ECM Synchronika - Service boiler not auto refilling

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#1: Post by Beanmeup »

Hi - Hoping for some expert input into this tricky problem. I have an 18 month old Synchronika, which is being used a couple of times a day, and is using the internal water tank. Core problem is that after the start up boiler heating cycles are completed the group head will not produce a shot, no water will flow. Group Head is at full temperature. If water is dispensed from the hot water tap, the service boiler is unable to refill itself, despite the pump activating.

However if I then turn off the machine for a minute allowing it to cool a few degrees the pump will work correctly and water will be drawn from the tank refilling the service boiler. Once back up to pressure I can then pull my shot. Following the shot however once again the boilers will not refill. The tank magnet is aligned and working, and the reed low water sensor magnet is also working (I've passed a magnet across it and can hear it click) My next thoughts are around the Solenoid Valve, and checking to see if this is sticking, but I have a very consistent fault behaviour. I've not replaced any components as yet. Limescale is not the problem as the machine is always topped up with filtered water. However I have noticed that the water filter sometimes emits tiny plastic shavings into the water, and the floor of the Sync appears to have a collection of similar plastic fragments underneath the pump/valve area. Is there a filter in the pump? And can it eject material ? This is the reason I'm think about the Solenoid Valve and seeing if any of these shavings are in the valve. I'd welcome any input and idea's and it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has ever had a similar problem. Thank you Paul.


#2: Post by PartySausage »

There's a small inline filter in the flexible pipe beneath the tank, which is to prevent coarse particles getting into the pump. That could be blocking with the particles you have described.
Also check the tank coupling on the underside of the tank & inside the machine are both tight even if they are a even little loose the valve in the coupling might not be opening when the tank is inserted, which was the issue I had & the symptoms were that the pump would run & run but the boilers would not fill
It could be a sticking/faulty solenoid and temperature can cause coil breakdown over time, but it's worth checking the above items first.
If you remove the solenoid coil by first undoing the nut on the end you should be able to check if the solenoid shaft is free, it doesn't move much though so you may still have to remove the shaft from the valve to check it's free from any corrosion or debris. It doesn't take long though

Beanmeup (original poster)

#3: Post by Beanmeup (original poster) »

Thanks I'll check the filter and post re the solenoid check. The tank valve is fine, this was my first port of call several weeks ago. The first sign of trouble was when the "tank empty" machine cut off cease to operate, and it started trying to pull from an empty tank. This is why I think the Reed low level sensor is also in need of replacing


#4: Post by PartySausage »

Will look out for your updates.
Probably a silly suggestion but before you replace the Reed switch. Check you haven't accidentally put the water switch under the drip tray to the plumbed position as that overrides the tank level shut off when using plumbed water supply. It's easily done & I've done it more than once

Team HB

#5: Post by JRising »

Is your pump louder and maybe sounding stranger than usual? Blockage before the pump, pump is drawing a partial vacuum.

Is your pump nice and quiet like running against the blind filter? Blockage after the pump, possibly boiler-fill valve blocked or not opening.

When it's trying to fill the boiler and failing, what does the pump-gauge show?


#6: Post by CrazyPeopleFood »

Did you ever figure this out? I'm having what sounds like the exact same issue and haven't been able to resolve. Have taken the group head and solenoid a part looking for something luck thus far.

Team HB

#7: Post by JRising »

Well, if it sounds like exactly the same problem, the questions will be the same.

Does the pump sound normal? What does the pump gauge display when the steam boiler is trying to fill?

Is yours also unable to move water the brew circuit once the service boiler refill has begun this issue? Is yours also only misbehaving after it has heated and idled for a while?