Izzo Alex's PID wouldn't turn on (but water regulator buzzes)

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

#1: Post by greenDropbear »

Hi all,

I recently got Izzo Alex PID (2011). It is well used but in a working condition. Few days ago I turned it on and PID didn't turn on (but power switch lighted up), after few seconds of silence, the water regulator clicked loudly and started to buzz. I tried to start the machine several times but was getting the same result. I put it aside for a few days and when I turned it on today for the first time, PID turned on. I turned it off and it wouldn't turn on again (same click from the water regulator followed by buzzing).

I tried to do all the basic fixes: reset boiler, switched intake from the tank to a line and back, turned off empty tank warning, tried to start with unplugged temperature sensor, tried to start bypassing high limit thermostat. Nothing helped.

Has anyone seen similar behavior?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Team HB

#2: Post by JRising »

Get a strong small magnet that you can hold in your hand. Take out the reservoir and try to silence the buzzer and get the machine to turn on by holding the magnet where you see the screws for the sensor in the corner of the reservoir carrier where the floating magnet would sit...
If the machine works with your hand held magnet, then your reservoir's floating magnet is just not strong enough any more. Easy to replace.

greenDropbear (original poster)

#3: Post by greenDropbear (original poster) » replying to JRising »

Hi John,

Thank you for your reply.
The buzzing sound that I'm hearing is an electrical buzzing (not the warning about an empty reservoir). That said, I tried to use the magnet on the reservoir sensor and it didn't help.


#4: Post by nahau »

greenDropbear wrote:the water regulator clicked loudly and started to buzz.
When you say "water regulator", are you talking about the water fill solenoid? If it is the solenoid, you might try removing the piston and descaling it in vinegar. Ensure the piston spring freely moves too after cleaning, and check the piston seal to ensure it doesn't have overly deep impressions or is damaged.

greenDropbear (original poster)

#5: Post by greenDropbear (original poster) » replying to nahau »

Hi nahau,

When I say "water regular" I mean this - Izzo Control Board (https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/izzo-control-board).

Solenoid appears to be silent but descaling could be a good idea anyway.

Thank you


#6: Post by nahau »

Ouch... that's the Gicar controller. Might be the most expensive part in the machine. That thing takes signals from several different places and manages such things as enabling the pump, fill solenoid, etc, so it might be the problem or related to things it's monitoring, such as water level in the boiler or reservoir. Here's a somewhat translated list of labels on the Gicar gleened from the web... I think it came from CoffeeGeeks. Might help you locate a possible source of the problem if it's not the Gicar itself.

Also, there's a member here named jboyt that repairs Gicars for a reasonable price (fraction of new), so you might contact him if you suspect the Gicar to be bad...


greenDropbear (original poster)

#7: Post by greenDropbear (original poster) » replying to nahau »

Oh :/ that could be unpleasant
I guess I will have to jump to the deep end of repairing. I was hoping that wouldn't be necessary.

Thank you, that was helpful.

Do you know if problematic solenoid could result in a PID not to turn on?


#8: Post by nahau »

The gicar doesn't have solenoids... it has relays. You keep referring to a "solenoid" that's why I thought perhaps the water fill solenoid is what you heard buzzing. It's probably the relays chattering if you're hearing sound from the gicar.

The Chris Coffee part you linked is the autofill gicar, it handles filling of the boilers and such. I don't know if it interfaces with the Pid Gicar so I don't know if autofill gicar would keep the Pid Gicar from turning on. Hate to say it, but you might have more than one problem. Then again, maybe not, if the Pid Gicar is actually monitoring the water fill gicar status and won't turn on if something is not received.

It would be better to troubleshoot one thing at a time. The autofill gicar buzzing is not normal, so you need to check everything related to it's connections as pointed out in the list I posted. This may entail, cleaning the water level probe on the boiler, measuring voltages on the water fill solenoid, etc. Yes, you need to jump into heavy troubleshooting as replacing a gicar for no good reason is expensive. Don't rush to buy a new gicar quite yet. If need be, contact jboyt about it as he's been very helpful with troubleshooting with people on the board. He sometimes monitors threads here so hopefully he'll show up.

greenDropbear (original poster)

#9: Post by greenDropbear (original poster) » replying to nahau »

I apologize that I mixed two questions together. I know that autofill gicar doesn't have solenoids. I asked about solenoid in case there is more than one problem or if I'm wrong about the source of the sound.

Good advice about testing one thing at a time. I will start going through the list that you posted.


#10: Post by nahau »

No problem, I was just a little confused! :wink:

The gicar is very expensive. Are you certain the buzzing is coming from it? From your first post, it seems you removed the covers off the machine, so finding the true source of the sound shouldn't be a problem.