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Thread: Izzo Alex Leva

  1. #551
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    The 'correct' number isn't all that important and not really possible. It depends on a lot of factors..like the accuracy of the pressure gauge (likely not precision/lab grade), calibration of the temp probe (similar story to the gauge, likely not calibrated), PID offset and sea level. In the end, as long as it's reading consistently that's all you need.

    For the expected number (based on physics), you can check this out:
    http://www.tlv.com/global/TI/calcula...mperature.html

    For instance, at 120C it should be 1.986 bar (absolute) minus your atmospheric pressure = roughly 0.97 bar (on gauge).
    Dimal, Paolo, kbc and 1 others like this.

  2. #552
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    Hi,
    I have no idea what my pressure gauge says. I doesn't affect how i make coffee. I just adjust the temp up or down depending on type of beans and then alter according to taste
    Cheers
    Dave
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  3. #553
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    The 'correct' number isn't all that important and not really possible. It depends on a lot of factors..like the accuracy of the pressure gauge (likely not precision/lab grade), calibration of the temp probe (similar story to the gauge, likely not calibrated), PID offset and sea level. In the end, as long as it's reading consistently that's all you need.

    For the expected number (based on physics), you can check this out:
    Calculator: Saturated Steam Table by Temperature | TLV - A Steam Specialist Company (International)

    For instance, at 120C it should be 1.986 bar (absolute) minus your atmospheric pressure = roughly 0.97 bar (on gauge).
    Great stuff Samual, I'm glad there are folks like you out there that are all over this stuff, it does my head in frankly.

    I simply look at a guide and make sure I'm close enough to it but my baby may be a little further away from optimum with a 0.15 (120 @ 0.85) difference, are you saying it's not enough to worry about as it's consistently read the same which it does?

    I just compare that difference to a timing chain on the engine of a car, if the time is out, it's out and the engine is sluggish with obvious results. And being the perfectionist that I try to be I'm just wondering if I'm missing out on the optimum pour.

  4. #554
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Hi,
    I have no idea what my pressure gauge says. I doesn't affect how i make coffee. I just adjust the temp up or down depending on type of beans and then alter according to taste
    Cheers
    Dave
    Totally agree.

    It's the "but what if" that playing on my mind.

    What if the bar was at optimum level and at your preferred temp, and improves taste?

    Maybe I'm drawing an "unscientific" long bow.......always on the quest for improving status quo

  5. #555
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardC View Post
    Great stuff Samual, I'm glad there are folks like you out there that are all over this stuff, it does my head in frankly.

    I simply look at a guide and make sure I'm close enough to it but my baby may be a little further away from optimum with a 0.15 (120 @ 0.85) difference, are you saying it's not enough to worry about as it's consistently read the same which it does?

    I just compare that difference to a timing chain on the engine of a car, if the time is out, it's out and the engine is sluggish with obvious results. And being the perfectionist that I try to be I'm just wondering if I'm missing out on the optimum pour.
    Glad it helps Richard. Rest assured your machine is fine. Any discrepancy will come from either (i) gauge measurement error (ii) temp probe measurement error (iii) temp probe placement error. It's a measurement error and not a performance indicator.

    As DrDave has said, just adjust the temp based on taste. Your real 'optimal' pressure/temp will likely be the same as another Snob (if you guys are using same bean same roast etc with the same taste preference) even if your gauges don't read the same.
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  6. #556
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    Got it Samual, thanks again for breaking it down for me

  7. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    If anyone can find the tool needed to take the cap of the piston let me know. I am starting to think it doesn't even exist, except at the factory where they are put together.
    I found it - it's called a Budd Nut Socket.
    Now trying to buy one in the right size with the correct size pins and configuration.
    Have to take the piston in to a specialist tool shop.

    Got lucky. A tool guru looked at my photo of it and knew what it was.

  8. #558
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    Thanks Al,
    I'd appreciate you letting me know when you find it as I would buy one also
    Cheers
    Dave

  9. #559
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    I was going to a tool shop to have one manufactured. But, if there is one somewhere, I would like to buy one too.

  10. #560
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hack View Post
    I was going to a tool shop to have one manufactured. But, if there is one somewhere, I would like to buy one too.
    Will let you know how I get on.
    Should get a chance to take the piston out of the machine and into the tool shop in the next couple of days.
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  11. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    Will let you know how I get on.
    Should get a chance to take the piston out of the machine and into the tool shop in the next couple of days.
    Another dead end.
    The smallest diameter the tool shop could get in was bigger than the piston diameter.

    I did learn that the four small notches in the piston head are 6mm across.

    While a pin spanner will work well when the piston is out of the Lever Group Body, it won't help you reassemble the piston inside the Lever Group Body.
    This is important because when you put in a new gasket you cant slide it back down from the top of the Lever Group Body - it flares out from top to bottom.

    I ended up using two 6mm allen key heads, inserted them into two of the buds, placed a large screwdriver horizontally between them, held it all together with my hands and screwed the piston head down until it was below the shower screen line.
    Not ideal. Not keen to repeat it.

    To work on the group I think you need, as a minimum:
    1. wrench and allen key to remove the bolts holding the Lever Group Body together;
    2. wrench to remove the bolts holding the Lever Group Body onto the main body;
    3. 90 degree bent nose pliers to remove shower screen C/lock ring. Don't skimp. Get the right size nose on your pliers. This lock ring takes some serious pressure to remove;
    4. Vice to hold the Lever Group Body while working on it and a thick rag to protect your beautiful chrome surfaces;
    5. some kind of tool to take the piston head off and then get it back on when installed back into the Lever Group Body;
    6. rubber mallet to very very gently tap the parts of the piston back into the Lever Group Body - patience and super care to line things up and gently get them in is the key;
    7. Molykote 111 lubricant. A think smear is all that is needed on the gasket and silicon O-ring (if you like). Do not overgrease - excess grease will end up coating the edges of the shower screen.

    Ultimately, it is beautifully simple. Unfortunately, the vital part required to take the piston head off is not readily available.

    Note - the springs are not held on by the piston head. There is a separate large bolt holding them in position which sits underneath the piston - which is exposed once the piston is removed.

  12. #562
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    So, with the right tool, my understanding is that you can service the group head after screwing the piston out from underneath without disassembling the whole lot and removing it from the main body.
    Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried to contact the manufacturer in Italy?
    Even the people at Jetblack said that to service this machine they would either remove the top assembly or manufacture their own tool.

  13. #563
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    Hi All,
    Some information here
    http://www.home-barista.com/levers/i...t25094-40.html

    I haven't made a tool out of pvc as was hoping to purchase one. If anyone finds one, lots of us would be keen to know where from
    Cheers
    Dave
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  14. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hack View Post
    So, with the right tool, my understanding is that you can service the group head after screwing the piston out from underneath without disassembling the whole lot and removing it from the main body.
    Yes you probably can.
    I haven't tried that.
    I think the shower screen would be hard to get out and in upside down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hack View Post
    Even the people at Jetblack said that to service this machine they would either remove the top assembly or manufacture their own tool.
    Does that mean Jetblack hasn't serviced one?

    I wonder if anyone has.

    Tool wouldn't need to be super strong - there's not a huge amount of pressure on the piston head when screwed in.

  15. #565
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hack View Post
    Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried to contact the manufacturer in Italy?
    Gave that a try.
    Answer - couldn't help.

  16. #566
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    Just trying to understand here (have not seen a disassembled LSM group in person)...is it necessary to unscrew the piston for servicing? Can't we just remove the lever/piston assembly from the top, and stretch the gasket over the piston (I am assuming we're trying to replace the piston seal here)?

  17. #567
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    Just trying to understand here (have not seen a disassembled LSM group in person)...is it necessary to unscrew the piston for servicing? Can't we just remove the lever/piston assembly from the top, and stretch the gasket over the piston (I am assuming we're trying to replace the piston seal here)?
    No. Two reasons.

    1: the gasket will not stretch over the piston. It is not that flexible and it sits partly inside the piston itself. It isn't a simple ring like the gasket at the group head.

    2: once a new gasket is an installed it will not go back in from the top. It is too wide when new.
    samuellaw178 likes this.

  18. #568
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    Hi All,
    In the meantime I removed shower screen and soaked in machine cleaner. I then cleaned (with a brush and machine cleaner) and re-lubricated the bore of the cylinder (when it was cool) with Inox MX6
    I put some Inox on the top of the rod (which inserts into the group head) with the lever depressed
    I moved the lever up and down a number of times to spread the Inox
    It certainly feels smoother
    This will do temporarily until I can find a tool to remove the piston and completely disassemble it
    Cheers
    Dave

  19. #569
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Hi All,
    In the meantime I removed shower screen and soaked in machine cleaner. I then cleaned (with a brush and machine cleaner) and re-lubricated the bore of the cylinder (when it was cool) with Inox MX6
    I put some Inox on the top of the rod (which inserts into the group head) with the lever depressed
    I moved the lever up and down a number of times to spread the Inox
    It certainly feels smoother
    This will do temporarily until I can find a tool to remove the piston and completely disassemble it
    Cheers
    Dave
    I suggest using Molykote 111 as your lubricant. It is thicker than Inox and seems to hold position better/not move around in the bore as much.
    I found Inox didn't last as long or as well.

    The amount of lube you ideally need is a smear on the seals.
    I don't think you need it on the bore - but agree it does help if you the piston isn't moving smoothly.
    My experience suggests that if you need more lube you should be replacing the gasket (black seal) on the piston.

    Mine certainly works better now the gasket is replaced, with minimal lube.
    One person suggested to me I needed no lube at all - but I am not sure about that. Izzo installs the piston lubed.

    I now also move the piston smoothly up and down only full length.
    I was doing some short stroke movements to allow water through for cleaning. I am guessing that may have caused some of my sticky piston problems.

  20. #570
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    Re-fill
    My re-fill was painfully slow.
    I removed my in-line pressure regulator.
    Problem solved - flow now normal.
    I suspect the restricted flow/slow re-fill also played a bit of havoc with the water level sensor. From time to time I had to turn the machine off and on to reset it, as it was failing to re-fill.
    Hasn't been a problem since pressure regulator removed.

    I have an in-line water filter also (3M).

    Was willing to go without pressure regulator, but might not be a "risk" everyone is willing to take.
    I made the change because of the issues I was having on failure to re-fill.

  21. #571
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    Have you tried replacing the regulator? Could it have been fully?

  22. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Have you tried replacing the regulator? Could it have been fully?
    No.
    I'll check in with my water filter people.

  23. #573
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    Thanks Almac,
    Is it possible to give some simple instructions ( and any photo's you may have) on how you replaced the gasket please?
    Many thanks
    Dave

  24. #574
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Thanks Almac,
    Is it possible to give some simple instructions ( and any photo's you may have) on how you replaced the gasket please?
    Many thanks
    Dave
    Sure.

    I turned off and let the machine cool fully so nothing is expanded by the heat.

    Removed piston head by unscrewing the four screws that hold the head to the bore.

    Removed bore by unscrewing the four bolts that hold it onto the machine body.
    Removed shower screen from bore.

    I do not have the tool to remove the piston head, so used a 6mm pin wrench (first and second pictures below).
    Basically, you need a 6mm sized "pin" to go into the holes on the piston head.

    I then unscrewed the piston head (first picture). It comes off by itself. It does not hold the spring on - that is a separate bolt that sits inside the piston head.

    You can then pull the piston head apart (third and fourth photos). When you do this be very careful to lay everything out in order and so that you can reassemble it up/down the same way it was. In particular, the white silicon ring needs to go back in the same way - not upside down.

    In the last picture you'll see the that black gasket goes into the piston head on the left.
    I cleaned everything with a clean rag/paper towel (piston head and bore).
    I put a light smear of grease over the new gasket and inserted it back into the piston head.

    Next I put the group lever head back onto the bore so I had a the whole group reassembled with the piston removed.
    The gasket has to be installed this way. A new gasket will not slide back into the bore from the top.

    I lightly lubed the outside of the silicon ring and gasket.

    Placed whole group into vice - you need something to keep it in place.

    Next I gently re-installed the piston piece by piece in order into the group head. As the pieces are a tight fit I very carefully worked them in (especially the gasket). A rubber mallet was useful for a light tap.

    Now I had a problem because I didn't have a tool to tighten the group head in the bore.
    I screwed it in as far as I could.
    I then took two 6mm hex/allen keys and a large screw driver. I placed an allen key on either side of the screw driver, held it all in place by hand and screwed the piston back in - being super careful not to scratch the bore - the allen keys need to sit well inside the piston head holes.
    I screwed the piston head in far enough so that I could re-install the shower screen.

    Reinstalled group head onto body of machine.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  25. #575
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    Hi,
    That's really helpful - thank you so much!
    Certainly a project in the next few months
    Cheers
    Dave

  26. #576
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    Really well done AlMac, If you own one of these machines you need to know how to service it every couple of years. JK

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