Lelit Elizabeth - slow pressure buildup

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acoke94

#1: Post by acoke94 »

I've had my Lelit Elizabeth for over 2 years now and it's first issue has started to crop up.

When I pull a shot, it takes about 10-12 seconds to get up to 9-10 bars of pressure which is much longer than usual. I backflushed using the blind basket and it was lengthy as well. After a few times of running the blind basket, it then was able to ramp up to 9 bars in about 4-5 seconds which is what I'm used to. I decided to deep clean & used cafiza and gave the grouphead a good scrub and it seemed like it was working fine again.

When I came to pull a shot this morning, the same thing happened. Slow to build up to pressure (10-12 seoonds) then after a few backflushes with the blind basket, it was back to normal. Does anyone have any idea what might be happening or failing?

JRising
Team HB

#2: Post by JRising »

Your brew circuit water is leaking out somewhere...

The brew boiler, at idle, is a closed circuit. The closed brew valve (Uppermost) in the E61 head prevents the water from flowing out the head. The check valve after the T (where the 2 water circuits diverge) prevents the water from flowing backward toward the pump. The expansion valve only relieves when the pressure exceeds 12 bar, so it keeps the boiler nice and happy and sealed when it's not heating.

But: The boiler is above 100 Celsius, so if there is any chance for water or steam to escape, the water will just keep boiling off to steam and the steam will keep trying to expand and displace more water, and eventually the boiler will be more steam than liquid... Then you go to brew, the machine has to replace all of that volume of steam with liquid water before it's full and starts to brew with liquid water.

You'll need to see where your water is escaping. If your E61 drain is steamy, your brew valve is probably leaking. If the hose away from your expansion valve is very hot even after your machine has been idling for a while, your expansion valve may have a constant leak. If the tubing from your pump up to that expansion valve is very hot, your check valve is probably leaking. My bet is that it's the expansion valve, but see if you can confirm, before spending money.
Make sense?

acoke94 (original poster)

#3: Post by acoke94 (original poster) »

Thanks for the detailed response! Yes makes sense. I don't know exactly what I'm looking at when I pop the top though. How do I know what to look for when trying to identify the expansion valve/tubing v the check valve?

acoke94 (original poster)

#4: Post by acoke94 (original poster) »

SOLVED: It had been awhile since I had replaced the Lelit water softener in the water reservoir. This was causing issues with the flow when pumping water through. I took it off and it is able to get up to 9 bars in about 6 seconds.