Replacing La Marzocco GS3 vacuum breaker

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

#1: Post by DaumierS »

I got a new vacuum breaker for my GS3 from a very reputable and knowledgeable espresso dealer. Now, the new breaker (on the top) is actually bigger than the old one (at the bottom).
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W8m_Cb ... sp=sharing

The installed new breaker sits too high for me to put the metal case back.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HSNLWk ... sp=sharing
As you can see on the second picture, the old breaker fits GS3 while the new one is not.

I contacted LM USA and they write: "You've purchased the new vacuum breaker and elbow for the Linea Mini. The GS3 uses a different valve now. If you can confirm your address, I can send you one."
OK, I will wait for the new breaker from LM USA. It is very nice of them to send it for free. Chris Scott was always very helpful.

However, since we are supposed to change vacuum breakers annually, I would like to understand this issue better.

The espresso dealer who sold me the breaker, claims that the breaker they sell is the original LM part L192 that should fit GS3 well. L192 comes with the fitting elbow A2017. The dealer suggests to bend the breaker's fitting. This does not seem to work well, the breaker will not be vertical (so that the valve will be opening at a lower steam boiler pressure due to an angle of about 45 degrees, and it may not open at all, I guess. Secondly, the bent breaker will be then in contact with the metal enclosure, and I'd need to remove some insulation).
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s2IjMV ... sp=sharing

The point is not so much in a refund. Rather, I am just concerned about the "health" of my espresso machine.
- Can the vacuum breaker be actually bent? Or it should sit vertically?
- Can it be in contact with the metal case? Heating/power consumption problem?
- Do GS3 and Linea Mini have the same vacuum breakers? While LM USA wrote to me that they are different (see above), the dealer sent me the file
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r7tPM6 ... sp=sharing
to indicate that they are the same part.

I do not provide the name of the dealer, since it is not important. My question is purely technical. Any comments will be appreciated.

Thank you!

YseanY

#2: Post by YseanY »

I believe the new valve for the GS3 requires a lot less maintenance and lasts longer. I would just wait for the new one and take note of the part number for future reference.

See below thread on new breaker.
New La Marzocco GS3 Vacuum Breaker Installed

DaumierS (original poster)

#3: Post by DaumierS (original poster) »

Thank you!

User avatar
Jake_G
Team HB

#4: Post by Jake_G »

Note also that while the GS/3 is referenced in the Tech Bulletin indirectly, it is not listed under the machines destined to receive the new valve.


I would not recommend mounting the plunger-style vacuum breaker in any orientation other than vertical.

The new style that is linked above can be mounted directly to the boiler, without any fittings at all. Hopefully that is what LM is sending you.

Cheers!

- Jake
LMWDP #704

YseanY

#5: Post by YseanY »

Jake_G wrote:The new style that is linked above can be mounted directly to the boiler, without any fittings at all. Hopefully that is what LM is sending you.
Btw, this is listed as a $100 part, very generous of LM Home

User avatar
Peppersass
Supporter ❤

#6: Post by Peppersass »

Jake_G wrote:Note also that while the GS/3 is referenced in the Tech Bulletin indirectly, it is not listed under the machines destined to receive the new valve.
Yes, but the new valve is shown on page 36 of the latest version of the GS/3 parts manual.

Note that if you end up with the previous style vacuum breaker, you don't have to replace it every year.

First, you only need to deal with it when it stops sealing properly. That depends a lot on your water and how frequently the machine is turned off/on. Over the 12+ years I've owned my GS/3, sometimes I've had to service the breaker every 6 months or so, and sometimes it goes years without needing service. I can't remember the last time I serviced it, but I think it's been at least 3 years, which is a new record for my machine. See below for possible reason.

Second, it's not necessary to replace the valve body. You can simply replace the internal components, which are much less expensive. LM sells a kit containing the Tefllon valve seat, the valve stem and the O-ring. Also, as a worn or contaminated O-ring is the most frequent cause of failure to seal, often you can get away with just replacing the O-ring. LM sells those, too. In recent years, I've put a very light coating of silicone lubricant on the O-ring when I've replaced it, and I think that's why the service life has improved. Another possibility is that LM replaced the O-ring with a better part at some point.

The newest valve style is supposed to need service/replacement much less frequently, but costs in the neighborhood of $100, versus about $40 for the old style.) It's not clear whether the new style valve can be serviced. I haven't seen any replacement parts for it.

DaumierS (original poster)

#7: Post by DaumierS (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote: LM sells a kit containing the Tefllon valve seat, the valve stem and the O-ring. Also, as a worn or contaminated O-ring is the most frequent cause of failure to seal, often you can get away with just replacing the O-ring. LM sells those, too.
If it is not too much to ask, can you provide links for the kit and for the O-ring? Thank you!

DaveC

#8: Post by DaveC »

They have to be mounted vertically. The Memory metal valves they are now using in some machines can be mounted vertically or Horizontally.

You could put your new vacuum breaker onto the old fitting....and use it, they look the same height.

DaumierS (original poster)

#9: Post by DaumierS (original poster) »

DaveC wrote:You could put your new vacuum breaker onto the old fitting....and use it, they look the same height.
Actually, the thread of the new vacuum breaker is of a smaller diameter, so you have to use the new fitting elbow

DaumierS (original poster)

#10: Post by DaumierS (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote:Yes, but the new valve is shown on page 36 of the latest version of the GS/3 parts manual.
I am looking at it, and it shows the old vacuum breaker:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15jmw0o ... sp=sharing

It looks like the part that I received (its picture in the first post) does not appear in any of the LM documents for GS3.