Vacuum breaker valve causing rust in my machine

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track0x1

#1: Post by track0x1 »

Hey home baristas!
This evening I got the idea to fidget inside my machine and adjust my OPV. While in there, I noticed some rust forming (only had the machine since mid October) so I began to probe further.

It turns out that my vacuum breaker valve is spitting some water. I understand the purpose of it, but the design seems very poor considering there are electronics in there. I don't know how other machines handle this... is it normal? I want my machine to last as long as possible and not have to replace parts when it can be avoided.

Here's a video of what I observed while heating up my machine:

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cuppajoe

#2: Post by cuppajoe »

If there is room, I usually replace it with a barbed version and rout tubing to the drip tray.
David - LMWDP 448

My coffee wasn't strong enough to defend itself - Tom Waits

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curmudgeon

#3: Post by curmudgeon »

My Astra is set up the same way, and sprays water all over the internals before the valve fully seats. You'd think that the designers of these machines would consider the ramifications of spraying water all over the internals each day (or multiple times a day) when the machine is turned on*, but who knows - I've found other interesting foibles in my machine.

*I've done analysis with my kill-a-watt, and for my morning and lunch time shots, it just makes more sense for me to turn the machine on when I need it, rather than have it on all the time.

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JohnB.
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#4: Post by JohnB. »

It's hard to understand why the Italians continue to use that style vacuum valve. Replace it with one of these: https://www.chriscoffee.com/Vacuum-Brea ... 980van.htm & connect the valve to your drain or drip tray using silicone tubing.
https://www.chriscoffee.com/Silicone-Tu ... sil516.htm
LMWDP 267

track0x1

#5: Post by track0x1 »

Thanks! I'm going to replace the valve with the one with the barb.

Armand

#6: Post by Armand »

JohnB. wrote:It's hard to understand why the Italians continue to use that style vacuum valve. Replace it with one of these: https://www.chriscoffee.com/Vacuum-Brea ... 980van.htm & connect the valve to your drain or drip tray using silicone tubing.
https://www.chriscoffee.com/Silicone-Tu ... sil516.htm
I think they want you to clean/descale the valve else steam/water continues to leak

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JohnB.
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#7: Post by JohnB. »

All styles of vacuum valves require an occasional cleaning but there is no need for them to spray water all over your wiring.
LMWDP 267

turbo290

#8: Post by turbo290 »

Glad this topic came up. I've always wondered about the thought process behind the vacuum breaker valve. Water spitting inside a metal box of electronics can't be good for any reason. With a better alternative available, why continue with something that seems outdated?

malling

#9: Post by malling »

My best guess is that these are still used to reduce/minimize expenses in production.

Another reason could be that this type of vacuum breaker is easy to clean, repair and to replace and is one of the most simple and reliable vacuum breaker design still in production. Yes these do spray on the internals of the machines, but that were not really an issue before manufacturers started to fill the inside with expensive, fragile and "sophisticated" electronics.

I know Quickmill has stopped using this type or similar designed vacuum breakers in their machines. Izzo have for some time also attached silicone tubes to it, and routed it out of the machine and a few others have done the same on their top of the range models.

Personally I think it is only a matter of time before these are not used any longer on mid and top range machines. Entry level might still keep on using this design to keep expenses at a reasonable level.

tonythewonderful

#10: Post by tonythewonderful »

Mine has a screen around it. Of course this does not solve the problem.
However, this might be another reason to keep your machine on 24/7? In this case the valve would splash water only once, and then it would dry out on the hot boiler.