Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 123

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slybarman

#1221: Post by slybarman »

Don Task wrote:OUCH! (why I''ve been postponing disassembly so I can lubricate)
image
I see now the photo I posted is misleading. What you circled is just a reflection of my under-cabinet LEDs. The actual marring is just a small scratch.

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tpm

#1222: Post by tpm »

I've had a rough start with my Bianca. The machine arrived with non-functioning flow control, the flow was irregular and it wasn't possible to close the needle valve completely. The reseller instructed me to open the top group and clean it, and upon doing so I noticed that the gicleur was broken. There's one thread here where someone had similar issues, and the cause turned out to be a worker at Lelit overtightening the gicleur. My machine is from a different lot than theirs.

I messaged the reseller, and they instructed me to order the spare part which they would then reimburse. When the post brought my package the next day (boy, that was fast) it came clear that the gicleur they told me to order was the "standard" with a ~0.6mm orifice. It took multiple emails with videos attached to assure them it would not fit. The initial response I got was along the lines of "it's better than the original, just use it, it will work fine".

A few days pass, after which they message me that it's impossible to acquire the correct gicleur, and I must drill a 1.5mm hole to the one I ordered earlier. Quite understandably IMO, I was not a fan of the idea, since I don't have access to a drill press, but they insisted. Instead, I contacted Lelit directly, and indeed they don't sell the gicleur separately, and they refused to send me one. They asserted that the entire flow control assembly (needle valve, gicleur, seals, spring...) needs to be changed. This was unfathomable, and I still can't think of any solid reasoning behind it (other than making profit ofcourse, with the expense of wasting resources).

Now I kind of understood the point of view of the reseller, they would have to provide a 150€ assembly just to change a 0.50€ part, but since I couldn't really press Lelit, I wasn't their direct customer after all, that's exactly what I insisted the reseller do based on the discussion I had with Lelit. I received no answer. To amuse them, and more importantly to quench my desire for better shots (I'd been using the machine without a gicleur - not good), I tried hand drilling the previous gicleur. Quite predictably my drilling finesse was not within tolerance. It sort of worked, but the flow was again irregular and the valve would not close completely.

I again sent videos to the reseller demonstrating that I tried their way - and it didn't work. They started demanding that I provide them the contact details to whom I talked with from Lelit. I didn't have such details since I contacted them via a support forum, but I sent Lelit another message asking for an email address of someone that would handle the case. Then out of the blue, the next day the reseller sent me a message stating that they will send me the entire flow control assembly. I never sent them any contact details to Lelit, and infact I never received any, appart from a generic address. I still don't know what happened over night, but frankly I don't really care. The whole thing took a month of fighting. I received the flow control assembly, changed the parts, and now everything works finally ! Happy ending !

...well not quite. To celebrate, I decided to clean the machine to get that brand spanking new feel. I did a backflush cycle with pulycaff, and proceeded to re-lubricate the brew lever with molykote111 following the instructions from coffeetimex wiki. I wasn't able to wiggle the cam back in because the Bianca spring is so stiff, so also removed the exhaust tube, replaced the cam in the down position, and rethreaded the exhaust back on. Now the brew lever is still stiff, and makes "spring straining" noises when operated. Is this normal? This is my first e61, and I can't remember how it felt exactly before cleaning, and I never listened how it sounded without the pump masking everything else. The only difference to how it was before disassembly is that now the exhaust pin sits with a corner facing out (towards the front of the machine, where the cam first makes contact) as opposed to flat side out. I tried reassembling it a few times, but the pin keeps spinning when rethreading the lower tube, and always ended up the same. Does this make a difference? I could take pictures if my explanation was poor. You can check the noise from the video.
I'm just extra jumpy and annoyed with even further setbacks, even though this one's completely on me (or just my imagination..). Thanks for any feedback!

Don Task

#1223: Post by Don Task »

tpm wrote:{snip} I decided to clean the machine to get that brand spanking new feel. I did a backflush cycle with pulycaff, and proceeded to re-lubricate the brew lever with molykote111 following the instructions from coffeetimex wiki. I wasn't able to wiggle the cam back in because the Bianca spring is so stiff, so also removed the exhaust tube, replaced the cam in the down position, and rethreaded the exhaust back on. Now the brew lever is still stiff, and makes "spring straining" noises when operated. Is this normal? This is my first e61, and I can't remember how it felt exactly before cleaning, and I never listened how it sounded without the pump masking everything else. The only difference to how it was before disassembly is that now the exhaust pin sits with a corner facing out (towards the front of the machine, where the cam first makes contact) as opposed to flat side out. I tried reassembling it a few times, but the pin keeps spinning when rethreading the lower tube, and always ended up the same. Does this make a difference? I could take pictures if my explanation was poor. You can check the noise from the video.
Glad the dealer came to his senses and decided to send you the flow control assembly so you could fix our machine the way it should have been when you received it. Its just unfortunate you had a rough start with what should have been a wonderful experience.

In watching and listening to your video I'm guessing the problem is a mis-alignment of parts (cam follower pins / springs) in the lower half or bottom of the group. When raising and lowering the lever of a properly lubricated brew group the action should be nice and smooth, as well as quiet, in both directions of travel. Rather than anyone here trying to explain how to fix it... do yourself a big favor and check out the two links mentioned below from Dave Corbeys website.

In this link Dave documents via photos and text a step-by-step process for the disassembly and lubrication of an e61. Be sure to watch the video at the top of the page! Although the video demonstrates the process being performed on a Vesuvius espresso machine, the process is the same for any e61. Anyway... around 1:45 into the video he demonstrates a method of how to reinstall the cam to ensure correct alignment with the pins.

NOTE: Because you elected to disassemble the lower half of your e61 to aid in the installation of the cam, it ads another layer of complexity to trouble shooting what might be causing your current issue. Luckily Dave also put together a tutorial on the complete servicing of an e61 which includes the lower group and can be found here. Hopefully you can use to it verify your re-assembly of the lower group (exhaust).

A "Tip" per Daves instructions: (applies since you removed the bottom of the group)
Putting the group together again is really quite easy and only takes a few minutes.

Tip: Ensure that the cam lever spindle is in place, fit the lever temporarily only (and ensure the lever is down)depressing PIN A before assembling the very bottom part of the group (as shown in diagram below), this prevents any possibility of the lever jamming through misalignment of components


The reason for this is because, the assembly can jam, this will prevent proper operation of the cam lever because pin A could have "jammed" it will also cause scratches on the cam if you try and move the lever against the "jammed pin". Tightening up the lower assembly first ensures pin A will move freely and when the lower assembly is refitted, everything self centres. You can then observe the pins and cam as you move the lever to check it all moves nicely and smoothly.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]

badgerbimmer

#1224: Post by badgerbimmer »

Don Task wrote:Tilting the machine may or may not have had anything to do with the condensation inside the gauge. The gauges on espresso machines are not sealed units, so depending on the location of a gauge in relation to the front panel and the drip tray, a gauge can get water in them from something as simple as water splashing up off the drip tray during a cleaning cycle.

You didn't mention how much condensation you were experiencing. Hopefully you're only having a fogging of the lens. Although doubtful, If you have a "puddling" of water inside at the bottom of the gauge that could indicate an internal leak in the gauge itself. Anyway.... if its just the result of a little water finding its way into the gauge then "yes", eventually the water will evaporate. When in operation, the heat generated by the machine itself will also increase the temperature inside of the gauge. As the temperature increases so does the air pressure which in effect circulates air inside the gauge helping it to dry internally. I image you could even hit the front of the gauge with some hot air from a hairdryer to accelerate the evaporation process. Once the gauge is warmed up... either from the heat of the boilers and/or a hair dryer it will eventually evaporate and the gauge will clear up.
Thanks for the reply. Incredibly I went to my machine this morning to make my morning espressos and all but one small droplet of water has evaporated from inside the gauge.

My machine is up and running. While I don't have empirical data, anecdotally the machine is running better than ever. I really do think the stainless ring in the boiler was impacting the way the machine operated with regard to steaming and hot water. The V2 LCC is also a nice upgrade.

tpm

#1225: Post by tpm »

Don Task wrote:In watching and listening to your video I'm guessing the problem is a mis-alignment of parts (cam follower pins / springs) in the lower half or bottom of the group. When raising and lowering the lever of a properly lubricated brew group the action should be nice and smooth, as well as quiet, in both directions of travel. Rather than anyone here trying to explain how to fix it... do yourself a big favor and check out the two links mentioned below from Dave Corbeys website.
Thanks Don, those are exactly the instructions I followed, other than removing the lower half of the group because I couldn't get the cam in Dave's way. I'll try reassembling the group again and hopefully it helps. Does the orientation of the pin matter? I.e. should I try to get it flat face facing out?

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slybarman

#1226: Post by slybarman » replying to tpm »


killerloop

#1227: Post by killerloop »

Don Task wrote:Steam valve disassembled...
image

Any idea where I can get the 4 hole steam tip in the US?

https://www.lelit.ae/product/1mm-small- ... steam-tip/

My machine only came with the 2 hole steam tips (one with the bigger and the other in a smaller diameter)

homie

#1228: Post by homie »

hello Bianca owners,

I just got mine 2 weeks ago and have this question about the cups heating in the top tray. More specifically they're aren't hot, even after long period of the machine being turned on - like 3h. I was expecting them to be quite hot, but they are sort of warm. Is this how it's like with yours too? Cups I have aren't too big - loveramics bond.
Sorry in advance if it's a lame question, that's my first experience with this kind of an espresso machine.

BR,
Konrad

Don Task

#1229: Post by Don Task »

homie wrote:hello Bianca owners,

I just got mine 2 weeks ago and have this question about the cups heating in the top tray. More specifically they're aren't hot, even after long period of the machine being turned on - like 3h. I was expecting them to be quite hot, but they are sort of warm. Is this how it's like with yours too? Cups I have aren't too big - loveramics bond.
Welcome to the Bianca crowd. Your machine is operating as it should. The top of the Bianca and many other similar machines almost always have a cup "warming" tray. The Bianca is my 5th prosumer espresso machine and its does a good job at "warming" the cups same as my other machines. I've never had nor heard of a machine where cups come off HOT to the touch although I'm sure its possible depending on the proximity / distance from the top of the boilers to the bottom of the tray.

As you may know, espresso brewing temperature and serving temperature are two different things. In todays coffee circles most aficionados agree you should let a freshly extracted espresso sit for a minute or two to cool down before drinking the shot. (as briefly discussed in this HB thread.) This cool down trend is the opposite of many years /decades ago when people felt espresso was meant to be gulped down rather quickly once brewed. Anyway... I personally no longer store my demitasse cups on top of the machine. I'm finding the room temperature cups allows the espresso to cool quicker than using one from the top of the cup warming tray.

If/when I need a cup to be HOT... I simply fill the cup from with hot water from Biancas service boiler. Within seconds it can be burning hot. Works great when attempting to quickly heat a thick walled cup like those offered by loveramics.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]

Don Task

#1230: Post by Don Task »

killerloop wrote: Any idea where I can get the 4 hole steam tip in the US?

https://www.lelit.ae/product/1mm-small- ... steam-tip/

My machine only came with the 2 hole steam tips (one with the bigger and the other in a smaller diameter)
1st-Line Equipment is the primary Lelit distributor in the US. Including the other brands they support they currently have over a millions dollars tied up in their parts inventory. In other words they have lots and lots of parts on hand. Their Lelit specific inventory can be found here At this time they do not have the 4 hole tip listed as available on their website but if anyone would have them, or could get them, I would think it would be 1st-Line. I'd give them a call. If they don't have one in stock I'd be surprised if they couldn't order one for you.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]