Fixing up a La Pavoni Europiccola

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#1: Post by colawrence »

Hello all. Thanks to everyone who posts to this board, it's a beautiful collection of wisdom. I've read a fair bit on these La Pavoni and have wanted one for quite a long time. I recently acquired a beautiful one in fairly rough shape. I don't believe it has been taken care of in a long time. I heated water in it when it arrived so I know the heating element works.

I have already purchased a complete seal kit, which I hope fits as I ordered on the information I was given.

There is no sticker inside, which leads me to believe it was manufactured before 2000 but I am unsure how long before. I have consulted but I find the features of this model to be confusing when cross-referencing with the pictures on the website. It does have double-stack switches, but it doesn't have a cylinder sleeve. It has a thermal fuse so I think it places it around 87. I'm sure I am overlooking something but it's my first La Pavoni.

There is a white pad attached to the underside of the base cover. I'm concerned, not knowing the age, that it might be asbestos as I read another post that said they used that at one point. I hope it's a straightforward descale and replace the gaskets then drink espresso situation.

Thank you all for such a wonderful resource and any and all advice on restoring this to its previous glory is welcome and appreciated.

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#2: Post by drgary »

That's a worthwhile project!

The base is plain steel that is plated with brass. You'll need to treat the rust with Evaporust, and either paint it with rust treatment paint, have it powder coated or replated. The group is second generation and possibly version 2.3. You may find a year stamped on the element. And yes, I think that's asbestos.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

colawrence (original poster)

#3: Post by colawrence (original poster) »

Thank you so much. I will fill a tub with water to remove that pad. I assume it is for protecting the counter under the unit from the heat of the boiler. Any idea if it is really needed and if so what a suitable replacement would be?


#4: Post by Utking »

Looks like a fun project!

It looks like your heating element is stamped with 87 on the side?

And yes it looks like it is plated steel the base? Also the boiler has the fittings for the sight level plated with copper as well. I'd be careful with the coating:)

Hmm, replacement I'm not sure of. Any heat resistant material should work. Just be sure it's something that's isolating!

I'd try it out without and see how hot it gets. Could it be because of the wires? So there is no chance to short anything out?

Just speculation from me :)


#5: Post by cubastreet »

You could replace the pad with silicone sealant. It will be difficult to get a nice finish but you'll only see it when you open it up. Squeeze it on as best you can and smooth it with a knife, spoon or finger dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

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#6: Post by drgary »

Later models did not have that heat shield and don't seem to have a problem.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!


#7: Post by Blernsball »

Looks like it's the model that has a copper plated brass boiler. (As opposed to the copper boilers with brass fittings)

Depending on the condition of the clear coat, it could be cleaned up. Or stripped off and polished.

Edit: I stand corrected. It's copper with nickel plating and the copper plating over that. See below.


#8: Post by Utking »

So there are both brass and copper boilers around? Never quite got the answer to this.

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#9: Post by homeburrero »

I believe that they all have a copper cylindrical boiler body with brazed on brass fittings wherever you have machined threaded fittings, which is the bottom base, the top lip, and the group attachment. On an unplated machine this is pretty obvious with a brass color for those parts and copper color for the boiler body. These machines are lacquered to keep the machine shiny and untarnished, although the lacquer can wear off over time or be purposely removed, which will develop a patina unless you regularly polish them.

On chrome machines the whole boiler is nickel-chrome plated.

On some models, the whole boiler has a gold or brass finish, which is a plating over nickel or chrome. My experience with these is that the plating is thin and can easily wear off, exposing a nickel or chrome plating underneath. You also sometimes find 'brass' colored portafilters that turn out to be brass that was nickel-chrome plated and then plated over that with brass or thin gold.

And on some machines (mostly in the 80's I think) the entire boiler was plated over with copper. These were nickel-chrome plated boilers that were then plated over with copper. A weird thing to do, possibly done because La Pavoni had an unexpected demand for the copper boilers and had a surplus of chrome plated ones around. See Removing copper plating from early 80's La Pavoni Europiccola and What is this finish on La Pavoni Europiccola? .
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#10: Post by Utking replying to homeburrero »

Ah I understand, I have two europiccola's and still haven't figured out the base material of them.

One has brass coloured fittings, and is copper. But the copper is wearing through. The other one is a pure brass, and I don't think it's copper beneath it.

Also I've seen some europiccola's that have been sandblasted. And these have been pure brass as well? I'm not sure what to think!