Did I ruin the heating element? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by drgary »

Here are some authoritative links on descaling from the late Robert Pavlis, a member who was a retired chemistry professor. I'm linking these in case anyone wants to do a deeper dive.

Blue water after descaling...

The chemistry of scale in espresso machine boilers [FAQ]

HTH
Gary
LMWDP#308

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CopperAZ (original poster)

#12: Post by CopperAZ (original poster) »

thank you for all of the replies. Status update:
I got everything cleaned up inside and cleaned the group head thoroughly as well as the solenoid that connects to it and put a new gasket in there even though it didn't really need a new one. I got the boiler put back together and everything reconnected. So before closing it up I wanted to test it out. So I put the water hose into a pitcher of filtered water. I turned the machine on and I heard a click. I thought this was the pump starting? The lights on the switches turn on. I expected the pump to start pumping water out of the pitcher but this never happened. The boiler did start to heat up because I could feel the outside of the boiler start to warm up to touch so the heating element seems to be working. But I did not want to leave this on too long with no water in the boiler.

But now I can't get water into the boiler. Any ideas?

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Nunas
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#13: Post by Nunas »

Perhaps the pump has an air lock and needs priming. Us a syringe to force water through the hoses/pipes and try it again.

CopperAZ (original poster)

#14: Post by CopperAZ (original poster) »

thank you I tried this but no luck. Maybe it needs constant positive pressure or maybe the pump is dead?

Marcelnl
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#15: Post by Marcelnl » replying to CopperAZ »

Is there a one way valve or something like it stuck?

Here a thread that may help, I'd disconnect the pump and connect it directly to power to see if it works, if not when connected directly (water in and out also disconnected) check the Motor Capacitor (those have a tendency to die, especially after 10 or so years in a hot environment)
Laranzato/Promac Club ME/Rancilio S27 Rebuild Help!?
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CopperAZ (original poster)

#16: Post by CopperAZ (original poster) »

I disconnected the pump from the pump motor. The motor spins fine but the pump shaft is stuck. When I removed them there was some sort of sticky amber goo on the bearing and some of it was crusted on. Otherwise the pump looks really clean. I soaked it in some vinegar water and the goo was gone but the shaft won't turn. I tried with a crescent wrench but could not get it to turn.

Marcelnl
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#17: Post by Marcelnl »

That probably is your culprit right there!
Usually the pump can be bought separate from the motor, and rebuild kits do exist (I think most are rotary vane pumps, not sure)

Can you post some pictures?

https://www.espressoparts.com/pages/rot ... eplacement
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Randy G.

#18: Post by Randy G. »

CopperAZ wrote:I disconnected the pump from the pump motor. The motor spins fine but the pump shaft is stuck. When I removed them there was some sort of sticky amber goo on the bearing and some of it was crusted on. Otherwise the pump looks really clean. I soaked it in some vinegar water and the goo was gone but the shaft won't turn. I tried with a crescent wrench but could not get it to turn.
Sounds like solidified grease. I just resurrected a 1902 treadle sewing machine that had a similar problem. While it is likely possible to get the pump working, it is probably a good idea to:
1 - Replace the pump
2 - STOP POWERING THE HEATING ELEMENT when there is no water in the boiler!

But for now, if the bearings can be opened up (some have seals that pop open) bearings can often be cleaned out and re-greased. If nothing else, you will learn how the pump works and may get it working, even if temporarily. BUT.. be aware that if the pump seals are bad the pump may very well leak, so proceed with caution.
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JimH

#19: Post by JimH »

It is also possible that the impeller in the pump became locked in place by scale while it was sitting unused. I would open up the bypass valve on the pump to see how bad the scaling problem is. Be prepared to replace the o-rings in the bypass valve, they usually leak after they have been disturbed from long inactivity. Pumps can be descaled, but replacement of the pump is usually the more expensive but much easier solution.

On an earlier topic, the large tube in the middle between the heating element legs is the heat exchanger. It is chrome plated copper and the chrome does tend to flake off over time. In your picture there were a couple of darker spots at the water line that might be pinhole leaks in the HX, either existing or potential, so it is definitely worth closer examination.

CopperAZ (original poster)

#20: Post by CopperAZ (original poster) »

Randy G. wrote:Sounds like solidified grease. I just resurrected a 1902 treadle sewing machine that had a similar problem. While it is likely possible to get the pump working, it is probably a good idea to:
1 - Replace the pump
I believe you are correct about the solidified grease. I ordered a pump replacement and it finally arrived today. In preparing to install it I noticed some more of the grease on the inside of the pump where it connects to the motor. But here it wasn't completely solidified and was clearly grease when I rubbed it into a paper towel.