La Spaziale New EK solenoid trouble - Page 5

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

#41: Post by twolane »

So much great advice in this thread, I wish it could be pinned.

Nice work to all on the safety front.

As for your reading at the flow meters, generally speaking now a days 1.8 to 2.2 ohms is fine. That being said, a flow meter with a poor reading will not affect the amount of volume produced in a set amount of time, it will only affect the total volume dispensed, regardless of time. The biggest issue you're dealing with at this point is the pod kits. Scrap those and start again.

You must learn to crawl before you can walk. Much like your electrical issue, not everything that is "wrong" with your machine is faulty parts... it might just be the operator. :wink:

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#42: Post by DucaiMann (original poster) »

twolane wrote:You must learn to crawl before you can walk. Much like your electrical issue, not everything that is "wrong" with your machine is faulty parts... it might just be the operator. :wink:
Touche. I will work on getting the right shower heads after I tear the whole machine apart and start from the bottom up.

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#43: Post by DucaiMann (original poster) »

I inquired about checking whether or not a flowmeter is working properly to Gicar and got the following response;

"Dear Mr. Eric,
the resistance value is not a reliable measurement to identify faults... Please proceed as follows:
apply a DC voltage between "+" and "-" terminals ;
set the multimeter to "DC Voltage" and place the leads between "out" and "-" terminals ;
blow gently into the water inlet and read on the multimeter that the voltage value is alternatively "0" and the voltage applied (in case you read steady 0 or the voltage value , flowmeter is faulty)"

This obviously seems like a simple way to test the unit.

In other news the machine is completely torn down with the exception of the boiler being removed from the unit. How does one remove the thermostat from the center of the Heating element? I need to get the heating element off but it seems quite stuck and I would hate to break a $100 part. Any tips?

It looks like it is being held on by 2 old gaskets and an o-ring that must have this sealed up pretty well.


#44: Post by chachi »

Good to hear there is another lunatic in Austin who thinks having one of these machines in your home is a good idea. :D

I think it might make sense to make sure you have the electrical part fully under control before moving any further...beyond you hurting yourself, you could be doing some damage to the machine...and then there will be no espresso!

Seriously though, that machine should be at operating temp in 20 minutes. Mine is.

I don't believe the solenoids are using more than 110 for operation. Both legs are used for the heater and pump I believe...everything else runs on one (110v). Thinking through this and watching your seems you MAY have wired two hot legs to the hot / neutral wires that the solenoid uses. IF that is the case, then it might explain why the BOTH solenoids are 1) buzzing 2 2) seemingly fighting with itself to let some water through 3) why the heating of the machine is taking so long.

<EDIT>Somehow, I didn't notice there were 5 PAGES of posts here when I responded to your original post...forgive me</EDIT>

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#45: Post by erics »

I don't believe the solenoids are using more than 110 for operation.
Given his resistance measurements, they are 220-240 VAC coils. Voltage information is printed on the coil housing.

Eric S.
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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#46: Post by DucaiMann (original poster) »

Hey Jason,

I found your blog before I bought the machine and only realized a few days ago that you have the same machine. There is also another one of these sitting in the back room over at Texas Coffee Traders.

All electrical issues have been sorted out. I just didn't want to make another post for the restoration. If people care, they will find it anyways!

I would be curious to see how your machine compares to mine.



#47: Post by chachi »

Eric, this is the internet...please don't post accurate or helpful information! My bad. In my excitement that someone else was dumb enough to put one of these machines in their home, I replied to the first post, not noticing the other four pages of follow-up...I should simply have deleted my post.

I am going to go pull my afternoon shots and peek under there to make sure. :)

Pretty easy to find me. Just email me and we can set something up. I am west of downtown. should do it.

<edit>as erics stated it is indeed 240v</edit>

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#48: Post by DucaiMann (original poster) »

First of all, Jason, thank you for hosting us on Saturday.

Jason has the same machine and lives about 15 minutes from us in Austin. He has a LOT more knowledge about coffee and has a roaster and a serious set up. Although he claimed the espresso was no good, I was still impressed. He then pointed me to a place called Frank, and I had the best espresso of my entire life, 3 times.

Parts should be arriving today. Everything has been cleaned up and is nice and shiny. If all goes well, I may be able to fire her up tonight! I couldn't be more excited. In the meantime, I would recommend picking up a bag of halfwit coffee @ Very impressive.

I have started to get more and more curious about roasters now....getting ahead of myself again...

A shot of some clean brass.

Another shot of my solis sl90 puck. I used my grinder with the new burrs for the first few times this week and have been disappointed (since Jason's and Frank) with anything that I can produce but have noticed that the puck is much more even post-shot than it was on my Solis grinder.

Another interesting thing that I found while taking the machine apart is that there seemed to be a jet that was missing that goes between the flowmeter and the group head.

I am not certain why my machine did not have this jet but upon some research and talking to a tech at cafeparts, he said that it is designed to restrict the flow of water from these two points to help with a longer pre-infusion. I am wondering if these were removed so the pod shower heads could get enough water quickly or what. I ordered the jets and filters (springs were on backorder) and will install one on one side to see if there is any noticeable difference in the flow rate.

Until tonight...

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#49: Post by DucaiMann (original poster) »

It has been a few days, and a lot of coffee later. Finally starting to dial in the machine a bit. Everything is back together and running as it should. Boiler gets up to pressure, shots are extracted at 9 bar, and extraction from 14 g comes out between 16-22g in 25 seconds. It's amazing how different the taste is from one shot to another, with such little variation in the pull.

I smelled berries for the first time in a shot and know I am on the right path. Thanks to Jason for keeping me on track!

I will now be working on learning the art of roasting and blending. I am too poor to be paying $20 for a 12 oz of beans online!


#50: Post by tomterry »

Why are you selling so soon?

La Spaziale New EK Espresso Machine Restored! $1500