Breville Oracle Touch Boiler Not Active

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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Joined: 2 months ago

#1: Post by DragonzBreath »

Hi Guys,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you for having me, and thanks in advance for any help offered. I recently acquired a faulty Breville Oracle Touch, the steam boiler had rusted through and was leaking steam. I have replaced the boiler with the new compression fitting version. After replacing the boiler the brew head and the steam boiler both heated while the machine was on at the wall, but off on the display. I took this to suggest that the TRIAC board was fried and sourced one through big spares warehouse. Installed it and the machine no longer heats the boilers while off, but it also doesn't heat when powered on.

I'm getting frustrated. And need some help to diagnose what is hopefully the last fault with the machine.

I read this thread after I had done the boiler replacement and really wish I had found it before, as it would have cut down on the significant time investment.

I'm not ruling out the possibility that the new TRIAC board is faulty, but is there a thermal fuse on the BES990? If so, where is it? And would it affect both boilers?



EDIT: With the OLD TRIAC board installed, the boiler(s) is/are definitely active, in the debug menu it says they are not. I have reset the fault memory and there are no new ones listed, except boiler over temp when I leave the old TRIAC board connected and the machine connected to power at the wall outlet.

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#2: Post by WWWired »

Hi DragonzBreath :) . . . you've got a brilliant machine and it sounds like you have really developed a high skill level for the Dual Boilers working on this one! :) Any photos and/or videos of the Machine's internals, or of a startup-cycle, will likely light our paths a bit forward :)

Its possibly a bit of a tricky situation with the old TRIAC PCB Assembly leaving somewhat deceptive conclusions about the function of the machine. The old (possibly faulty) TRIAC PCB Assembly that was replaced does sound out of sorts and is not regulating/controlling Current correctly from the description of energizing Components despite the Machine being powered off. The Heating Elements do function from the sounds of it (demonstrated with the faulty TRIAC PCB Assembly in place) but no indications of Pump function possibly?

This may mean even when the Boilers are filled incorrectly (not being filled fully), the Heating Elements may still blaze away with a faulty TRIAC PCB Assembly trying to break the Chernobyl heating records. Ideally the Heating Elements should only energize when Continuity properly forms on the Water Level Sensors that indicate a correctly filled state. With a faulty TRIAC PCB Assembly, it can be possible to have the Heating Element running no matter what the fill state is on a Boiler.

With the new TRIAC PBC Assembly in place, Proper Controls are re-established and any other fault relating to water-level/heating-element conditions will emerge that exist.

With the new TRIAC PCB Assembly installed and the machine unplugged, drain some of the water from the Boilers so that when the machine is started up, it will detect the low water state in the Boiler (either Steam or Brew Boiler) and attempt to fill it. Then when you start the machine up, you should hear the Pumps running to fill the Boilers. If you don't need to remove any Water from the Boilers (if the Water Level is not high enough without your removing any water from the Boilers), the issue may involve whether continuity is developing on the Water Level Sensor Probes or with the Pumps not energizing and filling the Boiler shortly after startup.

The Machine will not heat up (energize the Heating Elements) if the Water Level is not detected as being high enough in the Boiler (Steam Boiler and Brew Boiler). Are neither of the Boilers heating at all with the new TRIAC PCB Assembly installed? Check to see if there is enough water in the Boilers and take note of whether the Pumps are operating shortly after being powered on (within a minute or so perhaps). If you want to check the Pump energizing, drain a bit of the water from the boilers so the Pump will have to fill the Boiler to have the Water Level Sensor Probes reach continuity state with the water touching them as it rises in the boilers being filled. If the Pumps are not being energized, a little more narrowing of the issues will be needed.

It is about an hour or two time investment to remove a Steam Boiler for sure, but can be longer easily without a guide no question. It is fun though because it is possible to develop a complete understanding of the Dual Boiler design by doing the disassembly without any guide. You likely have a very superior understanding of the construction and design of this machine! The three fuses are the one you likely noticed near the bottom right side (away from the grinder side) on the Steam Boiler, the Thermal Fuse on the Brew Boiler next to the NTC Sensor, and the over-heating fuse on the Brew Pump.

Bottom Line: With the new TRIAC PCB Assembly in place have you heard the Pumps running at all? Seems you have this machine very close to full function!

DragonzBreath (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#3: Post by DragonzBreath (original poster) »

Thank you for your response, I've just climbed into bed having been playing and thought to check for responses to my post. Thank you for your long and in depth reply, I'm really grateful.

Interestingly I did exactly as you suggested and drained the boilers entirely. Then poured 1.5L of water into the reservoir and powered on the machine.

The pump fired up and the familiar hiss of the steam boiler began. Then just as I got excited the brew head started to hiss and the pipe that interconnects the two boilers began to leak from the brew head.

Now, this is an older model Oracle touch that I retrofitted the new style compression fitting style boiler to. The interconnect pipe I mentioned above is also compression fitting style, but I've just added a rubber washer and held it down with an R clip. Clearly there is not enough pressure on the rubber O ring. Is it worth adding some metal washers between the brass lug and the rubber O ring to increase pressure? Or should I replace that pipe entirely with a "hybrid" pipe from Breville?

Part number SP0024203

I have really enjoyed working on this machine, and a couple of others I've had too. About 6 months ago my boss gave me a faulty BES860.
I repaired it for <$50 by replacing a cracked plastic elbow connecting the pump to the boiler and the water inlet gasket. We used it regularly.
Then about 1 month ago I saw a Breville Oracle BES980 for sale on Facebook for $500. It wasn't advertised as faulty, but it was. I repaired it for about $50 again. I then sold the machine my boss gave me for $350. Total outlay $200 for the Breville Oracle. My wife and I use this machine every day. Then a couple of weeks back I see the Oracle touch listed as faulty for $500 with a decent description and some photos, I decided to buy it and figure it out. So far this new machine has cost me about $840, and a huge chunk of my time. But I've learned a lot while doing it and aside from the frustration of figuring things out that seemed impossible, I've enjoyed the whole process.

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#4: Post by seanyg »

"Now, this is an older model Oracle touch that I retrofitted the new style compression fitting style boiler to."

You will need the correct adapter tube to interface the new and old style fittings

DragonzBreath (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#5: Post by DragonzBreath (original poster) replying to seanyg »

Thanks @seanyg

Yeah I bought that, another $30 investment. Installed it, and now the brew head won't heat. I've manually filled it with water, but still nothing. I get continuity across the thermal fuse, so I'm lost. If I replace the brew head, save for a few solenoids it'll be a whole new machine.

I'm going to drain both boilers and then run vinegar through it. Just leave it in there for a week to clean out any scale.

Any other ideas you can recommend?

DragonzBreath (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#6: Post by DragonzBreath (original poster) »

Ok, so I decided to look at this again today and discovered that while I have continuity across the thermal fuse on the brew head it's millivolts, not 240v. So I replaced the thermal fuse. About $4 a piece from Altronics. I bought a few because I foresaw potentially burning them out while soldering them in. But I was quick and there wasn't an issue.

The Steam boiler and the coffee boiler now come up to temp and there are no leaks inside the machine. So, the Oracle Touch now spits out water from the spout, steam from the steam wand, but when I put the portafilter into the grind dispenser and rotate it right, a switch clicks and the machine powers off, it won't power back on until the portafilter is removed.

My Google foo has returned nothing of interest on this topic. Has anyone got any ideas that might be of assistance?

EDIT: I removed the motor that drives the tamp to gain access to the augur head assembly and found that there is a faulty switch in it. I'm going to pull it apart and see if I can replace the switch only. I kinda wish I'd taken some pictures as I went, but it wasn't ever a priority :S

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#7: Post by seanyg »

inside the plastic enclosure should be a standard micro switch you can get easily enough. good luck

DragonzBreath (original poster)
Posts: 6
Joined: 2 months ago

#8: Post by DragonzBreath (original poster) »

Life has been especially busy of late and this wasn't a priority. But an update for anyone reading in future.

The microswitch in the augur assembly wasn't faulty. After replacing it the problem still existed. So... the next stop after that microswitch is the reverse tamp PCB, which directly connects to the power board. The combined cost of the two of these is...*drum roll* ~$110 each plus post.

So... If there is ANYONE in Perth who is willing/able to assist with diagnosing which of these 2x components is faulty, I'd be eternally grateful.

EDIT: I think I've diagnosed a faulty mosfet on the reverse tamp PCB, so I'm going to replace it.