La Pavoni Europiccola: Boiler-Grouphead dent + sightglass retainer question.

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

#1: Post by NeutronHerder »

Hello all,

I've got a lot of questions. First, some context: I've been rebuilding an old Europiccola. In the process, I had to remove the heating element and sightglass retainers/bosses/holders/whatever you'd like to call them :D . I then rebuilt the Pavoni, using all new gaskets. I then took my Pavoni up to temperature and 1 bar pressure.

First thing: I didn't notice the reinstalled sightglass retainers were not flush with the body until after I put it all back together - see picture:

(I used the white teflon gaskets that come with the coffeesensor gasket rebuild kit here. I also cranked the interior bolts (the ones that attach the retainers to the boiler) down quite hard, as they were cranked down quite hard when I first took them off.) Strangely, at temp and under pressure, there are no leaks, either from the retainer or the sightglass itself. Seems to be fine, but that angle is REALLY weirding me out. Can anyone tell me: is it normal for the sight-glass retainer to be a little crooked like that, or should I reinstall these guys?

Second thing: in the process of rebuilding, I bolted a piece of metal into the grouphead flange so I could clamp that piece of metal, turn the Europiccola upside-down, and hammer the old, scale-covered heating element off. (It's been de-scaled and a new gasket has been installed). The issue is that by hammering the heating element, I think I've somewhat bent the boiler. See photos, specifically how the reflection curves around the grouphead-boiler joint:

For comparison, the other side most definitely doesn't do that:

You can feel a slight bump on the inside when you run your finger over it, but the inside of the boiler doesn't have any obvious cracks. Also, it didn't blow up when it was at 1 bar. Is a dent like this a safety hazard? Is the machine compromised? Any assistance would be nice here.

Final thing: The heating element definitely has a slow leak. When the machine goes over 0.6 bar, I hear a hissing from the bottom of the machine, and when I move the machine, there's a pad of condensation under it. I want to tighten the heating element down lower, but I don't know how I can do that - I can't risk bending the boiler any more, but the heating element will NOT turn, under any circumstance. Any advice here would be helpful. Thank you!

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baldheadracing
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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

I won't comment on the boiler issues as pictures can be deceiving.

Regardless, FYI, the usual recommendation for boiler pressure is 0.78 bar.

For the "Final thing:"
- did you use the right gasket? https://www.espressocare.com/resources/ ... comparison
- if it is the o-ring style, then there is a slightly bigger gasket that may help: https://www.espressocare.com/products/i ... et-thicker
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

NeutronHerder (original poster)
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Joined: 6 months ago

#3: Post by NeutronHerder (original poster) »

So the boiler actually cruises at around 0.75 bar, but when I turn the machine to the "II" (maximo), the steaming setting, it goes up to 1 bar. Is that ok?

And yeah, I have the old style boiler with the flat gasket. I installed it new today. Thanks for checking though!

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baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing replying to NeutronHerder »

That sounds about right for the boiler pressure. Good luck with everything else!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada