(Solved) - Livia 90 - Air in line before pump / overheating

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#1: Post by Reverence1098 »


Just did a rebuild and after priming the pump (Putting Livia 90 back to work. Needed some help. Got it.) it sounded a little louder. I'd had some of the heat shield foam that was disintegrating fall out so I didn't think much of it.

After troubleshooting a GFCI issue (Livia 90 - Long Probe Trips GFCI) it's been running strong for a couple weeks.

Yesterday the whole machine was very hot, and the pressure gauge was reading in the red. I bled the steam off and we let it cool down. The machine was so hot that some of the label on the front has a little heat damage. There was a massive amount of steam that I let out the wand. (Is there an over pressure relief valve that would prevent a catastrophic failure had we not caught this?)

This morning I woke up to the machine opened up on the counter. Not my hope after spending 10 days with it rebuilding just a couple weeks ago. As the story goes, this morning my wife made an espresso normally. When she went for a second cup a little water came out, then it stopped and the lights started blinking like the reservoir was low. The reservoir was not low and she noticed some water below the machine.

She gave it a moment then tried to run it again. This time the pump ran continuously until the lights started blinking again. She pulled the cover off to see where the water was coming from and notice a little air before the pump. That's about where my story comes in.

When I started looking into it I ran the machine and noticed they while I could fiddle with the pump to get the air into and through it, more air would come up from the device before it (a flow meter I believe). Is it common for them to suck air?

I realize I might have a couple unrelated issues between the overheating and the air on the line, but I thought I'd share it all in case there was a connection.

I've got a new pump ordered, but it got a lot quieter as when I'd get the air through it, so I'm wondering if it's just a symptom of the air getting in around the flow meter.

Reverence1098 (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#2: Post by Reverence1098 (original poster) »

Well one issue down - the clamp above the flow meter is bad. I noticed when I nudged it and it spun easily. I moved into the barb of the fitting and it's holding air out for now. I'm gonna replace that.

Ok, still however it doesn't seem like the pump is moving water. I pulled the fitting off with the little tube (exit side of pump) and I'm getting very little water coming out of the pump, and it's intermittent.

I opened the pump. There's not much to them. Do the orings go bad?

Assuming the pump is bad, my theory is that the air getting in toasted the pump and the pump not running well, eventually failing led to not keeping up with the boiler's water needs which led to the over pressure situation. Am I on the right track?

User avatar
Posts: 461
Joined: 13 years ago

#3: Post by hankbates »

Sometimes when you get air into the pump it is difficult to get it to prime. If you disconnect the line between the pump and the OPV assembly and then run it for a few seconds it should pick up the prime and you will be good to go. I would try this for several times.
If you have flashing lights on the touch pad it possibly indicates a control box issue .
Some people rescue dogs and cats, I like to rescue Livias…

Reverence1098 (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#4: Post by Reverence1098 (original poster) »

Thank you Hank.

I tried that last night, and after a couple minutes didn't have any progress. I completely disconnected the fitting at the exit end of the pump. A little water spit out, but no real progress. I tried tipping the pump to get the air in and all.

I'll try with a new pump when it comes in.

Reverence1098 (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#5: Post by Reverence1098 (original poster) »

So, pump camp in and it seems to be the same thing. It's not priming.

Do the flowmeters go bad? I can see an air bubble between the tank and flow meter that stays around. It's got me thinking nothing is moving through the flow meter.

Reverence1098 (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#6: Post by Reverence1098 (original poster) »

I pulled the flow meter, and blowing into either end of it there is no movement. I don't imagine there should be much resistance in this thing, but it seems to be blocked up or frozen.

Reverence1098 (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 3 months ago

#7: Post by Reverence1098 (original poster) »

All right. :D :D

It turns out the flow meter opens up pretty easy. Give it a little counterclockwise twist and open it up. I regret not taking a photo of all of the parts, but it's pretty simple. You've got the water coming in, it hits a little impeller which has a couple of probes attached near its axis. The electronics pick up that signal.

What happened for me was something, (looks a little like Teflon tape if you ask me), got jammed into the intake side. Although the tube coming in is around 1/8", the port that enters into the impeller chamber is drilled and and probably about a millimeter in diameter. I had to use a safety pin to clear out the port. Once I put it back together I gave a little blow through it and heard the little propeller humming. I knew I was in business.

Put it all back together, machines warming up and I'm hopeful.