Salvatore Compact basics - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Satchmo780 (original poster)

#11: Post by Satchmo780 (original poster) »

UncaLenDog wrote:I see from the pics that this was my machine.
That's awesome! Small world. I guess all I can say is thanks for moving this one on, it has a good home.

So the machine is mostly cool right now (takes a long time to cool that big boiler).

It's still reading 0.8 bars, which makes me think there's a stuck vacuum seal. Can someone point me in the direction using this photo?



1. Emergency release valve
2. Goes to the pressure stat
3. Probe for low water sensor
4. Hot water
5. Steam tap
6. Pressure Gauge

I'm guessing it's under the pressure gauge one? It appears to be a two piece connection.

baldheadracing
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#12: Post by baldheadracing »

Satchmo780 wrote:It's still reading 0.8 bars, which makes me think there's a stuck vacuum seal.
So you probably have to subtract 0.8 bars from whatever the gauge says ... so your 2bar is actually 1.2 bar, which is fine. I wouldn't adjust the pressurestat if the 0.8 bar reading is consistent every morning (assuming that you turn the machine off at night).

Fixing the gauge is easy, but getting to the pointer is a pain. Once you're there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWc34aFqDhg

The vacuum breaker is normally located close to the highest point of the plumbing/machine. On the Kickstarter machines, it was located at point 3, at least on Hank's machine.
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

Satchmo780 (original poster)

#13: Post by Satchmo780 (original poster) »

Thanks for the help.

Looking at Hank's machine there are definitely two valves on top.

I just have one. The square in the center of mine is a solid piece that screws in. I'm not sure why one would do that?

I removed the temp probe and the pressure gauge connection with no luck.

Maybe someone removed the vacuum breaker at some point?

astibolt

#14: Post by astibolt »

FWIW, I have a plumbed version of the SCL built in 2017. I don't believe mine has a vacuum breaker valve. The instructions I received from Salvatore for starting up the machine were: 1) open the steam valve when the machine is turned on, 2) when water begins to sputter out of the steam wand, close the steam valve. I find that following this sequence ensures that the heating element does not cycle off due to false pressure. Bringing the machine fully up to temperature takes a while, but this can be expedited by flushing the group head several times once the boiler has reached full operating pressure. I believe that flushing the group head also ensures that the thermosyphon is not stalled.

When I first received my machine, it idled between 1.1 and 1.3 bar; I bumped this down to 0.9-1.1 bar because the "factory" setting seemed a little hot to me. When the machine is cool, the pressure gauge indicates 0 bar until one of the valves is opened or the piston is removed from the group head, at which point the gauge indicates about 0.1-0.2 bar.

Enjoy your machine - mine is certainly an heirloom quality piece that looks and feels wonderful and gives me great pleasure to use.

baldheadracing
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#15: Post by baldheadracing »

So that solves the mystery - there isn't a vacuum breaker so one turns on - and off - the machine the old-fashioned way. No vacuum breaker wasn't unknown in machines with vertical boilers. Two of the four old vertical boiler machines that I have here don't have vacuum breakers.
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

Satchmo780 (original poster)

#16: Post by Satchmo780 (original poster) »

That does solve the mystery.

I'm going to see if I can install a vacuum breaker, as I was hoping to be able to run it off a smart plug so it's ready in the mornings.

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#17: Post by baldheadracing »

My guess is that there was a good reason why the breaker was removed. If so, then fitting one must modify the hydraulic system to address that reason. Simply screwing one in where it was in the KS machines could be disastrous otherwise. Thermosyphons can be tricky.
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

Satchmo780 (original poster)

#18: Post by Satchmo780 (original poster) »

Good point. Definitely don't want to mess things up. I think I'll reach out to Salvatore to see what's possible.

I'll post results here.

bgn

#19: Post by bgn »

I'm curious to know your thoughts on this machine. I live in Canada but have visited Sal's shop as I have family in the area. The personal craftsmanship on his machines gives them strong appeal to me.

pinky-and-me

#20: Post by pinky-and-me »

I wonder if vacuum breakers are removed for machines with plumbed-in option. After all, a faulty valve would mean water leaking endlessly trough the breaker.
Mine is reservoir only and has a vacuum breaker. It does leak and require maintenance but I wonder what effect the vacuum would have on the water pump without it.