La Pavoni Europiccola: Unscrewing heating element with filter oil wrench?

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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#1: Post by bobsy »

All the videos on youtube I see of people removing a screwed-in heating element from pre-mil Europiccola use the special wrench sold by Stefano on espressocare.

Has anyone successfully managed to remove the screwed-in HE using a filter oil wrench instead?

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#2: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Yes, if you use the ones with the 1/2'' adapter and the planetary gears.

but this is a four hand job: its very difficult to wrestle down the boiler and still apply precisely the right amount of force.... Get someone to hold the boiler steady (clamping it may cause it to deform the boiler), but it is definitely doable...
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bobsy (original poster)
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#3: Post by bobsy (original poster) »

Thanks for the response, can you say more about 1/2 adapter and planetary gears? I'm not sure what you mean.

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#4: Post by JRising »

Like these: ... B07PYNM72P

I am neither agreeing with nor denying this is the best tool to use, just displaying what was described.

I imagine it should work. Basically, the more torque you apply to the sun gear, the more the planetary pinions are driven to tighten the jaws onto the filter (boiler ring).

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#5: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Yes, i meant exactly these! 1/2'' Drive is the square adapter for the wrench. this tool is made to apply brute force (if needed... or wanted). it will squeeze the thin tin container of an oil filter, and it will try to do so on your brass base, which is sturdy and will withstand.

Like crescent wrenches, adjustable pliers, vise grips, hammers and blow torches, these oil filter wrenches are made to 'go for broke' and can cause a lot of damage (in this case, mostly through slipping and breaking off tabs on the heater element, scratching paint, etc)

use a 1/2'' wrench that snaps on to the tool, otherwise, you'll have to balance a chain of loosely interconnected tools while trying to apply the necessary force.

I used the same tool on my La Pavoni/Cremina (see the pictures):
Restoration of an early Olympia Cremina (a.k.a. 'the Cremoni')

and i tore off the tiny brass screw on the boiler flange in the next picture. (this screw was the ground contact, the single electrical improvement of the cremina over the Europiccola. you might not have that screw on your piccola, because italian machines were not grounded). you see: its very easy to screw up and wreck stuff while working with brute force tools. the screw thread was repaired, and my machine is still properly grounded.

Same goes for the sleeve removal tool. chances of slipping, punching tabletops, busting knuckles open and scratching chrome while doing so is high.

But if you go about it with a plan, without rushing, and a positive attitude, you will succeed.
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