Rancilio Z9 Two Group Lever Machine

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phillip canuck

#1: Post by phillip canuck »

I ran into a deal that I couldn't pass up, this Rancilio, below. It was used for 5 years in a cafe up until about a year ago when the cafe went out of business. I've searched all over, but most of the posts are old or not quite what I'm looking for. I'm quite sure that the wiring has been reconfigured from 220V to 115V at 15 amp - from the small mess that is back there. The plug, below, also has stamped on the yellow part, 115V 15 A. There is water in the boiler, so I plugged it in just to see what would happen (a bit reckless); a click here and there, and then shortly after there is a sound of water trying to be sucked through the water fitting (not hooked up). Any words of advice before I go further with this? Is there a way I can supply water without it being plumbed to a waterline - a bucket for now? A bit lost, but excited.

-phillip


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Paul

#2: Post by Paul »

cool machine. I like the z9's.

Unlike rotary pump machines, big levers need to be plumbed in. Water pressure needs to be more than boiler pressure (say, 2 bar min feed). You can use a little pump (flojet, shurflow etc) to achieve this if you wish to draw from a water container. Such pumps are used in caravan installations. Try hunting around these for a good deal.

I've got an idea that either rancilio or pavoni used to sell a little foot operated pump. Long ago though. I haven't seen one.
cheers
Paul

LMWDP #084

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erics
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#3: Post by erics »

Unplug the machine, open her up, and disconnect the power leads to the pump. This machine must have a pump from your description? Remove some easily accessible fitting from the boiler and manually fill it a little over half-way using the sight glass. Or, forget that and rig up a temporary tank for the pump to take suction from.
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Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

Paul

#4: Post by Paul »

i'd be interested to learn if someone had already fitted a pump into it. I had assumed that when it was turned on, the autofill solenoid opened and the machine perhaps gurgled a bit.
cheers
Paul

LMWDP #084

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orphanespresso

#5: Post by orphanespresso »

The Rancilio boiler diagram shows both the 220v and 115v models to be 2700 watt elements for the 2 group Z9. You can calculate watts =voltsxamps and get a theoretical load or use a meter to check. The element should be marked and then you can determine if it was just plug changed or the element was also changed....lots of stuff to figure out on a new to you machine. Since you have a washer sitting right next to your espresso machine stand it seems pretty direct to just plumb in from the washer line....most machines take a 3/8 compression stainless flexie line and plumb the machine in. Nice machine....great 70's orange!

phillip canuck

#6: Post by phillip canuck »

Here are a couple of shots of the innards. I've got two black boxes in here (to me), but I'll take a guess: the one photo that says: GICAR Electronic Level Control, I'll assume this is my pump? I have a visual level indicator and an a manual fill lever - I guess in case this Gicar breaks - or is it after market? The other black box, ok, a blue box, seems to house temperature control?? This is just from looking at what runs in and out of it. Oh, on top of the boiler - that is a safety valve?? Seems so.

As for its current location on top of our dryer - just temporary. It will be housed in the kitchen, so I just plan on running a line from the sink connection using a Max Adaptor / John Guest. (suggestions otherwise, welcomed)

Finally, I assume that I should clean all that gunk around the lever (last photo)?

Any advice on what to do next would be greatly appreciated.

(OE: love the hand grinder I bought from you a couple of months ago)

-phillip

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orphanespresso

#7: Post by orphanespresso »

WOW!!! What a lot of fun you are going to have!!! You are diagnosing the system right so far. The Gicar is the autofill system and the blue box is the pstat.

Let's go back to the first question 220 with a 110 plug or 110 with a 110 plug. First do the math. Both the 220 and 110 element run at 2700 watts on the element. 2700=220(x). So on 220 the element would pull 12.25 amps current. That is the spec on the element. Plug the amps number in the other formulae to find the resistance of the 220v element, running on 220. V=iR, so this solves the resistance of the 2700 watt element at about 18 ohms. A multimeter can test the ohms of the element as it sits and if you read 18 ohms it is a 220 element with a 110 plug. You can solve the 110volt element equation the same way to find what the resistance on the 110 element would be. Lets say it is a 220v element running on 110, this means that the ohms will always be 18 but both the amps and wattage will decrease....slow to heat and slow to recover, but not a danger or anything.

Back to the machine....if the gicar system is working then you can either just clean it up and check all the contacts and terminals for safety and call it that. The gicar can easily be disabled, bypassed or removed entirely if it is an i$$ue since the manual fill system overrides the gicar and if you are paying even marginal attention to the water level it is highly unlikely that you would ever need the gicar, unless of course you enjoy the marvel of it kicking on unexpectedly. If you can't get the machine to take up water then the gicar could be faulty.

Most of the greening at the fittings is pretty normal for a machine like this as a sign of small seepage but there seems to be no sign of major leaks would show as white drools and striping from a fitting. The overpressure safety valve on top looks to be a retrofit from an older style big wobbler weight system which used the drain from the large pan on top. The pstat is like a sirai but with a metal cover and has the big sparking contacts inside, which may or may not be burned.achine turns on and off at pressure then it is working.
You can get water to it from about any source temporarily to check out all of the different parts of the machine, even a garden hose if you can figure out some fittings ....even with leaks you just need to get it filled up enough to see if the gicar will both turn on and shut off. Once you get the boiler full then it is reasonably safe to turn it on and see what happens. If all else fails and you want to fill the machine you can remove the top pressure safety valve and use the hole as a fill. there is also a drain plug somewhere of the boiler or on the sight glass lower housing to get the old water out when the time comes. BIG fun!
Of course you had to add the gross picture of the top of the group. Lots of cleaning and relubing here but all well within reason to undertake. Let us know if you need parts for the machine as we are putting together a big order from Spain for some of our restorations and can add your needs in with some other special bits for other machines in current crisis.

phillip canuck

#8: Post by phillip canuck »

Mr.Garrott,
There is a plate that says:

Volt 220/380
Hz 50/60 A 12/7

That seems to match your calculations. A newbie question: the heating element is inside the "triangle" - 2nd and 5th (best) photos?

Secondly, if it is 220V running on 110V - any idea on how slow is slow to heat? Will I be turning this on for an hour or two before it's good to go? If that's the case, how difficult is it to change back to 220V? (Okay, the difficult part is relative to expertise, which I have none). However, I am need to improve my electrical skills for another project, so they will improve through this project or another one on my hands (a sailboat).

Lastly, for now - am I crazy or is there no power switch? Seems somewhat reasonable that this is turned on/off by a wall mounted switch.

Oh, and one of the knobs is broken - it's the one in the foreground, above the steam wand, below RANCILIO - could something like that be bought in Spain? I don't know if the underlying mechanism of the knob is broken - need to turn it on for that - but I think it's okay.

Thank you,
phillip

phillip canuck

#9: Post by phillip canuck »

Is there no edit function after you've posted??

Regardless, I should clarify a question.. if the element is 220V and it's connected through a 110V plug - then that would be easy - change out the cord and plug to 220V. What I should have stated, is how difficult would it be to create a 220V outlet - to wire one from my circuit/breaker panel? What should I be looking for in the panel to see it it's remotely possible?

-phillip

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orphanespresso

#10: Post by orphanespresso »

It is likely best to consult an electrician over the circuit change.....the thing is, you can easily convert a regular 3 wire romex line (black white and green or bare ground wire) to 220 but the amperage rating of the 12 or 14 gauge romex is below that needed for a 220v circuit....most 220v circuits have a breaker rated at 40 amps (for a dryer or a kitchen range) and for our 220 line which we ran we used 8 gauge wire. That is the problem with changing a regular 110 circuit to 220, the wire you have in the wall.

Truly, fill it with water and see how long it takes to warm up, that seems the best way to begin. After all, the heating element may have been changed, there is no way of knowing, and the volt and watt ratings should be on the element somewhere...possibly on the rod itself, which is of course inside the machine, and if you run it on 220 if it is 110 element it will burn out due to the overamperage. I prefer the experimental approach as long as one can rule out the possibilities of disaster. Checking the resistence of the element with a meter will enable you to determine which element you have in the machine and proceed basking in this knowledge with confidence of not damaging yourself or the machine.