Brasilia Century triggering the circuit breaker once power goes on

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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rgalang
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Joined: 6 years ago

#1: Post by rgalang »

Hello!
I recently purchased a used Brasilia Century as a winter project. I'm in a rut and hopefully can get some advise.

The machine has two power modes. First click, the pump and electronics turn on. Second click, the heating element should go on. On the first click, everything works. I can draw cold water from the reservoir and out the grouphead. My problem is on the 2nd click which should heat up the boiler. It triggers my breaker once I turn the power. I'm using 20 amp circuit as suggested. I've used both types of outlets in my kitchen. One with a GFCI and one that is connected to the main panel. Both ways trips the breaker.

To be honest, I have very little electrical experience. I'm at the early stage of just wondering what isn't working. I'm somewhat optimistic in that the boiler is in good condition externally and the wiring seems fairly clean. I've restored an old La Pavoni Europiccola in the past and was in much worse condition. But was also a much simpler machine.

The one question I have is this disconnected wire (see pic). What is it supposed to be connected to (if at all)?


I tracked it to its source and it's up here by the *yellow and green wire*. Located by the steamer.


Wondering if this sensor could be it too. There seems to be a broken piece of plastic?


Other images of the wiring.





Hope to find a solution that won't require purchasing a new heating element. Thanks in advance!
"Coffee is a hug in a mug"

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rgalang (original poster)
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#2: Post by rgalang (original poster) »

Found the source of the problem. A very damaged heating element. My next question - how best can I replace this? I found the exact item in cafeparts, but sadly they're not available.



"Coffee is a hug in a mug"

JRising
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#3: Post by JRising »

AND replace that boiler level probe that you found with the plastic sleeve broken. Without that sleeve it could easily ground itself on a droplet of water and allow your boiler to heat with the level below the element and burn a hole like that into the new element as well.

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rgalang (original poster)
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#4: Post by rgalang (original poster) replying to JRising »

Thanks! I'm afraid I'm losing hope on getting this back to life. I've exhausted Googling sources for a heating element that will fit. That includes checking out eBay in Italy. It's too bad because it seems to be in overall good shape. I wonder if I can retrofit an entirely new boiler. :roll:
"Coffee is a hug in a mug"

jesselarock
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Joined: 3 months ago

#5: Post by jesselarock »

Hey there, we are in the same boat.

I happen to be going through the same exact problem with my early century cappuccino which I purchased a few months back, that appears to be just like yours.

I'm at the point where I've taken the entire machine apart several times and cleaned every single component and identified the parts in need of replacement. I surely known the ins and outs of this machine now as everything needed attention.

I'm essentially in a position where the machine would work if the heating element would also cooperate, everything else is fine apart from the check valves in the plumbing being seriously worn out. But I'll replace those later..

Anyways, I pulled my heating element out a few weeks back and it had a very small crack. However, it was still able to heat up the boiler for a short while before eventually tapering out. The coil was drawing a couple hundred Ohms when the spec should be around 10ohms so something was definitely wrong.

Since the heating element was still somewhat functional, I figured I could just just patch over the hole and it would work as normal. so today I took some silver brazing rod and a torch and did just that, however, when finished I checked for continuity again. Unfortunately there was no continuity between the coils, and I could hear a small object shaking inside the coil when shaken so I'm fairly certain I snapped the coil.

At this point, I am considering having the boiler modified to accept a newer heating element that matches the spec of the damaged one since I also have not been able to source a replacement, and knowing they're out of production, I don't think I'll find one anytime soon. I also tried to remove the heating coil from the casted block on the end of it in hopes that maybe I could figure out how to install a universal heating element onto it, but I don't know what kind of brazing material they used from the factory and I'm not able to get it undone with a torch.

If you happen to find a source for replacement stock, heating elements, please update us! Otherwise, I'll let you know if I figure something else out on my end.

And of course best of luck!

jesselarock
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Joined: 3 months ago

#6: Post by jesselarock »

I am in talks with a machinist on creating new boiler end plates that can take a universal heating element. I have CAD drawings and materials sourced, let me know if this is something you would be interested in.

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rgalang (original poster)
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#7: Post by rgalang (original poster) »

Apologies for the late reply, I am definitely interested in talking to your machinist. I'll send a private message. Thanks!
"Coffee is a hug in a mug"

JRising
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#8: Post by JRising »

Jesse,
If you're finding success with your end-plate and replacement element, please do post about it to the forums. The more information we share about our success stories the better it is for the next person who stumbles on these forums.
Thanks. (And I'm still hoping you've done it).

noob2024
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Joined: 2 months ago

#9: Post by noob2024 »

There is a claw multimeter, you can put around the hot wire on that breaker. It will show how much power it pulls in amps. Have someone watch it, when you turn it on. If it pulls more then 20, it will trip. Usually, most devices surge the power when it power up, and settles down after. Makes sure you don't have anything else on that branch circuit.


1288F Digital Clamp Meter True RMS Multimeter 6000 Counts Voltage Tester Auto-r