Owner experience with Bezzera Strega - Page 143

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
DanoM

#1421: Post by DanoM »

Marcje wrote:The market is very small and I'm not dreaming of getting rich, but I once shared details of a homemade motorcycle part on a forum, and 2 months later I encountered an exact copy on eBay. Hate to see that happening again.
I can understand that. I created a mod for the Pre-Millenium La Pavoni's to address the overheating group with successive shots, so I released the info for anyone to use as they saw fit. I wasn't about to do any commercial development, but thought some could benefit. Then some others took credit for the mod on Facebook and others later created a manufactured part claiming it as an original idea. A little disappointing to not get any mention until I contacted them, but I did release it to the world so I shouldn't have been surprised. Still, in my case I'm happy the mod worked out for some people whether I got any credit or not - it's a great machine once it's been tamed a little.

The choice is entirely up to you for whether you want to release details or make some money from the mod. It looks like an interesting tool though.
LMWDP #445

Mr_Flauschig

#1422: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

I've read a few times people mentioning that it is annoying to open the Strega up. Particularly, there are a couple screws that are hard to access because of the weird angle. It is actually quite easy with the correct tool - a 'wobble' hex key. They allow you to work like this:

Sorry the image rotated, idk wtf its doing.

Mr_Flauschig

#1423: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

So I recently got a Strega, and it hasn't gotten much care for a while. I'm just getting started with cleaning it and noticed both heating elements in the group are very loose. They sit where they should, but there is basically nothing holding them in, and they have plenty of radial movement, so I image they are in poor thermal contact with the group. Is the solution to just squeeze some extra heat sink compound into the holes, squeeze the resistors back in, and goop some silicone on top, like they originally were?

Mr_Flauschig

#1424: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

Next question - this machine likely hasn't been descaled in several years. I bought some descaling powder (https://www.world4trade.de/Scale-Clean- ... kalker-1kg). The instructions say it can be used at 5% to 20% concentration, with 10% recommended for routine descaling. They also say that it can be left in the machine for 1 to 8 hours. Is there a recommended approach for an machine like this? Multiple gentle treatments, or should I just hit it with 20% for 6 hours?

baldheadracing
Team HB

#1425: Post by baldheadracing »

FYI, I just checked my group heating elements and they don't wiggle at all. I have no idea how they are held in.

For descaling, I use a borescope - ones that hook up to your phone are very inexpensive on eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, etc., - and take off a fitting and look into the boiler. Some phone cameras also work. I'm going from memory, but I think that I removed the vacuum breaker pipe/fitting, but it could have been the steam wand; I can't remember. That way you can descale as little as possible - and know if descaling is necessary, and when to stop.

It looks like you have an older machine with has an uncoated copper boiler. (The production date should be on a sticker on the boiler.) With uncoated copper/brass, I prefer to descale as little as possible. I also like to keep the protective black oxide that should be coating the copper intact.

I've never used sulfamic acid for descaling so I can't help with that.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Mr_Flauschig

#1426: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

Thanks for the tips! Yes, the machine is older. I will check the dates, but its maybe 8-10 years old?

I have an itch to remove the heater coil from the boiler, to look inside. Is that a bad idea? I have an extra seal.

baldheadracing
Team HB

#1427: Post by baldheadracing »

For me, the borescope/phone camera is a lot easier than the heating element. It is typical for threadlocker to be used to secure the element, but I've never removed the one in my Strega so I don't know.

The usual way shops take off a heating element is with an impact wrench/gun. A cordless impact should be plenty powerful.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Mr_Flauschig

#1428: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

Heater looks to be thread locked on mine. I removed the water level probes, and they had some scale, but maybe a normal amount, nothing crazy. I saw your borescope vid you did a while back, it looks good! I just don't know if I can justify spending 40$ on a tool I use once.

Any tips on why there is lots of air coming out of the hot water wand? I get a second of only water, and after that it starts sputtering a lot. Plenty of scale particles coming out too.

baldheadracing
Team HB

#1429: Post by baldheadracing »

Borescopes that use your phone as a display are about 10 Euro on amazon.de ...

Offhand, steam coming out of the hot water wand sounds like the boiler water level might be too low. Note that there is an upper and lower water level - maybe they are switched?

Manuals and wiring diagram: https://wiki.wholelattelove.com/Bezzera ... nd_manuals
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Mr_Flauschig

#1430: Post by Mr_Flauschig »

I see they can be quite inexpensive, but I didn't really want to risk it going straight in the trash. I guess they are okay?

About the probes - yes, they may be switched. I noticed the position of them in the drawing, and mine are reversed. I assumed that was okay, but i guess I should check the wiring. It definitely sounds like the water level is too low.