Lelit Bianca - Steam Boiler Over Pressurized - Page 4

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

#31: Post by sazz127 »

slipchuck wrote:How much more steam do you get with the increase in pressure? If it hasn't changed much it might be your pressure dial

Quite a bit more actually. Just to quantify, I was able to steam same quantity of milk 10-12 seconds faster. The dial was around 2.2 - 2.5 bar(might would have increased more but switched off the machine and didn't want to stress test it )


#32: Post by Osanties »

sazz127 wrote: Sounds like a PIP probe production issue for a particular batch ?
Could be but I would say it is too early to tell with the cases we know. For now, I hope we can just keep documenting this issue and that it doesn't become anything more than just a dirty sensor.

I will clean the probe this weekend and test next week. Here is the video from Lelit on how to remove the probe:

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#33: Post by Osanties »

I have cleaned the probe and as predicted by 1st Line it did have some coating on it:

I used a brass wire brush and left it sparkling clean! After that I have been monitoring the temperatures during start up and they are very accurate, no funky business. It heats up to 268 and it hovers around there without fault. Pressure gets to about 2 bar as expected and just sits there. It is working perfectly!

Looking at the coating on the dirty sensor I am guessing it is from the thread sealing compound they are using, maybe the technician is applying it too happily... again this is a guess and only time will tell, if the issue comes back in a couple of weeks (i hope not) then this hypothesis goes out the window.

I raised a ticket with Lelit support so that they can have a record of this just in case there are more cases from this production batch. They recommended to clean as instructed by 1st-Line.

I hope all my feedback has been helpful and it helps some of you fix your problem.



#34: Post by bzarycranski »

Been experiencing this problem with Lelit's Elizabeth documented in other threads. 1st Line consistently blaming water and I have used several versions: distilled + K bicarb (60 mg/L), Kirkland Purified Water with minerals added (plus additional K bicarb to 60 mg/L), Purified Drinking Water + tap water (50/50), home tap water (softened by whole-house 2 cu ft ion exchange resin) and tap water using Lelit in-tank ion exchange softener. Problem occurs in all cases.

Last week, 1st line went over the unit carefully, inspected and cleaned the sensor and reported finding 'crud' on the sensor. The next morning, I turned on the unit and the steam boiler went over temperature/pressure and safety thermostat shut down boiler. Minutes later, the brew boiler shut down.

While 'water' is being blamed for this, I see no particular water parameters from Lelit to help find a water which will not cause problems. 1st line only recommends using tap water with the supplied in-tank softener. OK, so any water could be used tap or bottled and the softener will remove calcium and magnesium. None of the waters I have used contain high amounts of calcium (or magnesium) and sufficient alkalinity to protect against chlorides if present.

Yet, I still have a machine which hasn't made coffee since November. I am told the sensor had 'crud' or some unspecified 'film' on this which is causing the problem. But just what is this 'crud' from the waters I have been using? If using the softener is the answer, the 'issue' must be Calcium or Magnesium, no?

Is this some weird interaction between waters and Gicar sensors??



#35: Post by Osanties »

It could be water.... but some things do now add up here when it comes to water at least for my case. I understand that water can leave a scale film, but this happens in the places the minerals touches. At the top of the boiler where this sensor is, only steam gets there, steam is pure water, the salts do not evaporate and travel upwards. Oxidation is a bit different because you don't need salts to make it happen, nonetheless, this sensor is being touched by steam always which in theory is pure water and you still expect an oxide coating to form, but this should take some time and it should be uniform. Maybe I am thinking about it wrong... but what I saw on this picture was localized only to the top of the of the sensor, the rest looked ok. I am thinkin this pronounced oxidation 3 weeks in can only occur when you have a chemical accelerant... maybe an acid... that contaminated the surface of the metal.

Maybe my thinking is flawed... and I really have no idea what I am saying. Hopefully we get some of the experts here to chime in.



#36: Post by sazz127 » replying to Osanties »

My thinking is also along these lines. Hardness of water should not affect steam boiler probe as that only comes in contact with steam. Oxidation is possible but I don't expect a 3 weeks old machine to exhibit this symptom for multiple consumers. Likely a batch of bad probes or the sealant has some kind of chemical which on contact with steam/high temp is causing the probe to malfunction. For my Bianca this issue is happening intermittently.


#37: Post by bzarycranski »

Thank you Oscar and Sazz for your thoughts and experiences.

I, too, am puzzled by the role of water in all this. I purchased the machine in mid-late August 2020, filled with Rpavlis water (distilled plus 60 mg/L K bicarb) and experienced the temp/pressure fluctuations almost immediately on the second morning of ownership. I brought this to 1st Line's attention immediately and when he heard I was using some internet water formula he immediately blamed this water, told me the sensor was coated with some kind of film, asked me to remove and clean the sensor and reinstall. A few days later, I did remove the sensor to clean but honestly I saw no evidence of any deposits or a film. I saw a gleaming stainless steel sensor. I wiped the sensor with a clean white cloth and saw no visual film on this cloth. I gently cleaned the sensor anyway with a piece of scotch bite, reinstalled and restarted the machine. The problem did not occur the following morning, but happened the following morning and thereafter.

I will say 1st line has been very patient and helpful. Jim and I have several emails back and forth over the past several months. He and his team took the unit apart while I waited and spent about 3 hours looking at the sensor and steam boiler safety valve (when he also said had some 'crud' in the valve which might have been part of the problem (somehow). They said the unit was functioning properly in their shop, brought it to me and I returned home only to find the problem actually appeared to get worse - both the steam and coffee boilers shut down after warmup. I notified Jim and he is anxious to see the unit back in his shop.

My machine was manufactured in June 2020 if that helps correlate sensor lots with machines and problems.

I'd like to stress 1st line's communication and service have been excellent. I will be running the machine as per Jim's request to use the in-tank softener cartridge. But, the bottom line here is I own a machine which has malfunctioned essentially from Day 1 which is blamed on multiple types of water I have tried including tap water using the softener supplied by Lelit. I don't understand how this could be but perhaps some of the experts here can explain or theorize.

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#38: Post by catmug »

Not trying to connect unrelated posts with red string or anything, but seeing the conversation in this thread reminded me of the issues I had with the Bianca, but with the brew boiler (not steam boiler): Lelit Bianca brew temperature far too hot

Where I ended up was roughly the same place - there must be some sort of issue with the temperature probe, because I would get very intermittent results. Made me feel like a crazy person. I didn't get to removing the probe to confirm.

My issue was also blamed on the water. I am confident it was not the water. Ended up with a Synchronika.


#39: Post by Osanties » replying to catmug »

Hey Catmug,

I read your thread and the sudden decrease in temperature seems exactly like what I was seeing. I am sorry they couldn't help you troubleshoot this problem, I don't think even resellers expect a new sensor to be be problematic. I think both boilers use the same sensor.

To a certain extend water is the easy way out, and it can be a logical explanation to an isolated customer, but thankfully we have this forum where we can connect different people having the same issue. All of us have different water and this has happened even with their recommended water treatment options. With this said, the support from Jim at 1st-line has been excellent for me too, very fast response and always ready to help.

Unless the issue returns for me, which I hope doesn't, I will continue to believe that the oxidation I saw was probably accelerated by the sensor being contaminated with the thread locking compound. Water, for the reasons explained in the this thread does not make much sense.... If it happens again I will use a borescope and examine the top of the boiler as it should be in the same condition in terms of having a thin coating....

So far this week I have tried to replicate the issue and the machine has been working perfectly. Knock on wood that it stays like that! I am sorry you had to change out your machine, the Bianca is great... aside from this issue... but in reality at this level all machines are pretty great!



#40: Post by catmug »

Totally agree. I will say that I'm pretty confident it was a sensor issue. When I was troubleshooting, I would have the PID screen mapped to "show current boiler temp", and would frequently see the temp values jumping all over the place, 20+ degree swings. If the sensor is erratic, no PID is going to be compensate for that, and you're gonna end up with frustrating troubleshooting and intermittent issues. Also, erratic temp readings would have very little to do with water quality (at least I think?).

Awesome to hear that your problem has been solved, or at least it's leaning that way. I will say that I miss the Bianca features at times, but once you reach this level of machine they all have great qualities!