Lelit Bianca - Steam Boiler Over Pressurized - Page 6

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

#51: Post by Highflyer »

Even if I agree with everyone here that its a water issue hence temperature probe had these issues don't you find weird that within 2 months this temperature probe design is so sensitive that it just makes the machine go haywire ..machine is amazing no doubt and robust ...but sorry to say that the design of this temperature probe is not at all great.

If I was given an option I would still buy this machine everytime because I'm in love with it .it's still value for money and espresso comes out really great + it's a very silent machine and a very classy design ....but I will definitely ask for 2-3 probe spares as part of the deal .. :wink:

My love to everyone here and even Lelit ..

Ciao

bzarycranski

#52: Post by bzarycranski »

Highflyer wrote:Even if I agree with everyone here that its a water issue......
To be clear within this and similar threads describing the same or similar issues, everyone does not agree its a water issue.

In my case I initially used distilled water with 60 mg/L potassium bicarbonate added for alkalinity and Kirkland Purified Drinking Water With Minerals Added for Taste (with additional K bicarb added to bring alkalinity to 50 to 60). The over pressure issue, tripping thermostats, etc. happened within the first 2 or 3 days. I also installed the provided Lelit softener cartridge and Brita tap water but the problems continued.

After the initial issue occurred, Jim did recommend removing the boiler temp probe and cleaning to remove 'crud' (which I did not see on close inspection) but the issue went away for a day or so and returned.

Jim at 1st Line had the machine in his shop for several weeks and experienced the same issues as me. Lelit told him to change the temp prove, relay and PID but the problem continued. According to Jim, Lelit has never seen these issues before and Lelit is sending him a new steam boiler to see if this somehow solves the problem.

In all fairness, 1st Line has been very responsive during this time and I suppose I get some kind of reward for being patient for being without a properly functioning machine for several months. While the root cause of my problems appears unsolved at this point, the leading 'theory' is that the water somehow caused the problem and switching all but the steam boiler (at this point) hasn't fixed the issue.

As far as this all being related to some 'mixing issue, I have a difficult time understanding how since Sodium and Potassium bicarbonate are very soluble in water especially at these relatively low concentrations forming a solution of potassium and bicarb ions which should not require periodic stirring or shaking to produce a uniform solution/mixture. If there was some strange water*boiler interaction causing some thin deposits of unspecified material on the temperature probe causing the problem then we are all unaware. Perhaps the new boiler will shed light as this is the only other part in the circuit which hasn't been replaced.

What I do know is that the machine was replaced with a new machine and I am using the supplied Lelit resin cartridge and Brita pitcher tap water. Three morning without any problems, the coffee is great and I am a happy camper and I hope this is behind me.

Bill

ECM Manufacture: @ecmespresso #weliveespresso
Sponsored by ECM Manufacture
Highflyer

#53: Post by Highflyer »

It truly would be helpful if you could keep us in the loop for what happened to your old machine ... If they could diagnose your problem . I & many other Bianca users are still scratching our heads as to how to get rid of this funny problem

Clutch

#54: Post by Clutch »

Very scary thread as I am currently waiting on a Bianca to arrive. With Clive Coffee's recommendation, I did purchase TWW Espresso packets that I had planned on mixing with distilled water (checked with TDS meter @ 0 ). They may not be as aware of the issue as 1st-line. I'm thinking, at this point, to be on the safe side, I'll need to use tap water filtered through a Brita and utilize the in-tank water filter/softener. I'm working on getting a report from my city water source that includes minerals (website only shows possible contaminants). Fairly sure my tap water is good (local roaster mentions this on their website) but I'll check the values and compare against recommendations for machines.

Really hope you guys that have had issues can get them cleared up and report back so others can learn what to avoid (if it is a problem we can control (water))

Even if you haven't had a full resolution, it may also help to just check in and let us know how it is progressing. What water are you using, are you experiencing issues still?

appreciate all of your feedback

bzarycranski

#55: Post by bzarycranski »

Going on 2 weeks with the new Elizabeth and municipal water through a Brita filter and the Lelit in tank resin softener and no problems.

My original machine is with Jim at 1st Line. I no longer own the machine so unless Jim posts updates here regarding the new steam boiler them I/we may never know the outcome. I can follow-up but he wouldn't necessarily be obligated to share the results.

Will update here with my experiences going forward using Brita water and in tank softener cartridge.

Bill

ZX2BY2U

#56: Post by ZX2BY2U »

Been following this thread with concern for some time now. My relatively short experience with a 2nd hand Lelit Bianca (original owner bought 7/20) I purchased used in early January. Original owner used RO water system, but not sure if plumbed in or subsequent chemicals added. I've been using distilled water with WLL baking soda and epsom salts recipe for over 3 months with zero issues. No in tank filter, not plumbed. Steam pressure is constant at 1.5 bar.

Of course this doesn't guarantee against my having similar problems as others are having in the future, I just thought it might help to have balanced reporting to include experiences of those not having these issues.

I'm far from being any kind of expert, but personally, I'm skeptical of the water blaming. Having cruised through the water forums, I'm seeing so many people using so many different municipal water sources and compensating chemicals or home built recipes without problems and I keep in mind that they're probably mixing those recipes in varying proportions. I'd be surprised if the problem with Lelit Bianca's would require such a strict and controlled water recipe that it would have to be identical amongst hundreds if not thousands of users in order for the machine to function properly. Particularly since there doesn't seem to be a factory approved one that is guaranteed to prevent it. Perhaps they do manufacturer their own pressure sensors and other parts, but I doubt that they're all proprietary and not in use by any other brands.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm not experiencing problems and hope I never do, but I feel for those that are. I was very scared as I became aware after shelling out for what was to me a lot of money to upgrade to Lelit. Will continue to follow and hope that this all gets resolved for those having issues

Clutch

#57: Post by Clutch »

Well, just had the boiler over pressure today.

I have my Bianca on a Wemo switch
I have been using a standard Brita filter and the in tank softener exclusively in order to avoid this issue specifically (originally intended on TWW)
I woke up with the reservoir fill indicator on.
I filled the reservoir and called in to a meeting for about 40min.
Came back to make an espresso and steam boiler was around 3.5bar. Boiler temp at PID is set to 270F.
I released some hot water/steam from the hot water valve and let the boiler refill. Currently sitting at 2.25bar which is where it's been sitting every day since I got it.

Not sure what to do now. Really don't want a machine that has unsafe boiler operation. I think I'm within Clive's 30day return window but I really don't want to return this machine. Not cool at all.

CafelatStore: home of Cafelat products online
Sponsored by CafelatStore
elkayem

#58: Post by elkayem »

Factory setting is 257F (125C), so I'm guessing you must have bumped up the temperature setting. Still, 3.5 bar seems too high for that temperature, 2.25 is closer. I'm curious, did you look at the temperature gauge when you saw 3.5, and what did it read? A faulty temperature probe or manometer are likely candidates.

Clutch

#59: Post by Clutch »

Yes I did bump the temp setting thinking I'd take advantage of the steam power advertised. I didn't check the boiler temp at the time, I probably should have but in my head I was in a hurry to relieve the pressure so I opened the wand.

I put a ticket in with Clive so they should get back to me. I'm going to take it off the Wemo and just turn it on manually for a few days and watch the warm up until it stabilizes. I'll leave the setting at 270F so I don't lose the rabbit if that has something to do with the issue. If I can repeat it, I'll set it back down to factory and check again.

Machine was delivered mid-March.

Clutch

#60: Post by Clutch »

OPV popped this morning.

I watched the temperature and it was erratic bouncing well below the set point kicking on the heater then bouncing up to 300deg (most likely actual temp). It actually recovered for a bit and then went erratic again which brought pressure back up and blew steam again.

Any one else continuing to have this issue?