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Thread: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all :)

    As per subject, recently picked up a 800es cheap to replace an even cheaper machine, and it is lacking get up and go in the steam department :(.

    Pump will move plenty of hot water through the group, coffee then filter etc, so would lead me to think that the pump is fine as i would expect this to be the most restrictive test to the pump. Water is coming out of the group hot and heating element comes on and off as directed by the rear most thermostat, (that parts list notes is 96C), so that side of things seems to be working..

    Steam out of the lance is hot also but just doesnt seem to be enough of it? As soon as steam is selected heater comes on,(flashing), get a good 3-4 second wait pump starts then starts pushing water out lance that then turns quickly to steam... So the process seems to be ok but just not a lot of flow compared to a friends 800es.
    Lance it self isnt blocked and neither is the tip..(when selecting hot water from the lance there is heaps of flow and its hot).
    When have finish with the steam,(takes awhile as soo slow), there is lots and lots of pressure released out the bypass, and sounds like water boiling out of the thermoblock. Which leads we to think there is a blockage in the thermoblock? Are the steam paths separate to the hot water paths through the thermoblock? maybe one blocked and not the other?
    Also the second thermostat,(front one), never switches on or off... the parts list notes it as a 120C, Could this be the problem? keeping in mind that the heating element is switched on and has power as soon as the steam function is selected, and stays on all the time while steaming. Is the thermoblock supposed to heat up to the 120C before the pump starts pushing water, and regulated by the 120C thermostat? or is it just there as a failsafe encase the whole thing over shoots in temp?

    Keen to hear your thoughts, and especially from those that have had the same problem and fixed :D

    Also Im sure i came across a parts brake down on here, (pdf in a post maybe?), but cant find it now??? Think someone was after the service manual... and someone offered it...any ideas?

    Sorry for the long read, but one needs to be detailed with trouble shooting and problems


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    there is no service manual for breville, krups, delonghi or sunbeam machines
    any manuals are purely spare parts and generally for manufacturing purposes

    check that the relief valve isnt playing up, located in back of machine

    give unit a good descal

    thermoblocks need more descaling than boiler machines

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    It sounds like thermoblock flooding:

    1. Scale in the thermoblock will reduce the amount of heat transferred and could give you wet steam. Definately do a good descale.

    If after descale you are still not happy force a longer preheat:

    Some machines have a preheat position for the main switch, others you can do this on by carefully positioning the switch to an inbetween setting, others you need to do some internal wiring mods.

    Failing this though, you can always just remove the water tank so the pump runs dry for around 30 seconds. This will let your thermoblock get up to temp before you start pumping water in. Put the tank back in and now when the water hits the thermoblock you will get hotter steam with more pressure = more flow!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    HI all :),
    Thanks for your replies.
    I got to spend some time no this to day and still no joy.
    Started with the steam lance getting a complete pull down and clean, then complete disassembly of the thermoblock. Nether were blocked and very little scale. all channels were clean and nun of the through holes blocked etc... next came a complete disassembly of the main selector valve at the front, once again no problems there. All parts throughly cleaned, components checked for good clean flow, (pipes etc), all the way back to the pump, (and before pump too), then every thing reassembled and tested... no change every thing working well bar low steam pressure. Checked relief valve on end of pump during a steam run, then during a very well tramped extraction, and its not bypassing pressure.
    So next came the pump, noticed that the smaller of the two springs in the vibration pump looked like it had been fretting at the ends, (for no good reason i could see), and was a bit of a rusty discoloration to the plastic housing around the main piston, so complete disassembly and clean including both one way valves. Nothing obviously wrong so reassembled and checked the steam flow again... no change...
    So swapped out pump for another of the same model from a delongi, (was working fine till the heater gave up), and give it a test, and no change???
    So after all this Im getting a bit stumped *:-/

    Tomorrow will be having a look over the circuit board of obvious faults,
    but as the basic operations seem to being doing what they should, and im no electronics genius i dont expect to to find to much.

    Oh and also put the thermometer on my multimeter down a screw hole in the thermoblock for tests. Thermoblock temp is cycling from 87oC to 111oC as switched on and off by the rear most temp switch while at rest. When steaming, heater runs continuously and thermoblock continuously increases in temp. It got up to 139oC while steaming about 225mils of milk and showed no sign of stopping there. So heater really seems to be doing its job.

    One question i do have for someone with the same machine is does your pump pulse on and off during the steaming as mine does, and if so, what percentage of the time? My pump is running for about 33% of the time. So approximately on for .33 of a second and off for .66 of a second, in a contentious cycle.
    I just seems that if the pump was running longer, (or moving more water), then i would have the normal steam flow??? And if I was getting more water flow through the thermoblock while steaming then this would slow down the rate, (maybe even reverse if to much water), that the heater is raising the thermoblocks temp. (I wonder if some of the components on the board are getting old and their values are changing and it is altering the duty cycle of the pump??).

    I look forward to your thoughts, and thanks for your time *:)

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    Hi maca55,

    In reply to your post i cant see any reason that the thermoblock wouldnt be transferring heat to the water, especially after its clean, but maybe tomorrow ill check the temp of the steam coming out the lance and see how hot it is in relation to the thermoblock to make sure that all that heat building up in it is actually getting to the water coming out the lance.
    As for preheat, I would think that the "runaway train" temp increase going on in the thermoblock would suggest no need to try to increase its temp more.

    Do you have more thoughts taking into consideration my last post?

    Thanks for your time :)

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Breville 800es low on steam pressure???

    Wow you really have given this machine a once over! Nice work!

    When I have had issues with steam, the symptom has usually been wet steam. By this I mean you put your hand directly under it and it gets very wet and the steam is not hot enough to burn you. If your steam is hot and dry then thermoblock flooding is probably not your issue.

    However I would still be trying a longer preheat just to see what, if any, difference it makes.

    The other thing you could do is measure the diameter of the steam jet. I had a machine where some over zealous cleaning had been done with a fork, and the hole was quite a bit larger than standard. I believe too large a hole will not hold back as much pressure and could result in poor steaming performance.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on your steaming performance. eg) how long does it take to heat approx 200mL of milk?

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