Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 134

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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#1331: Post by slybarman »

kidloco wrote:Hello guys, a little help, I do not think that my steam/wand is working completely ok.

I was able to make perfect foam with a smaller wand tip, 175ml of milk in a 300ml pitcher. Lately, it happens more than often that I have bubbles after the very end, at the point where I already close the valve. Whatever I do, and how deep I put the wand.

It takes at least 2 seconds until I close the valve until the complete stop of the steam, it sorts of gradually stops. Can you check the video, please
check the video

I can't tell when you closed the valve. Was it at the very beginning of the video?

Don Task

#1332: Post by Don Task »

I couldn't tell when he opened or closed the valve either. However since kidloco says it takes at least 2 seconds for the flow of steam to stop after he closes the valve my guess is the valve seat is damaged. Many people not familiar with spring loaded steam and hot water valves (like those on the Bianca) damage them by thinking they have to continue turning the knob until they feel it "seat" or until it stops turning.... which is actually the worse thing you can do.

To those unfamiliar with spring loaded valves... there is a spring that pushes against the valve. When you turn the knob anti or counter clockwise to turn the steam or hot water on... you eventually pull the spring loaded valve off its seat. However... when turning the knob clockwise to shut off the water or steam... the spring eventually takes over and finishes closing the valve due to pressure on the seat being exerted by the spring.

NET: When turning off steam or hot water... "as soon as" the steam or hot water stops flowing you should IMMEDIATELY STOP turning the knob even though it will continue to turn. It does NOT operate like a garden hose faucet or bathroom faucet where you have to manually tighten it down and feel it close. If you tighten it down until the valve hits bottom and stops turning you end up crushing the valve set gasket and it will need to be replaced. The good news is its not hard to disassemble and rebuild the valve... just a pain ordering and waiting for the necessary part(s) to arrive.

Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]

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#1333: Post by slybarman » replying to Don Task »

Everything you said is consistent with what I understood. I do not close mine all the way. Jrising (who generally seems to know what he is talking about) commented a few pages back that the gaskets cannot be damaged by tightening the knob down. I do not know which is correct. Doesn't seem to be any any upside to cranking down on it in any case.

Don Task

#1334: Post by Don Task »

Missed the reply from Jrising... maybe so. Truth be told I can't say one way or the other as I've never been brave enough to test whether the seal could be damaged if tightened to the point where they stop turning. That said, watch >this video< from 1st-Line Equipment. Starting around 1:39 in the video Java Jim cautions against over tightening and damaging the valve seat.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with 1st-Line tech support. The rep told me "Yes", you can damage the seat and they have already serviced several machines for that very reason. I asked why or if there was any confusion that the seat can or cannot be damaged. He said because the Bianca uses non-compression steam valves the design itself prevents damaging the gasket since there is no need to keep turning the knob after the steam or hot water shuts off... so... in theory when used as designed its not possible to damage the seat. However... if the end user "overrides" the spring turning the knob until it seats, then cranks down on it to make sure its really off :shock: ... then yes you can most definitely can deform and/or damage the gasket.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]


#1335: Post by colb21 »

Petyot wrote:Received mine today! Will play with it this weekend


Hey Petyot, I'm about the follow suit and pull the trigger on the bianca (after a lot of back and forth!), and I noticed in your picture that the wood accent on the portafilter handle seems lighter than the rest of the finishes. Is that just the way the light/camera has caught it, or is there a slight difference, it seems a lot lighter. I vaguely remember reading somewhere, and it may have been in the early days, that people were unhappy with mismatch on the wood finishes.


Don Task

#1336: Post by Don Task »

Not answering for Petyot... but it does "appear" his portafilter handle "might" be a shade or two little lighter than the wood accents on the machine. However all the rest of the wood looks like it matches beautifully. I could live with it! :mrgreen:

Anyway... after much noise from earlier Binaca customers, it appears Lelit and/or its authorized dealers started hearing the concern and made changes to ensure all the wood accents were in the same color family. Since dealers (in the US anyway) unpack and test each machine prior to shipping, a couple of them actually claim they take the extra step of swapping wood accessories whenever they see a serious mismatch. Since the problem has more or less gone away I'm guessing Leit made changes to their manufacturing process to ensure matching wood accents.

That said... if you're OCD about such things (as I am) I would highly recommend you call the dealer and express your concerns prior to ordering. Make sure they understand if they cannot agree to deliver a machine with matching accents you will have to take your business elsewhere. Be sure to record the persons name and date of your conversation in case there's an issue. I'm not saying it actually guarantees anything but that's what I did prior to ordering and all my wood bits match.

Dealer Disclaimer: Wood is a natural product. The walnut used in the accessories can have different grain patterns and degrees of hardness depending on what part of the tree it was taken from. These factors can affect how quickly or deeply the stain and finish interacts with the wood which ultimately determines the final appearance and color.

In regards to Petyot's portafilter handle... or any other Binaca customer, its possible machines will be continue to be delivered with portafilter handles that do not match "exactly" with the rest of the wood accents on the machine. This is because they are not part of the machine assembly process. The wood accents are "glued" on to the portafilter handles in a process that is separate from the machine assembly line. Once assembled the PF handles become part of a ship group that also includes a cleaning cloth, water supply and drain hoses, tamper etc. The shipgroup gets added to the box containing the final machine assembly. Not sure if during the final packing process when the shipgroup gets added whether or not anyone opens the shipgroup to make sure the PF handles match the wood accents used on the machine.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]


#1337: Post by Petyot »

I think the difference in color is amplified by the fact that the light was coming from the ceiling directly on the handle...

I tried to take a few pictures without the light on. The left knob is maybe in a darker shade...

I can live with it :D It's wood after all.

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#1338: Post by slybarman »

Looks just fine to me.


#1339: Post by colb21 »

Appreciate all the photo's you took again, thanks. Looks fine to me as well, obviously it was a lighting issue on the original photo.

Thanks and enjoy your machine.


#1340: Post by colb21 »

Don, apologies I completely missed your reply earlier, thanks for the detailed response from one OCD sufferer to another. :D