VFA espresso machine heating element replacement

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

#1: Post by acbarber »

Hey All,

In full disclosure I am a complete neophyte so apologies in advance when displaying my ignorance about espresso machines. It is as vast as it is deep. So here we go.

I have small general store in upstate New York and we were gifted an espresso machine. It is beautiful and non-functional. From what we can figure out it is a VFA machine (don't know the make). With some sleuthing and some TLC I think I have identified the problem. I think the heating element needs to be replaced and while VFA does not seem to be in business anymore I think I have identified some possible replacements. So I have two questions.

First, does the heating element look broken? I have attached pictures and would love any insight anyone might have. Second, if it is broken will this new heating element work? The link is below but it is called the "FAEMA 220V 3780W SIX-POLE HEATING ELEMENT." The volts and the watts seem to match up as does the size and orientation of the element. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Link to new heating element
https://www.espressoparts.com/products/ ... ng-element

Team HB

#2: Post by JRising »

I can't answer your question, but I do know thewre's this link:
VFA Expres heating element MELTED?
I hope it might help you. It discusses the options of using only 2 of three elements in a 3-phase machine that's only being run single-phase.

Team HB

#3: Post by ira »

That's a rather common element style for Italian commercial machines. Looks exactly like the one in my Rancilio Classe 6 and many of the ones hanging on the wall at the espresso parts shop I frequent. Pretty much all that matters is wattage and the flange shape. Tell me which of these it looks like, what the wattage is and how long it is and I'll tell you what might fit.

acbarber (original poster)

#4: Post by acbarber (original poster) »

Ah this is perfect ... thank you. Okay the shape is like the one on the left on the first row, but it has six posts instead of four. The configuration looks closure to the one on third row on the left. The entire element is 17 inches. It says 220 V and 3700 W.

Thanks again.

Team HB

#5: Post by ira »

So only 2 holes? How are you powering it? You only need 3 elements if you're feeding it 3 phase power. If you don't expect to be pumping out milk drinks continuously and you have only single phase power, you'll be fine with an element a bit less powerful with only two elements or just use only 2 elements of the one you have if the problem is only one bad element. that's how I ram my 2 group Rancilio and other than a slightly longer warm up time it worked fine. Truthfully it worked fine on only one element, just slow to heat up. Insulate the boiler and piping while you're fixing it up and it will do way better on less power and save you a bunch of electricity.

Team HB

#6: Post by ira »

Can you take a picture of what you have and measure the hole spacing on the flange?

acbarber (original poster)

#7: Post by acbarber (original poster) »

Hey Ira,

Images attached. That's what I was thinking as well. As long as we are not churning out drinks it should be fine.


Team HB

#8: Post by ira »

I don't see any images? After you upload them, you need to click place inline so they get added to the message. That got me the first few times.

acbarber (original poster)

#9: Post by acbarber (original poster) »