La Pavoni Millenium boiler is slowly rotating

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.

#1: Post by lmolter »

I think that the process of locking the portafilter is causing the boiler to slowly rotate clockwise. If you look straight down, the grouphead is slightly past the 6 o'clock position. Or, if you look straight at it, the grouphead is slightly to the left of center. So... do I have to remove the heating element, loosen the boiler (with the $pecial tool), rotate it back counterclockwise, and reinstall the heating element? And... could this be the cause of the water leaking out of the base pan? We're not talking about major degrees of arc of rotation, but it is definitely slightly off.

User avatar
Kaffee Bitte

#2: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

The water under the base is usually a sign of a pin hole leak in the boiler gasket. Though sometimes the pstat could be the cause as well. It is definitely not from the boiler/base connection as it is impossible for water to come from there.

The rotation of the base. Could be your base has deformed under use. It's pretty common. Time to replace the boiler gasket and two boiler spacers. The spacers may have degraded and are no longer spacing. They sure had on mine when I rebuilt it.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110

lmolter (original poster)

#3: Post by lmolter (original poster) »

Kaffee Bitte wrote: Time to replace the boiler gasket and two boiler spacers. The spacers may have degraded and are no longer spacing. They sure had on mine when I rebuilt it.
I had a bad feeling about this. I was trying to avoid replacing the boiler gaskets because I don't have the proper tool (yet). Nor do I have a jig to hold the unit upside down on the bench vise while I unscrew whatever that special tool unscrews.

Just a question, though: When I do the semi-annual rebuild of the seals in and around the grouphead, should I also replace the boiler gaskets?

Team HB

#4: Post by baldheadracing replying to lmolter »

I wouldn't bother. To over-simplify, gaskets/seals that are in contact with sliding surfaces like piston seals benefit from regular replacement; gaskets/seals between fixed surfaces like the gasket/o-ring between the heating element and boiler should not need replacement. Thus, for example, the gasket/o-ring between the heating element and the boiler does not come in the maintenance kits that Stefano's Espresso Care sells.

However, the boiler gasket can leak for various reasons. Replacing a leaking boiler gasket is straightforward and doesn't need any special tools. Note Stefano does have a slightly larger boiler gasket available for the stainless steel heating elements to address leaks in caused by specific issues: ... comparison

The one thing that I would do very regularly is have a look for evidence of leaks inside the base.

The spacers (not gaskets) between the base and the boiler do seem to age and eventually cause the boiler to turn. However, again, I wouldn't replace those until necessary as it is a tedious job, and a flange tool is pretty much necessary.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

User avatar
Kaffee Bitte

#5: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Craig is right about the boiler gasket change. It's is pretty simple. Just disconnecting some wiring and a few Allen bolts, though the one with the pstat pipe near it can be hard to get. Usually a good idea to descale the heating element before putting it back together. Take care with the pstat and it's copper pipe.
You will also need a torx for the base removal. (Size depends on year of production, I needed both torx as I have two with some time span between)

Give the base underside a thorough look for rust. It's relatively easy to remedy but you don't want to leave it if you find some.

When you are ready to buy the boiler flange tool, I will say it is worth buying the addon bar on top. It takes some force to set it right and the bar made it much easier.
Or take a trip up here to Alabama and put mine to use. Not so far from Florida.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110