Profitec Pro 700 intermittent steam

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

#1: Post by Bdfrank »

Hello - a bit of help would be most appreciated. I am new to this forum, pretty good at figuring things out, but by no means an experienced repair person.

I have been having a problem with intermittent steam on my Profitec 700. Randomly upon turning the machine on, the steam boiler either will not heat at all, or will heat fully and then fail. I would guess about every four or 5 times that I use the machine. I have tried to purposely duplicate the problem but cannot. It is indeed random. I am running the PID upgrade due to the original PID ruined by the overflow T leaking (now replaced with brass) and shorting out the original PID. All settings correct.

So far I have checked the "breakers" on the top of the boilers for continuity, all fine and none tripped. I replaced the steam boiler heating element as the old one although continuity, readings were a few points below recommended. Also flushed out the steam boiler of sandy calcium sediment. Thought
I had it beat, worked great for about a week. Now again intermittent loss of steam. Also re-seated all electrical connections (pulled completely off and back). Cannot be solved by turning the machine off and back on, seems to have to completely cool down to work again.

While testing the machine open, it appeared as if the blinking relay light for the steam boiler was not blinking during failure so I am assuming that some signal of the brew boiler temp is not getting to the relay? Or the relay itself? Just an uneducated guess. What would be the next step, test?

I have downloaded the wiring diagram, however lack the knowledge to know what to test first and what meter readings should be.

I really like the machine, but have had it apart so many times that a shotgun and the backyard was a thought...

Machine is about 5 years old. So far, both elements replaced, PID replaced, rotary pump replaced (nightmare diagnosis, if anyone has a high brew pressure problem they cant resolve, I have the answer), stupid plastic T replaced. A bit tired out. If anyone has experienced these steam boiler symptoms and resolved, please let me know - thanks. Right now a French press is looking pretty good!

Bluenoser

#2: Post by Bluenoser »

I had something similar.. I have an HX with PID on steam boiler.. Would heat up then mysteriously pressure dropped to zero because steam boiler heater would turn off..

In my case it was the Solid State relay failing when it got hot. The PID sends signal to SSR which controls the power to the steam boiler heating element. In my case the SSR was in a hot area near the boiler and it was failing because it was getting too hot from the environment. An SSR should be away from hot areas and have a heat sink.

Mine is a Profitec as well, and not sure if they properly thermally designed their SSR circuits around 2017 or so. Am guessing you might have an SSR failure and from what I quickly read, seems you replaced virtually everything else :) . If you replace, move it to a cool area (if it is near the steam boiler). If it doesn't have a heat sink, you can attach to the bottom plate to use that to dissipate heat. I had the repair tech relocate mine to the rear of my unit and attach to bottom plate and I have not had any more issues. Mine failed in 1.5 years.

Grin.. I won't go to the French press.. but when mine finally dies.. it is a Flair 58 .. waaaaayyyyy less maintenance..

Bdfrank (original poster)

#3: Post by Bdfrank (original poster) »

Thanks for the reply! Upon further googling (due to your suggestion), it seems other people do say the original one in the machine is generally inferior. I will try replacing and see if it does the trick. I will post upon repair (probably a week or two) depending on delivery.

If this isn't causing the problem, I will have a totally rebuilt machine by the time I am finished!

Thanks again

Pressino

#4: Post by Pressino »

I really like the machine, but have had it apart so many times that a shotgun and the backyard was a thought...

It's skin is pretty tough, but #8 birdshot at about 35 feet with a cylinder bore would give it a nice pebbled finish without much damage and you might still be able to use it after minor repairs. :|

Bdfrank (original poster)

#5: Post by Bdfrank (original poster) »

I figure ricochet and going blind in at least one eye... a drop from at least four stories might be safer

Bluenoser

#6: Post by Bluenoser »

Bdfrank wrote:Thanks for the reply! Upon further googling (due to your suggestion), it seems other people do say the original one in the machine is generally inferior. I will try replacing and see if it does the trick. I will post upon repair (probably a week or two) depending on delivery.
I'm not sure if the original is inferior or Profitec/ECM just didn't have a good electrical engineer design their SSR circuits.. The SSR needs its internal silicon 'chip' kept below a certain temp.. as the SSR passes current to the boiler heater it has some internal resistance which generates heat.. This heat needs to be carried away into the surrounding air to keep the chip cool.. If the surrounding air is too hot, the 'chip' can't keep its temperature in a safe zone and will degrade.. Over time, this heat causes the SSR to fail in various ways.. Some fail closed.. some open.. some intermittently.

To help the SSR remove the internal heat generated, a chunk of metal called a heatsink is often attached.. It conducts the internal heat more easily to the outside air.. but that air still need to be cool.

Some manufacturers bolt them to the bottom panel at the back of the unit.. this is a cooler area and the bottom plate acts as a heatsink. You can add some thermal grease to make a better thermal bond (often there is a metal tab on the SSR.. and you add the grease on it).. Now you add a very thin coating.. less is more.. too thick and it is counterproductive; you get worse results.

Mine was bolted on a metal tab next to the boiler.. too hot an area.. and failed relatively quickly. You can get zero crossing and "instant" SSRs.. the zero crossing generate less RFI and are fine..

Bdfrank (original poster)

#7: Post by Bdfrank (original poster) »

Appreciate the info. I do know it is backed up against the steamer boiler for sure. I will check out moving it, not a problem, makes sense. I will see when I pull it apart again. I did order the part today.

I have gotten so tired of pulling the machine apart, that I am now ordering double parts and saving them in the "espresso machine parts box" at home. I am not sure if all Profitec take this care (had a quick mill Anita that I never had to touch), might as well be an old Porsche... though admittedly, very nice looking mechanics/plumbing with this machine

bschucha

#8: Post by bschucha »

I have the exact same machine and exact same intermittent issue. Any chance you can paste a link or some additional info on the part (SSR?) you bought for replacement?

Bdfrank (original poster)

#9: Post by Bdfrank (original poster) »

"it is a Flair 58 .. waaaaayyyyy less maintenance"

Ha, looked it up, funny

Bdfrank (original poster)

#10: Post by Bdfrank (original poster) »

To find the SSD, i just googled "Profitec 700 solid state relay. Two major online coffee shops came up and have them. I do not want to mention anyone specific as I have bought parts from both and had both luck and problems with both,

Notably, I have not replaced the part yet, although promising, unknown as a fix until I try...