ECM Synchronika at 2 bar pump pressure

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

#1: Post by Livan M »

Good afternoon everyone. I just purchased a second hand ECM Synchronika and plumbed it in with a filter and a water pressure valve. I am allowing two bar or 30 psi of pressure going to the machine. The pump pressure gauge on the machine does register the two bars. The issue is that it will not make more pressure than that. I have tried with coffee in the basket as well as with a blind basket. None will make the pressure move. The machine makes proper steam pressure. Can anyone help, I tried searching for this topic but could not find anything. Thank you, Livan.

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas »

When you lift the lever with no portafilter installed, does water come out of the group head? Do you hear the pump running when you pull a shot? If not, look closely at the back of the lever; there's a switch on the panel that controls the pump. Use a spoon or screwdriver to depress the switch. If the pump comes on, you need to remove the top and the right side panels and adjust the switch so that the pump comes on just before the lever reaches the highest position. A video posted here would be most beneficial.

Livan M (original poster)
Posts: 11
Joined: 2 months ago

#3: Post by Livan M (original poster) »

Hi Nunas, yes water will flow from group head and I do hear the pump click. It actually seems to be set for a little pre-infusion since it will allow water to flow a little above mid-level on the handle and right before the pump will click on. After draining the steam pump I see that the drain on the front panel will continue to dripping for quite some time so I opened and cleaned the OPV valve but that didn't seem to fix anything. Not sure if a bad OPV would prevent brew pump pressure? Kind of at a loss. Have tried lots of different stuff on here but no luck.

JRising
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#4: Post by JRising »

Does the pump sound normal?

If you shut off the water inlet and run the pump for 4 or 5 seconds (4 or 5 seconds won't hurt it), does the pump make a squealing noise?
If you don't let the water out, ie run the pump with boiler fill valve closed, does the pressure ever rise and show on the gauge? (Leaving the control lever down and holding the button behind the lever with a spoon or something will run the pump without opening the valve).

My first guess is that the pump's bypass valve is seized wide open, but the answers to the above questions may change my mind.

I'm also assuming you haven't taken the pump out to see how it feels turning it by hand and what the bypass valve and its o-ring look like, but that will be the first step if none of the above questions reveal anything.

Nunas
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#5: Post by Nunas »

Livan M wrote:Hi Nunas, yes water will flow from group head and I do hear the pump click. It actually seems to be set for a little pre-infusion since it will allow water to flow a little above mid-level on the handle and right before the pump will click on. After draining the steam pump I see that the drain on the front panel will continue to dripping for quite some time so I opened and cleaned the OPV valve but that didn't seem to fix anything. Not sure if a bad OPV would prevent brew pump pressure? Kind of at a loss. Have tried lots of different stuff on here but no luck.
With the lever down and in the middle position, no water should come out of the group. With it cracked just above the middle position, because your machine is plumbed, you should get water coming out (mains preinfusion). With the lever fully up, the pump should engage, water should come out, and the pump pressure manometer should show ~10 bar (except if you have a flow control kit, and it is set wide open, in which case the pressure will be lower). The pump motor should make a whirring sound, not a click, as it is controlled by a solid state relay. If you're handy with electricity, put a voltmeter on the pump motor and ensure that it's getting power.

There is no OPV on the brew boiler, only on the steam boiler. The brew and the steam circuits in the Synchronika are totally independent. So, you can ignore the steam when troubleshooting the brew side.

It would be useful to have a video posted here.

Edit: I see John has jumped in here; he has far more experience working on machines than I do, so, I'll just follow the thread.

JRising
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#6: Post by JRising »

Livan M wrote: After draining the steam pump I see that the drain on the front panel will continue to dripping for quite some time so I opened and cleaned the OPV valve but that didn't seem to fix anything.
I don't really follow much of the above sentence, But if you are finding that the Steam Boiler pressure is rising when you're trying to brew, that indicated that pressure from the brew circuit is easily escaping into the steam circuit. If so, the "Boiler Fill Solenoid" that's supposed to stop water from getting into the steam boiler is leaking internally.

Livan M (original poster)
Posts: 11
Joined: 2 months ago

#7: Post by Livan M (original poster) »

Hi JRising, I just tried it with the water bypass valve at the filtration system off. So the pump gauge now reads zero pressure. I turned the machine on and turned the pump on first with the handle and it just hums. Then tried it with a spoon and the same hum. No water came out of the group head either time. Not sure if it makes a difference where I shut the water off? When the water line is turned on the brew pump shows slightly under two bars of pressure but does not move much in either direction when pump comes on with grounds or a blind Portafilter. Correct, I have not removed the pump because I wasn't sure how serviceable it was and cannot find much info on it. Thanks in advance for your help.

JRising
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#8: Post by JRising »

When you say "Hums", do you think that maybe the motor isn't able to turn the pump, that the pump is seized, the motor is powered and humming but not turning? I don't know how to describe what it sounds like, but you shouldn't really hear the hum of the motor over the whir of the pump, the pump shouldn't be silent.

If there's any chance that the pump is seized, you're moving on to tat stem where you gotta remove the pump and see how it feels to turn it in your hands.

Livan M (original poster)
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Joined: 2 months ago

#9: Post by Livan M (original poster) »

Nunas, that is what it is doing. When I bring the lever up to the halfway point, no water will drip from the group. If I slightly crack it above that it will start to leak a little bit of water through the Group without the pump actually turning on or humming. Sounds more like a car Trying to get started while that water is coming on before the pump clicks. When I pull the lever all the way up, it will stay on two bar and I do not have flow control on this machine. Not super familiar with electricity but I do have a Voltmeter and can look online how to check it. Thanks for all of the help and advice and I will post a video shortly.

Livan M (original poster)
Posts: 11
Joined: 2 months ago

#10: Post by Livan M (original poster) »

JRising, I only hear a hum from the pump. I don't hear a swirling sound, but unfortunately I'm not sure what it's supposed to sound like either. I'm trying to see how I would post a video as a reply but I'm not sure how that works here it doesn't look like I can do that. From your previous response what I meant regarding the steam boiler is that if I have the water supply on to the machine when the machine is off there is a constant trip from the valve that's behind the Group head. If I shut the water off, that'll go off. Steam seem to be building normally and when I was trying to brew coffee, I didn't notice a big fluctuation in the steam pressure.