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Thread: I need advice (Brasilia)

  1. #1
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    I need advice (Brasilia)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I need advice
    Ok, not sure if I am posting in correct area, I do not even know the value of my machine so sorry if not.
    I was looking to buy a new/ real Espresso machine in Sept when I stumbled across this deal. I purchased a Brasilia Portofino Super/ DIG. It hadnít been used in some time and the people who had it tried to use it but it wouldnít build pressure. I took it home, checked it over and found the Load line L1 was broken. Figuring this was the problem I fixed it and turned the unit on. Things didnít work, no motor, no water thru group 1 or 2, and it took 54 min to get boiler to 1 bar. It sounded like it was still running off just one 110 line but I had loaned out my multimeter so I had no way to tell. The programmable touch pad worked fine and after heating the wand and water spout worked fine too. When I got my meter back I found that L1 and ground had been switch so things that work off 110 got no power or 220. I corrected the wires and the machine kicked on. Boiler heater in a few minís and I had to turn the pressure to the boiler down as it was way of out calibration (Almost 4 bars). Everything seems to work but there are a few problems. 1st the water gauge will show water being used and the light will go on when low but it takes forever to get back up and it doesnít seem to fill more than half way. 2nd when you first turn the unit on the line motor kicks on and runs for aprox 90 secís then shuts off. At this time both touch pads stop button have a red LED and it starts flashing and stay on. You can still use it but they will not stop flashing till you turn the unit off. I also noted that the pump (not motor) is noisy and gets hot (I think it needs work or replacement). I paid $225 for the Espresso machine a bunch of accessories and a grinder, Gino Rossi Mod # RR45. If anyone can tell me anything, how to fix the problems (with details as I know nothing about this thing), if I got a good deal, I have not tried the grinder yet, but itís rather large for anything I would need.
    Thanks for any help







  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    Welcome Martin.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Ive just reduced the file and frame sizes of your images above mate. They were over 2.5MB each and thats just too big Im afraid... :o
    If you can keep file sizes around the 100KB range and image sizes that will fit within an 800x600 Pixel frame, that would be excellent. 8-)

    There are a couple of Portofino owners within the membership so hopefully someone will be along soon to help out with your inquiries. All the best... ;)

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    You got a great deal, the grinder is worth what you paid for the whole lot. I cant answer most of your questions sorry, but in regards to the water level, the machine should only fill to about half way up the sight glass (give or take). Theres a water level sensor in the boiler and you can adjust the level of the water by pulling the sensor up or down.

    when you turn the machine on and the motor runs for a while, is the boiler level going up or staying the same? can you get water from the group heads with the touch pad? Sounds like there might be something faulty on the control board...

  4. #4
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    Mal,
    Sorry, I didnt even pay attention to the pic sizes. I will watch it next time.

    Mischa,

    Today it didnt run and then shut off after 90 secs like it was. All worked fine with the lights and motor. But it is not filling the boiler when the water falls below the sensor. I was able to get the touch pads to work fine even when the lights were flashing. I seen on another page that someone thought the machine lights the stop button light and it will flash continually till you turn the machine off as a fault signal. They suggested checking the "turbines" but I have no idea what turbines are in this thing. I will check for the water level sensor you mentioned and see if that helps. When the motor was kicking in when turned on, nothing happened with the boiler. Only the water line went to over 9 bar.
    As for the grinder, it is nice but rather large for my use so I think I will keep looking for a good deal on a smaller one later on. I used the grinder today and it works great. I am happy over all with this stuff. Just need to get the bugs out of it

  5. #5
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    Yep start with the boiler level probe (looks like a silver skewer sticking out of the top of the boiler with a wire attached). Just pull it all the way out and give it a clean and put it back. If it doesnt come all the way out it could have scale on it which could explain why the machine is going slightly haywire.

    Also try unplugging the boiler level sensor and turning the machine on to see if it starts filling the boiler. If it doesnt fill the boiler when the sensor is unplugged then the auto-fill control box may be buggered :-/

    Note that this is just general commercial coffee machine info... your machine may differ slightly :)

  6. #6
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    A lot of machines have a function in the electronics that shuts the machine down after 90 secs or so if it is filling the boiler but has not managed to get up to the correct level within that time. Its designed to protect the pump motor from overheating, as its not rated for continuous operation (in normal use of the machine it wont be running 100% of the time). Usually this is signified by an indicator light blinking. Turn the machine off & on again and the fill cycle should restart - sometimes with an empty boiler you have to do this half a dozen times to get the machine full

    There are several different versions of those Portofinos when it comes to the electronics - the older versions use the main board only to trigger the pump and solenoids for the groups and the autofill, and the dose programming electronics are in the touchpads. The main board on these older versions has separate mini boards that plug into sockets on the main board. If yours is like this, on the main board there will be a single mini board, then a gap, then 2 more mini boards. The single board operates the autofill, the gap is where another mini board goes when the machine has a solenoid for hot water rather than a tap, then the remaining mini boards operate group 1, group 2, and so on (for bigger machines).
    If after testing by unplugging the level sensor you suspect the board is at fault, you can swap the mini boards around (they are identical) to see if the autofill starts working (obviously at the expense of stopping one of the groups working).

    Another possibility is that the inlet solenoid is buggered. Which would mean that even if the pump runs to try to fill the boiler when you switch the machine on (which from your description it is) the boiler wont fill because the solenoid doesnt open to let the water in. And if the water pressure is indicating 9 bar when it tries to fill, that also suggests the solenoid is not opening, as there is less flow restriction with water entering the boiler compared to passing through the HX and group head, so you will normally see less than 9 bar on the pressure gauge during boiler filling.
    You can check if the solenoid is working by pressing a fingertip against the coil (on the left hand side under the drip tray) and feeling for (and listening for) the click when it activates. Unfortunately Brasilia decided to use a different style of inlet valve to most other manufacturers, so not every parts supplier will have them in stock, but they are about a $60-$70 item if that turns out to be the problem.

  7. #7
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    wow great reply

  8. #8
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    OK thanks! Been working on roof all day and havent had time to mess with stuff today. I will check things out tomorrow

  9. #9
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    Re: I need advice (Brasilia)

    Alright, checked for a level sensor in the boiler and couldnt find one.... at first. Then it dawned on me that the sight glass for the water level has a metal rod in it connected to a wire. Pulled it cleaned it and nothing different. The solenoid idea makes since. The machine runs for about 90 secs then the motor stops and the lights flash. But it wasnt doing it all the time now, and I figured out why. If I manually fill the boiler before turning it on, it doesnt happen. If I dont, the motor kicks on for the 90 secs then shuts down. So its the pad shutting the motor down and then giving the fault signal by making the lights flash. I was messing with the solenoid, took everything apart that I could and found some buildup inside the line. Removed it, put it back together and now when the water is low and you turn the unit on, the motor kicks in and it fills the boiler. Slowly, but you can see the water level raising. OMG! I think everything is working now. Even the pump motor seems to be quite and running cooler. Thanks everyone! Thank you very much!! If there is any advise you can give on maintenance that would be great too as I know nothing about care for this thing. It did come with some cleaning powder and I used it per its instructions the first day. I have two filter baskets that have no holes in them. I used the smaller (single) basket when I cleaned the groups with the powder. Was that right? Is that what they are for? And why would I have two sizes? Also I have a filter holder that has no bottom. What would it be used for? Thanks again for the help!!

  10. #10
    JT8
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    Wow great article MorganGT i was just about to post asking about this problem "flashing STOP light' and found your response to this problem. Fingers crossed it works.

  11. #11
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    haha wow, I forgot about this post. Still have the machine and it has worked great. While looking for parts I stumbled on this post. Thanks again guys for helping a newb in the espresso world back then. Only problem I had with the unit still is it vibrated. I figured it to be the pump and used it till it leaked. then replaced it. It runs smooth now... tho it turns out the reason it ran rough is they had bound up the pump. When I loosened the mounting band it popped over some. I tightened it up and it ran fine.. tho leaking. I would have never thought to check that as I didn't know it was possible to connect it wrong. I have stripped it down, cleaned, and rebuilt it since then. Love that thing!!!
    Dimal, sprezzatura and KopiV like this.



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