Request for advice: how to outboard an espresso machine pump

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Postby Chert » Jul 29, 2016, 8:19 pm

TomC wrote:So now I also have a CMA/Astoria pump 110V machine sitting in my living room. I have a very understanding and tolerant girlfriend (for now). Other than a fair bit of dust, and an outboard rotary pump that looks like it was mounted underneath a submarine (and likely needs to be refurbed/replaced), the machine itself looks fantastic. Solid brushed stainless steel panels and everythings complete and not beat to hell. I really quite like the design and layout, and it's only about 4" wider or so than a Cimbali M21. The machine was also completely free. So, no money in it yet :P Seller originally said he'd give it to me to have since it worked, while I worked on getting the Empress rebuilt. Then I went back to pick it up the next day, since I couldn't fit it all in my car at once, and he changed his story to "not sure if it's working or not". He collects espresso machines from closed cafes, Craigslist, etc. I saw no fewer than 6 commercial machines within line of sight not including the Conti Empress.

I don't know how much effort it would require to get it up and running again, since I don't think my circuits could power it up for testing ( element probably puts out 1600-1800 watts?). I have so many things going on at the time, I don't know if I can add one more. New gas drum roaster to play with, Empress to rebuild, now going back to school part time. It's all fun stuff and I'm itching to fiddle with this one too. They aren't the most cherished machines in the world, but they're solid workhorses from everything I've ever read. And this one is clean to boot.

Move it along or start wrenching on it? We need OBDII for espresso machines. Let me hook up to a USB hub and get diagnostics, then decide if it's worth the time and money.

This would be one hell of a machine to have on hand in a home bar that's busy with parties.

Above is an example of entries I find when searching for HOW-TO information about outboarding an espresso machine pump. I have a rotary pump to test. I consider removing it from the machine for testing. And maybe I would like to silence it in a separate enclosure away from the Conti Club. Is outboarding simply a matter of using a longer hose to connect in line and longer wire?

And by the way TomC, what did you do with that 1 group Astoria?
Abolish single use plastics.

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Team HB

Postby TomC » Jul 29, 2016, 8:26 pm

I gave it to a friend.

As far as the movement of the pump, I just did this on my Linea to get the pump a bit further away and mounted under the sink last week. I went with the same rated cord that came with the Linea, and only lengthened it by about 7 feet. Chris' Coffee Service sells the braided stainless adapter and for the extra extension, I went with Espressoparts.

Alan Frew

Postby Alan Frew » Jul 29, 2016, 8:34 pm

Chert wrote: Is outboarding simply a matter of using a longer hose to connect in line and longer wire?

Yes. You can set up a pump test rig independent of the machine with mains power, a switch, hoses and a bucket if you're so inclined. Procon style pump and electric motor setups are by far the most standardized commercial espresso machine parts. You can still buy pumps and motors that fit machines manufactured 40 or 50 years ago.



Postby skydragondave » Jul 29, 2016, 10:36 pm

What do you want to test?
LMWDP #433

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Postby Chert » replying to skydragondave » Jul 29, 2016, 10:59 pm

The problem raised here. The resto- machine runs at 6 bar and adjusting the pump screw doesn't bring it up.

But I thought I might do a quieting of the thing in the long run.
Abolish single use plastics.


Postby skydragondave » replying to Chert » Jul 30, 2016, 12:03 am

Replace the pump. Good luck
LMWDP #433


Postby skydragondave » Jul 30, 2016, 9:27 am

Chert wrote:You expressed "good luck" to my pump question (sardonic?) and mentioned that $1500 is a likely cost of a restoration for Alan's SAE-1J. What do you think of a vintage Conti.? Restorable but only at excessive cost and effort? Or fixable but not worth the effort to bring to reliable state?

If you are willing to respond to my question feel free to post it on-line.

OK, I think you will find the value in restoring your machine will be in furthering your education. As a beginner you will probably end up with more time and materials invested in the machine than you could see a return on if trying to sell. The insight you will gain through building it will improve your knowledge and skill, and better to do this on a recent model that is still fully supported by the manufacturer. I've used a CC100 of similar age and they are very capable HX machines.
My brief reply had to do with it being close to 2AM local time and not wanting to get into a big explanation, sorry. But I think you are best to leave the pump in the machine as it will just make it harder to transport and expose wires and hoses that could get damaged.
LMWDP #433

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Postby Chert » replying to skydragondave » Jul 30, 2016, 12:30 pm

Sounds like good insight. I just found a parts machine, so "I think I'll manage. "said Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole.
Abolish single use plastics.

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Postby Peppersass » Jul 30, 2016, 3:04 pm

Chert wrote:I have a rotary pump to test. I consider removing it from the machine for testing. And maybe I would like to silence it in a separate enclosure away from the Conti Club. Is outboarding simply a matter of using a longer hose to connect in line and longer wire?

I outboarded the pump and motor for my GS/3 several years ago. I've been meaning to post photos and a "how-to" description but never seem to find the time :?

The methodology varies depending on the machine. It's usually not very difficult to do, but I would only recommend it if you feel the machine is too noisy and/or vibrates too much. I wouldn't do it just to test the pump. There's clearly something wrong with the pump or the water path, so you should put your effort into resolving that problem. Either the pump bypass valve isn't working, the pump vanes are damaged or there's a blockage somewhere in the machine (e.g., a check valve that's not opening fully). The easiest one to check is the bypass valve. I don't know which model pump you have, but on the Fluid-O-Tech and ProCon pumps it's easy to disassemble to bypass valve. Could be a bad spring or a bad plunger. You should be able to find replacement parts. That's a much cheaper route than replacing the pump.

If you do decide to outboard, there are three main issues: 1) How hard it is to get the pump and motor out, 2) Finding a pump output hose with compatible fittings that's long enough, and 3) wiring the pump motor.

In my case, getting the pump out was easy, but getting the motor out would have required almost complete disassembly of the machine. I opted to purchase an aftermarket motor for $169. The hose issue was easy to solve -- Chris Coffee carries a 5-foot hose for plumbing in the La Spaziele S1 and it just happens to fit my GS/3 perfectly. The motor wiring modification will be specific to your machine. It might be as simple as disconnecting the leads from the motor (if you purchase a second motor) and extending them to reach the outboard motor. The motor leads in my machine weren't easy to reach and disconnect, so I disconnected them at the CPU board and connected a separate set of leads to the outboard motor. In simpler machines, this approach may involve disconnecting the motor leads from the brew switch. In any case, the motor runs on AC, so you need to run a sturdy cord from the machine to the motor. I cut up a heavy-duty extension cord with a thick jacket for that purpose.

Originally, I outboarded my pump/motor because the assembly was very noisy and the machine vibrated a lot. La Marzocco made modifications to later models to correct the problem, but the mods aren't compatible with my machine. As it turned out, outboarding the motor had another unforseen benefit. A few years later I wanted to try pressure profiling and I was able to replace the rotary pump with a gear pump very easily (well, it took some circuitry and fitting adapters, but it was a lot easier than if the pump had been in the machine!)