La Scala Butterfly problem

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

#1: Post by Eat_sleep_ski »

Hi Guys.

I've just joined this forum. I'm an engineer but I have never really bothered to learn too much about these machines. I've got a La Scala butterfly E61 and recently while the machine was sitting there late in the morning I heard a loud pop and suddenly a lot of steam started spewing out of the machine.

After turning it off and on again I could see water start to leak through this valve which I've highlighted in the picture. I turned it off again and inspected the valve pin and its totally loose. It feels like the spring may have broken?

In any case. I'm looking for advice on a) what this valve is b) does it sound broken c) any advice on where to find a replacement part?


Thanks a lot!

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JRising

#2: Post by JRising »

There's no spring in your anti-vacuum valve, there isn't supposed to be. Gravity opens it.
The loud pop was the valve next to it.

Both valves are probably working properly. The anti-vacuum valve maybe hissing a little, you'll want to check it after you fix your over-pressure issue.
It's certainly closing well enough at boiling temp to allow pressure to build.

Your over-pressure issue is what caused the safety to relieve, if it's working properly that's what it does. You'll have to see why the machine is overheating/pressuring.

When you say you see "water coming out of the anti-vacuum valve", is it just little splashes of water as if water is boiling 4 inches below the valve and some little droplets "splurt" through, or does it appear the boiler might be filled right up to the valve and any expansion is going to run out there as it overflows?
Was the pump running when the safety valve went pop?
Did you notice what pressure the boiler was at when it happened? if your machine has a boiler gauge.

If you turn it on again and watch it closely, ready to shut it off if the pressure gets anywhere near 1.5Bar... Does it work normally or does it overheat/pressurize again?

daviddecristoforo

#3: Post by daviddecristoforo »

I recently had to deal with the same issue. The valve with the little post on top closes once boiler pressure builds. The one with the little ring on top is the pressure relief if the boiler overheats. When it pops it blows hot water all over the place! You can try adjusting your pstat or you may need a new one. Cheap and easy to replace. In my case I also needed a new control box. Not so cheap and easy but very doable. The nice thing about the Butterfly is that the parts are all pretty generic and easy to find.

Eat_sleep_ski (original poster)

#4: Post by Eat_sleep_ski (original poster) »

OK interesting!

When you say you see "water coming out of the anti-vacuum valve", is it just little splashes of water as if water is boiling 4 inches below the valve and some little droplets "splurt" through, or does it appear the boiler might be filled right up to the valve and any expansion is going to run out there as it overflows?
Definitely just noticed a small amount of liquid around the pin... nothing more. but at that point I turned it off assuming it was faulty

Was the pump running when the safety valve went pop?
No, just sitting there I think.. however I was outside and maybe didn't noticed exactly what happened

Did you notice what pressure the boiler was at when it happened? if your machine has a boiler gauge.
No i didn't either.... turned it off immediately.
I took it to the garage and turned it on again and then turned it off when I saw the water on that valve pin

It sounds like I need to restart the machine and have another go.

Ill report back what I find

Thanks!

Eat_sleep_ski (original poster)

#5: Post by Eat_sleep_ski (original poster) »

OK I started it up and it got to pressure no problem. No valves went off. Its been sitting there for about 20 mins

The only thing I notice is perhaps that pressure reading is not very stable as usually not quite sure.. It is outside in the wind and cold right now so maybe that's got something to do with it.

So if this has only happened once is it something to be concerned about?

I used to have my machine on a timer, but since I went away for a big trip recently (switched it off) when I returned I had been too lazy to set that up and its been on 24/7. I take it this is not wise? Basically the machine had been on constantly for weeks when this happened. But in saying that I have had this machine for 3+ years and have left it on longer and this did not happen.

I will keep using the machine but I think it will switch it on manually each time I want to use it for now

JUst wanted to say Im stoked with this purchase. I'm in New Zealand and I picked this machine up secondhand combo with a decent Italian made grinder for $1000 NZD in total (~USD$700). Been using it for over 3 years. Saved so much money on coffee :D