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Topic: Faema Compact boiler leak? (13 msgs / 305 lines)
1) From: Dennis Parham
well..I finally found the thermosiphon tube I need to fix my espresso  
machine! hooked everything up... turned on tap... things started to  
move and groove.. then..... water kept filling right out of the top  
releif valve... 4 little holes on the big ugly pressure relief ( I  
think ) just kept running out.. the faster I turned on tap the faster  
it would squirt out if this valve.... any suggestions??
Dennis

2) From: Jim Mitchell
Dennis -
Some one on the list with a Faema Compact in hand can give you better 
advice, but it does sound like the solenoid valve which switches the 
incoming water from the HX loop to fill the boiler is stuck in the fill 
position.
Normally, plumbed-in water routes directly through the pump, into the HX 
loop, and out the grouphead when brewing. However, there is a sensor, 
controller, and solenoid valve arrangment to auto-fill the boiler.If the 
solenoid valve sticks open, water fills the boiler and then overflows out 
the relief valve.
Trace the incoming plumbing, the solenoid is often a smallish, square box 
with a threaded 'tower' sticking up and two wires coming off it. I've had 
good luck in just pulling these, carefully disassembling them and then 
freeing up the small metal slug which is pulled up by an energizing coil.
Cheers
Jim

3) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Yep. The first thing I would suspect is the water level sensor. Part # 
24 in the exploded view. I would first check for corrusion, scale, etc.http://www.cafeparts.com/body.asp?catid&41Dennis Parham wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

4) From: Dennis Parham
what exactly does the water level sensor do?? stop the filling of the  
boiler? or tell it that there is enough water in boiler to engage the  
heating element.. which I did notice is coming on and warming the  
water......  and as for that solenoid, Ill take it off and clean it  
also...
Dennis
On May 16, 2006, at 5:46 PM, J.W.Bullfrog wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Dennis Parham wrote:
<Snip>
tell it to start, or STOP filling!
<Snip>
-- 
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

6) From: Dennis Parham
I just noticed, the ball in the site glass sits perfectly at the MAX  
level mark.. I think this might mean that it is ok??? and maybe look  
closer at the solenoid??
Dennis
On May 16, 2006, at 5:46 PM, J.W.Bullfrog wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Dennis Parham wrote:
<Snip>
no, if the boiler is full, the sightglass should be flooded.
<Snip>
-- 
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

8) From: Jim Mitchell
DANGER Will Robinson DANGER ....
If your boiler is so full that water comes out the relief valve, you need to 
disconnect from your plumbing until:
A) you're pretty sure you've found the problem (e.g. water level sensor or 
solenoid valve) and FIXED it.
B) Put pitchers under both the steam and the hot water taps, and open them 
up fully
C) Bring up AC power with the plumbing disconntected (best is a shut-off 
valve, next best is a bucket under the open line from your machine to catch 
the hot water that will run out) and watch the boiler water level carefully.
A smaller amount of water should come out of the steam tap and then dribble 
to a stop, while a fair amount of water will come out of the HW tap (it's OK 
to briefly shutdown the tap if you need to empty the pitcher) - when you're 
pretty sure no more water is coming out of the steam tap, it's OK to close 
it
Watch the boiler fill level and the pressure gauge as the machine heats up, 
the water level should slowly sink down as the pressure rises - what you're 
trying for is a boiler about 3/4 full with the machine warmed up and close 
to pressure.
When the gauge reads about full pressure, put a pitcher around the steam 
wand, and open the steam tap - there will be some hissing and spitting, and 
I expect the pressure to take a pretty sharp dip as you bleed off the very 
damp steam.
Once the machine is at a stable temperature with good pressure, turn it off, 
re-install the fresh water source, and while you peer intently at the boiler 
level gauge turn the machine back on.
It may auto-fill for a second or two on startup - but much more than this 
means that you didn't fix the auto-fill problem - TURN IT OFF....
Cheers
Jim

9) From: Paul Sack
On May 16, 2006, at 5:29 PM, Jim Mitchell wrote:
<Snip>
Mostly good advice, but the geometry of the Faema Compact 8x is maybe 
different than what you're used to. The water and steam tap are both 
well above the top of the boiler, so unless the boiler is completely 
full and more water is being pumped in -OR- the boiler is hot and 
pressurized, nothing is going to come out of either one.
Dennis: the ball in the sight-glass is at the MAX level but no higher? 
Can you see how high the water is in the sight-glass? It needs to be 
between MIN and MAX. If there's something wrong with the solenoid or 
the autofill stuff, you can just disconnect the solenoid and/or 
short-circuit the autofill probe and use the manual fill button (if you 
are plumbed in, at least).
It's actually another good reason to plumb the machine. The autofill 
never kicks in when you want it too (Sod's law and all that). I'll be 
pluming mine in a few weeks, I hope.
-Paul
Coffee-related content: City+ Harrar Horse #19 makes a great SO 
espresso.

10) From: Jim Mitchell

11) From: Paul Sack
On May 16, 2006, at 6:45 PM, Jim Mitchell wrote:
<Snip>
Actually that does make sense. It'll probably take a long time to drain 
the half of the boiler that shouldn't be filled with water that way, 
but that might still be less time than disconnecting pipes from the 
bottom of the boiler and cleaning up 1.5 l of water off the floor. 
Maybe tipping the machine 45 degrees forward with the taps open would 
work too?
At least it's not a 2 group :)
-Paul

12) From: Dennis Parham
She works! and great!! I need to run a pressure gauge on my  
portafilter... but she is making some exquisite espresso!!)))) my  
last fix was to rebuild the group valve! then it was working! but I  
had a leak in that tall in-body filter... it had only the 1 o-ring  
but it did not seal well and water would rush out of the top... so..  
I hit the hardware store and bought a thick 1/4" square of rubber,  
cut it to shape the top lip of that canister, then I tightened it  
back down... now.. NO LEAKS and fully running! what a great  
machine!! :-))) I now just hooked up the flowjet and drain  
canister... everything is A-OK! so in all.. I ended up including  
repairs.. about 650.00 for a FAEMA 1 Group Compact commercial  
espresso machine.... :-D
Dennis
On May 16, 2006, at 7:45 PM, Jim Mitchell wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: raymanowen
Dennis- if:
"...she is making some exquisite espresso!!))))",
Keep on keepin' on. At least you can drink the exquisite espresso brew. Eve=
n
the sexiest catenary strain gage pressure pick up would be unpalatable by
itself.
Hmmm- you could plot the pressure on the same strip chart recorder you use
for plotting roast temperature profiles. With a flow meter on your gas line
and a multi channel recorder...
Go for it. I still have to reassemble my grinder switch before I brew any
more.
Corvair engines, automatic transmissions and Mazzer grinder switches- If
Something Goes "Boeing," you ain't flyin' any time soon!
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Don't Do It-


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