La Marzocco GS3 steam boiler hairline crack

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

#1: Post by PhillySteve »

A tiny hairline fracture is apparent in my (10+ year old) GS3's steam boiler. It still works, but moisture is escaping. Can this be repaired? Or will it need to be replaced?

newmanium

#2: Post by newmanium »

Possible to post a picture? Hard to imagine it's repairable, but perhaps with a weld. Personally I'd just replace. Wow, these things seem bulletproof - very surprising.

PhillySteve (original poster)

#3: Post by PhillySteve (original poster) »

It's probably experienced over 5000 pressure cycles. I don't know if there's an expected fatigue point. But, yeah, I'm surprised too. It's a $848 part, plus labor since it's a bit more involved than I'd like to take on. I'll post a pic later.

newmanium

#4: Post by newmanium »

I'm at 11 years on my GS3 and just did a full teardown and replacement of a ton of parts proactively, it's not that bad once you get going. I used to heat cycle it, but now leave it on 24/7 which I assume is a bit less wear/tear on the metal.

Marzocco has given me zero discounts on parts, which I'm a bit annoyed with - wish they'd prioritize longterm original owners. You can check with EspressoParts or some other Marzocco reseller as they all get everything at a discount and can pass some of that along to you.

A proper weld should be stronger than the underlying metal, so in theory it should be fixable.

PhillySteve (original poster)

#5: Post by PhillySteve (original poster) »

What parts did you decide to replace as part of your rehab? I have replaced the pump and some valves over the years.

Did you do the wifi retrofit kit? That's another issue I'm working through at present.

newmanium

#6: Post by newmanium »

I did not do the retrofit, but did do the conical valve. It was more of a pain than I was expecting, but the new design should be much more durable and it's fun to have a change. A benefit is that at this point a lot of those parts might need a refresh/cleaning, so changing to the new setup does that whole area in one shot. I had a ton of scale on some of the parts inside the boiler group area, and it seemed the new parts would be better at resisting that (plated vs. brass/copper).

- OPV valve
- Updated design, heat-based vacuum seal (fantastic upgrade, no more finicking with getting that angle right)
- Safety temp switches for each boiler
- New hot water spout cover (another one for the boiler bypass)
- New solenoids (original reason I did this rebuild was steam boiler overflowing, and I got tired of "another thing breaking" so figured these were due)
- Steam valve rebuild (easy)
- Steam wand/hot water wand rebuild (bit tricker, they include extra o-rings for what I opened up so not sure what's going on, but worked on reassembly)
- 3x boiler seals

I also decided to outboard the pump motor which is a fantastic upgrade, no more rattles. I'd also had the pump fail about 3 years ago, new one working fine.

PhillySteve (original poster)

#7: Post by PhillySteve (original poster) »

Steam boiler overflowing! This is a new issue I've encountered since receiving my machine back from a tech service yesterday. Do you think the new solenoid they installed is defective? Water just begins to drip from the vacuum breaker after a while. Mess.

I have a ton of Qs for you, actually. Maybe I should DM.

JRising
Team HB

#8: Post by JRising »

Likely just some crap stuck in the solenoid valve. You could take it apart, examine/clean and reinstall it. Or if it looks like there's damage to the ruby /valveface, talk to the techs that just had it... Or see if thet want to do it for you.

PhillySteve (original poster)

#9: Post by PhillySteve (original poster) »

OK. I'll open it up once LM Italy is done rebooting the machine.

newmanium

#10: Post by newmanium »

PhillySteve wrote:Steam boiler overflowing! This is a new issue I've encountered since receiving my machine back from a tech service yesterday. Do you think the new solenoid they installed is defective? Water just begins to drip from the vacuum breaker after a while. Mess.

I have a ton of Qs for you, actually. Maybe I should DM.
Ah that happened with the *old* solenoids, and was the reason I decided to go on a bender and replace everything that seemed reasonable. Honestly on taking apart the old solenoids, probably a good soak in vinegar with a new spring is all that was needed (fairly simple design), but after 11 years of faithful service, didn't mind going over the top.

Also replaced all the check valves with the new design.

About 6 years ago I had issues with the brain getting water into it from small leaks, lost a board, and decided to conformal coat the replacement. It's been rock solid since, so don't really have a desire to make any changes to what's been a nice waterproof setup.