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Thread: Via Venezia tripping breaker

  1. #1
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    Via Venezia tripping breaker

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hoping someone can make life easy for me, i've had a customer bring in a Saeco Via Venezia (the stainless steel one) with the fault of tripping the house circuit breaker. Being that my boss spoke to the customer, he didn't ask for the information i would have to make my troubleshooting easier. Tried calling the bloke this afternoon and couldn't contact him on 3 different phone numbers

    I have so much work on that i'm basically doing all myself that i can't spend the time fault finding this thing much more than basic stuff. I opened it up and went straight for the boiler element as i figured this was the most likely cause. In circuit and out of circuit it measures 55 ohm or so which seems normal for an element to me. When testing each terminal to ground, i get mixed readings from 1.5M ohm down to 120K ohm. I'm not sure if this indicates a short between the element and ground or if it's just residual from something. Should i get an absolute open circuit from the element to ground?

    Measured the pump, no continuity one way and 0.72V the other way, indicating an operational diode. Measured continuity through the thermal fuse on pump and it's ok. All thermal fuses on the boiler are ok and there's no signs of scale buildup or leaks or burn marks or anything, it looks fine.
    Powered the thing up and it turned on and heats but i do hear a hissing sound that builds after about 10 seconds after turning it on, sounds like a leak perhaps? I turned it off because i didn't feel like blowing stuff at work this afternoon and i didn't want to risk the customers equipment i had running. I intend to test it further when i get to work tomorrow morning., like pump/boiler/steam functions.

    Could him running the boiler dry cause it to blow or something? I haven't worked on a boiler machine before you see. If anyone has any quick tips on easy troubleshooting ideas chuck them out there.
    Also, being that we don't advertise repairing coffee machines (i intend to in the future once i get more experience and i'm not under my current employer) spare part availability is slim and i don't want to risk expensive parts if i can help it.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Hoping someone can make life easy for me, i've had a customer bring in a Saeco Via Venezia (the stainless steel one) with the fault of tripping the house circuit breaker. Being that my boss spoke to the customer, he didn't ask for the information i would have to make my troubleshooting easier. Tried calling the bloke this afternoon and couldn't contact him on 3 different phone numbers

    I have so much work on that i'm basically doing all myself that i can't spend the time fault finding this thing much more than basic stuff. I opened it up and went straight for the boiler element as i figured this was the most likely cause. In circuit and out of circuit it measures 55 ohm or so which seems normal for an element to me. When testing each terminal to ground, i get mixed readings from 1.5M ohm down to 120K ohm. I'm not sure if this indicates a short between the element and ground or if it's just residual from something. Should i get an absolute open circuit from the element to ground?

    Measured the pump, no continuity one way and 0.72V the other way, indicating an operational diode. Measured continuity through the thermal fuse on pump and it's ok. All thermal fuses on the boiler are ok and there's no signs of scale buildup or leaks or burn marks or anything, it looks fine.
    Powered the thing up and it turned on and heats but i do hear a hissing sound that builds after about 10 seconds after turning it on, sounds like a leak perhaps? I turned it off because i didn't feel like blowing stuff at work this afternoon and i didn't want to risk the customers equipment i had running. I intend to test it further when i get to work tomorrow morning., like pump/boiler/steam functions.

    Could him running the boiler dry cause it to blow or something? I haven't worked on a boiler machine before you see. If anyone has any quick tips on easy troubleshooting ideas chuck them out there.
    Also, being that we don't advertise repairing coffee machines (i intend to in the future once i get more experience and i'm not under my current employer) spare part availability is slim and i don't want to risk expensive parts if i can help it.

    Cheers
    WTF??? You admit that you have never worked on a coffee machine with a boiler before. You are obviously not an approved service centre as you also admit you have limited access to spare parts and acknowledge the fact that your business does not even advertise the offering of repair services so please allow me to ask the very obvious questions... does your customer have any idea that you do not know what you are doing and should you be servicing this machine at all? Major alarm bells ringing!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    WTF??? You admit that you have never worked on a coffee machine with a boiler before. You are obviously not an approved service centre as you also admit you have limited access to spare parts and acknowledge the fact that your business does not even advertise the offering of repair services so please allow me to ask the very obvious questions... does your customer have any idea that you do not know what you are doing and should you be servicing this machine at all? Major alarm bells ringing!!!
    we don't actively advertise the repair of coffee machines. your statement, "your business does not even advertise the offering of repair services..." i imagine was meant to have the words "to coffee machines" after it? if not then you win today's most judgmental individual award.
    we also don't actively advertise the repair of 6000W generators, car battery chargers, portable fridges, coach stereo systems plus a myriad of other equipment yet i still fix them. i guess i shouldn't be doing this either?
    i have also worked on my fair share of thermoblock and automatic machines so i'm not a total novice, i just wanted somebodies advice on this machine and if they have any previous experiences or tips they can offer me. i wasn't after somebodies criticism and absolute lack of any help whatsoever.

    and how about you ask my boss these questions too. i'm just trying to make enough money to keep the business running because i'm the only one doing any work there. i'm paid rubbish, i'm sick of the crap i'm dealt because of my boss' incompetence and i'm just trying to bloody survive there. what i don't want is more useless rubbish on a thread for what i thought was a reasonable inquiry.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    All fair comments and sorry to have caused any offense. I guess I was only looking at it from the customer's point of view and it really is all too easy to forget about the other side of the coin... the hard working men and women trying to do their best and make a buck while doing so.

  5. #5
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    Likely it's the element. It's common for fault currents to only occur when the element is at operating temperature, when the damaged outer insulation expands and becomes slightly porous.

    Good luck getting a replacement though - Saeco is now part of Philips, and they do not want to talk to anyone or supply parts. There used to be a mob in NSW called Southside Electronics that had them, you could try there but chances are slim.
    TOK likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    If anyone has any quick tips on easy troubleshooting ideas chuck them out there.
    Variac.

    Also, reproduce the fault if you can. Make sure that it's not tripping the RCD rather than the breaker - do you have RCDs on your bench?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    All fair comments and sorry to have caused any offense. I guess I was only looking at it from the customer's point of view and it really is all too easy to forget about the other side of the coin... the hard working men and women trying to do their best and make a buck while doing so.
    No worries, I was a bit tense yesterday evening and my response was probably more aggressive than it should have been.

    As to the other points, if saeco's parts support is now fully integrated with philips, im a service centre for philips so I might be able to get the parts from them.

    I also powered the machine up now and and let it get up to temperature. Thw whole time it was hissing loudly and once the ready lights cane on the steam wand started leaking and water was dripping out of the group fairly steadily. Seems like a leaky boiler to me?

    Anyway, ive contacted the customer and let him know of the problems and possible causes and he decided not to worry about fixing it due to the costs involved. Also discovered it had never been descaled which may be contributary to the failure :/
    Oh well, got a project now :P

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    I hope someone can make this easy for me. Hi, I'm a chiropractor and I've got a patient with a bone sticking out of his arm. We don't actively advertise fixing of broken bones but he's come in here now and I don't know what to do. He also can't feel his fingers. I've manipulated spines for people who can't feel their fingers before but I've never worked on an arm. Can you give me any tips about arm bones? Can this be the reason that he can't feel his fingers? I think it's that funny bone, you know, the humorous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    I hope someone can make this easy for me. Hi, I'm a chiropractor and I've got a patient with a bone sticking out of his arm. We don't actively advertise fixing of broken bones but he's come in here now and I don't know what to do. He also can't feel his fingers. I've manipulated spines for people who can't feel their fingers before but I've never worked on an arm. Can you give me any tips about arm bones? Can this be the reason that he can't feel his fingers? I think it's that funny bone, you know, the humorous.
    good one mate, you're an asset to my thread.

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    does anyone else think it's ethical to do your training at customer expense? or do coffee machine techs not have professional ethics?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Dude, you've made your point, getting passive-aggressive about it just makes you look bad.

    In an ideal world, OP might say upfront "You're better off taking this to someone who specialises in coffee machines". In a world where people have to toe the company line to continue earning a crust, that may not be possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    does anyone else think it's ethical to do your training at customer expense? or do coffee machine techs not have professional ethics?
    In the real world, in workshops that repair a variety of machines/appliances, we all get much of our training on the job. If the employer is ethical they will reduce the labour time on some jobs to compensate for this, though in my experience most do not. Even if you work for a manufacturer and only fix their gear, you don't go back to school every time a new model or product comes out. Usually it's more like an email with a wiring schematic, and an exploded parts diagram.

    Quote from noidle22 "good one mate, you're an asset to my thread. " Mate, I think you miss-spelled "asset"

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    And what may also not be apparent, the closest service centre who advertises coffee mqchine repairs is over 200km away. The customer unfortunately doesnt have a lot if choice.

    I explained this to the customer along with my assessment and possible causes and he was ok with this. He decided not to proceed with the repair due to the machines age and costs involved.

    Perhaps it would be in uour best interest Hildy to actually understand the situation and the variables involved fully before casting judgement.
    Dragunov21 likes this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by leograyson View Post
    Quote from noidle22 "good one mate, you're an asset to my thread. " Mate, I think you miss-spelled "asset"
    I thought it was right? Google says it's spelt that way and so does like every dictionary.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    good one mate, you're an ass
    I think is what he was getting at...

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    my bad my bad..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    And what may also not be apparent, the closest service centre who advertises coffee mqchine repairs is over 200km away. The customer unfortunately doesnt have a lot if choice.

    I explained this to the customer along with my assessment and possible causes and he was ok with this. He decided not to proceed with the repair due to the machines age and costs involved.

    Perhaps it would be in uour best interest Hildy to actually understand the situation and the variables involved fully before casting judgement.
    If someone comes to me with a sick dog and the nearest vet is 200km away, I'm going to say 'go to the vet'. I'm not going to say 'it's likely not fixable, but you can put your dog down with a bullet'. I'm definitely not going to try to treat the dog - I could get struck off for that. I've been told that the Nuremberg defense is impermissible for unethical acts.

    if I took my car to a mechanic and discovered that they'd never worked on a diesel before and that their diagnosis was based on some information of dubious provenance from a public internet forum, I'd be pretty unhappy.

  18. #18
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Oh let it go already!
    Dragunov21 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leograyson View Post
    In the real world, in workshops that repair a variety of machines/appliances, we all get much of our training on the job. If the employer is ethical they will reduce the labour time on some jobs to compensate for this, though in my experience most do not. Even if you work for a manufacturer and only fix their gear, you don't go back to school every time a new model or product comes out. Usually it's more like an email with a wiring schematic, and an exploded parts diagram.
    I live in the real world too, I work exclusively on coffee machines and grinders, and most of our 'training' is on the job, since we will happily fix any make of machine. Once you learn the basics, opening up and fixing a machine you have never seen before is really just a case of comparing what you find to machines you already know to identify the problem. It seems to work for us, since we have often had machines sent to us by the importers of a particular make of machine, whose in-house techs had given up on trying to fix. And with new models appearing on the market, you have to be able to pull one apart and figure out any new issues they contain, since it's just not feasible to get 'factory' trained on everything you plan to work on unless you are going to specialise in just one make, which is not really practical if you want to stay in business.

    I have had 'training' by the developer of a particular brand of machine that one of our bigger customers had started importing for use in his customers' premises - that experience made me wonder if there was any real benefit to repeating that with other makes - probably not, if that was a typical 'training' experience.

    ....and sometimes 'factory' training won't equip you for fixing problems, since the factory doesn't even know they exist yet. When La Marzocco FB80s and GB5s started appearing, some started shutting down unexpectedly when in heavy use. At the time neither the importer nor anyone at La Marzocco seemed to realise there was a problem, nor had any idea what the cause was. Turns out you can configure one in the Technician programming menu to not refill the boiler if any of the groups are running (to keep the water pressure more stable) and it will shut down for safety if the boiler level gets too low. So if you are busy and one or more groups is always operating, and you take water from the boiler for teas, before long the whole machine shuts down without warning. It's fun diagnosing and fixing a problem like that, but no amount of 'factory' training would have helped at that point, as La Marzocco themselves had not yet figured out the issue yet, so it would not have figured in any training.
    coffee_machinist and TOK like this.

  20. #20
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    wait a second.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    .......based on some information of dubious provenance from a public internet forum, I'd be pretty unhappy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    Variac.

    Also, reproduce the fault if you can. Make sure that it's not tripping the RCD rather than the breaker - do you have RCDs on your bench?
    i dunno man but i think you just called your own advice dubious. please stop replying to my thread. i don't really care of your opinion on me, there's no need to continue anymore.



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