Magister Stella startup problem

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gemo

#1: Post by gemo »

Hi everyone,

First time poster here! We just upgraded to a Magister Stella Pro with PID. While trying to start the machine for the first time we've unfortunately encountered a problem.

The machine turns on and the pump starts to fill the boiler. But it doesn't get any further! The time-out alarm feature activates and the pump stops. I've tried turning on and off. I've tried opening/closing the steam or group head to release any potential air/vacuum. While water will smoothly run out of the steam wand or the group head, the pump still times out and stops.

Any idea on what I can do? I'm hoping that there's something simple I'm missing as a newbie on this machine...

Thanks!

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas »

I had a Stella PRO...nice HX machine at a terrific price. I suggest you get in touch with the seller (IDC?). This is abnormal behaviour. Water should not come out of the steam arm, as there's supposed to be an airspace in the top of the boiler. There's a sensor probe in the top of the boiler that should prevent overfilling. Clearly, this isn't working. My machine didn't have a PID, so I can't comment on that aspect. BTW, since this is a vibe pump machine, during your troubleshooting, you need to refrain from running the pump for longer than a minute at a time, and it needs to rest for a minute between uses.

gemo (original poster)

#3: Post by gemo (original poster) »

Thanks for the quick response, Nunas. I already reached out to IDC, but given it's the holiday shopping season I expect a bit of a delayed response. Hopefully they're able to help. Worst case is a return/exchange which will take a while given current shipping conditions. BTW I appreciate your improved manual! While I didn't get far into it given this problem, it looks like a great resource.

Nunas
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#4: Post by Nunas »

How long does the pump run before it shuts down?
Have you taken the case off and had a look to see if the wire has popped off of the boiler fill sensor? If you take the fill sensor wire off the connection and ground it while the pump is running, the pump should stop immediately. If it does not stop, then follow the wire back to the controller and see if something has come loose at that end. If you have continuity to the controller, then it could be the controller. If it does stop, then the problem is with the fill sensor. Are you by any chance using distilled water? The fill sensor might not detect that. You might also check with a meter to see that the boiler is grounded; unlikely that it wouldn't be, but if it isn't, then the fill sensor would not work. Again, bear in mind, I've no idea how they wired in the PID. I'm guessing that it just controls the temperature and that it isn't part of your issue.

I'm happy that someone is enjoying the manual. :) Perhaps when you get to the bottom of your difficulties, you could write up something on the differences between the pressure stat version and the PID version. I could do a new edition of the manual.

gemo (original poster)

#5: Post by gemo (original poster) »

It was indeed the boiler sensor wire had just popped off! Thank you!!! The wire looks to (far too easily) slide on an off the sensor. Is there a way to attach it better? Given the heat coming from the boiler I'm hesitant to put any regular tape or sealant there. Perhaps HVAC aluminum tape could handle that?

Once I've got some experience with the machine I'd be happy to contribute to a manual update. A friend of mine actually has the non-PID Stella, so it will be interesting to compare with them.

BodieZoffa

#6: Post by BodieZoffa » replying to gemo »

Perhaps crimp that connection to make it a bit more tight...

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by Nunas »

gemo wrote:It was indeed the boiler sensor wire had just popped off! Thank you!!! The wire looks to (far too easily) slide on an off the sensor. Is there a way to attach it better? Given the heat coming from the boiler I'm hesitant to put any regular tape or sealant there. Perhaps HVAC aluminum tape could handle that? Once I've got some experience with the machine I'd be happy to contribute to a manual update. A friend of mine actually has the non-PID Stella, so it will be interesting to compare with them.
I'm glad you found the problem and that it is so simple. The advice already given, to simply squeeze the connector to tighten it, should work. I find that using vice grips with the jaws set to just touch the connector, then giving the screw another small turn helps to control the squeeze. Squeezing with regular pliers often results in collapsing the connector so that it won't go on. Don't use tape, glue or anything else!

That would be good if you could update the manual. Actually, if you like, I should be able to find the original non-pdf version and give access to you via Google Docs. You could make your suggested amendments right online.