Izzo Alex Leva Owners - What is your on/off routine?

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ltjaw

#1: Post by ltjaw »

I purchased my Alex Leva in 2014 and have been using it regularly since. I'm curious what routine other owners have for powering theirs on and off, since the LSM group takes a bit of time to fully heat up.

Myself, I never ended up finding a timer, so I usually just fire it up before going to bed. On workdays, I turn it off after my morning coffee, and I often just leave it on over the weekends.

I have been advised by a gentleman that knows these machines (he sells Izzo lever machines and has worked on my machine) that I should just leave the machine on and only power it off when I don't plan to use it for a few days or will be out of town. He reasoned that cycling it on and off every day puts unnecessary strain on the machine with the current drawn to heat up the boiler from cold. He also mentioned the heating then cooling of the water in the machine allows more scale to form.

Perhaps someone can set me straight on all of this. I have had recurring electrical issues with the Alex Leva over the last year, and I'd like to get the most out of it once it is back in working order. What electrical issues? I should post a separate thread detailing these, but in sum, I have replaced the solid state relay for boiler heating issues, then have had the high limit overheat and burn on three occasions, months apart.

Also, if you use a timer to power on your machine, would you please post the device you are using and perhaps a link where to purchase?

Thanks!
Andrew

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espressotime

#2: Post by espressotime »

My Pompei is on a timer. It switches on an hour before I get up so at 06.00 pm. That's more than enough to bring it up to temperature. It switches off at 16.30 after I had my last espresso.
Leaving it on 24/7 is ridiculous.
Grind,rake ,tamp and enjoy a great espresso.( by F. G.)

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ltjaw (original poster)

#3: Post by ltjaw (original poster) »

Yes, leaving it on 24/7 seems crazy to me as well. What timer do you use?
Andrew

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Tbrandt1996
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#4: Post by Tbrandt1996 »

Those 20 amp rated appliance timers work great. I use an Intermatic heavy duty timer set to come on an hour before I get up in the morning, then I turn it off manually when I'm done. The 20 amp smart outlets I looked at were very expensive, the analog timers are around $20 on Amazon or at a hardware store.

My machine is a 2019, but no electrical issues except for some discolored power switch connectors that the previous owner noticed and had replaced.

Heat cycling is just part of home espresso machines. Parts and equipment won't last forever. Leaving it on all the time trades one type of wear for another, now your electrical components are stressed more to constant heat exposure, heating elements are used more and group seals cook faster.

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espressotime

#5: Post by espressotime »

ltjaw wrote:Yes, leaving it on 24/7 seems crazy to me as well. What timer do you use?
One from a local convenience store that set me back 5 euros. The kind with those little pins.
Grind,rake ,tamp and enjoy a great espresso.( by F. G.)

ltjaw (original poster)

#6: Post by ltjaw (original poster) »

Tbrandt1996 wrote:Heat cycling is just part of home espresso machines. Parts and equipment won't last forever. Leaving it on all the time trades one type of wear for another, now your electrical components are stressed more to constant heat exposure, heating elements are used more and group seals cook faster.
Well stated. I agree 100% but wanted to hear what others are doing.
Andrew

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truemagellen

#7: Post by truemagellen »

The one on the right I've used for a while but added a lot of resistance on the line so I'm not super happy with it (I've owned other ones for 220v circuits and they rarely last a more than 3 years).

On left is what I'm going to. There are also heavier duty hot tub/water heater type relay systems that work great just the wiring is trickier to setup (but will probably last forever).

Having it run the least amount of time is best for seals...and I used to be the guy who left a 2 group on wasting an extra $40 of electricity a month on it foolishly.


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Nick111
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#8: Post by Nick111 »

The timer is set from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.
I have been using this without any problems for 17 months.
https://www.ikea.gr/en/products/lightin ... t/90356166

Parkeralto

#9: Post by Parkeralto »

I have been using the Connect Sense 20 amp Wi-Fi receptacle for about six months now with good results. It accepts the 20 amp plug on the Leva and is rated properly for the current draw. (just be sure the circuit is #12 wire) The Wi-Fi was a bit fussy and I did not try it integrate it with Alexa. I use the Connect Sense app to turn the machine on and off and it works fine. The two receptacles can have two different schedules. I have one keeping a small undercounted refer running full time and the other powering the Leva on a schedule. They are expensive compared to a regular 15 amp receptacle but I would say, worth it

bgn

#10: Post by bgn »

I'm way overdue to get my Cimbali M20 spring lever on a timer so that the seals won't get brittle so quickly. But it's currently plugged into a 15 amp wall outlet and it seems that all the 15 amp timers warn not to use with appliances "with heaters."