Dent on La Pavoni Professional boiler

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
ruhler17

#1: Post by ruhler17 »

Hello,

Do these dents around the pressure safety valve look detrimental enough to warrant punching it out (as I've seen some people do on this forum) or source a new tank? The supposed problem is that the pressure valve fittings won't seal/tighten onto the tank because of them. How would you approach the problem? Thank you in advance!

Optional backstory: I am new to the espresso machine/la Pavoni world and recently purchased a used La Pavoni (what I believe is a Professional model). I took it in to the local espresso machine repair shop for a once over before I began using it, and they said that due to the dent around the safety valve, they could not tighten the valve and therefore the machine will not work. Now, the shop I took it to clearly had a negative bias towards La Pavonis and said some other things that made me question their expertise. The guy I bought it from said he tested it before selling it and had no issues. I don't know who to believe, so I wanted to get more opinions on it before I spend more unexpected money/time on it.


Blernsball

#2: Post by Blernsball »

Is the valve sealing right now?

Some kind folks posted some links for dent repair on my restoration thread.
La Pavoni Europiccola 1994 Restoration
I didn't do any repair as mine wasn't too bad. I just tightened it more. No leaking issues.

The dent might make the alignment of the safety valve tube a little "off" and in the way of the steam wand.
But that is easily bent with some care.

ruhler17 (original poster)

#3: Post by ruhler17 (original poster) »

As is, the valve is not sealing correctly. It begins leaking shortly after the machine is turned on.

That being said, it is still able to build pressure and get up to 1 bar.

I have yet to get the necessary tools to tighten/remove the valve fitting myself, but according to the repair shop, it will not fully tighen due to the dent.

Another thought I had to fix it is getting a thicker food safe/heat resistant gasket to replace the stock pressure valve gasket. I was hoping this would compress a bit more and create a tighter seal. Does this seem like a feasible solution?

In the meantime, I will check out the restoration thread you mentioned.

Thanks for the input!

Blernsball

#4: Post by Blernsball »

Just for reference, is your machine one with a pressurestat? (green light, single switch) or an older two switch model?

A gasket might work, but as far as I know, the original setup is always:
brass nut + brass washer on the inside of the boiler, and just the valve fitting on the outside. No gasket.
The only place that uses teflon gaskets is the sightglass fittings. They go between the the fitting and the boiler on the outside, with a brass washer and nut on the inside.

See
https://www.theespressoshop.co.uk/en/La ... cc-33.aspx
and
https://www.theespressoshop.co.uk/en/La ... cc-34.aspx

All the boiler fittings use the same thread and are of the same dimension, so a sightglass teflon gasket would be the correct size if you were looking for one to try.


The first thing I would try would be to just tighten the fitting and see if that helps. Might just need a little tweak to set things right.
There are special tools that people sell to reach inside the boiler to get at the nuts, but I found success on all the boiler fittings on my machine with various combinations of: a low profile 16mm socket and low profile socket wrench, joint socket, socket extension, and regular 16mm box wrench. You'll also need a thin 16mm wrench and deep 16mm socket to tighten the safety valve to the fitting. I used two 16mm cone wrenches stacked up that I happened to have for bicycle repair as the thin wrench. It worked, but not ideal.

ruhler17 (original poster)

#5: Post by ruhler17 (original poster) »

I'm not exactly sure if it has a pressurestat. It has a single red switch. Given all it's features, it looks like a pre-millenium PRG professional.

Thank you for all the tips. I just got the special bent wrench to reach the nut (it was as expensive as getting the standard tools needed) so I will give tightening it a try and maybe end up getting a teflon washer as well if tightening it doesn't work.

Pressino

#6: Post by Pressino »

Where does it leak from? Between the nut and the valve (i.e above the nut at the threads), or between the nut and the boiler body? If from above the nut a teflon or other high temp washer might work. If below the washer you've got a more serious problem that could be fixed by knocking the dent out and silver brazing the fitting to the boiler.