Nuova Simonelli Personal 1 Restoration *Finished*

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
a.b1ns

#1: Post by a.b1ns »

Hi all.
Just picked up a NS Personal 1 tonight for almost nothing ($60) however its not running currently and I want to go through it and give it a proper strip down and cleaning before putting it back into service as it looks to be in good shape but filthy and filled with pine needles!?! When I plugged it in, the lights came on and the solenoids clicked, but I didn't hear the pump run so I am a little concerned that the pump may not work.

Cheers, AB

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a.b1ns

#2: Post by a.b1ns »

Success! After fighting with the machine to get the side panels off as they're the key to getting access to everything else, I figured it out. And boy do I ever feel stupid. They're held on with snap in connectors, and PRY off. After that stripping everything else down was relatively easy. No stuck bolts, nuts, broken pipes or anything. I pulled the element and was shocked to discover the boiler is virtually scale free, as well as the rest of the machine. Some of the smaller pipes have some buildup but nothing a citric acid soak won't fix. I'm still planning on disassembling and cleaning everything as well as soaking the boiler.

My friend Jacob (who designs vaccuum-forming electronics and machines for a living) helped me run through the electrical system to see if the pump worked. We traced all the wires, figured out how the whole system works (it's shockingly simple and surprisingly idiot proof) but it does include one rather large proprietary looking relay. We traced the wired, tested the whole wiring loom for continuity, and tested the switches on the front panel As the machine was apart, we couldn't really run it with the element attached, and didn't have a load to replace the element for testing purposes, so we removed the relay, P-stat, overtemp shutdown and manually jumped the pump motor to the 120V supply. We thought that the pump motor was fried, BUT I put my hand on the motor housing and realized that it was, in fact running. It was so quiet that I couldn't even hear it in a dead quiet shop. Incredible! My thinking now is that electrically the machine is 100% fine, I just didn't hear the pump running and because I was running it off of a cup of water, it wasn't able to self prime.

Hoping to soak and completely disassemble everything this weekend, polish up all the SS on the machine, order gaskets and put back together next week. Then I need to make a 240V stove plug splitter to get a 20A 120V circuit for the machine, as well as keep the standard plug for the stove, as the 120V circuit in my tiny kitchen is shared with my bedroom and fridge, and this machine draws a full 1500 W so I'm worried about constantly tripping breakers

Enjoy the pics, more to come
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baldheadracing
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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

I've got an old NS Program (3-group, but otherwise identical) that I use for parts, etc. If there's a part that you need, then PM me and I'll see if I have it. I'm in TO about once a month.

Also, citric acid isn't great for these old machines as it is very strong and if you over-do it - which is pretty inevitable - you'll have to remove (technically, passivate) the lead in the brass that the citric acid exposed. (Okay, you don't have to remove the exposed lead, but ...) The late Dr. Pavlis (rpavlis) has quite a few posts here on procedures - although I use these guidelines for cleaning Copper and brass: http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/ap ... metallurgy

Good luck!
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

a.b1ns

#4: Post by a.b1ns »

baldheadracing wrote:I've got an old NS Program (3-group, but otherwise identical) that I use for parts, etc. If there's a part that you need, then PM me and I'll see if I have it. I'm in TO about once a month.

Also, citric acid isn't great for these old machines as it is very strong and if you over-do it - which is pretty inevitable - you'll have to remove (technically, passivate) the lead in the brass that the citric acid exposed. (Okay, you don't have to remove the exposed lead, but ...) The late Dr. Pavlis (rpavlis) has quite a few posts here on procedures - although I use these guidelines for cleaning Copper and brass: http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/ap ... metallurgy


Good luck!
Since the bad scale is only really in the pipes and they're just copper I was going to CA those and use cafiza to clean the boiler grouphead and any other chromed brass parts. Is this a good idea?

Also I appreciate the parts offer. Providing our electrical diagnosis was correct hopefully I won't need any parts. Fingers firmly crossed!

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cuppajoe

#5: Post by cuppajoe »

A good Cafiza soak will be good for removing coffee residue and oils, but not so much any scale. For chromed parts that require a descale soak I use white vinegar diluted 50/50. Sometimes it seems to work better than citric acid for general descaling.

I've found that Durgol does a good job for descaling without disassembly.
David - LMWDP 448

My coffee wasn't strong enough to defend itself - Tom Waits

baldheadracing
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#6: Post by baldheadracing »

a.b1ns wrote:Since the bad scale is only really in the pipes and they're just copper I was going to CA those and use cafiza to clean the boiler grouphead and any other chromed brass parts. Is this a good idea?
I'm not qualified to answer that - I just follow what the experts say. RPavlis was a professor of Chemistry; I'd suggest searching his posts as he has many where he goes over how to de-scale Copper and brass in various situations - and various types of scale.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

a.b1ns

#7: Post by a.b1ns »

cuppajoe wrote:A good Cafiza soak will be good for removing coffee residue and oils, but not so much any scale. For chromed parts that require a descale soak I use white vinegar diluted 50/50. Sometimes it seems to work better than citric acid for general descaling.

I've found that Durgol does a good job for descaling without disassembly.
Any issues with acetic acid eating away chrome? I made that mistake cleaning my faema family and discovered 45 minutes after putting the parts to soak that I no longer had much chrome on the grouphead :(

a.b1ns

#8: Post by a.b1ns »

Cleaned and polished the brightwork this evening.

The front panel is a brushed finish and I will try to polish it to a mirror to match the rest of the machine

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a.b1ns

#9: Post by a.b1ns »

I didn't update the thread properly, but I dealt with a cracked nut on one of the water level pipes, bad pump pressure bypass assembly and a faulty expansion valve. I descaled and rebuilt the bypass with new o rings, found and ordered a new pipe for the water level assembly and got out of ordering a new expansion valve by replacing the spring. I was convinced it was something other than the spring that was causing the expansion valve to dump water immediately upon turning on the brew solenoid but when I compared the old spring to new, the new was about 3/8" shorter, but made of much much much heavier wire, and also took far more force to compress than the old one.

I finally found the time and motivation to put it back together today. Things started alright, but I forgot an o ring on the brew solenoid guide and got treated to a bit of a shower. Also I had to disassemble the pump outlet to fix the pressure gauge, as no water was even making it to the gauge. It turns out there's a tiny little gicleur in the T fitting from the pump to the gauge, and it was completely blocked up.

I picked it open, reconnected the gauge and it works perfectly.

Using pex fittings and a bunch of 1/2 ID hose, I connected the external reservoir I built for it and installed a check valve in the line so the pump won't lose it's prime. I had to make an angled L fitting to get the hose to exit the machine in the right spot. Only took 10 band clamps lol. Now I can have the reservoir a few feet below the machine and the pump pulls from it no problem. At some point in the future, I may move the pump to be external from the machine, but not in the next little while for sure.

It's all back together now, but soon I will order insulation for the boiler and take the body panels off to install.

With that said, am just going to enjoy the coffee. I also have a 9mm Cafelat gasket on order because A: the machine needs a thicker gasket than the stock one, B: I will run it on a timer, so it will cycle a few times each day which is brutal on gaskets. (My Faema's gasket is going and I've had it installed for all of about 4 months) and C: I want to support Paul's company because its a great product and I think his restorations are bad ass.

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stuartmac

#10: Post by stuartmac »

Looks good, I have one of these that keeps coming back to me for repair , keep an eye on the hx fitting at the bottom of the boiler and the jet hole for scale build up.