Have I killed my Cremina?

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

#1: Post by DavidGinNYC »

Ok, I'm sure it didn't really kill it, but I definitely messed up. I was distracted when I was refilling the tank the other evening, and I didn't screw the boiler cap all the way on. I have it on a timer, so it goes on about 45 minutes before I usually get up. But that morning I didn't get up at 4:30, and instead slept til after 6. When I got up, the tank had boiled dry, and the GFCI had tripped. Doh@!

The machine powers on, but the boiler does not heat at all. This is a late 1980's machine, i.e. a Cremina 67 model.

I've reset the red safety themostat switch, but that didn't do anything. So I'm assuming I'll have to replace the boiler. I'm not sure how readily available the boiler will be. But I'll contact Cerini this week and see what the situation is.

Anything I'm missing? Should I be looking at replacing the heating element? And I imagine I'll go ahead and replace the safety thermostat while I'm at it.

Thanks in advance for any tips, encouragement, or sympathy!

David

PS: in the "silver lining" department, I decide that rather than go back to my E61 HX machine, I'd dig out my neglected Flair Pro. And I've finally gotten the hang of decent shot with it. Maybe it's a couple years of practice on my Cremina, or maybe it's the fact that I'm using my home grinder instead of a Knock Aergrind, but I'm enjoying it for the first time ever.

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GC7
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#2: Post by GC7 »

You are in NY. Give Cerini Coffee a call and find out about serving your machine. They are the Cremina experts.

https://www.cerinicoffee.com

While you are up on Arthur Ave, the finest Italian markets in the US, buy some pasta, fresh mozzarella, olive bread, fresh sausage and pork goods and pastries. It's a NY landmark and treat.

Oops- I see you know about Cerini. Have fun on Arthur Ave and good luck with your machine.
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DavidGinNYC (original poster)

#3: Post by DavidGinNYC (original poster) » replying to GC7 »

Thanks - you're right, it's a great chance to go back to Arthur Ave - I haven't been there in many years. I might try to replace it myself, but I'll give them a call first.

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GC7
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#4: Post by GC7 »

Let me know if you need food shopping suggestions. I have 35+ years of experience Arthur Ave.

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civ

#5: Post by civ »

Hello:
DavidGinNYC wrote: ... distracted when I was refilling the tank ...
Happens.
DavidGinNYC wrote: ... boiler does not heat at all. This is a late 1980's machine, i.e. a Cremina 67 model.
Element may be shot.
Have to check with a MM.
DavidGinNYC wrote: ... reset the red safety themostat switch ...
Or maybe the safety TS went south.
Again, have to check with a MM.
DavidGinNYC wrote: ... have to replace the boiler.
No, just the element, the safety TS or both.
DavidGinNYC wrote: Anything I'm missing?
Before doing anything, have a nice slow read here:
https://www.orphanespresso.com/Olympia- ... 565-1.html
and here:
https://www.orphanespresso.com/Olympia- ... 548-1.html

Doug from Orphan Espresso has put together great guides to do most anything on a Cremina.

And a few videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycW2i7cyxi0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8F8H4K8ws4

They are more specific to Creminas, just have to look for them.

That said:
Please do take into account that electricity and water do not mix well.
Any maintenance should be done with the machine unplugged and any electrical repairs/mods should be done/looked at/supervised by someone who understands how these machines work and knows about how to work with electrical appliances.

If you do not have some basic electrical experience ie: you are not an engineer but you know how to repair a toaster or a vacuum cleaner, you may be better off getting a home appliance tech/electrician/knowledgeable friend to help you sort this out while at it.
That way you will also learn a few things along the way.

Best,

CIV

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BaristaBoy E61

#6: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

If you own a Digital Multi Meter, are handy and work with the machine unplugged it should be easy to trouble shoot your machine by measuring the continuity of the heating element with 1-lead unplugged, the resettable safety thermostatic breaker and a thermostatic temperature fuse if there is one. One of these items will likely be found to be defective; that's the one to replace if you can.

All done with the machine unplugged !
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

DavidGinNYC (original poster)

#7: Post by DavidGinNYC (original poster) »

Thanks Barista Boy - I have a multi-meter but right now its in my camper van 70 miles away. I will have to get it and test the components as you suggested. And thanks for the good reminder - unplugged!

CIV, thanks for the detailed response. I meant to say I would replace the element - definitely not the boiler. I'll check out the OE materials. Thanks for the specific links; I had started to do some research but there is so much information there that I became overwhelmed. And thanks for the safety reminders. Going without espresso isn't fun, but zapping myself would be much worse.

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DavidGinNYC (original poster)

#8: Post by DavidGinNYC (original poster) »

GC7 wrote:Let me know if you need food shopping suggestions. I have 35+ years of experience Arthur Ave.
I'll take you up on that for sure! Message me so we don't fill this thread with delicous food suggestions?

DavidGinNYC (original poster)

#9: Post by DavidGinNYC (original poster) »

Update: It's back! I have no idea how or why, but I reset the safety thermostat again and left it unplugged for a couple days. Turned it on this morning and it starting heating up. It seems to be working normally now. I'm sure I shortened the life of my heating element, so I'll probably have to replace it in the near future. But for now all seems good. These things really are hard to kill!

mdmvrockford
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#10: Post by mdmvrockford »

DavidGinNYC wrote:Update: It's back!.....It seems to be working normally now.....These things really are hard to kill!
Good to hear. As former Olympia Cremina (1990) owner, I can vouch they are hard to kill.

You mentioned home grinder in OP (your profile does not mention equipment). Assuming it is aligned, Titan-level grinder (and something as ''low end" :roll: as Pharos or Alicorned Baratza Vario meet these description), with great beans as we know the Cremina will rival any espresso brewer w.r.t. in-the-cup.
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