Elektra Microcasa a Leva inconsistencies

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kyproset

#1: Post by kyproset »

Hello all and happy holidays.

My problem is that my machine has been producing inconsistent shots lately, no matter how I adjust the Vario grinder, it's either flowing out too fast or too slow.

I bought it new 16 months ago and I have made a double espresso every single day since I bought it with the exception of a few days (not many) where I make two. I use a 20gr. basket with the Fellini pull to get about 40gr. out every time. After the shot is finished I clean the shower screen and depressurize.

I have dismantled the piston and saw the seals are not in perfect condition with some light marks on them. Even after cleaning the barrel and applying grease, the situation remains the same.

Is it time for replacing the seals and do I also have to replace the spring? (Can I check the height of the spring against a new one to see if it needs replacing?) What would you recommend I also change since the machine is going to be partially dismantled.

I have already bought a lot of new parts just in case so I'm prepared.

Thank you for your help.

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

I'd replace the piston seals for sure. It is highly doubtful that the spring will need replacing.

How often do you lubricate the seals? If used daily, then I'd lubricate the seals every three-four months (and clean the shower screen at the same time). Use very, very, very little silicone grease on the seals.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

kyproset (original poster)

#3: Post by kyproset (original poster) »

Thank you for your answer, I did lubricate the seals twice in the last 16 months and also cleaned the shower screen. It seems I should have done this more often. Is it normal for the seals to need replacing after 16 months of light use?

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#4: Post by baldheadracing replying to kyproset »

Rubber seal life is more-or-less a function of how many on-off cycles, not how many shots. As preventative maintenance, it isn't unusual for people to replace the piston seals annually on a machine that is used daily - and not bother with lubrication during the year.

The other thing to do is remove the black plastic bottom and make sure that there is no rust happening on the interior of the base.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

kyproset (original poster)

#5: Post by kyproset (original poster) »

Thank you,
I did have to remove the base to adjust the pressurestat as it was going over the green area, stopping at the lower border of the red zone. No rust there I'm glad to report. One thing though. When I adjusted the pressurestat it was ok for a couple of months and then now it begins to creep up, not as high as before the adjustment but definitely higher from where I have set it at. I guess while I'm at it I will adjust it again.
As we speak, I'm in the process of de-scaling the machine. I put the solution in, fired it up, let some water and steam out and now I'm waiting for it to cool down to rinse with cold water.

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truemagellen

#6: Post by truemagellen »

I only get 8-10 months of life out of seals with daily use on Elektra when it was a daily driver for a while. I added grease probably 2 times in there.

The new Strietman seals which are the same size (strietman used to use Elektra seals) may be the silver bullet for these machines as it is a 2 piece design that holds seal frame a bit better while remaining plyable for best sealing. I planned on ordering a new seal for strietman and will add one to the lower position of the elektra piston probably in a month or two and will report back.

smite

#7: Post by smite »

I find that I need to replace them about once a year for a machine that 'i use a few times a week.

Interesting idea on the Strietman seal. is this the Strietman seals you are referring to?

https://www.strietman.net/shop/p/cactus-lmzze

I wonder if they are available in the US.

kyproset (original poster)

#8: Post by kyproset (original poster) »

Great idea for the Strietman seal but I see he only offers the bottom one.
Done with the de-scaling, tomorrow, I will change seals and lubricate. Hope my machine will become as good as new. Thank you all sincerely for your help and input.

kyproset (original poster)

#9: Post by kyproset (original poster) »

Great idea for the Strietman seal but I see he only offers the bottom one.
Done with the de-scaling, tomorrow, I will change seals and lubricate. Hope my machine will become as good as new. Thank you all sincerely for your help and input.

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truemagellen

#10: Post by truemagellen replying to kyproset »

Correct you can use the regular Elektra seal for the top