Izzo Alex Duetto IV - Not drawing water from reservoir

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

#1: Post by watermelonbrain »

Hi all,

I purchased a used (about 2 years old and well maintained) Izzo Alex Duetto IV Plus about 3 months ago.

I finally found the time to change my set up and upgrade from a Breville Dual Boiler.

I'm using filtered water in the reservoir from a Brita C150 finest filter.

Up on turning it on, I've found the water is not being drawn from the silicone pipe sitting in the water reservoir. After turning the machine on, the pump comes on, but no water is drawn, after about 45 seconds, the pump stops and the audible alarm comes on.

Initial troubleshooting done:

* Make sure the tank is full
* Ensure the float is not stuck
* Ensure the tank is sitting properly
* Ensure the switch behind the drip tray is set to reservoir
* Take the top and side panels off to look at the inside of the machine, all wires appear to be connected, after turning it on, the pump appears to come on (The flat screw on top of the pump spins and makes the pump noise).

Can anyone provide some advice on what the potential issue and fix is please. Thanks in advance.

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Does the pump sound like it might be cavitating?
Might there be an air lock in the water line somewhere?
Is the silicone tube in the reservoir solidly filled with water?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

JRising
Team HB

#3: Post by JRising »

OPen the brew valve by raising the lever and see if the pump is able to move water through the brew circuit (ie see if water is then being drawn into the silicon tube in the reservoir). If so, then the pump, reservoir and tube aren't the issue, and the problem is a blockage (almost certainly at the boiler fill solenoid) is in the steam boiler path.
Sorry about typos, my hands are freezing... The above assumption is that you're saying "Not drawing water from reservoir while the machine is trying to auto-fill the steam boiler.

Does the pump gauge show Zero or Somewhere around 9 Bar while the machine tries to fill steam boiler? If it's showing 9 (or whatever), then the pump is doing everything it can, but a blockage is preventing flow from reaching the boiler. If it shows zero, then the pump isn't really moving any water and you're going to want to physically prime it and try it again. (ie you could open a fitting somewhere between the pump outlet and boiler fill solenoid to allow the pump to easily fill itself with water by pumping against no resistance, then seal the fitting up again and see how the pump performs when primed.

watermelonbrain (original poster)

#4: Post by watermelonbrain (original poster) »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:Does the pump sound like it might be cavitating?
Might there be an air lock in the water line somewhere?
Is the silicone tube in the reservoir solidly filled with water?
Thanks for the response, not exactly what you mean by cavitating - how do I see this?

Re the air lock - again how do I see this?

The silicone tube does not fill with any water and remains empty after turning on and the pump makes its sound. When I put the tube head on the surface of the water, it does make small bubbles/ripples which suggests there some force from the pipe, but its very little, certainly not enough to draw any water.

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

You won't be able to 'see' cavitation but you might hear that your pump does not sound 'normal'. If the pump is not sucking up water, you should try some method of priming that JRising suggested, such as forcing water into the silicone reservoir tube through any creative method you can doctor up to force water into the pump to see if it will then take over once the impellers are flooded.

What does the pump gauge indicate when 'OFF' and when powered 'ON'?

Even when cold, do you have flow from the brew head without a portafilter when engaging the pump by lifting up the brew lever 90˚?
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

watermelonbrain (original poster)

#6: Post by watermelonbrain (original poster) »

Thanks to both for replying.

So I've stepped through your suggestions.

No water drawn into pipe when lever set to open position and subsequently no water flow.

Additionally, rotary pump pressure gauge shows zero bar when cold and remains at zero bar (no change) after turning on and the pump produces noise.

I guess I need to proceed with forcing water through the pipe and see how I go.

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BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I'm going to also suggest one last test to try. With the reservoir at least half full and even with the machine just turned ON and cold, to raise the brew lever to activate the pump and see what happens while the pump is ON and manipulate the Reservoir/Water Line valve lever to see if there is any change in performance, pump sound, water flow or pump manometer reading.

The only things between the water in the reservoir and the pump manometer are the silicone tube, reservoir/in-line water valve and the pump - in that order.

No pump manometer reading can only (I think) be due to no water in the reservoir, a defective water source selector valve, a defective pump, a defective manometer, in that order. You would still have water at the brew head even if the pump pressure gauge were defective.

You can also have an obstruction in the water path between the reservoir and the pump, such as scale or some other debris.

Something else that could be tried (out of desperation) would be to attach the braided waterline hose for direct plumbing to the machine's direct water inlet, stick the open end of the hose in a water container with water and have the levered sector valve switched from Reservoir to Waterline. Make sure that the Reservoir still has enough water to float the magnet or turn OFF the Water Alarm via the white switch.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

watermelonbrain (original poster)

#8: Post by watermelonbrain (original poster) »

Thanks for the advice all. I fixed the issue.

In the end, all I did was use a syringe and filled the silicone pipe with water, then turned the machine on, after initially seeing no change, after about 10 or so seconds of the pump working, it drew all the water from the pipe and there was a significant suction force from the pipe, it proceeded on drawing water from the tank as you'd expect.

So it was a simple fix in the end. I wonder if this is an issue for a new machine when its also completed dry.....

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BaristaBoy E61

#9: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Glad you solved your issue . Yes, this might also happen with a brand new machine.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"