Pasquini Livia 90 - Not keeping steam pressure

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

#1: Post by TexasBill »

I recently acquired a pre owned, and very well maintained Livia 90. It's fully functional and will pull a shot reasonably well.

That said, when I turn it on, it will get to pressure at about 1.2 bars (1/4 of the way into the "green zone"). However, after this, it will slowly bleed pressure back down into the "blue zone" at which point the light turns back on and it builds pressure again.

I'm new to espresso home brewing, but this seems like it's likely a malfunction. Shouldn't it maintain pressure the entire time?

This process happens whether I am leaving it idle, pulling a shot, or back flushing.

If this is a malfunction, and guidance on what might be causing it?

Many thanks!

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#2: Post by hankbates »

I don't think you have a problem, it is normal for the pressurestat to control within the range you describe.
The actual values are ~0.9 on, and ~1.3 bar off.
A Livia 90 heater has on-off control, not PID.

TexasBill (original poster)

#3: Post by TexasBill (original poster) »

Thanks for the reply.

I'm about to replace the group gasket, as it likely needs it. One other question, though. When I brew espresso, or even when the machine is just holding pressure between brews, the "blow off valve" (I don't know what else to call it - it's the spout in the lower left that emits water when you back flush) slowly drips water. Maybe 1 drop every 5 seconds or so. Is this normal?

TexasBill (original poster)

#4: Post by TexasBill (original poster) »

I continue to feel like something is wrong with my machine. As I watch this video, I notice that the pressure valve actually stays within the green area, and maybe even builds a little. Again, note that mine dips down into the blue as I pull shots (or don't do just bleeds pressure, and then turns back on every ~30 seconds or so). Also, after I pull the shot, I don't get the pressure release like in the video. When I put the cleaning disc in the basket, I can get the pressure valve to release, FWIW.

Any ideas?

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#5: Post by hankbates »

Sounds like it is working but not up to par.
Do you hear any steam leakage when up to pressure?
If so, you might want to pull off the top cover and sides, then replace the water tank, and run it so you can track this down.
Possible future (or, present) exercises could be cleaning the 3way valve, fixing or replacing the vacuum breaker valve, or considering the pstat and the piping leading to it.


#6: Post by Flahertb »

I have had a Livia 90 for 20 years. It sounds to me like you need to adjust the pressure stat. Take the cover off. The pressure stat is on the right-side. It has a slot on top for a screwdriver. If I remember correctly turning the screw counter clockwise will increase the pressure. You can quickly see which way works as the light will come on when it's heating. It only takes a small movement of the screw to make a rather big change. Mine stays in the green when I am pulling a shot or steaming milk.


#7: Post by GaryB »

I've got a Livia 90 and agree with the suggestion about adjusting the pressure stat. On my machine, it will pressurize up to the top end of the green zone. Before pulling a shot, I always bleed off enough hot water to have the machine cycle on and make sure that's it's got enough pressure margin to not drop out of the green zone while pulling a shot.
Regarding the pressure relief valve leaking water, I had something like this happen to me about a year ago. I heard an intermittent hissing, which turned out to a slow leak from the pressure relief valve. A drop of water would leak out from the pressure relief valve and vaporize when it heat the hot boiler, which led to the hissing sound. Taking off the top and sides of the machine and then running it made this obvious. I removed the pressure valve and then used some teflon tape on the thread and reinstalled it and that fixed the problem.