Elektra Microcasa a Leva steam boiler pressure issues

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machuburke

#1: Post by machuburke »

A few things to note:

1. the water in the sightglass will "bounce" (as if fluctuating water levels) when the machine is heated. I am not sure I recall it doing this early on in its career or if it is even an issue.

2. it then began reheating/pressurizing more frequently, almost every 10-20 seconds. The pressure would drop rapidly then the machine would kick on.

3. Now when first turned on, the pressure gauge shows it increasing but then shoots down to 0 after fully pressurized. It still has full pressure though I am running blind on what the exact bar is now. Still able to pull good shots.

4. I need to verify if problem #2 is still occurring.


I have replaced gaskets and sight glass (opps) within a year or so.

I use the machine just about every day.

I now notice a slight, occasional hiss from the steam wand valve https://www.1st-line.com/buy/elektra-00150019/ (the black plastic steam knob melted some time ago after a faulty reinstallation and now I use a small wrench which might be pulling on it). I am thinking of replacing this section, but don't want to spend if not needed.

Either way, the steam knob is or valve is not what is causing a 0 pressure reading.

I am wondering if there is an adjustment I can make on the machine or do I need to replace parts. If so, which would you recommend? Thanks in advance!

baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

My guess is scale in the sight glass elbows, given your bouncing sight glass level.
- Espresso: Swirled, not stirred. Pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

machuburke (original poster)

#3: Post by machuburke (original poster) »

Thanks for your reply. When you say scale it in, do you mean tighten/ensure there are no air gaps?

baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing » replying to machuburke »

No, tightening too much can lead to other issues.

I mean inside - the short path the water takes from the boiler proper to the sight glass is quite narrow so limescale forms in that channel. Water has to build a little pressure to push past the scale, leading to jumps.

You can confirm my guess by refilling the boiler quickly. If the sight glass level doesn't immediately rise or the level jumps, then there is scale in that channel between the boiler and sight glass.
- Espresso: Swirled, not stirred. Pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

machuburke (original poster)

#5: Post by machuburke (original poster) »

Thank you.

When I refill quickly, the water level rises normally, no bouncing.

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stefano65
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#6: Post by stefano65 »

See this video about the valve
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.

baldheadracing
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#7: Post by baldheadracing »

machuburke wrote:Thank you.

When I refill quickly, the water level rises normally, no bouncing.
Sorry, I'm stumped. I'd only be making wild guesses given the information so far.

Regardless, these are straightforward machines and there are only a handful of valves, gaskets, and seals where pressure can leak. If there is rust inside the base then I would start from the bottom and work up; if not, then I would start from the top of the boiler with the safety valve and vacuum breaker and work down.

Good luck!
- Espresso: Swirled, not stirred. Pourover: Stirred, not swirled.