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Thread: Faema Carisma S1?

  1. #1
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    Faema Carisma S1?

    Just snapped up an unused Faema Carisma S1 locally at a very reasonable price. seems to have all the bells and whistles (PID, LCD display, E61 brew head) and looks shiny. however i could only find very few reviews online.

    Has anyone had any experience with it? How does it stack up to the other HX machine like VBM junior, expobar leva etc?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member AlastairMcG's Avatar
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    I am in the same vote, last year I picked up one at a great price second hand but new in box. It was part of a Vittoria coffee competition prize.

    It is a great machine and has some real nice touches. However, I haven't had any experience with other HX or E61 machines. Only real issue is the OPV wasn't set to the right pressure. I have read this is because they have an ECE pod capability and the high pressure is required for that. Therefore, I still need to set the OPV pressure.

    Most articles I found in HomeBarista forum from America, as they were mostly sold in America I think (Chris' Coffee sold these machines and did a video/youtube review). I did however find online a presentation for what seems meant for dealers I think.
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    Thanks AlastairMcG, I did notice the machine come with a pod basket, which explains why the higher pressure.

    Another nice thing about the machine is the boiler has special coating to prevent the water from coming into contact with heavy metals...

    There's a resettable high limit switch underneath the drip tray, Is that the OPV?

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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    Thanks AlastairMcG, I did notice the machine come with a pod basket, which explains why the higher pressure.

    Another nice thing about the machine is the boiler has special coating to prevent the water from coming into contact with heavy metals...

    There's a resettable high limit switch underneath the drip tray, Is that the OPV?

    The switch underneath the drip tray is to reset the Boiler safety thermostat if it activates to shut down the heating element or machine to prevent heating without water.

    OPV is inside the machine, will need to pull off the covers etc. Hence I haven't rushed into it quite yet. I found these pics recently on HomeBarista or CoffeeGeek. These might be of the Casadio Dafne which is nearly the same machine, but some elements aren't as good as the Faema Carisma.

    The only two niggles I mainly have with the machine (besides the fixable OPV issue) is that the water tank could be bigger and the height of the tray to brew group is short and can't fit tall mugs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlastairMcG View Post
    The switch underneath the drip tray is to reset the Boiler safety thermostat if it activates to shut down the heating element or machine to prevent heating without water.

    OPV is inside the machine, will need to pull off the covers etc. Hence I haven't rushed into it quite yet. I found these pics recently on HomeBarista or CoffeeGeek. These might be of the Casadio Dafne which is nearly the same machine, but some elements aren't as good as the Faema Carisma.

    The only two niggles I mainly have with the machine (besides the fixable OPV issue) is that the water tank could be bigger and the height of the tray to brew group is short and can't fit tall mugs.
    My concern about this machine is should it unfortunately breaks, It'd be hard to get the parts or get it serviced.

    I find the water tank on Carisma is a tad small as well, My other HX machine expobar has a 2.7L water tank and I still need to refill every 2-3 days.

    And may i ask what boiler temperature/pressure did you set with the PID?

  6. #6
    Member AlastairMcG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    My concern about this machine is should it unfortunately breaks, It'd be hard to get the parts or get it serviced.

    I find the water tank on Carisma is a tad small as well, My other HX machine expobar has a 2.7L water tank and I still need to refill every 2-3 days.

    And may i ask what boiler temperature/pressure did you set with the PID?

    Yeah it is a bit of concern about any specific parts, but some of the general parts should be able to be interchanged with similar ones.

    For a while I had the boiler temp as it came at 122deg I think and a little while back turned it up to 124deg. No big defining reason or noticeable difference, will help the steam pressure, but have to take the higher temp into account when doing the cooling flush for brewing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlastairMcG View Post
    Yeah it is a bit of concern about any specific parts, but some of the general parts should be able to be interchanged with similar ones.

    For a while I had the boiler temp as it came at 122deg I think and a little while back turned it up to 124deg. No big defining reason or noticeable difference, will help the steam pressure, but have to take the higher temp into account when doing the cooling flush for brewing.
    Thanks, Let us know when you get to that OPV part, to be honest I am not sure if its even adjustable. on my expobar the OPV is connected to a silicon tubing to return the excess water back into the water tank and I do not see such thing on the Carisma water tank.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    Thanks, Let us know when you get to that OPV part, to be honest I am not sure if its even adjustable. on my expobar the OPV is connected to a silicon tubing to return the excess water back into the water tank and I do not see such thing on the Carisma water tank.
    I believe the OPV returns excess into the drip tray where the little spout is at the back of the drip tray. I'm guessing they didn't return it back to the tank as (maybe mainly for the US) they were designed for certain food grade levels of approval to meet a certain standard and returning to the tank might not meet this. From the way they mention this approval a fair bit it seems it isn't common in the more prosumer machines to have this approval.

    I will let you know when I finally adjust the OPV or have it serviced and adjusted.
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    Member AlastairMcG's Avatar
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    I finally adjusted my OPV to lower the pressure from a regular roughly 15bar at the machine's gauge.

    The results seem good. It seems the crema doesn't dissipate as much or quick and the flavour is a bit more balanced.

    Also, AndyFaema beat me to it and sent me some detailed instructions that I thought would be good to share (with his permission).

    AndyFaema's Instructions:
    0) Remove water tank & unplug.

    1) remove rear/sides/front cover (few screws but have to loosen small 7mm bolts underneath by carefully tilting machine). Take lots photo's of your own machine, wire colours, tubes etc).

    2) I removed two front wires so I wouldn't break them.

    3) Carefully snip off ziptie on bottom silicone tube and pull off bottom tube (mine broke, but just shortened a bit)

    4) Hold top steel fitting (think 14 mm spanner) whilst loosening whole bottom brass fitting (think 15mm).

    5) Once brass fitting removed I pulled the brass fitting apart (but did not move the internal screw position just yet) and gently cleaned bypass valve internals.

    6) Using a flat screwdriver gently turned internal OPV screw position 3/4 of a turn anti-clockwise)

    6) Reassemble Brass fitting.

    7) Reattach Brass fitting back to top Steel fitting (holding top again with 14mm spanner. Tighten all firmly but not over-tightened or your stuffed).

    8) Reattach bottom silicone tube (difficult to push up fully but get there with lots of persistence) and use strong ziptie to securely hold tube on threaded bottom brass fitting (you don't want this to leak or pop-off)

    9) Reattach front two wires (get them right way around - double check with your own initial photo).

    10) Make sure all dry within bottom of machine.

    11) Good idea to test for leaks before putting on outer cover - Replace water tank, arrange machine so can access front and also view OPV and CAREFULLY plug in (don't touch anything internly now).

    12) Let heat up and make a shot as per normal, checking your new pressure whilst pouring). I had to change coffee grind setting post pressure change. With 3/4 antilock-wise turn (to reduce pressure on internal OPV spring),
    I got 12 bar that fell slightly during pour to ~11.5 bar and I was more than happy with that as I saw a YouTube clip that said you can't compare high flow rotary pumps (@ 9bar) with low flow domestic vibration pumps which
    should be set at 11bar). As I'm still playing around with grind settings which may change things a little, this was good enough for me).

    13) If happy with new machine pressure, turn off power and reinstall outer casing. If not quite right you're going to have to remove power and water & pull off OPV again, change internal screw position and re-test etc.



    When I did the adjustment myself (AlastairMcG) I unscrewed the OPV to just over 3/4 of a turn and the machine gauge showed 12bar where the pressure cut out. I wanted to get closer to 10bar so I adjusted it a second time another half a turn to 1 1/4 turns anti-clockwise in total. This gave me 11bar peak and drop to sit just under 10.5bar during the bulk of the shot and I was happy with this for now until I check sometime at the portafilter what the actual brew pressure is.

    Also, I checked the pressure using the blind filter insert to block off the filter basket, as I would to back flush the machine.
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    Thanks mate, will definitely adjust mine at some point as well. I find mine shows roughly 12bar peak (not 15) at the gauge while pouring.

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    Hope the info above from AlastairMcG and I helps a little Symphonie. If you ever find a good place in Australia for parts or servicing of this machine could you post it. Thanks Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyFaema View Post
    Hope the info above from AlastairMcG and I helps a little Symphonie. If you ever find a good place in Australia for parts or servicing of this machine could you post it. Thanks Andrew
    Thanks Andrew, that helps a lot. I have not found a place in Australia for parts yet will do if I find it.

  13. #13
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    Here is some info I found a while back, exploded view diagrams, but does not have the parts list with it and haven't found it yet. If anyone has a parts list it would be nice to post it up also.
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  14. #14
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    The part numbers are included in the exploded views, just not in a list format. Also I've copied your post to the pointy end documentation section so others can find it easily.


    Java "Number what?" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Thanks Javaphile.

    Yeah I have tried looking up the part numbers to identify/confirm what some of the parts actually are, but with no luck. Someone queried with me on what a couple of parts were and I was making a judgement guess as feedback.

    It would be nice to have the list as confirmation as to actually saying what the parts are. However, it is good to at least to have the part numbers as per the exploded views.

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    Thanks for providing the document, Alastair.

    I have tried googling the parts numbers as shown in the document and it did come up with their names.

    eg:

    532392500 boiler safety valve.

    http://b2b.lfspareparts724.com/publi...9161520_lf.pdf

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    Thanks for providing the document, Alastair.

    I have tried googling the parts numbers as shown in the document and it did come up with their names.

    eg:

    532392500 boiler safety valve.

    http://b2b.lfspareparts724.com/publi...9161520_lf.pdf
    Nice work.

    Yeah I had a quick look but not for the example part number you found. I didn't get part number 958-219-000 but didn't dig too deep into google.

    However, looks like if we look deep enough we can find/workout the parts when required. I'd still like a quick reference guide though......

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    Hi guys, just a quick post to thank AlastairMcG for the fantastic guide on adjusting the OPV. I got mine adjusted down to 10bar, brews at 9.5bars. Fantastic machine!
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOONE View Post
    Hi guys, just a quick post to thank AlastairMcG for the fantastic guide on adjusting the OPV. I got mine adjusted down to 10bar, brews at 9.5bars. Fantastic machine!
    Nice work! I think it's a great machine too, with some nice touches.

    I need to do mine again. When I adjusted it would brew just above 10bar but now has crept up to around 11.5

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    Hello all from Lazio. First post and owner of my first prosumer machine. Had been using a Delonghi espresso appliance and similar Krups before that, thanks for all the information on this site. I have also acquired a Faema Carisma s1 [badged as Vittoria Coffee]had made only 6-7 coffees and at the price, even with shipping from Perth to The Gong was worth it; the espresso extracted was a revelation. Brew gauge reads 12-11 bar, pulling shots, was considering lowering to 9 bar. The gauge reading on the Carisma is coming from pump outlet; would anyone know if pressure reading is the same at extraction point i.e group head? Also needed a grinder in a hurry so quickest and nearest was a Breville smart pro 820. Would there be an improvement in the cup with commercial grade grinder?
    thankyou, lazio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafelazio View Post
    Hello all from Lazio. First post and owner of my first prosumer machine. Had been using a Delonghi espresso appliance and similar Krups before that, thanks for all the information on this site. I have also acquired a Faema Carisma s1 [badged as Vittoria Coffee]had made only 6-7 coffees and at the price, even with shipping from Perth to The Gong was worth it; the espresso extracted was a revelation. Brew gauge reads 12-11 bar, pulling shots, was considering lowering to 9 bar. The gauge reading on the Carisma is coming from pump outlet; would anyone know if pressure reading is the same at extraction point i.e group head? Also needed a grinder in a hurry so quickest and nearest was a Breville smart pro 820. Would there be an improvement in the cup with commercial grade grinder?
    thankyou, lazio.
    I would buy a portafilter with the pressure gauge in it. I have one for a Bezzera but not sure if it would fit. I used it recently to set a new rotary pump. It was set to 11 bar so I adjusted it to 9 bar.

  22. #22
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Greg Pullmans group pressure gauge was available for "hire" here, the thread should pop up if you do a search.

    Measuring at the group (with the right flow) is the ideal way to determine the brew pressure.

    You could then correlate the brew pressure at the group to the machine on the gauge and use the machine gauge for future settings.

    Cheers

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    Thanks for suggestions, good idea to correlate the pressure reading, talked to a mate yesterday about brew pressure, turns out he has a portafilter with gauge i can borrow. Though, the Carisma is pulling great shots as is and just wondered if it really needs altering.
    My friend-currently has a expobar minore rotary- has owned and repaired many hx machines over the last 20 years, so knows a little; he was very impressed by faema carisma's build quality and coffee it produces, with my limited experience was reassuring.
    thankyou.lazio.

  24. #24
    Member AlastairMcG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafelazio View Post
    Thanks for suggestions, good idea to correlate the pressure reading, talked to a mate yesterday about brew pressure, turns out he has a portafilter with gauge i can borrow. Though, the Carisma is pulling great shots as is and just wondered if it really needs altering.
    My friend-currently has a expobar minore rotary- has owned and repaired many hx machines over the last 20 years, so knows a little; he was very impressed by faema carisma's build quality and coffee it produces, with my limited experience was reassuring.
    thankyou.lazio.
    I don't think it would hurt to lower the pressure a little. Even if it doesn't improve much in the cup at least your not missing out if it did, as I don't think it'd make it worse. I need to lower mine again I got it to a bit over 10bar but it has crept back up toward 12bar.

    I love my Carisma and think it is a well thought out machine and great quality and finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlastairMcG View Post
    I don't think it would hurt to lower the pressure a little. Even if it doesn't improve much in the cup at least your not missing out if it did, as I don't think it'd make it worse. I need to lower mine again I got it to a bit over 10bar but it has crept back up toward 12bar.

    I love my Carisma and think it is a well thought out machine and great quality and finish.
    Sentiments the same, excellent machine. Thanks for the link earlier in the thread that was aimed at dealers; very informative with info not available else where.
    I find the carisma as most e61 if idle any length of time the group head gets very hot -i' ve the boiler at 121C- and needs a long cooling flush or two[about 60 ml]. I recently discovered if i use the single portafilter with blind basket i'm able to do a much smaller flush, i.e. bring it up to 4-8 bar and flush; depending how long it has been idle- and the extraction temp is stabilised to within perfect range quickly and effectively then immediately lock in, 6-7 sec preinfusion and ....
    thanks.lazio.
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  26. #26
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    Flow rate shouldn't affect brew pressure for a rotary pump. The portafilter pressure gauge uses a blank basket so there is no flow at the time of measurement.

    The E61 Wega Mini Nova Classic doesn't need cooling shots. It is machine dependent though but it is common not to need cooling shots. I pull a small amount through mine just to clean out the portafilter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    Flow rate shouldn't affect brew pressure for a rotary pump. The portafilter pressure gauge uses a blank basket so there is no flow at the time of measurement.

    The E61 Wega Mini Nova Classic doesn't need cooling shots. It is machine dependent though but it is common not to need cooling shots. I pull a small amount through mine just to clean out the portafilter.
    My mistake; realised double boiler e61 also would not need cooling flush. I was under the impression hx e61's idle would eventually stabilise to boiler temp or close to it.

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    Hello Faema Carisma S1 owners, am interested to know how long before you consider your machine ready for pulling first shot after first switching on in the morning, also if any of you leave the Carisma on during the day and routine for cooling flush and amount of water flushed. Thanks in advance for any time taken to respond.
    Lazio.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafelazio View Post
    Hello Faema Carisma S1 owners, am interested to know how long before you consider your machine ready for pulling first shot after first switching on in the morning, also if any of you leave the Carisma on during the day and routine for cooling flush and amount of water flushed. Thanks in advance for any time taken to respond.
    Lazio.
    I aim for atleast 30min but 40min if I have time and 25 if I really don't. Often I turn it in an hour or more before in case or when convenient. I don't leave it on all day.

    I read some threads here and stopped doing the full cooling flush routine before grinding coffee. I flush for 2-3s just before locking in the portafilter to pull the shot.

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    I now own a used BFC Junior plus which does not need cooling flush at all even after being idle for hours. I'm guessing the reason why the S1 needs cooling flush is it's not fitted with a thermosyhon restrictor being a direct import from Italy.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    I now own a used BFC Junior plus which does not need cooling flush at all even after being idle for hours. I'm guessing the reason why the S1 needs cooling flush is it's not fitted with a thermosyhon restrictor being a direct import from Italy.
    The documentation I found said the Carisma had 'thermo-siphon' group head circulation. Plus the short flush I do just before locking in the portafilter is common on any machine as I understand

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    Hi fellow Faema Carisma S1 owners... need a little (or a lot) of help pretty please.
    I had my machine for two years now and it works great.... it started to leak over time and is now a considerable puddle everyday so I tought it was time to investigate.
    Opened it up and found the leak coming from the top of the boiler pressure relief assembly... have inquired to purchase this... meanwhile when I tried to use the machine something is wrong.

    The pump kicks in an the temperature/pressure goes up... steam wand works but when I turn on the grouphead.... nothing.

    Tried to purge to see if it is an airlock when I tipped the machine to its back to access the bottom bolts to then remove the cover.... still no luck.

    Any idea what may be causing this? As an additional observation the pump does not kick in when I operate the group head handle... hence I am wondering if the cause is something else. I do not see any loose wiring.

  33. #33
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    Shame about the leak.... As to the pump not kicking in and no water when lever is operating, make sure the lever is turning it's shaft and the cam on the lever is activating the switch (arm coming out the machine).

    Also maybe this switch is malfunctioning if you think pump is ok. Sounds like you're saying it runs at times but not with lever activated.

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    Hi Alastair thanks for the prompt response... I didn't even see this yesterday.... Yes the cam lever is activating the switch but nothing. I will run a circuit test on the poles tomorrow to see if it is the switch. I actually changed the dip switch setting also... left to right it is now off/off/off.... I wasn't able to change the temp setting previous to this.... I don't think this would have caused the current problem? Just curious does anyone else have a photograph of the circuit board of their machine? When I opened mine I found a loose wire just dangling out.... When the group head did not want to switch on I reconnected this wire.... still nothing.

    On another note the cable ties used inside the machine... is this a standard nylon66 rated to only about 100degC or is it a special high heat one? Like Teflon perhaps? Just didn't want to pull out tubing as I didn't want to remove the cable ties. Any other fault finding would be appreciated.... missing the coffee baaaad..... :-)

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    Ran a continuity test on the group head switch today and that is all good. Would appreciate any help.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlishaM View Post
    Ran a continuity test on the group head switch today and that is all good. Would appreciate any help.
    Hi Alisha, this seems a hard one. Besides tracking and testing the wiring from the switch all the way to the pump, which you might have already done, I don't have any ideas at the moment sorry.

    Also, I'll dig up some photos of when I had my covers off to see what can be seen for connection wise. Will have to do this when I'm home again.

  37. #37
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    Hi Alisha, have you downloaded the document I uploaded in post #2? If not, it might give you some ideas to check and some photos that might help.

    Also, have you checked the safety thermostat switch behind the drip tray? However, I presume it would stop boiler all the time not just when the group head is activated.

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    Hi Alastair... yes I read that very informative brochure a while back and just reread it again just in case I missed something. Unfortunately there is nothing there to fix my machine.

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    Hello AlishaM When "the pump kicks in" do you mean it comes on via the auto fill when switched on? also where is the puddle forming? because the pressure relief valve is encased (as is the vacuum release valve) taking water to the tray.
    Does any water at all come through the group head,or exhaust, once it has heated and built up line pressure when the lever is raised?
    cafelazio.

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    Hello Cafelazio thanks for replying.... Water goes through the group head and the steam wand when pump kicks in to maintain pressure/temp. The pump does not kick in when the group head lever switch is activated. I do not see any wires that are loose. I did change the dip settings to 0-0-0 to allow me to change the boilers temperature if required. I returned it back to original 1-0-0 setting but still no joy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlishaM View Post
    Hello Cafelazio thanks for replying.... Water goes through the group head and the steam wand when pump kicks in to maintain pressure/temp. The pump does not kick in when the group head lever switch is activated. I do not see any wires that are loose. I did change the dip settings to 0-0-0 to allow me to change the boilers temperature if required. I returned it back to original 1-0-0 setting but still no joy.
    IT seems it has something to do with the micro switch ie not engaging or it's faulty.I thought the dip settings are for celsius/farenheit and setting parameters and adjusted by the importer.Boiler temp is only changed using front panel +,-,OK.
    Hope you get it sorted...Cafelazio.

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    How is everyone going with their Carismas? I just recently bought a 2016 model from Gumtree that had a faulty vacuum valve. I replaced the valve and cleaned up some minor corrosion from the frame and it has been running well except for the OPV. I tried adjusting the OPV to 9 bar but it is not very stable so during a backflush it jumps from 10 to 8 like it is sticking or not seating properly. I have pulled it apart and have not seen any scale or other issues with the valve but I don't think they are designed to be adjusted. I have relocated the OPV to be more accessible so I think the next move is to replace it with a third party model. Does anyone know if this is a suitable replacement Expansion Valve 1/8".

  43. #43
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Shellharbour/Wollongong
    Posts
    16
    Hello excee, my Faema Carisma is a really good machine; i stopped mucking about with cooling shots, as i realised it compromised the shot quality. RE opv i came to the same conclusion I decided not to adjust the opv. The person in WA that i purchased it from told me it had been set up and bench tested; it pulls great shots and temp on it is very stable; i realised. How are you taking the grouphead/portafilter pressure readings ? I think the machine gauge is just reference point as it is connected at the pump so would differ from the portafilter.
    -lazio.

  44. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by excee View Post
    How is everyone going with their Carismas? I just recently bought a 2016 model from Gumtree that had a faulty vacuum valve. I replaced the valve and cleaned up some minor corrosion from the frame and it has been running well except for the OPV. I tried adjusting the OPV to 9 bar but it is not very stable so during a backflush it jumps from 10 to 8 like it is sticking or not seating properly. I have pulled it apart and have not seen any scale or other issues with the valve but I don't think they are designed to be adjusted. I have relocated the OPV to be more accessible so I think the next move is to replace it with a third party model. Does anyone know if this is a suitable replacement Expansion Valve 1/8".
    Check the size first, chances are you might not be able to fit it in due to the limited space.

  45. #45
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    Check the size first, chances are you might not be able to fit it in due to the limited space.
    I don't think the size will be a problem. The thread is definitely 1/8" bsp and I have relocated the OPV so that the length won't be an issue.
    The old OPV location was terrible but understandable given it isn't adjustable. I swapped the supply from the pump with the OPV and added an elbow so now the OPV sticks straight up and can easily be adjusted without dismantling anything.

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