The Faema rebuild project - Page 2

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

#11: Post by cannonfodder »

I am guessing that it has to do with pressure in the steam wand. The ball seats against the inlet from the steam valve assembly to the steam wand. I would surmise that the spring holds the ball in place until an adequate amount of pressure is released. Then the valve essentially opens up at almost full pressure. The reverse would be true as well. When you close the valve, the spring pops the ball into place which would abruptly stop the steam flow, no slow gurgle from the steam wand. It would also keep anything from being drawn up the wand and into the boiler (reverse vacuum breaker) when the machine cools down.
Dave Stephens

Reighlok

#12: Post by Reighlok »

jeru wrote:Hi there - what do you use for a descaling agent? I'm performing a similar rebuild on a La Cimbali M20 using citric acid but it takes forever to descale. Maybe my concentration is too low?
Cannonfodder,
What are you using to descale? I have searched espressoparts and chriscoffee and haven't seen much. I am thinking about using some CLR or something like that and just rinsing VERY well. What worked for you?

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#13: Post by cannonfodder »

Well, I work for a restaurant supply company, our primary customer has a slew of cleaning chemicals. Unfortunately, these are proprietary and not available to the public. They have a delimer solution that they use on everything, coffee machines, ice makers, etc... you just mix it at different ratio's depending on the item to be cleaned and extensiveness of the buildup.

Some folks use citric acid, and I imagine this delimer contains a lot of it. The hotter the water used, the better it works. I also use Joe-Glo to clean everything else, very good detergent, and wonderful backflush detergent.
Dave Stephens

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danblev

#14: Post by danblev »

cannonfodder wrote:What are you using to descale?
Use any acid you can get your hand on cheap.
Acid removes scale. The process is endothermic meaning it requires heat, so use hot water and if you can also heat it up.

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Worldman

#15: Post by Worldman »

Man, Fodder, this is some "cool" project! What are your intentions for the thing after you have rebuilt it?

Len

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#16: Post by cannonfodder »

Evening Len.

Well, that is a good question. I was going to take it to work and put it in my office and bring my lever home, but it is just a bit over the top. So I was going to take my Isomac from home to work, my Lever from work back home and set this monster up in the house. Now, as I grow closer to completion, I am starting to second guess that.

For a guy that only pulls a couple of doubles a day (plus a couple at work) it is almost overkill. Ideally, a single group rotary pump duel boiler would fit my need perfectly (I dream of a LM single) but realistically, an Elektra A3 or Wega would almost be perfect (yes I know they are HX). But as it stands now I am putting it in my kitchen.

After putting so much work into something, it is hard to give it up. I will say it has been a wonderful experience. It really helped me get a better understanding of the mechanics behind the process not to mention the new friends I made while working on it.
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#17: Post by cannonfodder »

Time for an update. I never posted a finished photo of the steam/water valves after the rebuild and clean, so here it is...
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Dirty

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Clean

I am getting a new steam wand to replace the original. The chrome finish was worn off and the inside of the wand was unbelievably disgusting. Black and caked with milk residue.
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#18: Post by cannonfodder »

Boiler level glass

I have been staring at that nasty, crusty boiler sight glass. The glass had lime caked in it so bad that it looked like frosted glass. The brass was green and crusted with, well, I am not sure what it was crusted with. But I am positive it would not have passed a food safety inspection.
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The assembly is relatively simple. There are two bolts holding on caps at either end. So I unscrew the bolts to disassemble everything. To my surprise, after unscrewing the last hex bolt, the bottom cap, bolt, and spring shot across my workbench. I did not realize that there was a very stiff spring in there. That spring holds a seal in place and the sight glass passes through that seal.

Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of the disassembled unit. You have a top and bottom assembly. Each assembly has a ball bearing in the intake, a seal sits in a brass 'cup', a very stiff spring that keeps that packing seal tight against the base and a the sight glass goes through the hole in that packing seal. The top of the glass has an additional fitting that allows the boiler water level sensor to pass through.

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I had to soak the entire works in some descale overnight to get it clean. There was a painted stripe down the back of the glass that you use as a level indicator. The water in the glass magnifies the stripe so you know exactly how full your boiler is. That stripe was about half there. So I scrapped it off with my fingernail, the paint was so old and brittle that it came right off. I taped up the glass and painted a new black stripe down the glass. I also cleaned and repainted the glass mount.

A trip to the hardware store and I got new packing seals to put in those brass 'cups' and some new stainless steel bolts to replace the crusty zinc bolts that were on the bases. Carefully reassemble the ends and put the sight glass back in then bolt it all back onto the newly painted mount.

Hard to believe this is that nasty crusty thing in the first photo.

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Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#19: Post by cannonfodder »

Now that I have the machine completely disassembled, it is time to turn to the frame. I decided to take on the stainless steel. It was brown and covered with residua. It appears to have done battle with a scotch pad. These panels are brushed stainless, the brush grain runs up and down. You don't take an abrasive scrubbing pad and rub cross grain. If you do you end up with a marred and ugly patch of scratches.
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I got out the old high speed buffer (use to detail cars in college) a big bag of bonnets, light grit polishing compound, aluminum polishing cream and some carnauba wax.

I secured the panels to my workbench with some rubber padded clamps. I started with the light grit compound to buff out most of the scratches. You have to buff with the grain in the steel. After a couple of passes I switch to the aluminum polish. Now things get nasty. The oxidation starts to come off, the jewelers rogue in the polish does its job nicely. After another couple of passes and some very dirty bonnets...
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I have some respectable brushed stainless steel.
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Dave Stephens

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Worldman

#20: Post by Worldman »

Sweet! This will be a "nice" home machine!

Is it 220v or 110v?

Len