Help troubleshoot Brasilia Century espresso machine

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

#1: Post by Gordo62 »

Hi: I've purchased a used Brasilia machine. I believe it is a Century but not sure as it doesn't say any where on the machine. there is a sticker on the front that says Brasilia V 110 Hz 60 W 1400. Then MATR. Number 1829. I've attached pictures. When I plug in the machine and try and turn it on an alarm sounds and then 4 seconds later there is a loud click and it sounds like the breaker is kicking out. The pump doesn't turn on to prime the boiler. I think it is a out of water alarm. Is there any way I can test the pump to see if it is frozen?

Thanks in advance.


Gordo62 (original poster)

#2: Post by Gordo62 (original poster) »

I took the pump out and took it apart. It wasn't frozen and appears to be servicable. I'm know thinking it might be the dosing switch. It appears like it has been taken apart previously as the case is parted and appears to be glued together. Now I really need to know which model it is if I have to order a new one because they are very expensive ~$300.00.



#3: Post by mteahan »

Dan asked me to help you out on this one.

This is an early model Century Cappuccino produced just as they were developing the electronic all-in-one touchpads. It came from the factory glued together like that because no one had boxes for them yet.

The alarm you hear is the low water alarm not sensing water in the reservoir tank and I think nothing runs without water in there. I can't recall for sure.

This machine is more temperature stable than the later ones.

If the pump moves at all, you test it by checking resistance. It is essentially a solenoid coil and it reads in the hundreds of ohms.

If is simply hums quietly when power is applied but moves no water, the diode is bad. Looks like an external diode model, but can't tell from the picture. That is an easy fix at Radio Shack.

Put water in the back tank and insert the probes to shut down the alarm, turn the switch one notch to the right and see what happens, assuming you have it back together.

The electronics should spark to life and the boiler should fill and the groups should be enabled. You can then start to figure out what you need to do to put it in business.

The touchpad controls the whole machine apart from the alarm, the hot water and the heating element. It can be upgraded to a new model without much trouble and the flowmeter can as well.

This is actually a pretty good machine and might be worth putting a little money into fixing provided there are no major issues. Everything is available for them.
Michael Teahan
analogue | coffee

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#4: Post by eastpresso »


Brasilia Century (now Brasilia Cappuccino?)

some links for inspiration ... nes/245083 ... ucts_id=34

Parts (list) here (Michaels company does only wholesale): ... 69_570_574

Good luck with the restoration.

Gordo62 (original poster)

#5: Post by Gordo62 (original poster) »

HI Thanks for all the great sites and help. I was working on it last night and took the pump out and apart the piston moves so I put it back together and reinstalled it. I think my main switch is on its last legs as it was jammed and would only move one click to the right. I took it apart and there was something jammed in the spring inside. It now works but just barely. The good news is after putting the switch back in and turning it one click the pump started to work. The boiler filled and the dosing buttons worked. It has an optical flow sensor and it seems to work as it did shut off after approximately one shot when the one shot button was pressed.
When I turn the switch to the third second position the boiler started to heat up. The steam wand started to hiss and I was unable to turn it off. I took the valve out and the piston was stuck in the open position. I cleaned it up and re-installed. It now seals and the boiler heats up and comes to about 1.5 bars. I'm currently running some diluted lemon juice through it to descale.
It looks like I just need the main switch to get it up and running smoothly so not bad for $100.

It only came with a single shot basket, any suggestions where to pick up a double shot? should I get a blank for back flushing too?

Any thoughts on where to get a manual?

Thanks again for all your help. Now I just have to learn how to pull a shot.


Gordo62 (original poster)

#6: Post by Gordo62 (original poster) »

Well I've put the machine back together after thinking I had it beat. Then I put some grinds in the pf and when I turned it on all the water came out the by pass and no through the PF. I'm guessing this has to do with the solenoid on the group head???? How do I go about diagnosing/fixing this problem??



Gordo62 (original poster)

#7: Post by Gordo62 (original poster) »

OPV valve replaced; seals but little flow at PF when coffee in PF. Flow is fine without coffee.

Well I have to say I'm learning alot. I think the machine is an older century america?? due to the configuration of the steam valve (see pic). I took apart the pump to clean it. It's a ulka NH250 series. Can't find any specs for it on the net but its a pretty big pump compared to the 52W model. I determined where the OPV was located and took it apart to clean it and see if there was a problem. The washer/seal on the end of the spring was worn and there was crud on the surface. I cleaned it up and reversed the rubber disk so there was a fresh surface to mate against. This time when I tested it with the PF occluded with some rubber (like a blind PF basket) There was only a few drops out the opv and when I turned of the pump (I only left it on for 5 seconds) there was a pop and I think the three way solenoid opened to relieve the pressure.
So now I tried it again with coffee in the PF. The OPV worked but there was still very little flow through the PF. I used a fairly coarse grind with out excessive tamping. It took about 90 sec to run a single shot. This is way too long, I believe. Now I guess this could be the pump. I tested the pump and I get about 75 mls in 10 sec when nothing it attached to the group head so it seems to pump with no back pressure but not with back pressure. Guess I need a new pump. Any recommendations for which pump would replace this one would be great thanks.



#8: Post by mteahan »

The Machine is a Century Cappuccino (I edited the earlier ID). with the horizontal boiler. I though I saw a different configuration in there on the top photo.

Seems that all the Auto's used the shorter Mythos boiler.

Run the pump a few times with nothing in the group to make sure you don't have any air entering the system and that it is well primed. These pumps need to have some water in them a bit to work.

The OPV should drip once every 5 to 10 seconds while hot and with the blind filter in. The pop was the solenoid relieving the group pressure, which is normal.

If you are getting a decent flow without coffee, the pump should work. They tend to work or not, they tend not to work just a little. If the diode was blown, it wouldn't move any water at all.

Any Ulka 52 watt pump will work fine.
Michael Teahan
analogue | coffee


#9: Post by oforthep »


I also own a Brasilia Century Cappuccino. It has performed extremely well and you won't regret all of the work you are doing on it. As far as the manual is concerned, I emailed Brasilia and they sent me a pdf copy of the manual. If you send me your email address, I can email it to you. Quite honestly, it is not the most helpful thing I have read.

I also have a question for you. We had a switch meltdown on ours and I attempted to repair it, but when I turned it on the same thing seemed to be happening so I quickly turned it off and saved the switch from melting again. It seems that it is a wiring problem and from the wiring diagram in the manual I cannot tell how these switches are supposed to be connected. I see that the prongs on the switch are labeled N1, N3, L2 and L4. The wires are color coded similarly to your model, but I have no clue which wires to connect to each prong. If you have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate your help. You can email me at

Thank you, David Skavdahl

btw - if you have to replace those switches, Will at Home Espresso Repair in Seattle knows where to get them.

Gordo62 (original poster)

#10: Post by Gordo62 (original poster) »


I've rebuilt a brasilia Century....well replaced the pump, gaskets, faulty opv valve, and gave it a good descaling and cleaning....It was working well up to a day ago when I turned it on. It heated up fine and I got good pressure in the boiler but when I pressed the dosing button there was nothing. I then tried to get the pump to run by pressing the hot water dispenser and hot water came out but the pump didn't kick in to fill the boiler. I know the pump works because I took it out and put it in an old proteo that I have to check it. I'm thinking it is either the electronic dosing box or the Cubic auto fill relay. Does anyone know a way to trouble shoot to find out which part and where I could get the parts. I looked on but they don't seem to have the correct parts listed for my model.