Degraded espresso machine performance OR "The Scale Monster Attacks!" - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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shadowfax

#11: Post by shadowfax »

I asked the people at ChrisCoffee if it would be alright on Vetrano to run the rotary pump from a bucket with that bucket set well above the machine and a siphon set up so there was "gravitational" positive pressure, like the way you pump beer out of the carboy into the keg or the bottles (for any of you beer brewers out there). They said that would probably be fine for short term usage. Of course, they did warn me that acid descaling can cut the life of the machine in half because of the damage the acid can do to gaskets, etc.

I am hoping not to have to do it myself, but I thought that I would pass on the advice I got from them. But, I agree with Eric. I was kind of disappointed with the tiny tubes that the pump has on it. I don't understand why they couldn't just use normal sized copper pipe on the output, and regular-sized plastic high pressure tubing on the input.
Nicholas Lundgaard

avogadro

#12: Post by avogadro »

You could also syphon the descaler in and out of the boiler through a fitting removed from the top of the boiler. Thats actually what I did for the first round of solution. Of course the HX still needs to be descaled with a pump. It does significantly lessen the time you are running the pump though.

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edwa

#13: Post by edwa »

Sean,

Once you remove the mushroom do you need to replace any gaskets right away or can they be used again if everything looks like its in good shape?

Any special tips to minimize damage to the chrome? Socket wrench?

avogadro

#14: Post by avogadro »

Nope. The teflon gaskets are pretty sturdy and shouldn't need to be replaced. The O-ring at the bottom of the shroom should be ok too, just don't mess with it.

Depends on the socket. A regular 6 point might be ok since it can grab the flats of the socket better than a 12pt (my shroom has rounded corners so 12pts dont work). I use a tight fitting open ended wrench. Don't soak the whole shroom in an acid descaler as I believe its possible to damage the chrome that is visible while installed. It will descale just fine on its own during the standard process.

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edwa

#15: Post by edwa »

Hmmm, I'm going to have to buy a new tool the shroom is bigger than my 12" crescent wrench.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#16: Post by cannonfodder »

Yup, I happen to have gotten lucky and the axle bolt on my Kawasaki was the same size as the hex on the group. It is a big bolt.

The Teflon seals will last for some time but it does not do any harm to have a spare one in the parts cabinet. The rubber O-ring at the bottom of the mushroom will get brittle, crack and break. I had to replace the one on my Isomac after a year of use. Again, it would not hurt to have a spare around. It is the $1 part that takes the $1.5K machine out of service.
Dave Stephens

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erics
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#17: Post by erics »

All the wrenches you would need both in opening size and physical size - although a 12" Crescent wrench SHOULD have worked:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=93668

Use electrical tape on the wrench openings. Removing the top nut (22 mm or 7/8") exposes the gicleur screen and gicleur. A 36 mm or 1-7/16 wrench removes the mushroom. The O-ring at the bottom is a dash 128 size and is Viton. This would be a smart kit to have handy - just in case:

http://espressocare.com/Qstore/Qstore.c ... ++Kit+E-61
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

avogadro

#18: Post by avogadro »

I use an adjustable made for trailer hitch balls that I painted that liquid rubber stuff on the jaws.

It's always a good idea to have spare o-rings and seals. Waiting for parts sucks!

Erics: Do you know of any manufactures that did not use a viton oring? I've seen some black and some that are the orangey color.

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erics
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#19: Post by erics »

Well, this sorta gets off the topic but, to the best of my knowledge there are only two manufacturers of manual lever style E-61 groupheads. One is Vibiemme and the other MIGHT BE Faema. I said Viton because of the temperatures involved and because that is the designation given on the various parts lists I have available to me.

Viton can be black or brown (see McMaster-Carr listings) but, of course, I prefer the brown so as to distinguish it from the typical hardware store O-ring of Buna-N.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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edwa

#20: Post by edwa »

Eric, thank you for the link to the tools. I think I'll just buy a 15" crescent. Do I need to remove the top bolt or can I just remove the bottom to pull the shroom to check for scaling?

Dan, may I suggest Eric's instructions above be posted in the "How To" section for removing the mushroom?