes, a real PITA.
More so when you fill the D/1 manually, like I do.

Due to low mains pressure in my appartment, I have rigged a switch (interrupting the sensor -> Gicar lead) to fill the boiler when the machine is cold.
Otherwise (on auto) the boiler would slowly empy back into the mains supply.

But it's usually a seal issue, not the spring.

See Lucifer boiler fill valve leak

Best,

CIV
Very interesting. I checked my plunger out and there is no silicone seal on it at all, which I guess is the likely problem. Instead I see a shiny hard surface that is recessed about 0.5mm and seems to be somewhat spring mounted so that it will recess a bit further when pressure is applied - maybe a total of 1-2mm when depressed. I'm happy to see that you have a solution. I'll keep my old valve on hand in case I ever need it and will keep my eyes open for silicone of the correct thickness to make a gasket out of at that time. With the new valve I should be fine for another 20 years or so I hope. If only I knew this 11 years ago =)

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civ

#8: Post by civ »

Hello:
darilon wrote: Very interesting.
Ha!
Reminds me of the Arte Johnson sketches in Martin and Rowan's Laugh-In.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnab1TdehFs
darilon wrote: ... no silicone seal on it at all ...
The plunger in the valve usually seen on Cimbali D/1s is this one:




The seal is not silicone, probably NBR or EPDM.
Like I mentioned in the post I linked you to, it is a Cimbali proprietary design which is why the model number is nowhere to be found in Parker Hannifin catalogues and they flat out refuse to talk about it, referring you to Cimbali.
darilon wrote: ... a shiny hard surface that is recessed ...
... somewhat spring mounted ...
Unless I am mistaken, that is another, more sophisticated design but not Cimbali proprietary, commonly known as a 'Ruby' seal.
The three way valve in my D/1 has that type of plunger.
Other Parker two way valves also have that type of seals which can be (IIRC) Ruby, EPDM and NBR.
darilon wrote: ... happy to see that you have a solution.
A proper solution would be to be able to get a repair kit from Parker. 8^|.

If I had a lathe at hand, I would (very carefully) drill a hole in the plunger (from the bottom) till I got to where the spring is.
The shake out the spring and punch out the worn seal from the other end.

Then thread the hole I made to fit a SS allen/slot head screw of the right size.
Clean up, push in a new seal, replace the spring and then put in the SS screw which should be short enough to touch the spring and at the same time remain recessed.

But it's only theory, I don't have a lathe at hand.

Best,

CIV