Please Help: Profitec Pro 500 PID Burnout

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

#1: Post by photogdave »

Hi,
Looking for help with my machine. As the boiler was heating up there was a pop and (my wife saw) a puff of smoke!
I immediately shut it down and took the cover off. Can't find any signs of electrical fire.
Orange light comes on. PID comes on but stays at .65 F.
Red light on SS relay comes on.
Heating element reads about 10 ohms.

Any suggestions how to proceed? I live in a small town where there is no place to service it and it would be extremely expensive to ship it to a repair centre. It's just a few months out of warranty from IDC and I have communicated with a service tech there via email but I'm finding it difficult to understand what he's saying.
Any help appreciated!

photogdave (original poster)

#2: Post by photogdave (original poster) »

Anyone?...
Bueller?... :lol:

pcdawson
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by pcdawson »

It sounds like the contacts for the heating elements may have fried. This happened to my profitec 800 last Xmas. It's an easy replacement. Take the case off and check tie connections to the heating element on the boiler. If they look black and corroded then that's your issue.



Bluenoser
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#4: Post by Bluenoser »

If there is a puff of smoke, there will be something charred inside.. check the SSR, they have been known to go on the Pro500 (mine did) and maybe yours went gloriously.. If you measured 10 ohm for your heating element, it seems good and I am assuming you are seeing no evidence of burnt wires around the heating element or connector. Sometimes when a component fails quickly like that.. there is evidence of a burn mark, but it might be on a non-visible side.. remove the SSR to check.. Capacitors are known to fail like that as well.. but this doesn't sound like that. (The SSR is likely mounted to a metal plate next to the boiler).

Bluenoser
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#5: Post by Bluenoser »

photogdave wrote:Hi,
Any help appreciated!
How old is the unit? The SSR is a known part to fail.. this is why I suggest you take a close look for any burn mark on it or bowing of the part. If this part is not working, the element won't get power. The PID display is reading the temp probe for the steam boiler and so will just read a 'cold' boiler. It could be something blew on the GICAR controller board.. but I'd check the SSR first. I'm also in a remote location to a repair place and I had to send mine back.. but luckily IDC warranties it for 2 years and it was fixed within this timeframe.

mycatsnameisbernie

#6: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

Since the SSR LED is glowing, you know its input is triggering. If you have or can get hold of a multi-meter, it should be easy to (carefully!) test for line voltage on the line side of the relay. If you see line voltage on one of the line side pins but not the other, then you know that the SSR is at fault. If there is no line voltage on either pin, then the Gicar controller is likely at fault, although you should check for line voltage on the controller side of the wire, just to make sure the wire hasn't failed. If there is line voltage on both pins, then check for voltage at the heating element; one of the wires that connect to it might have failed.

If the relay failed, it will be easy to source a replacement and to install it yourself. Just make sure you connect the wires to the correct pins on the new relay, as they may be in different positions than on the old relay. The pin functions should be clearly marked on both the old and the new relays.

photogdave (original poster)

#7: Post by photogdave (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies!
The heating element looks fine. I've replaced the heating element in my hot water tank before so I've seen how bad they can get.
I'm going to have a neighbor who's handy with electrics come over this week and we'll follow the above suggestions and check the SSR and GICAR.
Worst case scenario I have some visitors coming who can at least take the machine with them back to a repair centre in the city, so I would only have to pay shipping back to me.
I'll post the results.
I appreciate the help!

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#8: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Do be sure to do all testing with the machine unplugged !

A digital multimeter would be useful. Measure resistance from each heating element lead to ground as well for leakage.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

Bluenoser
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#9: Post by Bluenoser »

photogdave wrote: The heating element looks fine. I've replaced the heating element in my hot water tank before so I've seen how bad they can get.
I'm going to have a neighbor who's handy with electrics come over this week and we'll follow the above suggestions and check the SSR and GICAR.
*IF* it is the SSR, I'd be chatting with the vendor to go good for the replacement as this is a design issue with the Pro500PID. Mine went within 1.5 years as have some others.. You can read those posts here..Profitec Pro 500 PID suddenly stops heating

Now if it is the SSR, the repair should involve:
1) using thermal paste (properly) when they mount the new SSR
2) relocate the SSR to the bottom and back of the unit. (you can see my repair relocated it in the thread above and I've had no other issue in 2+ years)

The reason for some SSRs failing is that the SSR is mounted too close to the boiler which is a hot environment (and that is assuming yours has it mounted in that spot.. not sure if Profitec has redesigned newer models to fix this). The SSR gets too hot and fails. All electronics fail if it gets too hot. Putting the SSR back into that hot environment will just contribute to it failing again.

Since you smelled smoke.. a thorough visual investigation of the SSR might show a char spot to give you some confidence it is that item. But being a black part.. might be hard to tell.

photogdave (original poster)

#10: Post by photogdave (original poster) »

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Looks like the SSR burned out so I'm going to order a new one and relocate as per the mentioned thread.
I'll post back with results.
Happy New Year!