ECM Synchronika Complete Rebuild - Page 3

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

#21: Post by neutro »

JRising wrote:I agree that you've got galvanic corrosion occurring at the contact points of the dissimilar metals. It could take years for it to actually become a leak, but this may shed light on Neutro's leaking stud issue.
For the record, I see no rust on neither the boiler or the leaking stud (even once disassembled). Also, surprisingly, the boiler is markedly different on my Pro 700 (the bolts are just welded studs, not hex-headed bolts). That being said, I bought it in late 2014, so perhaps Profitec/ECM changed how they make boilers.

I now need a new boiler, and I really hope the rust problem is not related to new manufacturing techniques at ECM.

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mrgnomer

#22: Post by mrgnomer »

I don't have a whole lot of experience in this but welding stainless steel can also be an issue. You need the right grade welding rod or the weld corrodes. I had that happen with a cheap exhaust mod I inherited from a used car buy. The mod welds corroded through in a couple years. It looked similar to the corrosion on the boiler pictures.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

snjsanders (original poster)

#23: Post by snjsanders (original poster) »

Auctor wrote:First, thanks for the detailed post. As an owner of a Sync, I wish you were my neighbor, so that you could tinker with mine as well and save me from any major issues!

Second, I'm not sure what your original objective for the post was, but what I assumed is that you wanted to show people your hard work, discuss some parts-discovery challenges, and highlight how easy it was (relatively) to work on the Sync.

Third, and I'm no water expert, but if you burned through two boilers in four years, my gut (like others above have noted) is that there's something going on with your water. I find it highly unlikely that a "design defect" caused the same problem to the same person twice, but happy to be proven wrong on this point.

I had four objectives for sharing my experience with the Synchronika:
1- Share what I learned from owning the Synchronika for 4 years, and that even after all the issues that I still loved it.
2- Share what I learned after completely rebuilding it, and that anyone with reasonable mechanical skills could do it.
3- Share my issues with the Brew Boilers and possibly get the experts on the forum to help me solve the issue.
4- Share my finding Bill at Barista.gr for sourcing espresso machine parts at 70-50% cheaper than what I found at US retail websites.

And if we were neighbours, it would cost you a beer, but I would love to have someone to tinker on the Synchronikas with. It was a bit stressful once I got the whole thing torn apart. I wasn't sure that I could successfully get Humpty Dumpty back together again!

bobkat
Supporter ♡

#24: Post by bobkat »

Steve...I appreciate your post and all the information you have shared. Thank you. I am inclined to think the problem lies with your water. Homeburrero is the water expert and I would be interested to hear what he has to say about your machine.

Pressino

#25: Post by Pressino »

baldheadracing wrote:I'd suggest addressing the two issues above. Acid eats metals, and chlorides corrode and pit metal, including stainless steel. (The pH should be greater than 7.0, and chlorides should be close to zero.)
Yep, that was the point of my earlier post. The chloride level is far above the upper limits manufacturers recommend. Certainly enough to cause the leaks noted by the OP. The ECM machines are certainly well made and designed to minimize the risks of dielectric (galvanic) corrosion.

Blernsball

#26: Post by Blernsball »

snjsanders wrote:I may have not ben very clear in the sequence of events. I purchased the machine from WLL in Aug 2018. The first brew boiler was replaced Oct 2020 and I just replaced the brew boiler again in Nov 2022
Was rust forming on it before it was installed?


Dug up this interesting thread on chloride in water:
Boiler-safe level of chlorides (and other compounds) in water

snjsanders (original poster)

#27: Post by snjsanders (original poster) replying to Blernsball »

Can't remember on the first replacement boiler, but there is definitely surface rust on the one I just bought.

For the water geeks out there, I need help. First a disclaimer... I am spoiled with using a plumbed water line and I am not going back to having to carry water from the well every morning. I am considering adding a tankless reverse osmosis system to feed the Snyc. Any suggestions? Ive been looking at the Waterdrop G3P600 with the remineralization filter and mini water tank.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#28: Post by homeburrero »

I agree with others about water quality being an issue here. Your chloride ion is really high and that combined with the below neutral pH is a serious chloride corrosion problem. One solution would be to use a recipe water, adding minerals to purified water. If you want to do this and still be plumbed in you can use this approach: Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In

Or just use the typically recommended practice for high chloride - - RO with a remineralizing cartridge.

snjsanders wrote:Any suggestions? Ive been looking at the Waterdrop G3P600 with the remineralization filter and mini water tank.
I'm not familiar with that one and haven't seen much discussion of it here on HB. The remin cartridge contents include a lot of odd minerals* in addition to the usual carbonates like limestone and dolomite. Probably harmless stuff but it may be deficient in giving you what you really want for your coffee machine - - healthy carbonate alkalinity and above or near neutral pH. I think a simple calcite or crushed marble filter would be better, and I suggest looking at systems that seem to have wider use among espresso people: Homemaster, APEC, iSpring, Optipure, etc.



* Here's a snippet from an Amazon review question about that remineralizer:
"Please allow me to explain that our MNR filter includes 18 kinds of natural mineral stone materials:
a. Subsurface rock like Serpentine, sea pumice, Anorthite, Zinc Spinel, Bioclastic limestone, Baimo Dolomite, Magnetite, Wollastonite, Clinoptilolite, Volcanic Stone
b. Shallow underground rock: like Kunlun Hetian Complex Rock, Marl, Clinoptilolite, Kaolin Ore, Tourmaline
c. Deep underground rock: like Tianshan Maifan Stone, Potassium Feldspar, Basalt

The above combination of stone materials is a scientific formula to simulate the environment of the best natural spring water that benefits human health."


Good grief!
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Pressino

#29: Post by Pressino »

homeburrero wrote:.....
I'm not familiar with that one and haven't seen much discussion of it here on HB. The remin cartridge contents include a lot of odd minerals* in addition to the usual carbonates like limestone and dolomite. Probably harmless stuff ....

* Here's a snippet from an Amazon review question about that remineralizer:
"Please allow me to explain that our MNR filter includes 18 kinds of natural mineral stone materials:
a. Subsurface rock like Serpentine, sea pumice, Anorthite, Zinc Spinel, Bioclastic limestone, Baimo Dolomite, Magnetite, Wollastonite, Clinoptilolite, Volcanic Stone
b. Shallow underground rock: like Kunlun Hetian Complex Rock, Marl, Clinoptilolite, Kaolin Ore, Tourmaline
c. Deep underground rock: like Tianshan Maifan Stone, Potassium Feldspar, Basalt

The above combination of stone materials is a scientific formula to simulate the environment of the best natural spring water that benefits human health."


Good grief!
I agree with your exclamatory comment...serpentine rock contains small amounts of asbestos fibers that get into it because of the way it is formed in nature. I'm not saying there's a huge risk of using granulated or otherwise crushed serpentine in a water filter, but I wouldn't use it myself. :shock:

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borrik

#30: Post by borrik »

The damage is crazy for two years.

My reply to author's problem is :

1)build some "roof" for the pump motor, maybe from curved metal sheet.

2)change filter to RO+ mineralizator.

3) inspect all grounding inside the machine and check what's going on with building's pipe grounging - it should be grounded somewhere just before entering to the building.

You could try to test this in place. Unplug the machine from the wall socket and carefully measure the voltage between the machine's ground and wall socket ground. (Machine should be plumbed in with open water valves).
Who knows, maybe this machine is the grounding point of all nearby water pipe segment.

In some cases, if gfci is not present or failed and if there is some failed boiler heater (it could be in the machine itself or in the nearby water heater system, for example) electrical current could travel down the piping finding its way trough your machine... It can't corrode like this without any reason!