Used Elektra Microcasa a Leva with shipping damage - safe to use? Worth repairing?

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seachantey

#1: Post by seachantey »

Hi, I just purchased an MCAL (S1-copper/brass) - my first lever ever - 1) first mistake: got it off ebay 2) didn't ask enough questions, and 3) the seller did a poor packing job and it looks like UPS dropped it, so it arrived with a damaged steam wand and dented boiler where the wand attaches. Aside from being a bit naive and stupid, I find myself needing some advice.

My question is - is this safe to use with a pretty big dent in the boiler (see pic)? If I am unable to use or repair (he's offered $200 back for repair, which is sufficient for the steam wand and maybe a set of new gaskets, but not the boiler) - is this worth trying to fix? Would it be safe to use? If not, I will return it to him and just recommend at this point that he try and part it out, as everything but the boiler seem to be in pretty mint condition & parts for these older machines can be hard to come by.

There is an older thread with a very similar issue: Can this shipping damaged Elektra Microcasa a Leva be rescued? - it looks like "caeffe" was able to restore and get it working again - outside - and I'm trying to find out what he eventually decided about it and whether it would be safe. I'm well aware he was experienced with these machines and working with pressurized equipment - I am not!

This is an unused vintage machine w/the inline water and push button boiler fill, sticker vs name plate, and the downturn eagle wings (early 90's). It did come with original papers to verify the serial number.




baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

That's a pity :cry:. The plumb-in version is rare to see.

(I have no useful opinion about repairs.)

seachantey (original poster)

#3: Post by seachantey (original poster) »

Thanks, I'd gathered that and likely would have tried to plumb it in - using an inline water softener could really help reduce scale and it would be cool to do with the push of a button... sigh. I really wish the seller would have packed it better. It looks new other than that - maybe used once or twice at the most. I guess I really need an espresso machine though, not an expensive project... I'll wait to see if others chime in on the repair question and whether this really requires a new boiler due to safety concerns which is what I suspect. I'm guessing that might be hard to find if I want one compatible and in mint condition.

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truemagellen
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#4: Post by truemagellen »

I saw this listing. I dealt with a similar issue in the past. Shipping something of this size and with delicate parts and the guy put it in soft foam and it literally cut through the foam and was sticking out of the box where it was deformed.

Just return it. Unless you know a guy who is highly skilled in repairing this and will pressure test it then forget it.

Perhaps you can quickly document the boiler fill mechanism so other mcal owners can recreate it or you can :mrgreen:

seachantey (original poster)

#5: Post by seachantey (original poster) »

Thanks, returning is likely my best option and I intend to package it very very carefully. Good suggestion to take photos of the inline feature to help someone looking to mod. I will do that and post.

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truemagellen
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#6: Post by truemagellen »

if you can find one with the special travel case that will protect it during shipping. It is rather heavy wood and metal like something used for band gear but it gets the job done.


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HB
Admin

#7: Post by HB »

Before packing it up, I suggest dropping a note to Stefano at espressocare.com (disclaimer: he's an HB sponsor). He'll be able to give you the final word on the availability of a replacement boiler and cost.
Dan Kehn

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bill
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#8: Post by bill »

I had a similar issue with one of these several years ago. I was able to get the boiler repaired and then restored the machine. It was overall in much worse condition then yours. I suggest repairing it. If you decide not to and wish to sell it, let me know.
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!

caeffe

#9: Post by caeffe »

seachantey wrote:......
My question is - is this safe to use with a pretty big dent in the boiler (see pic)? If I am unable to use or repair (he's offered $200 back for repair, which is sufficient for the steam wand and maybe a set of new gaskets, but not the boiler) - is this worth trying to fix? Would it be safe to use? If not, I will return it to him and just recommend at this point that he try and part it out, as everything but the boiler seem to be in pretty mint condition & parts for these older machines can be hard to come by.

There is an older thread with a very similar issue: Can this shipping damaged Elektra Microcasa a Leva be rescued? - it looks like "caeffe" was able to restore and get it working again - outside - and I'm trying to find out what he eventually decided about it and whether it would be safe. I'm well aware he was experienced with these machines and working with pressurized equipment - I am not!

This is an unused vintage machine w/the inline water and push button boiler fill, sticker vs name plate, and the downturn eagle wings (early 90's). It did come with original papers to verify the serial number.
]
Hi - I'm the one with the Microcasa you refer to. Is it safe to use? Can't say as we can only guess based on the pictures. Is there a leak at the deformed area? One would have to fill it unpressurized initially but doing so would require some additional fittings and equipment. Plus you have the option to possibly return and get a refund. If you decide to keep it, Safest is to get the boiler replaced and as Dan mentioned, ask Stefano for a quote on the boiler.

Different set of circumstances in my case. I knew it already had shipping damage when I purchased it and even saw and bid on the original listing prior to the damage. I was surprised to see it relisted but then it was damaged and appeared to be listed by the firm that probably insured it. So bottom line, I knew what I was getting into and was well aware that I wouldn't be able to make the claim to return.

In your case, it sounds like you can return the unit for a full refund. I don't know what a replacement boiler costs but the damage on the unit you have is a lot more deformation compared to my unit. I don't know how much you paid for your unit and the circumstances but if you're able to return the unit and get a full refund that would be a good option to take. Another option would be to negotiate a higher refund based on the cost of replacing the boiler with some labor $ involved. In my case I didn't have that option.
LMWDP #162

seachantey (original poster)

#10: Post by seachantey (original poster) »

Thanks, Stefano's was amazingly helpful, they offered to make a repair estimate if I shipped the unit, but also recommended backing out of the sale if possible due to the potential damage to the integrity of the boiler. UPS came and picked up the unit because I filed the damage claim. I had no idea they would do this - they don't communicate well. And unfortunately, because I wasn't expecting them I wasn't able to get pics of the inline plumbing. crud!!!!!