Issues with my Profitec Pro 800 lever machine - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Amberale

#11: Post by Amberale »

HB wrote:A tip if you should decide to peek under the covers...
Disconnect the machine from the power supply.

demet (original poster)

#12: Post by demet (original poster) »

OK I opened it up. And yes I did disconnect power, thank you. ;-)
So far I can see some grunge buildup in water lines/filters. I cleaned the spring-action port on the reservoir tank, it was a bit grungy. The plastic right-angle connector below the reservoir has a little 'site glass' or something, not sure what it is, but it looks soiled. See picture. Not sure what do with that And then the clear plastic water line to the pump, there's some sort of clear filter or valve and it looks pretty grungy, but not sure if I can open it up. Should I try and open and clean, or get a replacement? Thanks for any help!




https://share.icloud.com/photos/0f3pfdu ... 5NEY2y2hiA

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#13: Post by homeburrero »

I think you have some sediment, perhaps some rust from house plumbing getting in. That inline filter caught it, but it's time to replace that. And clean and flush the reservoir. That other thing is just a cap. (Some machine models have an intake hose there.) Make sure it isn't leaking.

Your tap water in Portlandia may be plenty soft and scale-free, but you still want to filter it with a particulates and charcoal filter before putting it in your machine's reservoir. A pitcher filter or a refrigerator filter should work for that.

P.S.
Just making sure we're talking about the same thing . . .

Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

TenLayers
Supporter ♡

#14: Post by TenLayers »

Any thoughts on the discrepancies between WLL and the Profitec owners manual on descaling? I recently re-read the manual and was thinking about running some descaling through mine.

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#15: Post by homeburrero »

TenLayers wrote:Any thoughts on the discrepancies between WLL and the Profitec owners manual on descaling? I recently re-read the manual and was thinking about running some descaled through mine.
The advice to not descale is that you should use non-scaling water, then you don't have any scale and have no need to descale. Descaling when you don't have scale deposits just exposes the machine to acids that may strip off protective oxide layers, unnecessarily adding to corrosion risk.

But if your water is putting down scale deposits, then you not only should descale but you need to take care to do it before the scale gets too thick. If it's already bad then you will cause problems with loosened scale clogging small passageways and making things worse. That's why some recommend tearing the machine down and putting the parts in a descaling bath. (Often by taking the machine in for professional service.) I think the reason many if not most vendors advise against descaling is that so many users get it wrong and damage their machine either by waiting too long, or descaling unnecessarily often, or using homemade overly strong acids, or using too-long soak times, etc.

The best reference out there about scale, descaling, and water issues is still the one that Jim Schulman posted decades ago on alt.coffee: Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

demet (original poster)

#16: Post by demet (original poster) »

Thanks a ton. I have ordered the filter, as well as group head service kit. Will use filtered water from here on out!
homeburrero wrote:I think you have some sediment, perhaps some rust from house plumbing getting in. That inline filter caught it, but it's time to replace that. And clean and flush the reservoir. That other thing is just a cap. (Some machine models have an intake hose there.) Make sure it isn't leaking.

Your tap water in Portlandia may be plenty soft and scale-free, but you still want to filter it with a particulates and charcoal filter before putting it in your machine's reservoir. A pitcher filter or a refrigerator filter should work for that.

P.S.
Just making sure we're talking about the same thing . . .

image

demet (original poster)

#17: Post by demet (original poster) »

I asked WLL why they do not recommend descaling the Profitec Pro 800 and they said this, which tbh I do not fully understand:
"Mostly because the machine can run water out of the hot water valve just fine, but you can't run water out of the group head with the pump running. So it's operation is different than that of other single boiler heat exchangers."

baldheadracing
Team HB

#18: Post by baldheadracing » replying to demet »

They're right, except perhaps that the last "other" shouldn't be there. Just semantics.

Essentially, you cannot descale the grouphead using the "prophylactic descale" method in the old (not current) manual. (Note there is no mention of descaling in the current version of the manual.) But do you need to descale the group?

The group in the Pro800 has a sleeve (so when the group cylinder wears out or is damaged, just the sleeve needs to be replaced instead of the group. In home use, you will never wear out the cylinder, but in heavy commercial use ...), and scale can form between the sleeve(*) and the group casting. (The sleeve serves as a manifold, giving four water streams (NSEW) converging above the shower screen.) If significant scale has built up in the boiler, then I would say that there might be some scale in the group as well. However, if there is scale in the boiler, then the catch with the method in the old manual is that the method alone can cause more problems if there is already a buildup of scale. (See numerous warnings in the old manual.)

Those "more problems" can be addressed by first inspecting and, if necessary, descaling the group and the steam wand. So, first, before doing any other descaling, address the group:

The grouphead is heavy, but otherwise removeable. It is straightforward to descale the group by itself (casting with sleeve left in place). The amount of scale on the dipper tube will give an indication of scale in the boiler. If the dipper tube is clean, then I'd guess that there is no need to descale. If there is something, then some phones can take pics through a boiler fitting like the steam valve outlet.

For steam, descale the wand tube and tips with the group. If scale gets stuck in the steam valve then that'll need to be taken apart and cleaned - but that has yet to happen to me, so I don't touch the steam valve.

Then, and only if definitely needed, do the descale in the manual.

That's what I would do, anyway.

Good luck!

(*) - Ten+ minutes of Salvatore servicing the group, with sleeve removal. You do not need the remove the sleeve to descale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVvnNGV7kgI
Seven+ minutes of low-fi Orphan Espresso explaining how the predecessor group works (with essentially the same sleeve): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGgcleTGHeM
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

demet (original poster)

#19: Post by demet (original poster) »

OK thanks for the info. I will open the grouphead once I get the kit I ordered. Will be interesting to see if there is any scale buildup. I suspect there will not be!