Steam arm solenoid working while main power switch is off

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

#1: Post by Schming »

I have recently picked up a Boema Maestro 2group with solenoid activated steam arms. I have found that with the main power switch on the machine turned off, I can still activate the steam arm solenoid on the RHS steam arm. I'm at a loss where to start looking. I thought that if the main power switch was off then it would kill power to the entire machine. When the main power switch is off, none of the other functions work other than the RHS steam arm.

Where should I start looking?

DaveC

#2: Post by DaveC »

Is the switch single or dual pole?

Is the solenoid120V or 12V?

Has the solenoid been replaced and wired in directly to the common because there was a fault on the motherboard that they've I passed, wired it (and the bottom) directly into the live feed?

Trace the route of the mains in, look for and possible "custom wiring". Get yourself a wiring diagram. If you can ask the previous owner, unless it was an eBay type purchase .

Schming (original poster)

#3: Post by Schming (original poster) »

There's no chance of getting in contact with the previous owner unfortunately. It's just a 2 pole rocker switch. I'm having a hard time finding a wiring diagram anywhere.

On the LHS switch, one of the wires bridges from one side of the switch to the other, but not on the RHS switch (the one that's causing the drama). I thought that might be a clue, but without confirmation or a wiring diagram I'm lost.

WWWired

#4: Post by WWWired »

Hi Schming :) Do you have any pictures of the machine? A video of the action would be a great assist as well.

A BIT OF BOEMA HISTORY
Boema is an Australian based company with its head offices in Sydney and dating back to the 1950's. They originally began by importing/distributing Gaggia Espresso machines for the Australian market, which was experiencing a growing interest in quality coffee, specifically espresso. The name "Boema" is formed by combining the names of the two founders Bordignon and Emer. Boema's first production machine, a lever machine, was produced for the Sydney and Australian markets in 1959. The current Maestro model appears to have been released in 2007. It has some unique and interesting features (which could have an impact on what systems are activated and available at various times) including a possible "fitted tea exchange unit, that has a separate exchange unit so that the temperature of the brew head is not affected when water is drawn for tea." [Source Boema website].


"CURRENT" ISSUES
On the LHS switch, one of the wires bridges from one side of the switch to the other, but not on the RHS switch (the one that's causing the drama). I thought that might be a clue, but without confirmation or a wiring diagram I'm lost.
. . . any photos of these two switches in particular would be very awesome :) It seems worth considering how power is getting to that steam toggle switch for sure as mentioned.
I have found that with the main power switch on the machine turned off, I can still activate the steam arm solenoid on the RHS steam arm
If the "main power switch" referred to is not cutting power flow to the entire machine (if that is its designed function), then Houston, we may have a problem depending what that "main power switch" is cutting (and how exactly is power sneaking past the power switch or what alternative path - Neutral wire? - is it taking to get into this Maestro's Symphonic Orchestra of wonderful high quality components . . . only when you flick on the power switch and hand your Maestro their electrical current baton to begin conducting the Boema's symphony of electrical components should any electrical current enter. A Power Switch should be a Gate Keeper in a properly functioning electrical circuit that allows electrical current in only when you close the circuit by toggling the power switch to the on position . . . so then, if your main power switch is working properly, how is current sneaking in on one of the two other wires (Neutral/Ground). Or perhaps is the power switch only cutting power to certain subsystems in the machine while the electrical current main highway remains intact possibly . . . there are some real geniuses here with massive experience in these high quality espresso machines like your very excellent and interesting Boema and someone here will definitely be able to shed light on this with a bit more information lighting the way from our original poster.

Some pictures and a video of what you are seeing will assist with this greatly and there many very incredibly knowledgeable folks in this forum that understand the power circuits and all the components of a high end espresso machine like your Boema Maestro! People love photos and videos and that will definitely assist with diagnostics and solution suggestions to narrowing any faults and issues :)

Is this the one?

And here's a schematic (although can't figure out where I got it from a while back), for a Boema Semi-Automatic 1 Group (so not exactly like your Maestro for sure but just a Boema schematic-toe-dip perhaps) . . .

In this schematic, you can see the 2-way fill solenoid connects to the the neutral wire to complete the circuit when the live supply wire circuit is closed (with the power switch).

If you're not getting any lights or other systems showing power, where is the electrical current sneaking in? Take care in this instance as a Neutral Wire that has current flowing through it can be dangerous.

SOME POSSIBLE QUESTIONS OF INTEREST
(1) Is this being used in a Residential Power System?
(2) The "Main Power Switch" mentioned. If possible, please include a photo of the power switch (internal side of machine) as power getting past that switch is something of interest;
(3) A picture of the labeling on your Control/Brain Box (likely a GICAR box but might be labeled "Boema" with some "RL . . ." type lettering on it.
(4) Have you checked your Plug-in/Outlet circuit for integrity? Try taking the machine to a completely different electrical circuit (be sure its not on the same breaker) and see if the solenoid can still be activated on the separate breaker.
(5) Do you have Ground Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI) protection on this circuit?

Here's an example of an Australian "Socket Tester" (be sure you get the correct one for your power outlet-plug-in type), usually available at any big box shopping store . . .