Izzo Valexia /Alex IV - Smoke from water relay

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
andysims
Posts: 8
Joined: 6 months ago

#1: Post by andysims »

Hi

After a pop smoke started coming out of my machine. It comes from a relay which i believe controls water levels but i am not sure.
The low water breaker has not been working a long time.

When trying to turn on the machine you can hear there is a bad connection and smoke starts immediately.

Does anybody know
1. If this is just because this relay or would this happen because of something else?
2. If buying a new relay i can substitute with gicar 9.1.40.52g or 97g
I know nothing about it but am struggling to find the 9.1.40.54g online.
3. If this relay just cuts power to the pump when the water level is too low, can i cut it out and would anybody know how?

Thanks for any help which is appreciated

Brgds
Andy


WWWired
Posts: 352
Joined: 5 years ago

#2: Post by WWWired »

Hi Andy :) Your Alex IV is a truly brilliant piece of Engineering and Design!! :)

Home-Barista Site Sponsor Chris' Coffee appears to carry these . . .
https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/iz ... d358&_ss=r

. . . a great place to find those "hard-to-find" espresso parts is to check out the "Sponsors-Equipment" section of "RESOURCES" here on Home-Barista . . . the resource list is the best on the Internet and has by a wide margin the best and highest quality companies in the entire Coffee Community!

As a second option for anyone in future that may not be able to source this item, it may be possible to replace the Relay much much . . . much . . . cheaper than the Gicar entire unit.

Do you have a photo of the Relay's markings? that Digi-"thing-that-opens-door-locks" place, or that fleebay place, should have a Relay dirt cheap as a replacement . . . it will be much easier to find a replacement for that Relay than the entire Control Unit/Brain Box/Fill Unit.

If there is a photo of the markings on the Relay that can be posted here, should be easy for folks here to source a Relay replacement for this incredible Alex IV :)

LittleCoffee
Posts: 263
Joined: 2 years ago

#3: Post by LittleCoffee »

andysims wrote:Hi

After a pop smoke started coming out of my machine. It comes from a relay which i believe controls water levels but i am not sure.
The low water breaker has not been working a long time.

When trying to turn on the machine you can hear there is a bad connection and smoke starts immediately.

Does anybody know
1. If this is just because this relay or would this happen because of something else?
2. If buying a new relay i can substitute with gicar 9.1.40.52g or 97g
I know nothing about it but am struggling to find the 9.1.40.54g online.
3. If this relay just cuts power to the pump when the water level is too low, can i cut it out and would anybody know how?

Thanks for any help which is appreciated

Brgds
Andy

image
On 1 - I think very hard to tell without iterating. It goes look like that GIcar logo is pretty burnt out so you have signs of something wrong on both sides of the Gicar. It's possible the relay has short circuited which has then toasted the Gicar. If it was me personally, I would change both the relays and the Gicar because it's a bit more money but a lot less time spent thinking investigating waiting for parts etc. And there's a risk that if the relay has fried the Gicar, replacing the Gicar will be a costly mistake. If you realyl don't want another relay I would at the very least test the relay inputs with a voltmeter Ohm meter to see if they match expectations.

On 2 just on a brief google, the 52g and 97g come up for me as 230V parts whereas yours looks to be 115V so I don't think that would work. Maybe this 57g? https://greatinfusions.com/level-contro ... -1-40-57g/. Scratch that - WWWired's link to Chris Coffee seems a far better option....

ira
Team HB
Posts: 5530
Joined: 16 years ago

#4: Post by ira »

That box is not a relay. It probably checks the steam boiler water level and automatically fills the boiler. It might also check the water tank and turn off the machine if the water level gets to low. It contains a power supply, "computer" some inputs and a couple of relays. I would guess all you need to do is replace the really burnt looking connector which means cutting the wire back till you get to clean wire, attaching a new connector, cleaning up the terminal it attaches to and plugging it back in.

LittleCoffee
Posts: 263
Joined: 2 years ago

#5: Post by LittleCoffee »

Ira makes a good point - rereading your message I think there is some confusion. The Gicar box in your photo is not a relay - it's a control box which controls the relays.

Here is the Izzo Duetto parts diagram: https://shopify-er.s3.amazonaws.com/res ... akdown.pdf

The Gicar box is EL180 on p.6 in your case (110V), while the relays it controls are EL236 of which there are two (these I believe are the same for 110V and 230V versions). I would be changing both EL180 and EL236 to be sure the problem is solved

DeuxInfuso
Supporter ♡
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 years ago

#6: Post by DeuxInfuso »

A hot spade connector socket did that same thing to the Gicar box in my Londinium. I 5hink the same model Gicar.
Apparently full heating element resistance (~12 amps) runs through a relay in the Gicar. I had to add some solder to the circuit board contacts for the blade or plug, in the Gicar! & replace the spade socket. Polished the oxidation off brass plug then applied thin Dow molycote111 to plug. Solved that problem.

Considered diverting the high current connections out of the Gicar by adding an external sealed 20A relay, but so far the socket replacement is working so havent modified the circuit yet.

--Deuxinfuso

andysims (original poster)
Posts: 8
Joined: 6 months ago

#7: Post by andysims (original poster) »

Forgot to thank you. Did what you suggested and soldered the gicar. It worked for a while. Now another connector to the gicar burned. All in all two connectors got fried and another one connecting to the boiler.

Bit weird three connectors die within 2 months?

LittleCoffee
Posts: 263
Joined: 2 years ago

#8: Post by LittleCoffee »

That really doesn't sound right to me.

The Gicar really should not be drawing big amounts of current under normal circumstances - it's purely a logic board which controls solid state relays (SSRs) with logic levels of current and voltage (i.e. low and not mains). It's the SSRs which take the brunt of the heating element current, but under normal operation that should be nowhere near the Gicar. So I think you soldering it has ended up masking the underlying problem rather than solving it.

I'd have two hypotheses at this stage:

1. Some weird short from a heating element (or somewhere else) which is shorting to ground and is causing unexpected levels of current through the Gicar via ground or some other unexpected path. To test this, with the machine off I'd be measuring (unplugged) heating elements(s) resistance as well as resistance between the heating element terminals and the boiler body.

2. The Gicar logic has fried and is short circuiting in surprising ways. I'm not sure if there's a test for this - but people more experienced than me may be able to suggest.

I'd be wary of using the machine until you get this resolved - if it's the first hypothesis who knows what else is live inside the machine when it shouldn't be.

DeuxInfuso
Supporter ♡
Posts: 67
Joined: 3 years ago

#9: Post by DeuxInfuso »

No shorts, just normal high current through spade connectors. The heat causes a positive feedback loop with oxidation at the metal to metal contact points, they get hot, oxidize, and eventually melt stuff & discolor the Gicar sticker on top. The full heating element high current passes through the Gicar box, and your pics show the 2 connections that carry this current. This problem only affects the spade connectors on the high current leads supplying the "resistenza" element.

The fix is easy, you clean & polish the electrical connections then lightly daub with Molykote111 or other synthetic grease before reconnecting. The connection should be tight!

But first, Replace the spade sockets w/ new ones, once they get that hot they anneal and lose their springy grip on the plug. I've tried just squeezing the curled tab edges tight, but this doesn't work as well as R&R (remove & replace). Find some Panduit yellow spade sockets, these are very good USA connectors and probably beryllium copper alloy, tin coated, that have better spring grip.

-Deuxinfuso

JRising
Team HB
Posts: 3723
Joined: 5 years ago

#10: Post by JRising »

andysims wrote: Now another connector to the gicar burned. All in all two connectors got fried and another one connecting to the boiler.
I believe DeuxInfuso is correct, but I would check the amperage if I were able.

Are you running it in 15 Amp or 20 Amp mode? (Do both panel lights come on at the same time or do they alternate?)

Do you have a clamp-over type of ammeter with which you could measure the amperage of those three wires?