How to fix a Bezzera steam toggle?

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 11, 2017, 2:30 pm

My Strega has allowed me make fabulous coffee--and it's been very reliable for ~2 years...

Of late, my steam toggle will not lock into the fixed position-- this means I have to pull on the toggle to get steam and leaving just one hand to wrestle with the milk.
I've repaired this problem before, but wondering if folks out there have any suggestions for a more permanent solution?

(I removed a few external fittings and just gingerly tightened them back in place until the toggle would lock...too much tightening appears to make things worse....)

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another_jim
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Postby another_jim » Sep 11, 2017, 5:49 pm

I do exactly the same thing. I think the detente effect depends entirely on how far the outer nut is tightened. I need to do it about every 12 to 18 months, so it doesn't bother me that much. If yours is coming loose more easily; maybe a little thread sealant?

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 11, 2017, 7:22 pm

Jim-- thanks for the pointers!

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 13, 2017, 11:00 am

Looks like my toggle will not lock despite taking fittings apart and lots of reassemblies. For now, I've just placed a rubber band between the tap body housing and the wand--giving just enough tension to "lock" the toggle down when pressed. It looks like a broken arm in a sling

I examined the "shaft/stem" that the toggle head presses against-- it sports a round head with half of it ground down to provide a ledge for locking. It may be worn-down????

Before I purchase some parts, I'm going to enhance this ledge a bit with a file and see if this helps.....

Demq
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Postby Demq » Sep 13, 2017, 10:09 pm

I have a related issue with my steam wand, and I hope you could give me some advice given your experience with fixing it. When I use the wand, I tend to tilt the whole assembly if I put even slight force on it (when the wand is fully tilted to one of the sides). I fixed this once by removing the assembly from where it meets the steam pipe coming from the boiler, putting some plumber's tape on it and putting it back on. But this seems to be only a temporary measure and does not provide a sturdy solution. Plus, it is a tedious guessing game on how much tape you should apply for the assembly to be tight with the steam wand pointing down. I also have similar issue with the big 3/8" nut that connects the steam wand to the steam tap, it gets unscrewed every time I twist the wand around the vertical axis. I would appreciate any suggestions.

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 14, 2017, 10:57 am

That steam wand is tricky.....
Well, my filing down the notch on the valve stem didn't solve the problem--my toggle still doesn't lock. Fortunately, it didn't make it worse.

Here's what the steam valve assembly looks like:
http://www.1st-line.com/store/pc/Wands-Knobs-c603.htm

Haven't opened the Strega to check the steam valve assembly to the boiler....the problem is within the toggle components.

My next move is to switch the steam and water toggles-- just the knobs and the stainless screw the knob is fastened to.
Maybe this screw is worn?

Meanwhile the rubber band sling is working.... :D

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 14, 2017, 2:10 pm

Switched steam and water toggles.....no dice...steam toggle still won't lock. Next stop-- new parts.....

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 14, 2017, 2:13 pm

Had the same problem with my steam wand-- put some grease on the ball connector to that nut-fitting--I used a small dab of Molykote 111. Arm moves without torquing the steam assembly.

DanoM
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Postby DanoM » Sep 17, 2017, 11:33 am

I had that problem on my Strega late last year. The groove on the machine side (part 5 in the diagram linked above) of that valve had worn to a nice smooth divot and there was no way it would lock anymore. I took a file and cut another grove into the other side of the head (part 5) as a temporary fix, but I do need to order parts as it's only going to last a couple of years at most that way I think.

The design of the tip valve has a stainless part on the toggle side and a brass part on the machine side. The 2 parts wear against each other and the brass looses the battle.

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doublehelix
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Postby doublehelix » Sep 17, 2017, 7:34 pm

Thanks-- given what you've written here I think I need to file bit more-- the brass metal is soft.....
How deep is the divot on you machine?

(I have a feeling that the shaft on my machine was not machined deeply enough-- after purchase, I soon had issues with locking....)

Thanks again...

 
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