La Pavoni Europiccola - thermofuse trips often - Page 3

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Kaffee Bitte

#21: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Machinery needs maintenance. Your la pavoni Europiccola needs it too. Most likely the water you are using is scaling the boiler faster than it should. I bet the long duty cycles are increasing scale build up.
8 hours per day on is far outside the manufacturers designed duty cycle.

Time to, at the very least, take apart the vacuum valve and clean it. See if that is the cause. If it isn't the other things will require more work. No matter what continuing to use it without repairs will only cause larger problems, like a burned out heating element or a boiler blow out. The first will require a rebuild of a machine that tends to last a decade before it's first rebuild. The second will turn your machine into scrap metal and possibly you as well
For all the added "safety" features millennium models have these machines aren't exactly safe. Steam boilers are inherently dangerous no way around it. I heard so many stories from my grandfather about the old steam engines. "Ten thousand exciting ways to die," was what he had to say about his work.
This old thread may be informative for you

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Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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kalo925

#22: Post by kalo925 »

Why not change the thermo fuse? I've had a machine like yours tripping too much. Just an old faulty fuse. Never leave my small machines on for more than heat up and brewing one or two. GL.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#23: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

Kaffee Bitte wrote:Machinery needs maintenance. Your la pavoni Europiccola needs it too. Most likely the water you are using is scaling the boiler faster than it should. I bet the long duty cycles are increasing scale build up.
8 hours per day on is far outside the manufacturers designed duty cycle.

Time to, at the very least, take apart the vacuum valve and clean it. See if that is the cause. If it isn't the other things will require more work.
(...)
Thank you Kaffee Bitte and baldheadracing. While a tear down of all the involved parts (as baldheadracing suggests) is in abstract the right thing, it's a lot of work for step one, and personally I wouldn't know what to look for in each of those bits. Kaffe Bitte's "first look at the vacuum valve" approach is more immediately useful.

In practice, it led me to realize that I do have a just-skinny-enough wrench that fits, so I can disassemble it without drama. Just time.

And even before disassembly, as the first suspect is the vacuum valve, I've changed my practice to starting every session with the boiler filled up to the very top, and raising the lever repeatedly in short forceful lifts to evacuate "false pressure". This exercises the vacuum valve.

Over the last couple days, following this practice, it's gotten markedly better.

So my prior approach of putting a little bit less water than full, to avoid false pressure purge, resulted in under-exercised and somewhat ossified vacuum valve I think.

I have a short term workaround, and will be tearing the valve down and cleaning it up real good when I can. Yay. Thank you.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#24: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

(and I remain defiantly unrepentant on wanting to use my Europiccola through the workday :-) )

baldheadracing
Team HB

#25: Post by baldheadracing »

martinlhoff wrote:Thank you Kaffee Bitte and baldheadracing. While a tear down of all the involved parts (as baldheadracing suggests) is in abstract the right thing, it's a lot of work for step one, and personally I wouldn't know what to look for in each of those bits. Kaffe Bitte's "first look at the vacuum valve" approach is more immediately useful. ...
To clarify, I meant that those pieces should be considered in sequence.
martinlhoff wrote: ...And even before disassembly, as the first suspect is the vacuum valve, I've changed my practice to starting every session with the boiler filled up to the very top, and raising the lever repeatedly in short forceful lifts to evacuate "false pressure". This exercises the vacuum valve.
As the current manual states: "The water should not exceed the top of the level glass."

In older Europiccola manuals, the direction was to not fill the boiler past the line/metal transition on the boiler that is just below the grouphead's neck. However, once the Professional was introduced, the directions were changed to fill the boiler to only the rated capacity of the boiler (0.8l for the Europiccola).

There is no need to evacuate false pressure in machines with a vacuum breaker. (Older models did not have a vacuum breaker.)
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

martinlhoff (original poster)

#26: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

Thanks for the clarification - I thought it was "first these 5 things", which was a bit daunting. In particular bc I don't know what to look for, and I have a threshold for DIY repairs in a new field. Good chance I'll damage more than I fix (until I get profficient).

Interesting about the water level. Yeah, I kind of remember "top of glass" in the instructions. I've been filling _either_ to the transition from cylinder to cone, or just to the top. Filling to the transition point, no need to evac false pressure. More than that, the heat up phase has 2 stages - first to false pressure, lift lever to clear out, then to full pressure.

Sounds like I'm more off-the-beaten-road than initially thought. Will have a think about it.

The bummer is that less water in the tank makes the problem worse. And my coffee breaks are 5m, not 35m. And damn it, it's been working great in this pattern for a year - not too shabby for an off-prescription usage.