Elektra Microcasa a Leva boiler leak problem - Page 3

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

#21: Post by drgary »

No offense taken. Consider that your machine has an overpressure valve. Also you are probably in more danger for childhood injuries touching an exposed boiler or group. There are other machines that are more enclosed.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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bidoowee

#22: Post by bidoowee »

Patrice got in touch with me about repairing the pin holes with silver braze.
While I am happy to do this, I am sure that the loctite solution will be more cost effective.
I wonder two things however. First, how difficult would it be to remove the loctite if it does not work and the holes have to be brazed. Any contamination in the weld area could render the repair difficult or impossible. On the flat areas, mechanical abrasion should be sufficient, but at fittings and junctions this may be more difficult. Secondly, this many pinholes on the outside may be an indication that there are more places on the inside that are paper thin. I worry that this boiler may be nearing its end of life.
That being said, who knows how long it will last if, after repairing these holes, agressive descaling is avoided and water quality is carefully controlled in the future.

Thomas

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drgary
Team HB

#23: Post by drgary »

I would like to see some pictures showing the entire boiler, front, back and sides. That would give viewers a better sense of the pinhole problem. It is hard to tell with only a few close-up shots, which look pretty ugly.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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SimonPatrice (original poster)

#24: Post by SimonPatrice (original poster) » replying to drgary »

I will try to take pictures and post them tomorrow. I "treated" the corroded areas with water and sodium bicarbonate and then polished them. It looks less ugly now.
Patrice
LMWDP #428

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SimonPatrice (original poster)

#25: Post by SimonPatrice (original poster) »

bidoowee wrote: I am sure that the loctite solution will be more cost effective.
I wonder two things however. First, how difficult would it be to remove the loctite if it does not work and the holes have to be brazed. Any contamination in the weld area could render the repair difficult or impossible. On the flat areas, mechanical abrasion should be sufficient, but at fittings and junctions this may be more difficult. Secondly, this many pinholes on the outside may be an indication that there are more places on the inside that are paper thin. I worry that this boiler may be nearing its end of life.
That being said, who knows how long it will last if, after repairing these holes, agressive descaling is avoided and water quality is carefully controlled in the future.
Thomas
I sure hope it's not nearing its end of life as I just bought it a couple of months ago. :evil: If it is, let's hope I can at least sell some parts to recoup some of the money.

As for loctite vs brazing/soldering, I'm hoping that the latter would be more permanent and give a long life to the boiler if cared for properly.
Patrice
LMWDP #428

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SimonPatrice (original poster)

#26: Post by SimonPatrice (original poster) »

New pictures. Tell if you need any other ones.





Thanks again for all the help!
Patrice
LMWDP #428

wsfarrell

#27: Post by wsfarrell »

Having dealt with a few of these in the Olympia world, I think it's time to salvage what you can off this machine, toss the boiler and start over. Painful, but you know a lot more now about what to look out for.

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drgary
Team HB

#28: Post by drgary »

Thanks for the photos. That leaves you at a tough choice point. Here are questions I would be asking myself, and I don't know the answers.

1. If the boiler fails, how does that happen? Do you get a stronger leak through pinholes or the failed sightglass connection so it loses pressure through a small steam jet at first? Does that become a larger steam jet? Does it rupture and blow apart? I doubt the latter, but I don't know. This is an area where you would want some certainty. Because there are many pinholes there may be larger weak areas that could risk a blowout, which just isn't worth the risk.

2. What does it cost to fix rather than replace? Loctite in the pinholes would probably work. Paying for silver solder would probably not be worth it, except that silver solder might be needed to repair the sightglass fitting attachment. Loctite wouldn't work there, the damage is too great.

3. What further repair would be needed for aesthetic purposes? These are beautiful machines. Just using silver solder would require replating.

4. What would it cost to buy a new boiler, but first, would a new boiler fit a machine of this vintage?

5. If you choose not to repair, do you sell the entire machine for parts? Do you disassemble and sell the good parts separately? Part of this calculation is whether it's worth your time to disassemble, and separately list and sell the parts, which would probably yield more money.

If this were my machine, I would sell the entire machine for parts and buy or save up for one in better condition, unless I found I could replace the old boiler with a new one at a worthwhile cost.

If you recover salvage value, that can go toward any machine of your choice, and there's a very spiffy and fully restored Microcasa in our Buy/Sell forum. It would be much cheaper than a new one, but not inexpensive. I've owned a 1989 machine and have reviewed a current one. After I'd replaced the spring on my vintage machine with a current one and the other needed parts, it worked as well as the new one. Both of them were rock stars on my counter.

[FS] Elektra Microcasa a Leva
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!