Pasquini Livia 90S stopped heating - sort of

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

#1: Post by ardeveny »

My fairly old (15 years or so) Livia 90 has stopped staying hot. At first it seems normal. I can hear the boiler heat up and the pump may come on if necessary. The pressure dial will rise to the point where it usually stops (between the green and the red). I can even pull one shot. But the heating element never comes back on. The pressure dial slowly drops to zero, so no steam or hot water obviously. If I hit the switch to brew, the pump activates and water does come out of the head just fine, although not at the desired temp obviously. Sometimes when I power it up the heat never comes on at all; sometimes it does. I did see a suggestion on this site about opening the steam valve before turning the machine on. It seemed to work once but not consistently.

Not sure what might be relevant so just some history. The pump was replaced by a professional several years ago and sounds great. I replaced the 3-way solenoid myself several years ago. I also replaced the pressurestat about 2-1/2 years ago. The pressurestat came directly from Pasquini but I'm not sure about the 3-way.

I would take it back to the person who replaced the pump. He was great. But last I checked he wasn't even still in the US much less nearby. If I must take it to a shop I wouldn't mind recommendations for the Denver area.


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#2: Post by ira »

Sounds like the pressurestat or overtemp safety is dying. Probably the pressurestat. They are not very expensive and easy to replace if you know someone handy.


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#3: Post by hankbates »

Also check the tubing going to the pstat for pluggage. More common with submerged pstats like on laPavoni, but still a possibility.
If no problem here check for corrosion where the wires connect to the heating element. As the element heats it will drive off any moisture at this point, and the joint will become less conductive, particularly if corroded.

ardeveny (original poster)

#4: Post by ardeveny (original poster) »

Ok, thanks guys. I will check those things as well as I can. I have replaced the pressurestat myself before so that's not a problem. I just didn't expect the new one to die so quickly (2-1/2 years). Is there any way to test if it's the overtemp safety? Should I just replace that anyway?


#5: Post by richiekess »

I think it's a Mater pressurestat in the Livia. Yeah, they can crap out within a few years. I had a Livia 90 for awhile.

ardeveny (original poster)

#6: Post by ardeveny (original poster) »

Thanks. I should go back and find out. The first one lasted over 12 years but maybe they were better then? If my replacement is the one you mention then maybe I should just have a stack on hand, lol.


#7: Post by richiekess »

There are other options. You could put a Jaeger in there instead, I believe. It's a bit of an upgrade.

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#8: Post by hankbates »

If the Pressurestat is not allowing the heating element to come on, the orange light next to the power switch will also not come on.
If the light is on, and there is no heat, then the problem could be in the heating element wiring.
Most Livias in the US came without an over temperature device which, if present, would be mounted on the heating element surface at the bottom of the boiler and be in series with the heating element.

ardeveny (original poster)

#9: Post by ardeveny (original poster) »

Update: I replaced the pressurestat with a new one and it made no real difference. It's kind of a flaky fault but it's being flaky in the same way as with the old pressurestat.

IF the orange light by the power switch is lit, the boiler does heat up, sometimes all the way to the desired pressure. But once the orange light has gone off, the heat and light just never come back on.

Flipping the power switch on and off sometimes does nothing - the orange light blips on and then off and no heat. And sometimes the light stays lit and the boiler heats up.

I had forgotten about checking the wires connected to the heating element for corrosion. I will do that as soon as it cools off enough and report back.

Any other thoughts? You would think a repairman in the Denver area would be easy to find, but apparently not. Thanks in advance.

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#10: Post by hankbates »

Bad grounds or connections at any of several places within the machine could also be the cause. After 15 years, corrosion of wiring connections is quite possible, but solvable with Deoxit contact cleaner. This is what I would check first, particularly those associated with the following components.
The problem may be a failing relay or (worse) a failing control box, since the boiler heats whenever the light is on, and the pstat is working.
They are items R1 and RL respectively in the diagram:
The relay is relatively inexpensive, and if bad, this may show through its transparent cover.
The control box can probably be rebuilt, I have had good luck with when I needed it done.