Results 1 to 48 of 48
Like Tree30Likes
  • 1 Post By Claudius
  • 1 Post By Claudius
  • 1 Post By Claudius
  • 2 Post By MrJack
  • 1 Post By Claudius
  • 1 Post By MrJack
  • 1 Post By TC
  • 2 Post By TC
  • 3 Post By Barry O'Speedwagon
  • 3 Post By Yelta
  • 6 Post By DesigningByCoffee
  • 3 Post By TC
  • 3 Post By Yelta
  • 2 Post By Yelta

Thread: Izzo Alex Duetto II Wet Steam Problem

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6

    Izzo Alex Duetto II Wet Steam Problem

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys,

    As title suggests, I am pulling my hair out with the steam being wet and spluttery and the milk diluting all the time.
    I have tried to let it heat up upto 1 hr and I still get Wet Steam.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    If it's an Alex Duetto II, its most likely grabbing a belly full of water via the anti-vac each time it cools down.

    Check that the return from the anti-vac into the tank is long enough to enter the tank but NOT under the surface of the water. If it is, it will fill the steam boiler with water from the tank every time the machine cools down if the tank is full.

    Hope that helps.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6
    Hi Chris, Thanks for the quick reply. I saw my machine was checked by you. (Bought is from Jet Black) You must be the authority.
    Yes it is a Alex Duetto II.

    But I dont understand what is the anti-vac or where its located. Could you please simplify it for me?

  4. #4
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Best back take it back and ask them to check it for you ;-)

    Chris

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6
    Yeah but want to leave it as last resort. Its a freaking trek.
    Do you mean the 2 pipes that are going in the tank? The long one and short one?

    I checked and both were submerged. The little one should be in the tank and not under submerged?

  6. #6
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    There's your problem. The longer one is the inlet tube. The other must not be drowned.

    I'll bet Andy's left one that this will solve the problem

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6
    Sweeeet.. I have put it out.
    Its kinda long.. can I cut it?

    Also does it need to be pointing in the tank?
    What's its purpose?

  8. #8
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Yes- it needs to be in the tank, but yes- cut it down so it doesn't drown.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Hamptons
    Posts
    293
    The same thing happened to me with my Duetto 2
    I solved mine by cutting "V" shapes in the return tube (on the upper surface) to allow air in and break any siphon
    Hope that helps
    Cheers
    Dr Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toowoomba QLD
    Posts
    417
    Quote Originally Posted by ilsan0 View Post
    Also does it need to be pointing in the tank?
    What's its purpose?
    Hi,

    I had the same issue with my Duetto II. I just put a loose knot in the tube so it would just poke in the top of the tank. the other option is to drain it into the drip tray (my tube was just too short to do this). Hopefully the duetto III has done something to overcome this issue.

    To answer your question, the purpose of the tube is to drain the small amount of water that exits the anti-vacuum valve. The anti-vacuum valve stops a vacuum forming in the steam boiler when it cools down. The valve opens once the pressure in the boiler drops below atmospheric. Then on heat up, it eventually closes again once steam is being produced (you'll here it rattling a bit and then clunk closed as the steam boiler heats up a few minutes after switch-on). Some machines don't have the tube at all, the idea is to keep the insides a dry as possible.

    Pete

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Alex Duetto wet steam problem solved

    Quote Originally Posted by ilsan0 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    As title suggests, I am pulling my hair out with the steam being wet and spluttery and the milk diluting all the time.
    I have tried to let it heat up upto 1 hr and I still get Wet Steam.

    Any ideas?
    Some people have suggested that the vacuum break hose sucks water back into the machine when it is switched off.

    This is not an issue because opening the hot water tap will lower the steam talk reservoir level.

    The real problem:
    The water level in the steam boiler is too high. This water will to sputter as it boils quickly when the steam tap is turned on to full and if the level is too high it will enter the steam exit pipe.

    How to fix it:
    Open the cover and inspect the steam boiler (this is the large one). It have two probes one is a temperature probe and leads to the micro-controller do not touch this.

    The other sensor is the water level sensor. This appears as a stainless tube inserted into a gland type compression fitting.

    The problem is that when the boiler is pressurised this sensor may be pushed out.

    Obviously this alters the water level (it rises).

    The cure is simple. Push on the tube until it is all the way down (or to your liking). Since it came out it should go back in.

    You can untighten the the gland lock nut if it does not move (with boiler depressurised).

    Tighten the lock nut just enough to hold the tube from popping out again.

    Now switch on and wait to for pressure. Open the hot water to drain the boiler enough to cause the auto refill to start (and close it).

    When it stops filling the water should be at the correct level.

    Now open the steam tap and clear excess water.

    Dry steam should be flowing.
    juk likes this.

  12. #12
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Hello Claudius,

    Perhaps in your country, but not with AUS build. I have never seen a boiler probe pushed high. The anti-vac can however become an issue.

    The long plumb run from the steam boiler is the main protagonist. It can be insulated to improve performance.

    Best fix? Swap steam and hot water wands.

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,429
    The steam splutters a bit when first cracked on mine which is to be expected but seems fine otherwise. I tried it without the cool touch tube but didn't notice any difference so out it back.

    I take it you mean to re plumb internally Chris (as the water would be fed from the bottom of the boiler and the steam from the top) to shorten the steam pipe path, or am I missing something?

    Cheers

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    I have an Alex Duetto ii and this fixed it. The level sensor is on what looks like a teflon gland and is slippery. I was able to push it in with little force. My machine came from the factory in Italy - I am not aware they are assembled in Australia but my level sensor gland is was loose.

    Lowering the water level fixes the problem, which is not one of condensation from a too long exit pipe as you suggest. If you doubt this place a drop of water on the exit pipe when steam has been flowing through it. It should be 120 deg C (my steam is set to 127 deg C).

    Imagine a too full pressure cooker and hot water spraying out from the valve.

    And note that the fix take all of 10 second once the cover is off.

    I suppose the only issue is whether the water lever can be set too low - it does not look like it to me.
    juk likes this.

  15. #15
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
    I have an Alex Duetto
    Yes- and we have a couple of hundred- and then a another 200 of so Duetto III

  16. #16
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I take it you mean to re plumb internally
    Yes artman

  17. #17
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,429
    Just had a look at mine. The level probe is in the lowest position.

    Re routing the steam to the water tap would make a very short steam path.

    How does the mod affect the steam performance Chris?

    Cheers

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    This is what wet steam looks like:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exraqpLI2uY

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    and do these produce wet steam or dry steam?

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    I don't see how a shorter steam path can help.

    That is I cannot believe that steam is condensing inside pipes at 120 deg C when open to atmospheric pressure.

    However some super-heated water if allowed into the steam pipe will evaporate immediately when it exits. Evaporation is a cooling process and this will cool the steam and water.

    Allowing dry steam into an empty cup should heat the cup and leave it dry. Allowing wet steam into the cup will provide evaporation and cooling, enough to cause water to be left behind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exraqpLI2uY

    This is because when water changes from liquid to gas it requires energy.

    It is important to allow only steam into the steam exit pipe and this can be achieved by lowering the water level.

    If your water level sensor is already set at its lowest point, and you get wet steam then it may be faulty.

    Of course if the level is too low the heating element will not be covered in water and will overheat and fail.

    However, the tank is quite large and I do not see that the sensor can be adjusted too low.
    juk likes this.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,376
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
    I don't see how a shorter steam path can help.

    That is I cannot believe that steam is condensing inside pipes at 120 deg C when open to atmospheric pressure.
    A) it's upstream of the valve, so it's at close to boiler pressure. Since the steam is saturated (not superheated), any heat loss will result in condensation.
    B) When a gas expands across a valve it cools (this is known as Joule-Thomson cooling). This can result in gas condensing as it passes through the valve. This is a particular issue when the gas is close to it's dewpoint temperature.
    Dimal and sprezzatura like this.

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    A: "Any loss of heat will cause condensation" but the pressure will fall causing that condensation to evaporate. Yes you are right the steam is not "superheated" when inside the boiler. When on its way to the wand you say the pressure is "close to boiler pressure" but it must be somewhat lower. Does this mean the steam is "superheated" at that lower pressure?

    B: The Joule-Thompson cooling takes place regardless of what measures you take. I am not suggesting that I am getting dry steam behold what is possible in the theoretical ideal.

    In any case, the effects you describe seem minimal to me when compared to blobs of water spraying into the steam delivery tube from the boiler. This happens when the steam valve is opened fully and the water in the steam boiler boils rapidly. I imagine a baffle of some sort could be fitted inside the boiler to minimise this effect, but I don't know if the boiler can be opened to install this.

    By reducing the water level in the boiler, less water is spattered into the steam exit pipe. You can see this by opening the hot water tap and lowering the level - the steam becomes dryer before the auto refill activates.

    By lowering the water level I was able to achieve much dryer steam. I can verify this buy holding the empty steaming pot over the steam wand and seeing only some drops of water on the bottom rather the pot filling up as much as 15% with water. (this does not include initial water from condensation inside the wand).

    In any case regarding cooling of steam, water mixed in with steam will cool the steam much more than steam expansion because of the latent heat of vaporisation of water. Hence trying to keep water out of the steam pipe is far more important than than the effects you describe because the pipe could be shortened and insulated but still have water in it and produce wet steam.

    What I would like to try is lowering the level by another inch, but I cannot do this because the sensor cannot be pushed down further. I also realize that the electric element needs to be submerged and I don't know how high it is inside the boiler. In any case my morning cappuccino has improved.
    juk likes this.

  23. #23
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Or otherwise known as eggsucking #101. I'll absent myself thanks.

  24. #24
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,429
    I just did a little experiment. Purged the steam wand then opened up the steam tap. I then opened the water tap to drain some water. Did it again until boiler refill kicked in and then stopped again. I didn't visually notice any changes to the steam output during these transitions.

    Cheers

  25. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I just did a little experiment. Purged the steam wand then opened up the steam tap. I then opened the water tap to drain some water. Did it again until boiler refill kicked in and then stopped again. I didn't visually notice any changes to the steam output during these transitions.

    Cheers
    Are steam traps installed in Coffee machines?

    What is a Steam Trap? | TLV - A Steam Specialist Company (Australia)

    https://www.armstronginternational.c...ic-steam-traps

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,376
    Seriously, for what purpose? And for what benefit?

    You purge the wand before use to get rid of condensate which doesn't drain back to the boiler.

    If you are getting liquid carryover in a boiler design, you would fix the boiler design...

    Steam systems in process facilities (where you commonly find steam traps) are distributed over a large area, and have completely different design requirements to an espresso machine.
    Dimal likes this.

  27. #27
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
    Are steam traps installed in Coffee machines?
    Yes- available here
    Dimal likes this.

  28. #28
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,989
    Could be using steam supplied from the boiler to power a coffee grinder...

    Mal.

  29. #29
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Could be using steam supplied from the boiler to power a coffee grinder...

    Mal.
    Go the whole hog and use it to power hydronic heating for the home...

  30. #30
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    OK you fix the boiler design.

    It seems to me that a device that removes water from the steam stream is a good idea, as fixing the boiler is not really possible is it?

    I suppose a distillation head could be added (in copper) that would reduce "carryover" but there isn't the room for that.

    I will measure the space and see if I can fit one.

    Steam distillation head --- SciLabware

  31. #31
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    Need geothermal for that!

  32. #32
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    Is that must be your personal website?

  33. #33
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Mate- I suggest you either start a new thread in the off topic forum (or better still on another website) entitled random useless musings. This thread is for discussion of the Alex Duetto. You are yet to make any contribution of worth nor relevance to Australian owners.
    images.jpeg

  34. #34
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,659
    RayTCoffeePro come on down.
    TC, Vinitasse and Yelta like this.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,950
    Just read through the last 18 or so posts, fascinating.457716f3f80b30bf3cef6a90f0879d5e.jpgsteam.jpg

    Here are a couple of pics of a guy called Popcorn Sutton (Sadly no longer with us) and his steam modification device, Popcorn knew a little about steam and how to make it work for you.

    Here's a link to an interview he did with Johnny Knoxville, if ya cant handle colourful language don't open the link.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va07akbHIOA
    Reckon this post is as relevant to the Alex Duetto as the previous hand full.
    Dimal, TC and magnafunk like this.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,950
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    RayTCoffeePro come on down.
    What ever happened to good old RayT? he really was a colourful character.

  37. #37
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11
    Usually it is not the site moderator or "sponsor" that writes demeaning or insulting comments to contributors.
    "nuttersareus" "stupidity has its limits" "I will abstain" - but you didn't abstain did you.

    Regarding contributions of relevance - I believe I have made a significant contribution when I suggested to lower the water level sensor.
    At he least this is relevant to one Australian owner (myself).

    I find it ridiculous when you somehow imagine that "Australian owners" of fully imported Italian machines are in someway special and that you assume that I am different or that my machine is. What is your problem? Xenophobia?
    Or is it that you are the importer of a machine that although expensive, and makes good espresso, can't produce quality steam? Denial?

    I have no issue with anyone that has answered my posts except you, but please cancel my membership and remove me from you mailing list. That way you can go back to your mates who think your are Einstein.

  38. #38
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Thanks for another enlightening contribution Claudius.

  39. #39
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Millthorpe NSW
    Posts
    2,040
    Hi Claudius
    While I understand your frustration, you need to see it from the other side.

    Chris and his team are professionals who sell and work on these machines for a living. He contributes a great deal of professional advice here for free - and many have benefitted from his expertise over the years, when they were willing to listen.

    He has clearly seen many machines of that vintage that have had the same issue - an issue which was easily solved by internally trimming the return pipe from the anti-vac pipe so that it no longer sat under the water level (a slight quirk in that model that has now been rectified in the latest version it appears). AUS spec machines are often set up differently at the factories to suit the requirements of the AUS importers (guys like Chris) to suit our AUS design regulations, specifications & wishes even. And it seems that boiler probes are not an issue in the machines set up for the AUS market. Those few points were dealt with in the first few posts in this thread.

    But while the method you have posted might have solved the issue temporarily for you and your machine, guys like Chris (and many others of us here) can understand that while your method would will have an effect, there are most likely secondary performance costs in permanently lowering the boiler water level as you have suggested (and I won't pretend to be an espresso tech!) like brew temp issues, steam pressure and even the risk of permanently exposing the element to the air, causing early failure.

    The thread then proceeded to exotic industrial processes requiring complete machine redesigns, to deal with what is basically a non-issue easily fixed by a tech or competent DIYer with a hacksaw. All this sort of speculation doesn't really help the OP with their original question of how to fix their issue - it just muddies the water.

    Unfortunately, for those of us who have been around on here long enough, this happens pretty regularly on all sorts of topics. I agree that sometimes the frustration overflows and turns gnarly. We all need to work on patience at times.

    But with almost 15K posts and a great deal of knowledge about these machines, Chris is a bloke worth listening too … or not, if you so desire

    Cheers Matt

  40. #40
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Thanks for your support Matt,

    We have seen over 400 Alex Duettos and with respect to Claudius' experience of one machine, with a potentially exposed element or a boiler probe which was in the wrong place anyway, our experience is that the trim along with some insulation of the plumb run substantially improves the issues.

    What we don't need is egg sucking lessons from some bloke on the internerd enhanced with a thick layer of irrelevant boolsheet.

    Cheers

    Chris
    DesigningByCoffee, Logga and Yelta like this.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,950
    Dimal, TC and Gavisconi007 like this.

  42. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    The same thing happened to me with my Duetto 2
    I solved mine by cutting "V" shapes in the return tube (on the upper surface) to allow air in and break any siphon
    Hope that helps
    Cheers
    Dr Dave
    After years of random wet steam issues this thread gets resurrected and using Dr Dave's suggestion I have had zero steam issues in the past 2 weeks.
    I am guessing that the randomness of the issue depended on how full I had the water tank.

  43. #43
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Yes- that helps...

    A good way to permanently overcome this issue is to reroute the anti-vac venting to the drip tray. We do it as a routine item in service.

    Cheers

    Chris

  44. #44
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,950
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
    Usually it is not the site moderator or "sponsor" that writes demeaning or insulting comments to contributors.
    "nuttersareus" "stupidity has its limits" "I will abstain" - but you didn't abstain did you.

    Regarding contributions of relevance - I believe I have made a significant contribution when I suggested to lower the water level sensor.
    At he least this is relevant to one Australian owner (myself).

    I find it ridiculous when you somehow imagine that "Australian owners" of fully imported Italian machines are in someway special and that you assume that I am different or that my machine is. What is your problem? Xenophobia?
    Or is it that you are the importer of a machine that although expensive, and makes good espresso, can't produce quality steam? Denial?

    I have no issue with anyone that has answered my posts except you, but please cancel my membership and remove me from you mailing list. That way you can go back to your mates who think your are Einstein.
    Claudius has left us

    Not sure why, for some reason it's always nice to have a RayTCoffeePro or Claudius around, keeps the percolator percing, so to speak, perhaps their presence makes the rest of us realise just how mundane our lives really are.
    Dimal and magnafunk like this.

  45. #45
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Claudius has left us...
    And just like that, I have not a single extra grey hair....also assisted after I stopped responding to the HX thread as well

  46. #46
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    3
    Hi Chris
    I own an Alex PID (and I am new to this forum, so forgive me for writing here) and have a wet steam problem as well. However my machine is plumbed, so the solution you suggest won't apply (or will it?) Do you or anyone else have any suggestions?

    Niels

    Quote Originally Posted by TC View Post
    If it's an Alex Duetto II, its most likely grabbing a belly full of water via the anti-vac each time it cools down.

    Check that the return from the anti-vac into the tank is long enough to enter the tank but NOT under the surface of the water. If it is, it will fill the steam boiler with water from the tank every time the machine cools down if the tank is full.

    Hope that helps.

    Chris

  47. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    572
    Not sure of your plumbing but I had a problem with the solenoid that directed the pump water to either the brew circuit or the boiler fill circuit. My proble was the solenoid valve got stuck to the boiler filled on the brew pressure. So the the boiler pressure was right but not by steam pressure. Just a thought. This was on an HX machine. Cleaning the valve was all that was required.

  48. #48
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    3
    Thank you. I will try and have a look.
    However my machine is almost new (2 months).
    I will start a new thread in the proper sub-forum...

    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    Not sure of your plumbing but I had a problem with the solenoid that directed the pump water to either the brew circuit or the boiler fill circuit. My proble was the solenoid valve got stuck to the boiler filled on the brew pressure. So the the boiler pressure was right but not by steam pressure. Just a thought. This was on an HX machine. Cleaning the valve was all that was required.



Similar Threads

  1. Izzo Alex Duetto III steam pressure problem
    By FineGrind in forum Brewing Equipment - Extreme Machines ($3000+)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28th April 2013, 11:43 AM
  2. Izzo Alex Duetto II
    By robsan in forum Brewing Equipment - Extreme Machines ($3000+)
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 24th August 2011, 03:59 PM
  3. !!SOLD!! - Izzo Alex Duetto II
    By SubContractor in forum SOLD
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 4th August 2011, 05:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •