Is my "new" espresso machine actually a demo model? - Page 2

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HB
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#11: Post by HB »

jrham12 wrote:I ordered some new high temp silicone o-rings from McMaster Carr and replaced just the o-ring along with using some crocus cloth to smooth out the sealing surface of the teflon block and it's been good for about a year now...
It's disappointing to have a failure so quickly; hopefully the vendor will let the manufacturer know and they'll address it. In the meantime, if you have links to the parts you replaced, it may help others watching this thread. Thanks!
Dan Kehn

jrham12

#12: Post by jrham12 »

Sure thing Dan!

Issue #1 - Vacuum Breaker Valve (after about 2 months of use!)

Here are the maintenance instructions from Clive Coffee on rebuilding the vacuum breaker valve: https://support.clivecoffee.com/ecm-syn ... eplacement Note that there is a link on that page to the rebuild kit that they offer which contains the brass poppet with the o-ring preinstalled and the teflon block. https://clivecoffee.com/products/vacuum-breaker-rebuild

These are the replacement high-temp silicone o-rings that I ordered from McMaster-Carr for the vacuum breaker valve: https://www.mcmaster.com/9396K12/
I just removed the o-ring from the brass poppet, cleaned it up with a brass wire brush and installed one of the new o-rings. I then took some crocus cloth (VERY fine cloth-backed sandpaper) and made sure the sealing surface inside the teflon block was nice and smooth. Reassembly was simply the reverse of disassembly. Note that I did not need to remove the entire valve from the boiler; I just unscrewed the top portion (with the barb fitting) from the bottom while leaving it installed in the boiler.

Issue #2 - leak from back of steam valve assembly. (after about 14 months of use)

Here is a copy of the ECM Synchronika parts diagram courtesy of Whole Latte Love: https://support.wholelattelove.com/hc/e ... iagram.pdf
When I had a leak which presented itself as a slight "dribble" from between the base of the steam valve and the body of the machine, I tracked it down to o-ring #12 on page 10 of 15 in the parts diagram:


This article from Clive Coffee shows how to remove the steam valve assembly and remove that back part (#4 in the diagram) using a 6mm allen wrench: https://support.clivecoffee.com/ecm-syn ... eplacement Note that original assembly used some sort of thread sealant between part #4 and the valve body so it took a fair amount of force to get it broken free.

The original o-ring was round so I found what appeared to be a suitable size high-temp silicone o-ring on McMaster-Carr: https://www.mcmaster.com/1283N28/. But I saw that they also had the same size in a square cross section and thinking that the square profile may provide a greater sealing surface, I ordered a package of those ones as well: https://www.mcmaster.com/1182N017/

I had used a similar ID / OD rubber o-ring with a larger cross-section from a bathroom faucet rebuild kit as a temporary fix until the new ones arrived. Once the new ones arrived, I opened up the machine again and installed one of the square profile o-rings in the valve and lubricated it up with some 111 grease and re-installed the steam valve. While inside, I also replaced the plastic "T" routing the OPV and vacuum breaker to the drip tray with a 5/16" brass one I got from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077BH1T7T That was just a preventative measure since I know the plastic one will eventually break due to the heat.

It has only been a couple days since I installed the new o-ring in the steam valve, but so far it is working just fine. It has been about a year since I replaced the o-ring in the vacuum breaker valve and it is still holding up just fine.

As a side note, I have only run RPavlis water made with Potassium Bicarb since I got the machine. After about 14 months, no signs of scale anywhere I've seen! Typical usage is 2 mochas for the wife per day (2:1 double shot, 8 oz of steamed milk plus Monin chocolate sauce) along with 1 double shot for me on weekdays and usually 3-4 double shots on weekends or when I have the day off! Machine is on a smart timer coming on about 5am and turning off about 4pm each day.

Hope this helps someone in the future!
Josh

PS - edited to add that we do 2-3 water backflushes after the last drink of each day and I backflush with a tiny amount of Cafiza (maybe 1/8 teaspoon) about once a month which also includes dropping and cleaning the shower screen, group gasket, portafilter and baskets with cafiza as well.
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Pressino

#13: Post by Pressino »

The blackened surface of the boiler valve indicates prior use for some period of time, but this could be from factory testing, which most manufacturers do before they ship the machines.