Metallic particles/flakes in the water... - Page 4

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#31: Post by timo888 »

I have been advised by several people in the metal plating business (one of them does NSF certification of other plating companies) to avoid alkaline cleaning solutions if a boiler is nickel plated. The alkalinity attacks the plating.

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Mark Well (original poster)

#32: Post by Mark Well (original poster) »

I received the parts and removed the lever mechanism, cleaned the room, and put grease of the cam and changed the 2 small gaskets. I installed a new valve too (the one in the mushroom chamber). I didn't have the flaking problem again after this...

I think the chrome flakes were coming from the mushroom and the pre-infusion chamber. The brass flakes were probably due because of the old valve and cam that were making friction together and liberating a bit of brass in the water. After putting some grease and putting all together, the water is clear and I have no more the problem.

So thanks for all the advice!


#33: Post by TS1972 »

Hi JS et all
I cleaned my 5 month old Vivi ( made by Gruppo Izzo S.r.l) machine a few days ago and have had the same issue with metal particles even after flushing. I always use filtered water and used 40g of Citric acid supplied by my retailer. I also backflush once a week.
The question I want to put to the forum and fans of E61 brew group is; are these really that great a design or is the Vivi made with cheaper materials than other manufacturers?.

I also feel disappointed having spent nearly a thousand pounds ($1600.) that I am now being advised by my retailer here in the UK to take the lever off and lubricate it. Is fair to ask for this to be repaired under warranty?
Keen to know your thoughts


#34: Post by LordFoo »

TS1972: Nice thread resurrection after nearly a year! :P

I too encountered this problem the first few times I descaled my Izzo Alex.. but I'm pretty sure it's a problem that is common to all E61 group machines, as the original post was about an ECM machine, and others are mentioned within the thread. When I got my machine (used), it hadn't been descaled in its first year of life + the mushroom was heavily scaled.. I'm sure that played a role in how much of the chrome came off when descaling.

I remember when reading through this + similar threads, that someone suggested that aggressive chemical reactions that happen when switching from acid to alkaline (i.e. descaling with citric + backflushing one after another) can exacerbate the problem.

Also note the current thread about de-chroming a portafilter -- soaking in citric acid is the proposed solution:
How do you remove chrome from brass?

Finally, on lubrication of the lever.. I feel that it's a necessary maintenance item (every few backflushes, when the lever gets squeaky/dry enough that coffee oils alone don't seem to keep it lubricated) , and it's easy enough to DIY. Your retailer might be willing to do it this time, but not in perpetuity.. you'd be better off taking your machine in + learning how it is done.