Rocket Appartamento not heating

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

#1: Post by Deb » Aug 17, 2018, 12:56 pm

I have had this machine for 1 ½ years and have loved it. Makes great espresso, cappuccino but there have been a couple of issues that I have also seen on other sites. First, I had it plugged into a fused outlet--which it fried. Replaced the outlet and all was fine. Then one day, I switched it on without leaving the portafilter in (not sure if that had anything to do with it) and it started screaming and the pressure was over the ok zone on the gauge. Immediately shut it off, opened the steam valve to let the pressure escape. Let it sit for an hour, turned it back on and all was fine. Then, two days ago, it was on, had a espresso, went back for another and it wasn't hot, no steam, nothing on the gauge. Pump seemed to working fine but water was cold. Turned it off, restarted, still cold, no steam--and that's where I am today.

This machine has been dependable and I think Rocket generally makes a good product but isn't this young for a machine like this? Does anyone know what the problem is and is there anything I can do myself?


#2: Post by DaveC » Aug 17, 2018, 1:07 pm

The first time the pressurestat probably stuck on and it overheated....the screaming was the safety valve blowing it's guts.

The second time it may have overheated without you being aware of it and one or both of the limit stats on the boiler popped open. I think they are re-settable, little button button, see if you can press them in. If it blew it's guts through the safety valve (I don't think the vents are routed outside) and water got everywhere, it may have shorted something....usually that would trip any RCD or fuse unless it's gone open circuit.

hopefully it won't be the heating element.

Sounds like you definitely need to replace the pressurestat though (MA-TER XP110 I think)

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#3: Post by homeburrero » Aug 17, 2018, 4:41 pm

First thing is always to reset the hi-limits (aka protective thermoswitches). Unplug the machine and remove cover - you'll find two of them at the top of the boiler:

You need to press the little button in the middle, as with a screwdriver in the pic above.

If that fixes it you may still have a malfunctioning pStat or controller relay. That can be hard to chase down if intermittent. Replacing a pStat is easy and inexpensive, so doing that is pretty good advice. Probably is a MaTer XP-110, but be sure you get the right one for the Appartamento- there are different kinds of XP-110.

If the hi-limit reset doesn't fix it it you may have a stuck or burnt open pressurestat, a bad relay or transformer in the controller, a bad/open hi-limit switch, or a burnt open element. Troubleshooting that requires a good multimeter and a little electrical expertise. You can start (with machine safely unplugged) by removing wires to the element and checking the resistance there. (steady reading in 11 ohm neighborhood would be good) and doing the same on the pStat (when machine is cool you expect good continuity (less than 1 ohm) between the two pStat terminals. Both hi-limit switches should also show good conductivity. If the controller relay isn't powering the element, then it gets a little more complicated to troubleshoot.
DaveC wrote:If it blew it's guts through the safety valve (I don't think the vents are routed outside) and water got everywhere, it may have shorted something....usually that would trip any RCD or fuse unless it's gone open circuit.
The pics I've seen of the innards of the Appartamento show a pressure safety valve with a barb fitting and tube, so hopefully all that spray would have been directed to the drip tray. By all means this machine should be kept on an outlet with a working GFCI.
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#4: Post by Deb » Aug 17, 2018, 5:06 pm

Thanks guys. Very helpful. I just found out this is still under warrantee -- I am shipping it back to get them to check everything out. If it was out -- I would try to tackle this myself. Thanks again.


#5: Post by shong008 » Aug 18, 2018, 11:58 pm

If you end up sending it in for a warranty work, then I would make sure to double pack and pack everything well. And also make sure to insure your package for the full value of the machine. And most importantly, DO NOT SHIP IT USING UPS!! I would highly recommend you replace the pressurestat yourself if you don't want to risk your machine getting damaged during shipment. My machine had an exactly the same issue and i sent it in for a repair and this is what happened when they received it......



#6: Post by Deb » Aug 20, 2018, 11:10 am

Wow--thanks for the advice. I am going to Fed Ex this morning and will have them pack it.

Did insurance at least get you a new one?


#7: Post by shong008 » replying to Deb » Aug 24, 2018, 1:17 pm

The insurance ended up paying for full price of the machine, but it took good 2 months of fighting to get that money. It is definitely a good idea to have fedex pack it, but the packing, shipping, and insurance cost will run you probably close to $200? I regret not trying to replace the pressurestat myself because I was pretty sure it was the pressurestat($~40 part) that was causing the overheating. After all, when the warranty expires, you either have to learn to fix the machine yourself or pay someone to fix it for you so it is good idea to start learning how to do to repairs on your machine. But either way, i hope you fix your machine soon and start making good espressos again. Good luck!