Water, water everywhere

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lmolter

#1: Post by lmolter »

I just noticed a few days ago a puddle coming out from under my La Pavoni Pro Millenium. At first I thought it was water from sloppy dishwashing since the LP is near the sink. I wiped it up and noticed it again for the next two days. Definitely coming from under the unit. I'm not sure how to remove the base, and even if I did, the boiler and its connections should not be leaking.

Is this a kiss of death for this machine? It's only 4 years old and only used for two pulls a day.

Just for fun, what would be a recommendation for a different level-operated machine in the $1500 USD price range?

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truemagellen

#2: Post by truemagellen »

Might need to just tighten the heating element to boiler or the pstat pipe or pstat itself spring a leak.

But if you want to use as excuse to spend money get a used Cremina or a bit more for a Strietman. :mrgreen:

LObin

#3: Post by LObin »

lmolter wrote:I just noticed a few days ago a puddle coming out from under my La Pavoni Pro Millenium. At first I thought it was water from sloppy dishwashing since the LP is near the sink. I wiped it up and noticed it again for the next two days. Definitely coming from under the unit. I'm not sure how to remove the base, and even if I did, the boiler and its connections should not be leaking.

Is this a kiss of death for this machine? It's only 4 years old and only used for two pulls a day.

Just for fun, what would be a recommendation for a different level-operated machine in the $1500 USD price range?
It's definitely not the end. Many La Pavoni's from the 60's still pulling shots daily.
La Pavoni's come with an unwritten contract that stipulates that the owner will take on maintenance, no matter how handy they are. Kinda ;)
You can also bring it to a certified repair center.

As Jason stated before, it's likely the heating element screws that need to he tightened or there could be a leak at the pstat pipe.

First step is to remove the base which is either done by removing the screw underneath the plastic base. Unless you bought it used in which case, the screw for the base could be underneath the drip tray.

Then, tightened the 3 heating element screws with an allen key and fire it up. Don't put the base back on right away since you wanna see if the leak has stopped and if not, where the water is coming from.

Is the bottom of your boiler full of scale? It shouldn't be a dark copper color, almost black.

Have you done any maintenance to the piston seals since you've had your LP?

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

lmolter (original poster)

#4: Post by lmolter (original poster) »

Thanks for the info. I bought it new in the box. After it cools today or tomorrow I'll pop off the base and tighten the screws. Do I need metric allen keys?

I'll post back after the investigation is done. We'll be out for the rest of today, but tomorrow for sure.

LObin

#5: Post by LObin » replying to lmolter »

Everything is metric, yes.
LMWDP #592

lmolter (original poster)

#6: Post by lmolter (original poster) »

Oh, I forgot to answer your question regarding the piston seals. No. I have done no 'regular' maintenance. The steam wand leaks as well, but I just put a rag under it. Geez. It's only 4 years old and not heavily used. Sounds like replacing parts is part of ownership.

LObin

#7: Post by LObin » replying to lmolter »

You should lubricate the piston seals about twice a year. These need to he changed every 2 years or so, unless you get silicone's that won't dry. They are a bit more fragile but they last virtually forever. MOLYKOTE Dow111 is a great lubrifiant but there are other brands that also work well.

The shower screen should be regularly cleaned from coffee oils and residue. A puck screen keeps it squeaky clean, if ever.

That group gasket or portafilter gasket usually lasts 2 years or so. You'd need a post-millenium, 51mm group gasket.

For the leaky steam tip, it's a metal to metal seal. A downfall of La Pavoni's. There's a simple mod with a small piece of silicone hose that helps with this. You can find the details if you do a search on HB.

Once serviced, you won't believe how much of a difference it makes... It'll feel like a brand new machine!

Have fun!
LMWDP #592

MCal2003

#8: Post by MCal2003 »

Not familiar with your specific machine. MCal has leaked couple times over the decades of use. Either the boiler gasket or heating element gaskets have failed. Not a gusher. Just a slow leak. I replace both the boiler and element gaskets when one or the other fails. Doesn't require any additional effort to replace both. Something to consider if you are experiencing a similar situation. Also a good time to descale the heating element.

Regarding gaskets. All the MCal replacement gaskets look to be a rubber material. Are silicone gaskets not just functional? These rubber like gaskets with time and heat harden and/or crack. Assuming the silicone might be more durable. Lost count of grouphead gaskets replaced. Filler cap gaskets have been replaced a few times. Couple sets of boiler and heating elements. For whatever reason the piston gaskets seem to be the most durable. Only on second set. Was told many years ago to never pull the lever on a cold machine. When I lube the piston gaskets I pull the unit out warm. Maybe why? Or just lucky?
LMWDP #151

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homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

LObin wrote:For the leaky steam tip, it's a metal to metal seal. A downfall of La Pavoni's. There's a simple mod with a small piece of silicone hose that helps with this. You can find the details if you do a search on HB.
+1

If you overtighten a Pavoni steam valve it's easily damaged, not easily repaired. The silicon tip (Powder Coating Plug) fix is surprisingly easy and works great. See Dripping steam wand on La Pavoni Pro/Romantica
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

lmolter (original poster)

#10: Post by lmolter (original poster) »

Other than trolling this forum for instructions for all the repairs I need, is there a single source maintenance guide? Or is this forum it?

I bought the grouphead gasket by mistake and Espresso Parts doesn't need me to return it, so I can do that update at no cost. Just don't know how. I guess in my retirement I can be the resident barista AND the repair guy.