Constant dripping from E61 grouphead

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Ruppert

#1: Post by Ruppert »

Dear Sir

Recently I replaced a pressurestat on my Isomac Millenium II Coffee Machine after the old one malfunctioned, and I was unable to keep the right amount of pressure to properly operate the machine. A few days after replacing the pressurestat, I notice a large amount of water on the drip tray, and some steam originating from the bottom front part of the machine after brewing, and once the lever was returned to the off position.

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Please forgive me my ignorance. I am not even sure what to call that part, which I am aware, can't make it easy for you to offer advice or an educated opinion. I will try to upload a picture so you can better view what I am talking about.

The machine is about one and a half year old, and was purchased with the business. I do not have any documents or owner's manual to which a could refer, and I am strapped for cash at the moment, trying to fix it myself.

I would greatly appreciate your advice.

Thank you very much,

Mario

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HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

Ruppert wrote:A few days after replacing the pressurestat, I notice a large amount of water on the drip tray, and some steam originating from the bottom front part of the machine after brewing, and once the lever was returned to the off position.
Have you backflushed regularly? It's possible that gunk is preventing the valves from seating properly. A good cleaning with espresso detergent may help (instructions). Or it's possible the upper valve gasket has dried out and fails to seal. You can see it in this diagram, part number 519545:

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See Commercial Machine Parts > Faema > E61 from Cafe Parts

Cafe Parts listed it as "Valve Gasket 13 X 4 X 4 mm", Part No. 48864. Odd that it would fail after only 1-1/2 years. Anyway, while you have it apart, you may want to replace the other seals as suggested in Chris Coffee FAQ #25.

Below is a closeup of the (black) valve gasket in question, thanks to Lino at Verna Design:

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From E61 Group Espresso Machine: Detailed Interior Schematics
Dan Kehn

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jesawdy

#3: Post by jesawdy »

Ruppert wrote:A few days after replacing the pressurestat, I notice a large amount of water on the drip tray, and some steam originating from the bottom front part of the machine after brewing, and once the lever was returned to the off position.
I wanted to add that this behavior is normal, meaning the expulsion of water and some dripping for a short while to the drip tray after the lever is lowered at the end the shot. This is the release of water pressure for the water that is above the coffee bed at the end of the shot. Semi-automatic and automatic machines that are not lever-actuated use a 3-way solenoid to perform the same function.

What is not normal is a constant and continual dripping for long periods. As Dan points out, constant dripping would suggest that some grit has fouled a seal and/or a seal is worn.
Jeff Sawdy

Ruppert

#4: Post by Ruppert »

I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank you Jeff and Dan for the great information provided.

Armed with the diagram I felt empowered to disassemble and clean all the parts. Did a pretty good job of it also; if I may say so myself. Used something a bit unconventional I bet, (spray on oven cleaner) and the stuff just melted away. You have to try it. Obviously the machine has had a lot of use. I ended up with something on the bottom of the drip tray that looked very much like unrefined oil. I am telling you. It dissolved everything right before my eyes. It polished the chrome, copper, and all metal parts, including springs. I am not sure it was so good for the rubber gaskets and seals, but to be honest, it didn't seem to harm it.

Afterwards, I applied a small amount of Food Grade Silicone "grease", on all rubber o-rings and gaskets, and wiped away the excess with a clean paper towel. It looked brand new.

Unfortunately, the leak still remained. With the control lever on the off position, the drip remains for as long as the machine is on. Unfortunate, really! I was certain I was on to something. But hey... Living and learning.

Thank you so much guys for the great advice. It was really a pleasure dealing with you. After I am done writing this message, I will be ordering the parts I need.

Thank you so much. I am really impressed. You guys should charge for this sort of advice.

Mario.

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HB
Admin

#5: Post by HB »

Ruppert wrote:Unfortunately, the leak still remained. With the control lever on the off position, the drip remains for as long as the machine is on. Unfortunate, really! I was certain I was on to something. But hey... Living and learning.
Good for you, sorry it didn't fix the problem. Honestly I thought that was it, but hey, guess it's the gasket. Does it show signs of wear? Now that you have the brew lever and cam out, you should be able to observe it directly.
Thank you so much guys for the great advice. It was really a pleasure dealing with you.
No problem, hope the gasket is the trick. Given the low cost, order the gaskets for the brew arm (602576 in the diagram above). They're the ones that usually go first.

PS: If you have photos of the before/after, please post them.
Dan Kehn

Ruppert

#6: Post by Ruppert »

Dear Dan.

Thank you so much for your feedback. Your know-how is invaluable for people like me.

Dan, I am confused. I don't know what to order. After talking to you and Jeff, and reading all you had to say, I thought it would be pretty straightforward; but when I look at the parts available, and all the different sites where I can find them, I am so confused. Perhaps I am just tired. I've been dealing with this all day, and to be honest, I am exhausted by now. It's almost 11:00 pm here, in the East Coast, and to be honest, I am tired.

Is the constant leakage is caused by a worn out gasket in the interior parts of that "spout", I am not sure where and what to order. There are so many bits and pieces.

Do you think you have enough patience left to help out this confused coffee lover and his customers. :roll:

Where do I go? What do I order? I am here piecing together the whole caboodle , when some sites seem to list it as a complete assembly. What I am doing wrong?

Do I get it piece by piece, or do I get it as an "assembly"?

And what am I getting?

I won't mind if you don't answer. People like me must get on your nerves.

I am lost in East Providence, Rhode Island.


Mario

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#7: Post by cannonfodder »

I would contact Jim at 1st-line (he carries the Isomac line), Stefano from Stefano's Espresso Care or Chris at ChrisCoffee (use to carry Isomac line). Any one of them should have the parts. If you are taking it all apart, I would replace all the gaskets while you had it apart. They are only a couple of dollars. What puzzles me, the Millennium II is a new model, the lack of backflushing probably degraded the seals quicker than normal.

These are pretty standard parts and easy to replace.
Dave Stephens

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HB
Admin

#8: Post by HB »

Ruppert wrote:Dan, I am confused. I don't know what to order. After talking to you and Jeff, and reading all you had to say, I thought it would be pretty straightforward; but when I look at the parts available, and all the different sites where I can find them, I am so confused.
Cafeparts doesn't have the easiest to navigate site. However, if you click on the navigation tree on the left and then "Exploded view" on the right, it will open a separate window showing all the parts with hyperlinks to add each to your cart. All the gaskets are shown and the ones I saw cost less than a buck.

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Or you could call Jim/Chris/Stefano as Dave suggests. Of the three, Stefano has the highest tolerance for onesy-twosy parts orders (please don't tell him I said that ;-)).
Ruppert wrote:I won't mind if you don't answer. People like me must get on your nerves.
Post a thread with photos of the E61 parts nicely laid out and we'll call it even. They would save us time for the next person asking similar questions...
Dan Kehn

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HB
Admin

#9: Post by HB »

Ruppert wrote:Dan, I am confused. I don't know what to order.
Update: Stefano contacted me offline. He has bundled a kit to rebuild the E61 grouphead: Grouphead Kit E-61.
This kit includes all the gaskets and o-rings to rebuild your E-61 GroupHead. GroupHead Gasket, Shower screen, Gigleur filter screen, O-Ring Mushroom, O-Rings lever, Closing Gaskets and the teflon seals.
Fair price for everything you could possibly need. Thanks Stefano!
Dan Kehn

Ruppert

#10: Post by Ruppert »

Hi guys!

Just wanted to stop by, and let you know that I ordered the new parts today.

All new o-rings, gaskets... You name it... I got it!

Should be getting it in a couple days. I am anxious to repair it, and really hopeful that this will do the trick. I can't really think of what else it could be, but that is why I came here.

You guys have been wonderful, really! I am sure you hear it all the time.

I've learned more in this past two days about this machine that I ever thought I could.

Once I have the parts, I will take the whole thing apart again, and take pictures this time, so I can post it here, as Dan suggested. It's the least I can do, for a great group of guys like you. Hopefully it will help someone else.

Thank you so much.


Mario.