Slayer Single Group Maintenance

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

#1: Post by csader » Jan 11, 2018, 6:38 pm

Hey folks,

Been a while since I've posted about my Slayer, received it late December, 2015. Before I get into everything below, let it be known that I am mostly very happy with this machine. It makes stellar espresso, and is a beautiful piece of equipment.

However, I'm curious what others who have this machine have experienced in terms of maintenance/repair needs. It feels to me like I've run into quite a few more repairs than I'd expect.

Here are the ones I can remember:
  • 1. September, 2016 - Teflon shower screen flaking. The Teflon coating was flaking off. Apparently you're supposed to swap it out with a non-teflon coated one when you backflush? Weird since they don't provide one of those. Slayer rep says "Typically I have 2 teflons and 1 stainless. use the 2 teflons in a rotation and 1 stainless for cleaning." I had to order a new teflon screen and a non-teflon screen. Cost: $40.25

    2. Late 2016 - Hot water valve stuck in "on" position. Slayer told me it's probably because I wasn't actuating this lever every once in while, because I hardly ever used the hot water output. Had to buy and replace the brass "button" and O-rings that the arm mechanism press to release the water. Cost: somewhere in the $90 range, I can't find the receipt for it.

    3. November 2017 - Grouphead leaking at the RTD sensor. Seems mine sprung a leak at the threads somehow. I also ordered some Slayer Lube (their food-safe grease) to grease up the valve from #2 because it kept sticking after replacing those parts. Also ordered a few gaskets they recommended replacing around the same time. Cost: $153.28

    4. December 2017 - Vacuum breaker on main tank hissing. Slayer rep says they recommend replacing this part every year or so. Cost: $45.11

    5. Today - Leak between sidewall and hot water valve assembly. I have begun using the hot water valve maybe once a week to brew tea, and today I noticed a significant leak while the valve is on. Reached out to Slayer support today, waiting to hear back. [EDIT: Figured this one out on my own, seems somehow my hot water want "nut" came loose where it connects to the valve assembly. Tightened it up and the leak has stopped. Cost: $0]
I think that's all of them, but there may have been one or two more minor things along the way.

Anyone else having this many issues? Is this to be expected for this kind of machine? I didn't expect it after spending $8k on such a high end machine, but maybe I didn't have the right expectations going into it?


#2: Post by Simon345 » Jan 11, 2018, 7:30 pm

I can honestly say that after a range of posts I have seen over the past year describing experiences with Slayer that there is exactly 0% chance I will ever buy one. I would expect much more in terms of design, build and post sales support for a product with such premium pricing.

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#3: Post by slipchuck » replying to Simon345 » Jan 11, 2018, 7:40 pm

Can't say I can afford one but even if I could spending that much money I would expect much better quality

“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”


#4: Post by csader » Jan 11, 2018, 8:45 pm

Simon345 wrote:I can honestly say that after a range of posts I have seen over the past year describing experiences with Slayer that there is exactly 0% chance I will ever buy one. I would expect much more in terms of design, build and post sales support for a product with such premium pricing.
slipchuck wrote:Can't say I can afford one but even if I could spending that much money I would expect much better quality

Thanks guys, but I'd like to keep this a conversation about whether folks who own this machine have had these problems, not a Slayer-bash.


#5: Post by csader » Jan 11, 2018, 9:48 pm

Edited the original post to reflect the fact that I've (hopefully) fixed my latest issue without having to shell out any money. Simple fix.

I feel the discussion is still worth having, though, as I'm curious if my experience with the other repairs in my list is reflective of other owners.


#6: Post by smite » replying to csader » Jan 11, 2018, 10:00 pm

Chris I appreciate the timing of your post as i am on the fence between a Slayer or a highly customized GS/3 MP at the moment. Selfishly I would like to see what others have to say as well. I am sorry for you and a bit surprised with amount of things you had to do on your machine in such a short period of time. I do however view this level machine to that of a higher end sports car, thus requiring much more frequent and potentially higher cost maintenance than say your usual daily driver.

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#7: Post by nickw » Jan 11, 2018, 10:16 pm

Hey Chris.

I got mine about a month after yours and mine has been *mostly rock solid.

I've always been on top of maintenance with backflushing etc. I backflush with plain water daily, and cafiza once a week. Changed the group gasket to a silicone one (from cafelat) once the first rubber one got hard.

Now, my caveats:
1. My first machine #999 was built about 2 weeks after yours during Slayers first Christmas sale and mad rush. The machine was accidentally built to 220v instead of 110v like I ordered. Slayer was great for giving me options to make it right, so no complaints there, I was happy with the service. In the end I opted for a replacement machine, as the original (built during the mad rush) had a small dent in the group cover, and the gaps weren't aligned as I thought they should be. The new machine #1034 built about 4weeks later in January was visibly much tighter in assembly and I've had no mechanical issues with it.

2. My only "issue" with my new machine is the odd time I get a PID error message. Happens every few months? I reboot the machine and it goes away. Not sure what's up with it. It's kinda annoying. I sent photos of the error message to my dealer as the issue came up during the warranty period. But it stopped doing it, so what was I to do? Since then it shows up randomly sometimes, but a reboot seems to "fix" it. I suspect the sensor could be having intermittent issues.

Overall, It would be nice for Slayer to change a few things.

1. They really should include a stainless steel group screen for backflushing and some Slayer lube; as the are needed for basic machine maintenance. As a bonus, it would be nice for them to include a few things like a group brush, spare teflon screen + gasket. Perhaps petty of me to say, but it would only cost them a few bucks and this is a premium machine. Kees is great for shipping his machine with lots of goodies. Kinda like including a tool kit with a premium car and throwing in the first oil change for free. It just makes you feel good after the purchase.

2. The warranty. I understand many companies don't want to give long warranties on commercial equipment. But I've seen extended warranties on commercial equipment when used for residential use (often extended to 3 years or more). Now Slayer isn't alone here and many coffee companies are the same. But it would be nice to see them either extend the warranty, or just go the extra mile to help their customers. Again, to make you feel good, it's a premium product with a premium price.

Overall, I don't blame them for the occasional problem or lemon. It happens to all companies. But a major differentiator is how a company responds and treats you when something does go wrong. All too many companies miss this. Hopefully they're willing to help.

The only thing I can think of —which could cause these issues — is your water. How's the ph? And is it overly hard or mineral deficient?

Anyways. Lets see what others say. I hope your alone with these issues. And hopefully Slayer will reach out to help you.


TL;DR: My machine has been pretty good. One small issue with the PID sensor. Hopefully Slayer reaches out to help you to help with yours.


#8: Post by csader » Jan 12, 2018, 1:15 am

Thanks, Nick. Glad you're has been treating you well.

I'm hoping mine is an anomaly, because between these sucky times it's really been great. :)

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#9: Post by spressomon » Jan 12, 2018, 1:51 am

1-year of using my Slayer 1G everyday without issue, breakdown or needed parts. Up until putting it into storage a couple months ago (long story) I was still using the PTFE screen (still in perfect condition). For chemical backflushing sessions I swapped in a LM SS screen.

Although the price of entry wasn't chump change for me I thought long and hard about spending that kind of money; however I am 100% happy with the decision I made to invest in a/my Slayer.
No Espresso = Depresso


#10: Post by csader » Jan 12, 2018, 2:06 am

Thanks for the data point, Dan. Glad to hear you're still enjoying yours.