Rust all under the driptray of my Elektra Semiautomatica

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

#1: Post by Ksworld »

My espresso machine, Elektra Semi-Automatica, is about 3 years old. I had to repair it once because the pump failed. The shop told me about some rust at the time. Now I just move and noticed loads of water leaking from underneath. I opened it and I can not believe the amount of rust everywhere? Is this normal? Can I clean it? Should I change some parts? Please help, I am super attached to this beauty!!!!


#2: Post by deegee »

I don't think it's normal, and it certainly should not be, but it's not uncommon. I bought one second hand, and it looked much like yours. There are two choices here, the first is to replace the base with a new one, the second is to restore the existing base.

Either way you need to find and fix the leak that is causing the problem before you do anything else.

Here in Australia we pay dearly for coffee gear, especially spare parts, so I chose to restore the base on mine, because the cost of a new one was so high. . First I removed all the components, then most of the rust, using a wire brush and emery cloth. Then I gave it a couple of coats of rust converter, followed by a couple more coats of "rust killer" paint.

I have done this before on other stuff, and it works well. You don't need to remove every last trace of rust. Just make sure that all the loose rust is gone and the surface is hard. The rust converter will kill the oxidisation and leave a surface that can be painted over. The new painted surface will now be more rust resistant than the original.

This problem is not limited to Elektra's, I had to do the same thing on a La Pavoni, though it was not as bad, so I was able to just patch up the rusty spots without dismantling everything.

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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

deegee wrote:Either way you need to find and fix the leak that is causing the problem before you do anything else.
Definitely. Perhaps the Teflon tape on the pressurestat is a clue ... that doesn't seem right to me.

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#4: Post by drgary »

You might look for signs of scale deposits or areas that have rusted first or most deeply. That could reveal where there is one or more leaks. After that you can remove the components, resolve the rust and coat it with POR-15. The next step is a pressure test after reassembly to detect and resolve any leaks. At that point the underside of the base will be far more rust resistant.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#5: Post by zeb »

The base is low grade iron with chrome plated without copper layer... Italian design...

Ksworld (original poster)

#6: Post by Ksworld (original poster) »

I rely appreciate all the replies! Sounds like I have some work to do if I want to enjoy my espresso for many more years!