Profitec Pro 800 Needs Some Diagnosis and Repairs

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

#1: Post by Pushjerk »

I have owned my Pro800 for a few years now, have always kept it clean and regularly maintained the group (new seals annually). Beyond that, the machine has not undergone any maintenance or repairs. Has only had Crystal Geyser bottled water (Mt. Shasta source).

I've been in touch with Clive Coffee in Portland, from whom I purchased the machine, as they have always been great about some remote support. They have recommended I get in touch with one of their preferred Techs in my area to get serviced, as opposed to going the route of trouble shooting myself.

Anyway, I humbly reach out to the community here today to get y'all's take. Should I go the "bring it in for service" route? Or attempt to troubleshoot on my own?
The case for bringing it in - I've found a tech recommended by Clive about 90 min away, Simec Coffee. I've reached out and they seem like they will be nice to work with, and charge 90/hr for diagnosis/repair. Only concern is moving the machine (I can do it, it's just a PITA).
The Case for DIY - I'm reasonably handy, and comfortable around electronics - can solder, use a multimeter, etc. And I'm cheap when possible.

In the next post I'll share the correspondence I've had with the folks at Clive that goes deep into the symptoms we have experienced.

Thanks for the read.

Pushjerk (original poster)

#2: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »

BELOW IS MY INITIAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH CLIVE



Good day,

have owned my pro 800 a few years now, purchased from Clive in March 2018.

Use and operation has been so enjoyable and (for the most part) trouble free.

Maintenance has included Regular cleaning and annual group and head gasket seal replacement (Cafelat Silicone).

About two weeks ago, I noticed the following symptoms:

boiler/pump does not initialize upon power up. Must power cycle a time or two for it to finally switch on. (Green light comes on, red light and PID Display remain off). This happens every time, and is different each time.

Once finally initialized, Pump draws water from water tank for an unusually long time. Normally Upon start up, the pump draws water for a longer time than when in normal use, but lately it has been extra extra long. In one instance, the pump continued to draw until the tank was nearly empty, not automatically shutting off when the auto shut off switch/float should have been triggered. Is the boiler really that empty?

Once the boiler heating element (red light) does decide to turn on after cycling power at least once, it does so intermittently. The red light appears to flicker, or stay on for only a few seconds, and repeats this 20 to 30 seconds until the red light and boiler/heating element do finally come on and remaining on until the machine is turned off.

Despite these symptoms, the machine would eventually come on and heat up as normal. And operation thereafter would be as normal. Rotary pump triggered usually after one shot/steam/cleaning flush cycle to top off boiler.



July 27, 2002. Prepared to do my power cycle/boiler flicker dance, I powered on the machine in the morning. As has been symptomatic the past two weeks or so, the pump drew nearly an entire tank of water into the boiler. This time, however, towards the end of the draw the pump began to labor for a second or two and there was a semi loud, dull thudding pop, followed by a decently large splash/spray/splatter of water from the top of the machine, though the venting at top (likely at top of boiler).

I powered off the machine, remove the top plate, and observed the anti vacuum valve with collected water around it, and water splatter around. The source of the pop/splash, according to my observation, could've been the anti-vacuum valve or the safety valve.

With the top plate removed, I reinstalled the water tank, powered on the machine and it began to heat up as normal, while I observed.

As the boiler heated, only for about five minutes, I noticed a small stream of water leaking from the safety valve's right side atop the boiler down the boiler insulation jacket. I then noticed the pressure gauge in front of the machine read way higher than usual, outside of the green zone, near 1.5 bar.

At this point I turned off the machine. I then opened the hot water valve and the pressure instantly dropped near zero.

Looking inside the machine from above, I noticed a small amount of water at the bottom around various components, probably from the leaking safety valve. I further observed the top label of the Gicar unit on the back by the counterweight is a dark/black color, almost scorched looking?

One final observation, as the machine was powered off and began to cool down, the pressure gauge remains just above Zero.

Photos attached to further illustrate latest symptoms.

Please advise if y'all have any idea what might be going on the the Pro800. Could one faulty component cause such mayhem? Maybe one failure has triggered a cascade of failures down the line?

Think that's about it. If anything else comes to light I'll pass it on.

And, please, if I can provide any further info, photos, or even video clips, please let me know.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
-Richard Blatt





THIS WAS THEIR REPLY




Hi Richard,

Sorry to hear about all of the issues that you have been having with your Pro 800!

It sounds like most of which are water/electrical related. Our guess is that you have had a water or steam leak for some time and that water/steam has come in contact with some electrial components, and that has caused the electical system to short out. Most notably, the main CPU (the box with the Cigar label), has come into contact with moisture and shorted. This would explain the flickering lights, the need to power cycle, and the delays in acutation of the pump, heating element, and PID display.

What you heard yesterday, was most likely your safety valve popping and a release of pressure due to an overfilled boiler. This is usually because the boiler fill probe is in need of cleaning and it cannot sense that the boiler is properly filled. When this happens the boiler will continue to fill, which increases pressure in the tank, until the point that the safety valve opens (the Pop you heard), and water is pushed out of the valve. This would also explain why it was taking so much water to fill the boiler.

We can try and troubleshoot all the parts and components that could possibly be in need of replacement, but considering the extent of electrical components that may be in need of testing or replacement it could be worth your while to have your machine serviced by a technician.

If you are interested in bringing or sending it to us, we can absolutely assist you with that process, or if you would like a techician recommendation in your area we can look at our list to see if there is one close by.

Let us know.

Pushjerk (original poster)

#3: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »






CSME9

#4: Post by CSME9 »

Just a guess, boiler overfilling ( boiler probe dirty remove clean ) or bad vacuum breaker /remove replace.

JRising
Team HB

#5: Post by JRising » replying to CSME9 »

I agree with Will completely.
Additionally, once the probe has the boiler filling to the proper level and the vacuum breaker is functioning properly, watch the Safety Valve closely for the first couple of times the boiler comes up to temperature. They can catch a piece of crud and be held open if they're ever allowed to blow, If it is leaking at less than 1.5 Bar it should be replaced. A safety valve with a very slight leak will quickly get worse. They're not durable, they're intended to never actually be used, they only blow if there's something wrong with the machine. They're supposed to reseat after relieving, but make sure they have done so the next time you heat the boiler.

Pushjerk (original poster)

#6: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »

CSME9 wrote:Just a guess, boiler overfilling ( boiler probe dirty remove clean ) or bad vacuum breaker /remove replace.
JRising wrote:I agree with Will completely.
Additionally, once the probe has the boiler filling to the proper level and the vacuum breaker is functioning properly, watch the Safety Valve closely for the first couple of times the boiler comes up to temperature. They can catch a piece of crud and be held open if they're ever allowed to blow, If it is leaking at less than 1.5 Bar it should be replaced. A safety valve with a very slight leak will quickly get worse. They're not durable, they're intended to never actually be used, they only blow if there's something wrong with the machine. They're supposed to reseat after relieving, but make sure they have done so the next time you heat the boiler.
Thanks guys for the prompt replies. I will certainly go down this avenue and check/replace those parts. May I ask, do y'all have a preferred resource for sourcing these parts? Located in CA USA.

And, if I may confirm, the steps for cleaning the Boiler probe and replacing vacuum breaker on the Pro 800 are similar to the 700 as seen in the links below?
https://support.clivecoffee.com/en/prof ... fill-probe
https://support.clivecoffee.com/en/prof ... eplacement

Pushjerk (original poster)

#7: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »

Update: I have located (what I believe to be) both the correct Safety Valve and Anti Vac breaker at Espresso parts. Keep me honest, please.

https://www.espressoparts.com/products/ ... -valve-new
https://www.espressoparts.com/products/ ... LwEALw_wcB

CSME9

#8: Post by CSME9 »

Pushjerk.

I would add to keep note of the original filler probe depth length and use that as start point when you clean and reassemble.

The anti vac you show will work, however I prefer the type in your Clive photo that allows for the silicone hose & a tee to be connected and drain into the drip tray-thus preventing droplets of steam/water to wet the inside of the case/electronics in a future anti vac malfunction.

Good Luck......

Pushjerk (original poster)

#9: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »

Great tips, thank you.

Pushjerk (original poster)

#10: Post by Pushjerk (original poster) »

Update. Parts came in swiftly with free shipping from EspressoParts. Both the Safety Valve and Anti Vac breaker were replaced, and with some fresh Teflon tape.

Boiler fill probe removed and cleaned. It was quite dirty. Nice scale build up on there. Quick soak in some dezcal and it was a breeze to clean.

Boiler filled back up normally. Only issue that arose thereafter was the nylon insert portion of the fill probe assembly was likely loosened/widened during removal and attempted probe extraction. There exists now a slight moisture/steam/pressure leak at probe when boiler is under pressure. To remedy (for now) I removed the probe, add a small wrap of Teflon tape, and reinserted. Seems tight. Results to be verified once machine heats up.

A perm fix for the probe assembly issue Is indeed a replacement. I have found the straight ECM fill probe for sale at several shops, but not the "L" version that the Pro 800 uses. Anyone know any sources? Perhaps the housing/assembly portion of the straight probe assembly can be used with The L shaped probe?

Finally, upon first start up after the parts replacement, the symptom that does persist is the flickering and intermittent powering on of the heating element. Once powered on, the Rotary pump came to life and topped off the boiler. Then, the heating element/orange light flickered intermittently for about 30 seconds before finally remaining on and coming to life themselves. So still chasing down this issue.

Of note, it eventually does work as it should, once the heating element and orange light do their little dance for half a minute or so, the machine is now coming to life and operating as normal.

One observation made while under the hood, The connectors and some insulation on the wiring harness connecting to the heating element at the boiler, are scorched hard and quite melted. Need to remove that side panel and investigate further.
Would anyone happen to know the name/size of the connectors used here? And if needed, the material/gauge of wire if replacing is required? I've got my crimping/soldering stuff on standby.

As always, I appreciate the reads and responses and look forward to continuing the chase of these little demons.