Faema E61 Legend Scale

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
coffeehit78

#1: Post by coffeehit78 »

Hello all,

I'm new to this forum and also the insides of my machine - Faema E61 Legend 2010 Model.

I'm in the process of downrating the element so I took the old one off today only to find (aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhh!) scale!

I'm sure lot's of you folks will have experience with scale and descaling so I wondered how bad this is and if it can be done without dismantling?

Cheers in advance,

Steve

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Jake_G
Team HB

#2: Post by Jake_G »

coffeehit78 wrote:Hello all,

I'm new to this forum and also the insides of my machine - Faema E61 Legend 2010 Model...
Hi Steve,

Welcome to HB.
Depending on urgency of returning to service, I would go a couple different directions here.

If you need it back quick, I would install your heating element and fill with citric acid solution and bring it up to temperature for an hour or two and then let it cool back off completely, drain the boiler, remove the element and inspect. Repeat as needed.

If you have a little more time before returning to service, I would do the same thing but just use 50/50 vinegar and water and let it set overnight. Drain and refill until it's all dissolved.

I would not reassemble that machine and run it in its current condition...

I would also not run the groups, steam wands or anything else until the brunt of the loose scale is gone. Once that's taken care of, you can work the ancillary components without worrying so much about specks of scale causing havoc.

Also, take a look at your water...

Cheers!

- Jake

coffeehit78

#3: Post by coffeehit78 »

Hey Jake.

Thanks for the reply and advice.

I haven't used the machine since I bought it a few years ago. The previous owner told me it was in perfect condition but obviously not so much. Think it was in Canary Wharf ice cream parlour so must have been running without a filter or not regularly descaled.

It doesn't have to be back up and running straight away and I have to change element anyway to run on 13amp. So you think vinegar is the best solution? Will it break down into liquid or should i try fishing out the bigger bit of scale?

Cheers,
Steve

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Jake_G
Team HB

#4: Post by Jake_G » replying to coffeehit78 »

It will eat it up. If the big pieces fish out easily than there is no reason not to, but I wouldn't waste too much time. Vinegar is easy and effective. Citric acid will work, as well, it just works way better when hot. Vinegar will do the trick cold.

How many pairs of contacts are on the heating element?

Cheers!

-Jake

coffeehit78

#5: Post by coffeehit78 »

All good news man, thanks!

The original element is 3 sets (6 poles) and low rated element I was going to buy is 2 sets (4 poles). My electric friend said that i could have just disconnected one set but thought it would still be better to get a lower rated element as with fluctuations could take it over 3000W. What do you think Jake?

Cheers,
Steve

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Jake_G
Team HB

#6: Post by Jake_G » replying to coffeehit78 »

I was going to suggest dropping an element and running it at 2,000W :wink:

Cheers!

- Jake

Nightstar

#7: Post by Nightstar »

For descaling I don't recommend citric acid, because it can/will harm the boiler. I suggest sulfamic acid in a 10 -15 % solution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfamic_acid
It's used widely for descaling metals.
LMLM with Grafikus Mod (gear pump), Ceado E37S

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homeburrero
Team HB

#8: Post by homeburrero »

Nightstar wrote:For descaling I don't recommend citric acid, because it can/will harm the boiler. I suggest sulfamic acid
Do you have any technical references for that recommendation?

Sulfamic is a stronger acid than citric, and at the same concentration you would expect it to be more corrosive than citric. It would do a faster job of descaling. You do see sulfamic in some commercial descaling products, which would be a reasonable choice because they mix it at a proper strength for use per explicit instructions, and also probably include corrosion inhibitors in their mix. And beware that it's far more dangerous to handle than citric or acetic if you try to mix your own solution.

Acetic is the least strong, takes more time but gets the same job done and lets you descale more gradually. And requires a very thorough flush to get rid of the taste and odor. White vinegar, 5% acetic acid, gives you good protection against accidentally mixing up something too strong.



pKa values
Sulfamic 1.1 (almost a strong acid)
Citric (I) 3.1
Acetic 4.7
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Nightstar

#9: Post by Nightstar »

Don't have any tachnical references. In the german forum kaffee-netz most people who restore old machines use sufamic acid because they reported repeatedly damage on copper boilers by citirc acid. Vinegar isn't used because of the taste.
Sulfamic acid ist easy to get and quite cheap here in Europe. As far as I know it has the least unpleasant taste remaining in the system.
If you search in the German forum use the word "Amidosulfonsäure".

Greetings
Dominik
LMLM with Grafikus Mod (gear pump), Ceado E37S

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Paul_Pratt

#10: Post by Paul_Pratt »

I would say that machine is a definite candidate for a complete strip down and descale as the limescale looks quite prolific. If you descale as a complete machine you will have a bit of a job rinsing it out of the broken down scale.

For a 1 group 2000w sounds about right and would mean you can safely run it on a 13amp plug.

Regarding which acid to use, I alternate between citric and sulfamic depending on how the scale reacts. Citric is much safer to use, I have seen no ill effects on copper or brass, but yes, it does take some rinsing to get that tart taste away. It will even take a few heat cycles and draining off the boiler to get rid if the faint taste.

Sulfamic is quite a bit stronger and is used a lot in common descalers, it is probably much quicker than citric acid.


Either acid works best when hot, so if possible add it to the boiler before taking the machine apart. Fill with water and then heat it up. Then take it apart for rinsing and flushing.
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