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Thread: Breville BES920 Dual Boiler - Owners thread

  1. #1951
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickRPT View Post
    Also have you guys try VST 20g basket on a Breville 920 ?
    I have one and i have found that i can get better shots from the stock filter !
    Anyone here got any experience ?
    A fellow Greek. My mum is Greek anyway, so I'm half...

    Anyhow VST baskets...
    1) they market themselves on their precision... but precision has little effect on taste in the cup
    2) the real reason for VST baskets is their large open area... large hole to metal ratio, so they flow too fast unless you grind finer. Sometimes you want this feature. Sometimes not.
    3) they are more sensitive to puck prep than regular hole area baskets... IOW, they channel and spritz (if you use a bottomless portafilter) more easily than traditional baskets

    Breville baskets...
    1) also very precise, round, evenly spaced holes... but again, precision has little effect on taste in the cup
    2) they have a more traditional ratio of open area to metal, so they flow slower and you grind coarser than VST to get the timing you want

    Bottom line...
    VST baskets are not "better" than the Breville baskets... they just "handle" differently. Very differently. You choose one over the other depending on circumstances. Me? I roast my own beans and rarely if ever have one roast identical to the other, either the beans are different or my roasting skills cause variability. SO, I keep both the Breville baskets AND VST baskets around to use whichever one works better for the bean I have. Just pay special attention to your puck prep with VST, because again, they are more sensitive to spritzing and channeling than the Breville basket. Not that spritzing is the end of the world... Spritz happens.

    -Peter

  2. #1952
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    im at a loss and thinking the machine may need to go to the shop for a repair.
    in the last week i cannot get pressure to go above about 4.5bar. even with the grind on 1 ( its usually around 7 atm).

    any thoughts ? i am used to adjusting the grind depending on the beans , their age etc etc, but this seems something different. also, in the pre-draw period the pressure does not rise..
    thx

  3. #1953
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottanthony View Post
    im at a loss and thinking the machine may need to go to the shop for a repair.
    in the last week i cannot get pressure to go above about 4.5bar. even with the grind on 1 ( its usually around 7 atm).

    any thoughts ? i am used to adjusting the grind depending on the beans , their age etc etc, but this seems something different. also, in the pre-draw period the pressure does not rise..
    thx
    What does the pressure go to when you put a blind basket into your portafilter, or use the gray silicone cleaning disk in the portafilter?

    -Peter

  4. #1954
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    I actually manage to get better looking extraction with the stock Breville basket than the VST , but not in all beans i have try :-)
    I have a feeling that my Breville grinder is not that capable to grind good enough for my VST basket , so i have already order a Sette 270w and i'll keep you updated :-)

    Thank you very much Peter :-)

  5. #1955
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    Nick you might try to see if Breville will send you a shim for your grinders' burrs. That will allow the grinder to be able to grind finer. They were sending them out for free a couple of years ago. If not, they aren't going to be too dear anyway. No more than a dollar, plus post, I'd guess.

    -Peter

  6. #1956
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    Descale Help!

    Bump! Can anyone help me please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kettles View Post
    Hi all, I have now diligently followed the descaling video from Beauty and the Barista on YouTube 3 times. I am frustrated to the max as I still have DESCALE! showing on the screen. Can some kind souls who know their machine backwards and successfully descale please view this video and confirm whether the process is correct as demonstrated or not. This is doing my head in.
    https://youtu.be/_VAkjB2qC9c
    thanks so much.

  7. #1957
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kettles View Post
    Bump! Can anyone help me please?
    When I descaled mine I had to perform a reset to clear the indicator.

  8. #1958
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    What does the pressure go to when you put a blind basket into your portafilter, or use the gray silicone cleaning disk in the portafilter?

    -Peter
    why didnt i think of that. good pressure using the cleaning disk, so i decided to give the grinder a good clean out... that did the trick.... thanks

  9. #1959
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    Peter there is not a problem for fine grind !
    Breville grinder can go very fine and not they have add inside the micro metric adjustment , that work like shim !
    The problem is that once you go fine the coffee it comes out like small pieces and not fluffy !
    I did the test today and the stock basket with 20g coffee hold way better pressure than the VST at 20g !
    VST starts with 10 bars and then at less than 20 secs drop down to 7 bar !
    The stock starts with 9,5 bar and drop down to 8 bars till i stop the extraction at about 30 secs.

  10. #1960
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    Quote Originally Posted by homebaristauk View Post
    When I descaled mine I had to perform a reset to clear the indicator.

    Yes, I did try that, but no good. I may have to refer this to Breville with little hope of them sorting it.
    Thanks for your assistance homebaristauk.
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  11. #1961
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    We owned this machine for just under two years. It was great and had many convenient features. Being able to set it to wakeup and heat up in the morning was awesome. We also couldn't clear the descale message.

    About a month ago the steam wand developed a leak so we took it in for repair as the warranty was about to run out. It turns out one of the boilers has corroded and water has caused rust on many of the internal components. It was prohibitively expensive to repair so they replaced it with a brand new model. Disappointing that this happened to the machine in under 2 years of use. We were really happy with the coffee it produced before the incident though!

  12. #1962
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    Breville BES920 Dual Boiler - Owners thread

    Hi guys, I just bought one of these machines having had a sunbeam 6910 for 8 years of faithful service! So far Iím very disappointed as Iím getting poorer coffee than the 6910. Iíve played around with the dosage and grind considerably and have gotten a nice fine, thin pour but despite having tried 3 different types of beans (Pablo & Rustyís / coffee emporium/ grinders) I am getting minimal crema with either (not even covering the surface of the cup. Bizarrely the supermarket bought grinders is providing the thickest crema. (And even that is too thin to cover the surface). Iíve noticed the pucks are a little bit moister than with the other machine. Iím also wondering why during the pre-infusion there is no rise in pressure on the gauge given that itís supposed to hit 60% pressure. It seems to go straight to about 9.5 bars after 10 seconds then slowly drop to about 8 as the pour progresses (I have it set at the factory default of 7 seconds). I have grinder set at 18 second grind with 8 grind size. Am I doing something wrong or is this typical machine behaviour? Would greatly appreciate any advice.
    Last edited by thecafeninja; 26th February 2018 at 08:23 AM.

  13. #1963
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    If the puck is still a bit moist on top, maybe try increasing the dose slightly. This should also help stop the pressure dropping during extraction. Sounds like you could go slightly finer on the grind also.

    As for pre infusion, you can change it slightly in the settings but the factory setting of 6 or 7 seconds is pretty good generally. The pressure gauge should rise slightly (somewhere between 1-3bar) and then you should hear a slight change in pump sound as it ramps up to full pressure. Personally I like to see the gauge hit 9.5 bar before I see coffee come out. If it starts pouring sooner I go finer.

  14. #1964
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    What are the dates your supermarket beans were roasted on? If you are much more than a month or two post roast, crema will be thin to non-existent. If there is no roast date on the beans you bought, it is certain that they are much more than a month or two old. If you still want crema, you can still possibly get some fake crema by using the double wall baskets. In fact, that's why they make double wall baskets... to generate fake crema. There is a Lavazza bean out there you can buy, that has robusta beans in it, also to make crema. Robusta beans taste nasty, but they make crema like crazy. In fact, crema itself tastes nasty. But in moderation, some people think it adds something to the shot as a whole... the way you might put a little bit of very very hot pepper sauce on your food, but not drown it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPBOtp4th0&t=198s Skip ahead to the 3:30 point if you wish to hear it from the experts about the horrible taste of crema. But if you have the time, the whole five minutes is worth a listen.

    BUT then, why have crema at all? (I get it all the time, because I use beans freshly roasted by myself, and I have good equipment. BUT I let it dissipate before I drink it, because I hate it). Anyway, here is an educational bit about crema, what it is and why: CoffeeGeek - Crema

    In short, crema comes automatically if you have all three of the following: fresh beans, good technique, and good equipment. And the BDB is most definitely good equipment. Very very good equipment, in fact. How is your grinder? Is it up to the standard of your espresso machine?

    -Peter

  15. #1965
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    Quote Originally Posted by prydey View Post
    If the puck is still a bit moist on top, maybe try increasing the dose slightly. This should also help stop the pressure dropping during extraction. Sounds like you could go slightly finer on the grind also.

    As for pre infusion, you can change it slightly in the settings but the factory setting of 6 or 7 seconds is pretty good generally. The pressure gauge should rise slightly (somewhere between 1-3bar) and then you should hear a slight change in pump sound as it ramps up to full pressure. Personally I like to see the gauge hit 9.5 bar before I see coffee come out. If it starts pouring sooner I go finer.
    Thank-you! I did try some shots at 20g but I will try it again. Below 8 it starts to drip and only gets about 30 mls out on double shot. The pressure gauge doesnít rise at all until it hits 10 seconds in but I spoke to Breville today and they said this was normal. I definitely hear the rise in pumps revving up.

  16. #1966
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    What are the dates your supermarket beans were roasted on? If you are much more than a month or two post roast, crema will be thin to non-existent. If there is no roast date on the beans you bought, it is certain that they are much more than a month or two old. If you still want crema, you can still possibly get some fake crema by using the double wall baskets. In fact, that's why they make double wall baskets... to generate fake crema. There is a Lavazza bean out there you can buy, that has robusta beans in it, also to make crema. Robusta beans taste nasty, but they make crema like crazy. In fact, crema itself tastes nasty. But in moderation, some people think it adds something to the shot as a whole... the way you might put a little bit of very very hot pepper sauce on your food, but not drown it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPBOtp4th0&t=198s Skip ahead to the 3:30 point if you wish to hear it from the experts about the horrible taste of crema. But if you have the time, the whole five minutes is worth a listen.

    BUT then, why have crema at all? (I get it all the time, because I use beans freshly roasted by myself, and I have good equipment. BUT I let it dissipate before I drink it, because I hate it). Anyway, here is an educational bit about crema, what it is and why: CoffeeGeek - Crema

    In short, crema comes automatically if you have all three of the following: fresh beans, good technique, and good equipment. And the BDB is most definitely good equipment. Very very good equipment, in fact. How is your grinder? Is it up to the standard of your espresso machine?

    -Peter
    Hi Peter, thanks for your help. I have the dynamic duo so itís the Breville smart grinder. Irrespective of the level of crema, I made a coffee this morning and it was pretty bad. Certainly a lot worse than I can get out of my 6910 sunbeam. Iím a former barista and cafe owner so I think my technique is pretty good so that only leaves the beans but it seems strange to me that having tried 3 different bags of beans (2 non supermarket) that Iím getting such poor quality coffee. I bought a new bag today roasted on 19th feb so Iíll see how those go and maybe Iíll take a video.

  17. #1967
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    By the way, sorry if I came off arrogant...

    How are your other fundamentals? Are you seeing reasonable pressures 8-10 bar (it will decline during the extraction and finish at lower pressure and faster flow, which is normal), and reasonable time (25-40 seconds)?

    If you are able to get inside those time and pressure windows, AND have fresh beans, you should have good crema.

    Otherwise I am at a loss. But it should work if you're not getting channeling... Which I am increasingly suspecting. All an espresso machine does is deliver water at several bars of pressure, and a set temperature (which is what the BDB is particularly good at). If you fail to get crema with your known fresh beans and within those time and pressure windows, it's time to borrow a mate's known good grinder. The smartie is an adequate grinder. BUT if it's brand new, you may need a couple-three kilos of beans through it before the burrs are seasoned. Brand new unseasoned burrs can definitely cause channeling and erratic extraction.

    Keep us informed how it goes.

    -Peter

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    Hi all,

    Have been using my BES920 + Smart Grinder Pro every single day (except when I go on holidays) since August 2014 and it has never skipped a beat.

    Recently the pre-infusion pump has started playing up, and the descriptions in this BES900 thread matches my situation!

    Any other BES920 owners have this issue? Luckily I'm still within my 5 year extended warranty period!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    By the way, sorry if I came off arrogant...

    How are your other fundamentals? Are you seeing reasonable pressures 8-10 bar (it will decline during the extraction and finish at lower pressure and faster flow, which is normal), and reasonable time (25-40 seconds)?

    If you are able to get inside those time and pressure windows, AND have fresh beans, you should have good crema.

    Otherwise I am at a loss. But it should work if you're not getting channeling... Which I am increasingly suspecting. All an espresso machine does is deliver water at several bars of pressure, and a set temperature (which is what the BDB is particularly good at). If you fail to get crema with your known fresh beans and within those time and pressure windows, it's time to borrow a mate's known good grinder. The smartie is an adequate grinder. BUT if it's brand new, you may need a couple-three kilos of beans through it before the burrs are seasoned. Brand new unseasoned burrs can definitely cause channeling and erratic extraction.

    Keep us informed how it goes.

    -Peter
    Hi Peter, you are a genius!

    Ok so tonight I pulled out my old sunbeam cafe series grinder that I used with my em6910 and my old machine....I ran a double shot through both machines. With the smart grinder on both machines I still got a poor extraction with flimsy crema. I then used the sunbeam grinder and....boom! Beautiful shots with crema you could have a bath in!

    So in short, the smart grinder is the problem...so what on earth do I do next other than putting up with awful coffee for several weeks in the hope that the burrs season or is there a way to fast track the process? Thanks so much for your help!

  20. #1970
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    And thatís crappy grinders supermarket stuff!

  21. #1971
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    Nice firm puck too with no channeling

  22. #1972
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    Black sand from Klink in the city...even better...

  23. #1973
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    Did you try grinding finer with the smart grinder? Sounds like you just need to go a bit finer.

  24. #1974
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    Quote Originally Posted by prydey View Post
    Did you try grinding finer with the smart grinder? Sounds like you just need to go a bit finer.
    Hi, yes I did - itís definitely not an issue with the fineness - I took it right down to the point where nothing came through and worked back from there. The issue seems to be with the clumping of the coffee coming out of the grinder causing inconsistencies and weaknesses within the coffee thereby causing channeling (see attached).
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    Quote Originally Posted by prydey View Post
    Did you try grinding finer with the smart grinder? Sounds like you just need to go a bit finer.
    Also I tried a shot through both machines and same issue with channeling on both so itís the grinder that is the problem.

  26. #1976
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecafeninja View Post
    Also I tried a shot through both machines and same issue with channeling on both so itís the grinder that is the problem.
    So! you have two coffee machines, a grinder and an operator, you automatically assume its the grinder, have you considered it could well be something to do with the technique of the operator?

  27. #1977
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    BUT if it's brand new, you may need a couple-three kilos of beans through it before the burrs are seasoned. Brand new unseasoned burrs can definitely cause channeling and erratic extraction.
    Can you tell us a little more about this? I've never experienced it.

  28. #1978
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Can you tell us a little more about this? I've never experienced it.
    I was talking about conical burr grinders in general... Or at least the "titan" (commercial grinders used in home environment). I have a grinder with huge conical burrs (from a Robur) and it became way way way less channelly, more consistent, and ground nearly twice as fast, after I ran about a kilo of parboiled rice through it. (Never use regular hard uncooked rice. In fact many grinder makers warn specifically against it.)

    I have no specific experience with the Smartie, but being a home-use appliance and not a commercial grinder, I would have expected Breville to have done some form of pre-seasoning in order to reduce customer dissatisfaction over a new machine. I only suggested the need to season, based on 'Ninja's description of his symptoms. Upon further reflection, that kind of behaviour also comes from the case where the outer burr ring is not perfectly concentric with the inner burr, so a possible manufacturing error comes to mind as well.

    Further reading of much out there, here is a thread I picked at random: https://www.home-barista.com/grinder...ts-t39850.html

    -Peter

  29. #1979
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    I was talking about conical burr grinders in general... Or at least the "titan" (commercial grinders used in home environment). I have a grinder with huge conical burrs (from a Robur) and it became way way way less channelly, more consistent, and ground nearly twice as fast, after I ran about a kilo of parboiled rice through it. (Never use regular hard uncooked rice. In fact many grinder makers warn specifically against it.)

    I have no specific experience with the Smartie, but being a home-use appliance and not a commercial grinder, I would have expected Breville to have done some form of pre-seasoning in order to reduce customer dissatisfaction over a new machine. I only suggested the need to season, based on 'Ninja's description of his symptoms. Upon further reflection, that kind of behaviour also comes from the case where the outer burr ring is not perfectly concentric with the inner burr, so a possible manufacturing error comes to mind as well.

    Further reading of much out there, here is a thread I picked at random: https://www.home-barista.com/grinder...ts-t39850.html

    -Peter
    Interesting, have had no experience with conical grinders, only flat burr.

    The only affect I have noticed with new burrs is they do grind quite aggressively for the first few days, never a problem with extraction.

  30. #1980
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    So! you have two coffee machines, a grinder and an operator, you automatically assume its the grinder, have you considered it could well be something to do with the technique of the operator?
    No I have two coffee machines, two grinders and have run shots through both machines using both grinders. One grinder produces perfect shots through both machines....and it isnít the smart grinder! Iím pretty sure itís not me thatís the problem!

  31. #1981
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecafeninja View Post
    No I have two coffee machines, two grinders and have run shots through both machines using both grinders. One grinder produces perfect shots through both machines....and it isnít the smart grinder! Iím pretty sure itís not me thatís the problem!
    Fair enough! just trying to look at it from a different perspective.
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    Yelts, I see from a previous post of yours that you are at least familiar with the concept when people talk about "seasoning" of burrs. I agree with you that that term, while widespread among baristas that use commercial grinders, is probably not the best word for it. As an amateur race engine builder myself, I like your analogy to that, better. Though I don't know if I have the energy to take on the barista community with enough vigour to get them to change their terminology.

    -Peter

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    Don't even try - they're closer to cooks than mechanics... so seasoning it remains!

    Imagine if they were closer to proctologists

  34. #1984
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    I was talking about conical burr grinders in general... Or at least the "titan" (commercial grinders used in home environment). I have a grinder with huge conical burrs (from a Robur) and it became way way way less channelly, more consistent, and ground nearly twice as fast, after I ran about a kilo of parboiled rice through it. (Never use regular hard uncooked rice. In fact many grinder makers warn specifically against it.)

    I have no specific experience with the Smartie, but being a home-use appliance and not a commercial grinder, I would have expected Breville to have done some form of pre-seasoning in order to reduce customer dissatisfaction over a new machine. I only suggested the need to season, based on 'Ninja's description of his symptoms. Upon further reflection, that kind of behaviour also comes from the case where the outer burr ring is not perfectly concentric with the inner burr, so a possible manufacturing error comes to mind as well.

    Further reading of much out there, here is a thread I picked at random: https://www.home-barista.com/grinder...ts-t39850.html

    -Peter
    Thanks Peter....sounds like I need to stick a couple of kilos of supermarket nasties through it then re-test...Iíll give it a go this weekend. Appreciate the great advice!

  35. #1985
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecafeninja View Post
    Thanks Peter....sounds like I need to stick a couple of kilos of supermarket nasties through it then re-test...I’ll give it a go this weekend. Appreciate the great advice!
    Good! If that doesn't result in some improvement, it might be time for a call to Breville. Tell them you are worried that the inner and outer burrs are not concentric with each other.

    Keep us informed. (I think there is or was a Smart Grinder thread here on CS, by the way)

    -Peter

  36. #1986
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    Hi All

    Need a bit of help. Love my BES920, and have absolutely flogged it into the ground over the last 5 years. Killed the main pump and solenoid, replaced both and continued working nicely.

    Now I seem to have an issue with the machine constantly dropping water at a slow but constant rate from the LHS water outlet in the drip tray. IE - If I leave the machine on, it will slowly fill up the tray over maybe 1 hour.
    I am guessing this might mean the OPV is kaput, but im not 100% sure on the parts that lead to the water outlet in to the drip tray. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Seemed like OPV to me, but not being sure I thought i would ask.

    Also, can someone educate me on which pump is responsible for filling the boilers (is it just the normal pumps?) I am under the impression there are two pumps, one for each boiler (coffee and steam) as far as delivery to the steam wand and portafilter, but do these pumps also fill the tanks from the water resevoir? I seem to have an issue with a pump filling noise happening regularly and near constantly. Initially I thought this may have been related to the machine dropping water into the tray, but it is now starting to make a familiar ticking noise like when the coffee pump and solenoid was starting to die. I'm guessing this may mean the steam pump is also on its way out.

    Whilst I'm writing a long post, I may as well ask one more question. Does anyone know anything about when the BES920 will be updated? I love my machine and would be keen to buy another if an upgraded model was to come along. Cant find anything online. Im not interested in an oracle with built in grinder etc. Just a more refined upgraded dual boiler machine would be nice.

    Cheers!

  37. #1987
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    From memory the OPV returns to the tank. The three way valve drains to the drip tray. What’s your brew pressure like? When do you last do a blind filter chemical clean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    From memory the OPV returns to the tank. The three way valve drains to the drip tray. Whatís your brew pressure like? When do you last do a blind filter chemical clean?
    Thanks for the response. Yep I did a full descale and front end (blind filter) clean a couple of weeks ago.

    IM pretty confident its not the 3 way valve, as the machine pulls coffees at good pressure between 9 and 10 bar which for me is fine (also interesting to note the upgraded ulka pump is far quieter than the factory pump!), durng the draw there is no sign of water dropping in to the tray, and pucks are consistently good/dry, thats why I figure maybe the 3WV is ok?

    The machine seems to be dropping water what sitting idle, correct me if im wrong, but the three way valve I thought was only utilised when you are pulling a coffee (to release the pressure from the group head)

  39. #1989
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    Correct, both of you.

    You say water is leaking out of the hot water spigot? This is very possible, especially if you actually use it. It is a needle and seat system and it is not at all unusual for those to wear out just form normal use. And the slightest bit of over tightening the hot water shutoff can rapidly wear the needle and seat, causing exactly the leak you are describing. I have not had this problem, because I almost never use the hot water so my needle and seat have not had a chance to become worn.

    Tell us, does water come out of the hot water spigot while you are pulling a shot? And are you sure it's coming from the hot water spigot, or could it be coming from the steam wand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desbos View Post
    Whilst I'm writing a long post, I may as well ask one more question. Does anyone know anything about when the BES920 will be updated? I love my machine and would be keen to buy another if an upgraded model was to come along. Cant find anything online. Im not interested in an oracle with built in grinder etc. Just a more refined upgraded dual boiler machine would be nice.

    Cheers!
    I have some worries that they do not plan to update it all. Here is a thread about that very topic in another forum. https://www.home-barista.com/espress...20line#p568678

    -Peter

  40. #1990
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    Good! If that doesn't result in some improvement, it might be time for a call to Breville. Tell them you are worried that the inner and outer burrs are not concentric with each other.

    Keep us informed. (I think there is or was a Smart Grinder thread here on CS, by the way)

    -Peter
    Hi, so after the grinder started making some hideous noises today I took it back to the store and they swapped it for a new one no questions asked. Having tried the new one Iím pleased to report much less clumping of the coffee, no channeling and getting some good crema out so looks like it was basically a ďFriday grinderĒ. I ran a kg of beans through it to season the burrs as you suggested. I think everything will be good from here in hopefully!

  41. #1991
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    My 920 is only a bit over a year old and recently I've been having an issue with my steam wand. Usually after a period of inactivity for a few hours, when I fire it up it all seems to light up fine but when I open the steam wand tap it gives a couple of feint beeps and the little white light fails to light up to say steam is in use. I still get steam though but probably not full strength. After running for 30 seconds or so and opening and closing the tap eventually the light comes on.
    Anyone else experienced this? Is it the start of a bigger issue? I have no other error messages or descale messages.

  42. #1992
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    Quote Originally Posted by prydey View Post
    My 920 is only a bit over a year old and recently I've been having an issue with my steam wand. Usually after a period of inactivity for a few hours, when I fire it up it all seems to light up fine but when I open the steam wand tap it gives a couple of feint beeps and the little white light fails to light up to say steam is in use. I still get steam though but probably not full strength. After running for 30 seconds or so and opening and closing the tap eventually the light comes on.
    Anyone else experienced this? Is it the start of a bigger issue? I have no other error messages or descale messages.
    The light is actuated by a microswitch when a cam in the steam lever rolls over it and depresses it. It has no relation to whether steam is actually flowing or not, except indirectly. Steam flows from the simple act of opening the quarter-turn ball valve, which opens the path between the steam boiler and the steam wand tip. First place to look if steam is weak is the tiny holes in the steam tip possibly being clogged.

    -Peter

  43. #1993
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    thanks. sounds like something simple like a sticky microswitch.

  44. #1994
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    If you listen closely, can your hear/feel the microswitch clicking when you swing the steam paddle through it's arc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    The light is actuated by a microswitch when a cam in the steam lever rolls over it and depresses it. It has no relation to whether steam is actually flowing or not, except indirectly. Steam flows from the simple act of opening the quarter-turn ball valve, which opens the path between the steam boiler and the steam wand tip. First place to look if steam is weak is the tiny holes in the steam tip possibly being clogged.

    -Peter
    Hi Peter, sorry I wasnt good with my explanation. The water (and now steam) is coming out of the overflow point on the left hand side inside the tray, not from the hot water dispenser.

    I can hear the steam pump (or solenoid) clicking like the brew pump did before is died, and it appears some sort of valve has died which leads to the pipe which dumps excess water in the tray. I opened it up yesterday, and can also see another leak from the top of the boiler (where the pipes go in).

    I really feel like ive had a good run with the machine, its done an enourmous amount of work. I called breville and they offered to provide a new machine at a heavy discount, tempted to take that offer whilst the inner coffee snob makes me feel like I should be upgrading (but my logical mind keeps getting stuck on the part about the actually coffee being no better on a $3500 italian machine).

    Thanks for the link. Geez I wish Breville would at least give it an aesthetic make over, this machine with the look of the sunbeam torino would be amazing. I am a bit concerned i'll get a new machine and two weeks later they update it (have seen multiple places with the BES920 pm "run out" and that makes me wonder if something in the pipeline.. the breville customer service people had nothing to add).

  46. #1996
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    Unfortunately although the BES920 makes a lovely coffee it has played up twice, first time just before the warranty expired, and the latest a week ago and out of warranty. This is our second dual boiler,we bought the BES900 first and it lasted just over two years. We must be slow learners because we bought the new model and now that is costing us $280 to have it repaired. My husband is a coffee freak, he treats the machine very well, cleans it religiously and changes the filters every 6 weeks. He has descaled it according to the manufacturers instructions and now the repairers are descaling it again although he only did it a couple of months ago. We use the machine on average twice daily so I don't think that is excessive usage. It needs a new seal for the shower head, a new Solenoid Valve and a Gasket for the Solenoid. The previous repair was something to do with no steam coming through, we had to wait nearly three weeks for the part with a different repairer. Although we love the machine when it dies again that will be the end of Breville and I will be back on the Snobs for advice as to a better built one. I should have known better, the old saying you get what you pay for is very true, I won't forget again.

  47. #1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    I should have known better, the old saying you get what you pay for is very true, I won't forget again.
    sorry to hear of your woes with your current machine, but just to correct you on the above. you can have the exact same issues on a machine three times the price. spending for a fancy italian name doesn't guarantee you will have a trouble free run.

  48. #1998
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    I have an e61 machine that has required servicing 3 times in the last 18 months. The accumulated bill is now over $700. The machine is also meticulously maintained but it was bought from the forum.

    My BES920 is now 3 1/2 years old and cost zero in maintenance to date.

    I guess "you get what you pay for" is not really true in this case.

    The E61 machine can be kept going indefinitely. But it won't be cheap, unless you do it yourself.

  49. #1999
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    Looks like we are just unlucky. two machines, two duds. Based on your replies looks like the coffee gods are telling us not to bother but just go out for coffee!

  50. #2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    Unfortunately although the BES920 makes a lovely coffee it has played up twice, first time just before the warranty expired, and the latest a week ago and out of warranty. This is our second dual boiler,we bought the BES900 first and it lasted just over two years.
    When you say your BES900 lasted just over two years, what do you mean by that? What were the symptoms that led you to believe it was ready for the rubbish pile after two years. The reason I ask is that both the -900 and -920 will last about two years before they need new seals and possibly a new solenoid. If you don't replace the leaky seals, all kinds of scary symptoms might occur, from puddles on your counter top, to runaway heating, to popping the fuse at the wall or the fuse box. Every one of those symptoms clears up as soon as you open the machine and let it dry out, then replace the worn o-rings. A failed or failing solenoid can cause all kinds of operational problems like no brew water through the group even if the pump is running.

    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    We must be slow learners because we bought the new model and now that is costing us $280 to have it repaired.
    That sounds about like the minimum of what you would pay for routine service of an expensive Italian machine as well, if you are not inclined to do it yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    My husband is a coffee freak, he treats the machine very well, cleans it religiously and changes the filters every 6 weeks.
    These are all good things to do, but they will not prevent the seals and solenoids from wearing out any more than keeping your car clean will keep the brake pads from wearing out.

    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    He has descaled it according to the manufacturers instructions and now the repairers are descaling it again although he only did it a couple of months ago.
    Sooner or later, if you are into espresso long enough, the further you "upgrade" from the BDB, the more you will begin to realize that it's time to start doing what they do in the coffee shops and use properly conditioned water that does not deposit scale. The "dream" machine for home use, the La Marzocco GS/3 has no provision for descaling other than disassembly of the machine to do it. It is presumed that the owner of the top end home espresso gear is using conditioned water. I still have the -900 I bought in late 2011 and have never descaled it... because I only use water that won't scale. And it's still working because I change the o-rings and solenoids (and the steam valve) as necessary. Otherwise, other major system failures are exceedingly rare from what I can tell. I certainly haven't had any.

    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    It needs a new seal for the shower head, a new Solenoid Valve and a Gasket for the Solenoid.
    The shower head seal rarely needs replacement, (mine still doesn't need it), but it's cheap $2.99USD and super easy to replace. In the USA at least, the solenoid valve is $40USD, easily available, super easy 10 minute job to replace, and it comes with the gasket if you have the -920 (you do not need the ridiculous old -900 gasket).


    Quote Originally Posted by beezneez View Post
    Although we love the machine when it dies again that will be the end of Breville and I will be back on the Snobs for advice as to a better built one. I should have known better, the old saying you get what you pay for is very true, I won't forget again.
    I hate to be a negativist, but ALL machines are going to need seals and parts like solenoids, no matter how religious you are about cleaning. If repair costs are a consideration, it might serve you well to learn how to do at least the gaskets and o-rings that will be a fact of your life, no matter which direction you take in espresso. Also the further you get from the BDB, the harder descaling will be, and you will have to start considering using conditioned water.

    In summary, I have seen little evidence that the BDB needs any more in the way of routine maintenance than any other supposed higher end machines. And things will always be more affordable, no matter which path you take, if you develop the routine repair skills to take it one step beyond meticulous cleaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desbos View Post
    I can hear the steam pump (or solenoid) clicking like the brew pump did before is died, and it appears some sort of valve has died which leads to the pipe which dumps excess water in the tray. I opened it up yesterday, and can also see another leak from the top of the boiler (where the pipes go in).

    (but my logical mind keeps getting stuck on the part about the actually coffee being no better on a $3500 italian machine).
    Your logical mind is the best asset you've got. Heed it. In fact, in the Scace testing I've seen conducted by people you've heard of, the BDB came out in the class of the saturated brew group machines like the GS/3, which is $7000USD. Not sure how the $3500 Italians fare in temperature stability, but people who upgrade from the Italian E61's usually go to a saturated group machine like the GS/3... Which the BDB equals at least as far as temperature stability.

    Your leak at the top of the steam boiler where the plastic pipe goes in, is the classic leak in the BDB. #007 size o-ring. some of them require a stack of two o-rings. don't miss that. also some of them have a little stainless washer, don't forget (or lose) that as well when you do your o-rings.

    -Peter
    Last edited by pcrussell50; 8th March 2018 at 04:24 AM.
    prydey, inorog, chippy and 2 others like this.

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