Izzo Alex Leva - Mystery Valve

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Parkeralto

#1: Post by Parkeralto »



So I have rumagged around in the forum but found no definitive answer for the purpose of the valve or petcock peaking out of the bottom of the Leva. It looks like a boiler drain but when opened; nothing comes out, even fully pressurized to 1.1 bar. I have even removed the valve stem and run the machine without a drop of water or a squirt of steam appearing. It It does get hot so it is attached somewhere to the boiler. To make it even more mysterious, it seems that not all Alex Levas have this petcock. (Mine was just purchased this year). The owners manual does not mention it.

The machine is operating perfectly and I am more than pleased with it but not knowing this little detail is bugging me.

Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

I'm equally puzzled, but perhaps the parts diagram hosted by Chris' Coffee would help or be useful in the future.

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BaristaBoy E61

#3: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

It has to be a boiler drain valve. If water does not drain with this valve and the steam valve opened then it might be plugged with scale or cuttings from threading during manufacturing. Try sticking something through that hole into the boiler to see if it's blocked and try to clear it.

Boiler drain valves are a relatively new addition to some Izzo machines so it doesn't surprise me that this valve does not appear on the linked drawing that was created May 21, 2014.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

pizzaman383
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#4: Post by pizzaman383 »

Can you trace where the fitting attaches and if it connects to a tube where that tube goes? There may be a valve that needs to be opened for water to flow.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

DaveC

#5: Post by DaveC »

Boiler or HX drain valve. Same as I got Quick Mill to add to some of their machines many years ago

chappcc

#6: Post by chappcc »

Parkeralto wrote:image
image
So I have rumagged around in the forum but found no definitive answer for the purpose of the valve or petcock peaking out of the bottom of the Leva. It looks like a boiler drain but when opened; nothing comes out, even fully pressurized to 1.1 bar. I have even removed the valve stem and run the machine without a drop of water or a squirt of steam appearing. It It does get hot so it is attached somewhere to the boiler. To make it even more mysterious, it seems that not all Alex Levas have this petcock. (Mine was just purchased this year). The owners manual does not mention it.

The machine is operating perfectly and I am more than pleased with it but not knowing this little detail is bugging me.

It is the boiler drain plug. Not real convenient until your raise the machine or have a big hole in your countertop like a commercial operation would have.

Parkeralto

#7: Post by Parkeralto »




Mystery Solved: This will be interesting to Alex Leva owners or anyone considering one of these mighty machines. The petcock poking out of the bottom of my Leva is a boiler drain. The reason it did not work is that it had been deliberately plugged at the factory. Thanks to Tim at Chris's Coffee I was able to figure out how to remove the side panels, get a wrench in there and remove the drain tube fitting. I found a solid brass plug at the boiler end effectively disabling the drain. This machine was delivered new in April 2020.
I can think of a few reasons Izzo might want to disable the boiler drain on a machine intended primarily for home use; potential leaks, it is difficult to access, especially since the machine is so heavy and it gets really hot so reaching under there and opening that valve if the machine is hot will get you scalded. If the Leva does get installed in a commercial setting the plug is easy to drill out by the installer. I have mine on a commercial stainless drainboard sink so the drain valve is not a liability. I drilled out the plug, reassembled the machine and the drain works. Here are a couple of observations on the results.
I have been draining boiler water at the end of the day when the machine is shut off by opening the water valve or pulling the lever down and letting steam pressure push out as much water as it can; that amounts to a couple of liters.. . In the morning when the timer clicks it on at 5 am it fills with fresh water. I feel that keeps the water in that big boiler fresh; but how much water is left in the boiler every night? Now I know; I drained about 750ml. out of my now functional drain. So it seems that a 5 liter boiler is a little more than half full of water.
It is a fairly new machine and I am using re-mineralized RO water but I did discover some sediment in the drain water; not much but visible, and few copper chips from manufacturing. I guess it is possible for minerals to precipitate out over time and if there is no bottom drain stuff will accumulate.
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pizzaman383
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#8: Post by pizzaman383 »

Could that just be a bad solder leaving it plugged? I may or may not have done that myself :wink:
Curtis
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

LuckyMark

#9: Post by LuckyMark »

Thank you Michael, very useful information!