2011 Quickmill Anita heats up initially but won't maintain PID temperature - Page 2

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
hi-phile (original poster)

#11: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

I tested the heating element, and it tested at 9.6-10.1 ohms. I also checked for shorting or resistance from each terminal to the body of the heating element as well as the boiler, no resistance and open. All good there. I also checked for continuity at the tank switch, with the float up, tank in place and there's no resistance and tested continuity on both terminals which means the tank level switch is closed. What I believe was happening was the wires intermittent connection problems when I bypassed the HTSS.

I also looked closer at the wiring of the PID and did notice, where the L1 from Gicar goes to terminal 2 on the PID which is labeled 'N', L2 from the Gicar goes to terminal 1 on the PID which is labeled L. I'm not sure if I should swap these, but is for certain has these reversed. But, since AC voltage is it really going to matter?

In the image with the 2 purple wires is where the PID gets 120v power from the Gicar. L2 on Gicar is also jumpered with the brown leads in erics Anita wiring schematic and feeds terminal 8 on Gicar which is line + (positive symbol).

Then from the PID, two lines (grey insulated) come off terminal #9 black which shows - (negative) and #10 red which shows + (positive), #9 terminates near the SSR and is wire butted with the black line that comes from the black tank level switch wire (finger pointing). #10 red, is terminal to A1 on Crouzet SSR (bottom right). A2 goes to the other terminal plug on the water level switch. This is where I have to look at my unit, because in erics Anita wiring diagram the SSR terminals are wired differently due to the presence of a PID instead of a pressurestat.

PID terminals #4 blue + (positive symbol) and #6 red - (negative symbol) are connected to the temperature probe, this is where previously I found a broken blue wire which returned the 'no Cont' message and I repaired using small ring terminals in place of the normal bare wire connection to the PID terminals.

On the SSR: T1 is wired to one side of the heating element, and the second terminal on T1 is wired to the Heating lamp. The other side of the heating element comes from the HTSS which I currently have bypassed due to mine being faulty.

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Team HB

#12: Post by Jeff »

It is unfortunately not unusual for Italian E61 boxes to have neutral and hot reversed. Check at the power inlet terminal block as that seems to be a common place that they're reversed. I prefer a machine with switched hot for safety and sanity.

hi-phile (original poster)

#13: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

Giampiero wrote:Maybe the magnetic floating sensor has "expired", or the power relay ( if any in that model) has some problem as well.
Try first to bypass the water reservoir sensor first, then oyu the issue persist i will try to verify the conditions of the power relay ( if any in that model).
Thank you Giampiero. I presume there could also be an intermittent connection where the magnetic float is supposed to close the contacts for the float switch. I did replace the float more recently but perhaps it is the sensing of the magnet by the switch. I did continuity check the tank switch and it did show continuity, when the water raises the float. The SSR was also replaced back in 2019 as I had noticed the green led light wasn't coming on when the power was applied. I replaced it with the exact same SSR and so it had been working all this time.

hi-phile (original poster)

#14: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:It is unfortunately not unusual for Italian E61 boxes to have neutral and hot reversed. Check at the power inlet terminal block as that seems to be a common place that they're reversed. I prefer a machine with switched hot for safety and sanity.
Hi Jeff, It's not reversed at the main power inlet distribution. In this picture, the brown wires are Line, and the blue wires are tied to the white (neutral). I believe that is the correct wiring.

hi-phile (original poster)

#15: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

I did reach out to Dave Blane of Hitech Espresso, and he was very adamant about not being able to troubleshoot unless he had the machine in his possession. I don't feel it absolutely necessary to ship the machine to him either as he in Los Angeles, i'm in SF Bay Area.

And still noticing a heating problem. It seems that the machine will heat up when first turned on, sometimes the heating lamp is on an other times it is not.

I would turn the machine on, and the machine will heat up to a little over 212, then will just hold around 205, then it will heat up again, and maybe the heat lamp will go on, other times it will not. This is with the PID temp set to 250. It will just maintain the heating around 212-217, then drop down to around 205, then the machine will keep repeating this same behavior.

Looking at the SSR, the green LED is lit up, and will go out if the tank is removed which indicates that the level sensor switch is working. Prevents the heat element from turning on when the LED is not lit. If the machine does actually heat to PID temp settings, it will fluctuate as needed with the heating lamp also lighting up for short bursts to maintain temp. Most times this doesn't happen consistently.

It seems the way it works, where it has to to reach certain temperature stages or time, it's rather strange. I checked the resistance of the thermal probe and it was at 20 ohms.

After I checked the thermal probe, and then hooked it back to the PID and turned on the machine, it heated up to the PID temp, and the heating light was lit all the way up, but again still not able to maintain the temperature again as it should.

What else should I check?

hi-phile (original poster)

#16: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

I recorded a short video of the problem. Also, I know that the tank float and magnetic switch is working well, because when removing / lifting out the tank with the water level raising the float, it will disconnect the SSR which you can observe looking at the green LED. I can hear the boiler heating too as observed in the video, then it stops heating and will slowly drop the temperature. Sometimes the temperature does reach the maximum setting and does work and able to steam and/or dispense hot water, then other times it will just try heat up in intermittently.


#17: Post by Giampiero »

Considering you are familiar with the multimeter, and you are aware of the electricity danger...due you ever try to measure the SSR output to see if once the green light it's lit, the SSR is letting pass the proper voltage value?

hi-phile (original poster)

#18: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

I went ahead and tested the voltage at the SSR. Black tester probe is using the ground terminal at the block. Red tester probe is used on the SSR terminals (I switch to AC volts when testing L1 and T1).
A1 has the red wire directly attached that comes from the PID #10. When the ssr led is lit there is 13 dc volts present here.

A2 has the brown lead attached that goes to float switch, then the black float switch wire comes back to connect the black PID #9 terminal. When the ssr led is lit there is a varied voltage, and ranges from 20-28 dc volts.

L1 has brown leads attached and the voltage is always 115-120 ac volts.

T1 has black leads attached, one from the heating element, the other lead goes up to the red heating LED lamp. When the heating element is on and the red lamp is lit, there is 113 ac volts here. When the ssr LED is not on, then there is no voltage present. When the ssr LED is on (green) there sometimes is 113 ac volts here but, sometimes there is no voltage here.


#19: Post by Giampiero »

I don't understood your measurements method, so i can't say much, why you did not measured the SSR input on the 2 SSR screws, but instead you measured between a ground and separately the 2 SSR screws??
Of course i'm not familiar with the American electric system ( i know only that there are 2 live wire not the neutral) so forgive me if i said something inopportune.
Anyway, if the SSR input ( low Vdc) measurement was correct, the last measurements on the SSR output seems to confirm that something is not ok with the SSR.

hi-phile (original poster)

#20: Post by hi-phile (original poster) »

An update to the problem in case someone might be running into a similar intermittent heating problem.

I used to have a Wemo connected to the outlet to turn on the machine, so in order to eliminate any issues with the power, I have removed it as I continue to use the machine. Now, I'm manually turning the machine on and off. This seemed to have corrected the behavior with the machine, but not completely.

When turning on the machine, it will heat up to the PID SV (set value), I keep this value at around 220 F. When I want to steam, then I change the PID SV to 249-252, and then it will heat up as I see the PV value increasing and the heating element red light turns on. Machine will reach SV in less than 3 minutes. So, I though the problem was the Wemo or related, and it turned out that I hadn't updated the firmware in long while as well. But, I just wanted to eliminate this being a potential problem, so I removed it.

All this time, the Anita has been working so I figured it was the Wemo... nope, still having this problem, and Giampiero I believe you're correct, it's related to the SSR.

Just today, I turned the machine on, and it was on for about 3 hours and noticed the PID PV was not at the SV, so I decided to take the cover off and test it, as soon as I take the cover off and start checking, the SSR I see the control voltage LED light is on, so I check the voltage at the heating element terminals, and there is no 115v on the heating element side, nor is the heating red light on, so I'm suspecting the SSR is behind the problem. Also, after shutting off the machine and let the SSR cool down, then turn it back on, it then starts to function again.

I suspect the SSR could be failing because the machine seems to work but then after being on for a while it seems that's when the troubles start. I think the electronics in the SSR have become degraded due to the constant switching which generates heat given off by the Triac. I am going to order another SSR to just have another in case as well.

I also watched an educational and helpful video on using PIDs with SSR and thermocouple to control the heating of a boiler. The title of the video is "How to Use Temperature Controller | PID Controller with SSR | Temperature ON OFF Controller" the video is provided by Upmation.