La Pavoni Europiccola - thermofuse trips often - Page 2

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baldheadracing
Team HB

#11: Post by baldheadracing »

Blernsball wrote:You do you. But the machine isn't designed for that kind of use and that IS why it's overheating and tripping the fuse. You are relying on the pressure relief valve to keep your element from cooking itself (which as you have experienced, is not the most reliable of devices). In general, the thermal protection in the europiccola is pretty rudimentary and doesn't do well when the water level drops in the boiler. The element can easily fracture before the thermal fuse is tripped.
Isn't this a current machine with a pressurestat and the new-style pressure relief valve that is meant to only open if the pressurestat fails?

While I would agree with you on an old two-switch model and/or the old steel ball bearing pressure relief valve, a current model should be able to be kept on for very long periods of time (assuming that the machine is well-maintained). I personally wouldn't want to drink the coffee from a machine that is left on all the time, but the machine can't 'overheat' the boiler nor can the boiler water level change once the vacuum breaker closes (again, assuming that the machine is well-maintained).
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

martinlhoff (original poster)

#12: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

Understood. I don't run the boiler dry. I top it off every morning, and my daily coffee intake gets the sight glass down to 3/4 full. Half at most.

Seems safe to me. I just don't drink them all back to back. One every hour or two.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#13: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:Isn't this a current machine with a pressurestat and the new-style pressure relief valve that is meant to only open if the pressurestat fails?

While I would agree with you on an old two-switch model and/or the old steel ball bearing pressure relief valve, a current model should be able to be kept on for very long periods of time (assuming that the machine is well-maintained). I personally wouldn't want to drink the coffee from a machine that is left on all the time, but the machine can't 'overheat' the boiler nor can the boiler water level change once the vacuum breaker closes (again, assuming that the machine is well-maintained).
Bought new 6 months ago or so. Thank you for your notes.

Why wouldn't you want to drink coffee from a machine that is on for ... 7am to 3pm (pulls out calculator) 8hs a day?

Taste? Food safety concerns...? I'm baffled.

Blernsball

#14: Post by Blernsball »

baldheadracing wrote:Isn't this a current machine with a pressurestat and the new-style pressure relief valve that is meant to only open if the pressurestat fails?

While I would agree with you on an old two-switch model and/or the old steel ball bearing pressure relief valve, a current model should be able to be kept on for very long periods of time (assuming that the machine is well-maintained). I personally wouldn't want to drink the coffee from a machine that is left on all the time, but the machine can't 'overheat' the boiler nor can the boiler water level change once the vacuum breaker closes (again, assuming that the machine is well-maintained).
Sorry, I said pressure valve, but meant pressurestat. As shown by the OP, when the stat can gets stuck/jammed the boiler will boil itself dry. The boiler is not very big, and the room for error can be slim if the water level is low after leaving it on all day and pulling lots of shots without refilling. Plus it's unattended. Add to that the thermofuse is notorious for not tripping in time to save the element. A recipe for disaster.

TBH though, I think the fuse is tripping not because of any of that, but because of residual heat that is building up in the base after being left on all day.

If it was me, I'd buy a smart outlet and plug it into that. Five minutes before my meeting ends, fire it up remotely.

Blernsball

#15: Post by Blernsball »

martinlhoff wrote:Why wouldn't you want to drink coffee from a machine that is on for ... 7am to 3pm (pulls out calculator) 8hs a day?

Taste? Food safety concerns...? I'm baffled.
Taste. Groups on pavoni levers get very hot when the machine is left on for a long time. This then makes the temperature of the water flowing to the puck way hotter then ideal.

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pizzigri

#16: Post by pizzigri replying to Blernsball »

What he said. Plus, it takes nowhere near half hour to heat up a pressurestat equipped Europiccola to brew temp.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#17: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

> Taste

Gotcha. I do have a temp strip and I keep an eye on it. I don't think it's too hot, but I could be wrong.

baldheadracing
Team HB

#18: Post by baldheadracing »

martinlhoff wrote:Bought new 6 months ago or so. Thank you for your notes.

Why wouldn't you want to drink coffee from a machine that is on for ... 7am to 3pm (pulls out calculator) 8hs a day?

Taste? Food safety concerns...? I'm baffled.
A couple reasons:
- Mainly, that the brew water would get too hot for my tastes. There's a bitterness that creeps in with some coffees when the brew temperature gets up there.
- A minor point, and this is going to sound contradictory, but, the machine wasn't designed for that kind of use. Like many older domestic Italian machines, the Europiccola was designed to make a couple Italian-sized cappuccinos in the morning and then be turned off. However, much has changed since the late 1950's. Pavoni has addressed the obvious over the years, but, for example, the base will still get hot - although I suspect not has hot as the early models with Aluminium bases (which get stinkin' hot after about an hour).
Blernsball wrote:Sorry, I said pressure valve, but meant pressurestat. As shown by the OP, when the stat can gets stuck/jammed the boiler will boil itself dry. The boiler is not very big, and the room for error can be slim if the water level is low after leaving it on all day and pulling lots of shots without refilling. Plus it's unattended. Add to that the thermofuse is notorious for not tripping in time to save the element. A recipe for disaster.

TBH though, I think the fuse is tripping not because of any of that, but because of residual heat that is building up in the base after being left on all day.

If it was me, I'd buy a smart outlet and plug it into that. Five minutes before my meeting ends, fire it up remotely.
Just to clarify, Pavoni no longer uses a thermofuse - which I agree can have issues, especially as they age. Pavoni now uses the same resettable thermostat that pretty much all manufacturers use now.

In my experience, (non-Sirai) pressurestats fail open. The deadband will also increase as the pstat ages, but the pstat itself isn't going to work intermittently - and the machine is only a few months old. However, in the Pavoni, scale can build up in the pipe going to the pressurestat leading to all kinds of weirdness. The water would have to be well-out-of-spec (hard) for that much scale to build up in a few months, though.

Note also that the element and base are now steel and are much more robust than the older copper/brass element/base, albeit much noisier (relatively).

FWIW, my machines are on smart plugs. I have warnings sent to my phone if I forget to turn a machine off, and, if I ignore the warnings, the plug cuts the power.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

martinlhoff (original poster)

#19: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

This has been getting markedly worse. Now it trips within 20 minutes of reaching temp. Basically,

- I switch the machine on, in the morning,
- return 20-30 minutes later to make breakfast and it's at a good temp (I dry pump to get the grouphead to temp)
- pull my first cup
- breakfast prep is about 20m, at the end of which it's tripped

The spring pressure valve is pretty responsive - lets water and vapor out when it should.

The machine is about a year old. It started off holding steady temp through the workday. Now it trips within 20-30 minutes of reaching temp.

Thoughts?

baldheadracing
Team HB

#20: Post by baldheadracing »

Vacuum breaker, pressurestat pipe, pressurestat, safety thermostat, as has been previously posted. I am getting the feeling that you haven't inspected/tested any of these?

If it were my machine, then I would send it in under the warranty, as none of the above should fail within one year. A safety thermostat tripping is something that needs to be addressed immediately. If it were my machine, I wouldn't even have it plugged in until the issue was fixed.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada