Strangeness with a Profitec 500 PID

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

#1: Post by sunny »

I've had this machine for several years and it's worked flawlessly. Each AM I turn it on, after warm up, pull a couple of double shots in the next hour or so and that's it. Several months ago the heater seemed to be acting funny so I looked into the reservoir and saw two pieces of plastic floating on the surface. One was the white floater with the little magnet and another was clear plastic that I presumed fitted into the top of the float slide to keep the slider in the channel. I replaced both and that seemed to fix it.

Recently I could pull one shot and all worked well, including the foam wand. Going back for my second espresso, I temperature gauge was showing temperature about half way to green. If I cycled the on/off and waited 5 minutes it was in green and all worked well. Yesterday the first shot came through apparently (I thought) OK, but the temperature went to half way to green and with on/off cycling did not go up. I never got any foam out of the machine. I heated some milk and was content with a flat-white, but the flavor was well off of anything I've ever had.

I've checked the float again in the reservoir and it's OK. I checked ECO time and it's well past any time I've needed to have it work, there should have been no reason why cycling the system on/off was needed. The temperature of the system is set at 252, which has been near optimum in the past but now not so much. I've not a clue what is going on.

Anyone - any thoughts on the problem??


#2: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

The parts you found floating in the reservoir are part of the water level sensing system. The machine will stop heating if it thinks the water reservoir is empty. When this happens, the orange lamp on the front panel will go out. So the next time your machine fails to heat fully, check the orange lamp.

If the orange lamp is lit, pull out the drip tray so you can see the PID display. There is a small dot on the display (it looks like a decimal point) that flashes on and off when the heating element is activated and deactivated. If you never see it flashing on, and the displayed water temperature is 252 or higher, then there might be a problem with the water temperature sensor. If the dot is on solid but the water isn't heating, and the displayed temperature is low, then you might have a bad solid state relay.

sunny (original poster)

#3: Post by sunny (original poster) »

The orange light is on all the time. I see the decimal point light after turning the machine and the temperature is low and not increasing the light does not blink but is on and stable. I went to Whole Latte Love, watched their video about dealing my problem and that relay and it sure sounds like that is the issue. It doesn't look at all difficult to replace.

I'll give them a call on Monday and get a new relay sent out.

Many thanks!!!! :)


#4: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

If you are handy with electricity, have a multimeter, and are VERY CAREFUL, you can verify that the SSR is faulty (since there may be other faults that can cause your symptoms). You'll want to verify that that the SSR's LED is lit (which means that low voltage is being applied across the relay's input terminals), that line voltage is being applied to one of the load terminals, and that no or low voltage is appearing on the other load terminal.

vecchi della seattle
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#5: Post by vecchi della seattle »

Solid State Relay (SSR) goes out like clockwork at the two year mark. As the above thread mentions, you can eyeball the LED on the SSR which lights when the heater should be heating. It took about 6 weeks to get WLL to get the replacement part sent correctly. The person handling parts was not very tech savvy and sent the big mechanical relay first, which I still have. Send a picture of the part to WLL along with the part number data to improve your odds of getting it right the first time. At any rate, the Profitec SSR is too small and will burn out again (~$40). I bought a SSR from Amazon for ~$13, bolted it to the base of the reservoir and wired it in. It's big. I doubt it will ever burn out.

sunny (original poster)

#6: Post by sunny (original poster) »

I took the top cover of the device off, turned on the power and peeked inside. Again, green and orange lights are on, decimal point is showing and it is heating up. Looking at the top of the relay the red light was on when the power was first applied. After a few minutes as the temperature got up to around 150 the red light on the relay was off. Further suggests that the relay is the issue. Hoping it does NOT take 6 weeks to get the right part as I am surviving my lack of espresso with an Aeropress. :( Any port in a storm.

Again thanks for all the help.


#7: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

sunny wrote:as the temperature got up to around 150 the red light on the relay was off. Further suggests that the relay is the issue.
Is the red light off because the relay is broken, or is it off because no low voltage is being sent to the relay to trigger it? If the latter, then the relay is OK. If at all possible, try to measure voltage (or lack of) at the input terminals to the relay to verify the relay really is broken.

sunny (original poster)

#8: Post by sunny (original poster) »

That I cannot tell you. I do not have a voltmeter and for me groping around a tangle of wires with conductors is similar to a weapon system. Your point is obviously a concern and I will mention this when I talk to a technician tomorrow.

sunny (original poster)

#9: Post by sunny (original poster) »

When I first ordered the new SSR a few days before May 15, I was told that the new shipment will be in on May 15. Next it was end of May. I just called and was told the new shipment is due in end of June. :(

I did get into a chat session with a tech at WLL and asked about these SSR. He said in fact will it is a "solid state" relay, there was a small moving part on the inside that moved back and forth and apparently this is the part of the item that fails. Oh Well.

Someone mentioned that they fixed their Profitec 500 with a SSR from an alternate manufacturer. It was not an exactly copy of the original, one that was a bit more robust and it worked just fine. I'd like to pursue that option if possible. I know nothing about identifying an appropriate replacement SSR (I'm more of a chemist that an electrical engineer). If someone could provide a part number/vendor for a replacement SSR for my machine I would very much appreciate it.,


#10: Post by SutterMill »

I can't help you with exact part numbers but there are a few threads related to replacing the SSR on the Profitec 500. It sounds as if its a fairly common problem and perhaps due to a less than optimal design relating to placement and inadequate removal.

These may be of help
Relocate and Heatsink Solid State Relay in a Profitec Pro 500 PID

Does relocated Profitec Pro 500 SSR require thermal paste?