Help with low temperature of used Expobar Leva

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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#1: Post by aleand »

I have owned and cared for a wonderful Rancilio Silvia for about 15 years now. Still in great shape, and for now, still my main machine. I bought it used, and done enough work on in to have learned some about manual home machines. Emphasis on the short side of "some".

Last month I found on Facebook Marketplace a well-used expobar leva pro (the one that can be plumbed) at a reasonable price. But it needs some work. I got interested because: 1. it seems to be a machine that can be repaired reasonably easily, 2. plumbable (very interested in not filling tanks daily), and 3. bigger tank.

The first run through seems fine, except it pulled tepid-ish espresso. Something wasn't right. The hot water spout has perfectly boiling water. But the stuff coming from the grouphead is at around 150ºF. Also, when I put my pressure gauge on a portafilter (I'm not sure I trust the gauge that comes on the machine - neither the coffee one nor the steam one), the portafilter gauge read 10 bar, but the one on the machine went beyond the max 16 bar, and then the pump would stop.

I disassembled everything. Had quite a bit of crud build up. Put everything in several rounds of Dezcal solution, replaced most of the grouphead internals, replace both pressure valves on top of the tank, put a new steam gauge (haven't changed the coffee one yet), and put a new pressure stat.

Assembled everything back (no stray parts, yay!), and... nothing changed much. I'm waiting for a new elbow connector for the labyrinth (after reassembling it starts leaking - the o ring on the elbow broke), but except for that little leak there there doesn't seem to be anything else wrong, except the low temperature out of the group head.

Thanks for any suggestions...

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#2: Post by Mookie_ »

Is the Leva an HX machine? Have you heated it up long (45min) enough before assessing the group head temperature? Have you tried flushing some seconds before assessing the temperature? How did you assess the group head temperature?


aleand (original poster)
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#3: Post by aleand (original poster) »

Yes, it's a heat exchange machine. Yes on long, maybe not 45 mins, but 20-30 mins. That should be enough? I'll try a bit longer. I have a thermometer gun, and used a kitchen thermometer to check the pull temperature. Thanks, and also for moving to right forum.


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#4: Post by Jeff »

E61 machines take 30-45 minutes to come up to temperature.

You'll also find that the temperature in any cup is lower than the actual brew temperature. Some have had reasonable luck using the cutoff bottom of a styrofoam cup. A quick read thermometer, preheated will help a little bit as well. Many kitchen thermometers are both slow and have significant thermal mass.