Faema Family Help (Brass Boiler Model)
Hi everyone, I've been looking at some of your posts over the years and finally decided to join up to see if you could help me out with a Faema Family machine.
We actually have two of the brass boiler models, one (cream) we've had for many years that we bought from Savers (thrift shop) for $40, this one has worked flawlessly since the day we got it, came with all the extra accessories like the plastic frothing tube and attachment (not that I've ever used it). It is a great machine & small enough to transport on driving holidays so we always know we can have a decent coffee wherever we are!
Yesterday I acquired a Faema Family (brass boiler again) and matching grinder with the stand - this one is red, which looks fabulous in our kitchen which is dotted with red accessories. The grinder works great, but is stuck on one grind, just happens to be the right one so am not too bothered about that. We made coffee with the new Family this morning and it made two pretty decent cups, though I believe the thermostat switch for the steam is faulty, so we took it up to a coffee machine repairer to get it looked at and also have the seals replaced, he's also sourcing us a knob as the original one is missing. The previous owner told me the safety kept tripping off when they tried to make steam and in fact when I first turned it on this morning it sat there doing nothing, so I unplugged and hit the reset button, plugged back in turned it on and heard the unit heating!! We made steam this morning for two latte's and it did not trip the safety - I'm wondering if the previous owner left the steam button on for too long (manual says 15 secs), we know when our cream one has the steam button pressed in for too long it needs to be reset also? House rule = don't leave the steam button in more than 20 secs, but our daughters boyfriend often forgets so unscrew and reset it is.
Ok, now to the real point of my post. The one problem with this new red Family is that the base is quite corroded, particularly under the drip tray and around the steam outlet. The rest of the paintwork is 100% fine, so I don't want to respray the whole thing, besides I'd lose the funky logos. So what I'm trying to find out is if there is a way to restore the base only. I've seen (somewhere?) a picture of a Family taken fully apart and it appears the base does come off somehow, if this is straightforward and if there is someone on the forum with some knowledge about this I'd greatly appreciate some help. NB. I'm no mechanical expert, but I can follow clear instruction. If I can get the base off I would probably get it powder coated to as close match as possible, if this is too difficult I'd be happy to have a go at restoring it with some suitable paint but am not sure what kind of paint & prep would be required to do this.
I hope someone can help me out, I'm a massive fan of this little machine.
Yes, the base is easily removed. Four large allen head bolts mount the base to the body and then the power cord is clamped onto the base with a retainer and two philips head screws.
I think that's all there is to removing the base.
I had one of my Family's spray painted in matte black and the problem they had was the enamel paint used on the machine was extremely hard to remove and thus required a lot of prep. Total bill for every panel prepped and painted was $300.
Do as much prep as you can I'd advise. Powdercoating will be much cheaper than painting though.
Thanks for replying, so the Allen head bolts are under the base?? or do you have to get to them from inside the machine?
Originally Posted by noidle22
I'm happy to do the stripping, particularly as I can take my time (no urgency as we still have other machine working fine), about half to three quarters of the base is flakey so will be easy to get off, the other section on the left of the machine will be the hard stuff to get off - any suggestions what to use here?
Originally Posted by noidle22
Welcome to CS!
Sounds exciting to be considering such a journey with your coffee machine.
Several others have also done this. Here is one interesting thread
Best wishes for your task!
Thanks, yes am hoping to get it all working great. Have read the whole thread your pointed to, as well as Sparky's mod, very interesting but way beyond me.
Originally Posted by GreenBeanGenii
Yes, if you flip it over they should be there, I can't remember if the rubber feet are covering them but if you cant see the bolts, lever out the rubber feet with a flat head screwdriver and you should have access to them.
Originally Posted by missmercy
Just use paint stripper, might take a few goes but it should eventually all come off. I actually did one side of one panel but decided I couldn't be bothered so just got the shop to do it.
They are a great machine, equipped with all the right features and with some temp surfing can make a good espresso. They flash boil like crazy so always do cooling flush before pulling the shot, I assume you know this from your other machine.
I did a temperature and pressure test on mine with a scace and got a good 92C down to 88C at 9.5 bar through the extraction which is pretty good for an old machine.
Awesome, thanks so much for that, I had looked under the machine, but couldn't recall seeing any bolts, so they probably are under the feet, will check when I get the machine back later next week. Sounds like it won't be too much trouble just doing the as the majority of the paint is already ready to be flaked off, the rest I'll hit with stripper.
Originally Posted by noidle22
Cooling flush, that's interesting, I had not picked up on that. The two main users of the machine rarely ever have coffee together, seems strange I know but I am up much earlier than my other half (working muso) and the kids are up much later than him!! How do you do a cooling flush?
Hi all. I am new to this board (although I have been lurking for a while.) I recently picked up a Faema Family (first model) at a flea market and I have several questions for those of you who know more than I do about this particular machine.
I decalcified and cleaned it up and everything seems to be working pretty well. I was able to make a pretty good shot with lots of crema and also get plenty of steam, but I do want to replace the group gasket, which is quite old. I know how to replace the gasket myself but I don't know what gasket to order and there is no suitable repair shop handy in my neck of the woods (but I can order parts online for all major brands). Can you tell me which gasket would be compatible?
I also might replace the shower screen, even though it is not in too bad shape. The shower carrier is in excellent shape, very heavy brass. If I replace the shower screen do I also have to replace the carrier? Would this be worth doing and what model would be compatible?
The chrome layer on the portafilter is missing in some places and metal that looks like brass is showing. So I probably should get a new portafilter. Do you recommend a bottomless portafilter and which one would be compatible? What is the difference between a portafilter with a slanted handle and a straight handle? Do I also need new filters to go with the new portafilter?
I tried to open the bottom of the unit. I have an allen wrench that fits the bolts, but the bolts won't budge and I am afraid to force them. Any suggestions?
Thanks for any advice.