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Thread: Izzo Alex Leva

  1. #701
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    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Yes the knobs themselves.

  2. #702
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    Hi, I have never heard of that happening before
    I am sure you will be able to replace them - I would try Talk Coffee or coffeeparts. They're both really helpful. Chris may have some ideas of why they broke. Odd though
    Cheers

  3. #703
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stickleback View Post
    I've had something strange happen today - made about 3 cappuccinos OK, then on the 4th one, the steam handle simply unscrewed to the point I could take it off! Anyone had anything similar? Any obvious fixes? I also then inspected a bit closer and found that both the steam and water handles each have a fine longitudinal crack along their length. Thanks for any help!
    OK- so 2 issues here.

    The knobs can crack if overtightened. It's irritating, but takes a long time to be terminal. I know that coloured/timber upgrade kits are available to replace everything.

    The cause of the knob screwing off? Dead or dislodged circlip which will be sitting in under the silver decorative cap.
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  4. #704
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    They get pretty hot if the machine is on for a while. I wonder if that contributes.

    Anyway, surely Chris or The Coffee Machinist would be able to replace them. Annoying though.

  5. #705
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    I think Chris knows...
    Just a matter of contacting him at Talk Coffee.

    Mal.
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  6. #706
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    We have a set in stock if needed

    Antony
    Casa Espresso
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  7. #707
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    Hello fellow snobs and a belated Happy new year to all...

    A quick question. I have noticed that my pressure gauge has darkened from its original white colour to more of a smokey grey colour which is more obvious around the left side. Where the needle sits is still white.

    I am guessing it is due to the heat but I was wondering if anyone else has the same? Other than cosmetic there is no issue and I sure new / replacement dials can be purchased if needed.

    On a different note I have really been enjoying the subscription packs from Coffee Better (site sponsor). Not sure if anyone else has tried them but they are pretty damn nice. Darker beans than I normally drink but the flavours are wonderful.

    Cheers all

    Alastair
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  8. #708
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    Hi Alistair,
    Sounds as though a seal on the gauge has gone. It should be easily replaceable I would think. Chris at TC or Anthony at Casa Espresso will have them Im sure. If it is cosmetic and still working OK, if it were mine Id leave it
    Cheers
    Dave

  9. #709
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    Cheers Dave...

    As all seems to be working I will leave as is. Does not bother me and if anything lends a bit more of an old school feel.

  10. #710
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    Help... if anyone can

    I need to remove the solenoid to give it a clean as Chris (TC) suspects I may have blocked it when I neglected to flush a newly installed filter.

    I can see the solenoid but have no idea how to get to it.. The side panels do no seem to be able to be removed and the only possible way I can see if via the removal of the bottom panel (laying the machine of its side).

    Has anyone removed the panels or otherwise removed the solenoid and care to share how to do it?

    It has me well stumped.

    A million thanks,

    Alastair

  11. #711
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    Hi Alistair,
    I removed the panels some years ago to remove the cup warming option. I haven't touched the solenoid. It took me a while to work it out but They are hinged panels. Hinged at the aft end (from memory) and I undid the front screw and hinged them up which gave great access. I have had recent surgery so cannot move mine to check Im sorry, however Im sure Chris will be able to tell you.
    Cheers
    Dave
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  12. #712
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    Thanks Dave...

    After much head scratching I finally ended up laying the machine on its back and removing the bottom panels. Once done solenoid was quickly removed and once the bits and pieces were taken apart I found that the filter was jammed solid.

    Followimg the excellent advice of he who cannot be named �� and his excellent and super helpful and friendly tech, a good soak in some caffeletto (sic) I was able to remove the build up of carbon and water flow was restored once more.

    Lessons learned from all of this is that one always needs to give a new filter a good flush before connecting to machine and secondly it is very easy to remove and replace solenoid.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who helped.

    Alastair
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  13. #713
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    Good to hear your success Alastair.. I am wondering if i also have a blocked solenoid.
    I have been enjoying my machine nearly 3 years now. I can clearly hear the solenoid click open but no water will flow. I can make the water flow by going to the sink and opening the drinking water tap which is also connected to the filter which is downstream from the pressure reducer.
    So my amature guess is that either my solenoid is blocked enough not to allow enough flow to open the pressure reducer by itself, or, my pressure reducer is stuffed. Any ideas?

  14. #714
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    Just to follow up:
    I had some success with this issue without touching the machine.
    I disconnected my pressure reducer valve and had a look. The spring valve inside felt a tiny bit sticky to initially depress. I flushed both sides with high pressure water and it seemed a little bit better.
    I connected it all back up and now the machine will now refill without me intervening. I can tell by the sound it makes that the PR valve is not all the way open, but this is still enough to slowly fill the boiler.
    I will keep any eye on it over the next few weeks before i call it fixed - but fingers crossed it is.

  15. #715
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    For the record, when i say “Slowy” fill the boiler i mean: 30 seconds, machine 120c, boiler pressure 1 bar, approx 600-650ml measured between fills.

    Also worth noting is that i have always run about 5 meters of 3/8 JG tube between the filter and the machine - i am sure this also has an impact on flow rate and in turn the amount the PR valve opens. This is no issue though - its not like 30 sec refill every 4-5 shots is a big deal.

  16. #716
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    I received an Alex Leva a few weeks ago and it's my first go at a machine (lucky me). Iv'e had a few issues such as a bad solenoid valve on delivery, which was repaired by a local shop on the distributors dime. A week into using it the vacuum breaker started hissing and the merchant sent a replacement, without asking me to try to clean first. I haven't received it yet to replace it.

    Since this is my first machines I'm rather inexperienced with things that may or may not be normal or not an issue. I have a question about an indentation that forms on the puck after pulling a shot. The same indentation occurs each time and with both the double spout and bottomless portafilters. It seems like there is more pressure in the spot or the shower head is spraying harder in that spot. Puling the handle without the portafilter doesn't look like there is any more or less spray at that spot. It's kind of hard to see in the photos, but it's the left side. The photo's I have make it look slightly more minor, and it's not deep, but it is consistent.


    https://imgur.com/eGmUMfS

    https://imgur.com/do7sZ5G

  17. #717
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    Have your tried doing everything as per normal but just before you lock the portafilter into the machine, rotate the baster in the portafilter by 90?

    Also how many grams of coffee are you putting in the basket?

  18. #718
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    I rotated the basket and the spot remained in the same location relative to the portafilter/group head. This is using 18g of coffee, and 20 grams previously was when I first started paying attention and noticing it.

  19. #719
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeds View Post
    I received an Alex Leva a few weeks ago and it's my first go at a machine (lucky me). Iv'e had a few issues such as a bad solenoid valve on delivery, which was repaired by a local shop on the distributors dime. A week into using it the vacuum breaker started hissing and the merchant sent a replacement, without asking me to try to clean first. I haven't received it yet to replace it.

    Since this is my first machines I'm rather inexperienced with things that may or may not be normal or not an issue. I have a question about an indentation that forms on the puck after pulling a shot. The same indentation occurs each time and with both the double spout and bottomless portafilters. It seems like there is more pressure in the spot or the shower head is spraying harder in that spot. Puling the handle without the portafilter doesn't look like there is any more or less spray at that spot. It's kind of hard to see in the photos, but it's the left side. The photo's I have make it look slightly more minor, and it's not deep, but it is consistent.


    https://imgur.com/eGmUMfS

    https://imgur.com/do7sZ5G
    Has you removed and cleaned the screen as well as the area under it, then back flushed with a cleaner like Cafetto EVO, looks to me as if the screen is choked with gunk and directing the flow into one area.

    Looking at your pics the puck looks to have been disturbed, the coffee grounds blasted out around the edge of the basket is not normal, this area should remain quite clean.

    Is the machine new or second hand?
    PS Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

  20. #720
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    This is a new machine, 3 weeks old now. I'm wary of the machine based on what I've already experienced. I was told by the tech at the vendor it was not necessary to back flush a lever machine, and could actually damage it. I've scrubbed the screen with the group brush, but have not yet popped off the screen.

    The coffee I've been getting out of it has been tasting dry, like there are grounds mixed in. I'm using an HG-one grinder.

    Thank you for the welcome. This thread is quite amazing, and I was really stoked to get this machine.

  21. #721
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeds View Post
    This is a new machine, 3 weeks old now. I'm wary of the machine based on what I've already experienced. I was told by the tech at the vendor it was not necessary to back flush a lever machine, and could actually damage it. I've scrubbed the screen with the group brush, but have not yet popped off the screen.

    The coffee I've been getting out of it has been tasting dry, like there are grounds mixed in. I'm using an HG-one grinder.

    Thank you for the welcome. This thread is quite amazing, and I was really stoked to get this machine.
    Definitely do not try a standard backflush with a blind portafilter locked in. You will injure yourself or your property or both. However it is possible to do a short backflush with a blind portafilter in the group but not fully locked in (i.e. you need to hold it, and make sure that there is sufficient chance for water to escape over the lip of the portafilter). Should be no need for chemicals, as lever group doesn't draw brewed coffee upwards like an E61. It is also usually pretty easy to take the spring and piston out of the group and re-lube the seals....but you shouldn't be anywhere near needing to do this yet.

    Photos can be deceiving, but that looks like a pretty coarse grind for espresso (or at least some of it does)....but maybe just the photo.

    How long are you pre-infusing (i.e. how long do you leave the lever in the 'down' position before slowly lifting it)?
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  22. #722
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Ignore my comment re back flushing Seeds, Barry knows what he's talking about.

  23. #723
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    I don't have a blind basket, so I won't be able to even do a partial backflush. I'm preinfusing for 8-10 sec. I generally don't get any drips out of the portafilter until releasing the lever, when the spring starts doing the work. My grind is set for ~35 grams in the cup over 25 seconds.

  24. #724
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeds View Post
    I don't have a blind basket, so I won't be able to even do a partial backflush. I'm preinfusing for 8-10 sec. I generally don't get any drips out of the portafilter until releasing the lever, when the spring starts doing the work. My grind is set for ~35 grams in the cup over 25 seconds.
    Sounds in the right ballpark. Maybe grind a tiny bit finer.

    What beans are you using?

  25. #725
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    Currently a Kenyan Karuthi and previously another African single origin (small beans). I'm also using a signature espresso decaf blend from another local roaster. All roasts are within 2 weeks from local roasters in Portland, OR. I actually stopped using the naked portafilter because it would squirt and make a mess of the machine and my wall. After researching causes thought maybe the roasts were stale, but now I'm not so sure. I've been sticking to the double spout as a precaution. Ever since paying attention, the indentation has been persistent.

  26. #726
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeds View Post
    Currently a Kenyan Karuthi and previously another African single origin (small beans). I'm also using a signature espresso decaf blend from another local roaster. All roasts are within 2 weeks from local roasters in Portland, OR. I actually stopped using the naked portafilter because it would squirt and make a mess of the machine and my wall. After researching causes thought maybe the roasts were stale, but now I'm not so sure. I've been sticking to the double spout as a precaution. Ever since paying attention, the indentation has been persistent.

    Ahhh. If the naked portafilter was squirting, then you are likely experiencing channelling in the puck (the water finds the path of least resistance and proceeds on its merry way through it). This may reflect 'poor' distribution of grinds in the portafilter, a very uneven tamp, and / or overdosing to the level that the puck is being jammed into the shower head (along with several other aspects of witchcraft that have been proposed). It doesn't 'sound' like you are overdosing though....but depends on the size of the basket that you are using.

  27. #727
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Ahhh. If the naked portafilter was squirting, then you are likely experiencing channelling in the puck (the water finds the path of least resistance and proceeds on its merry way through it). This may reflect 'poor' distribution of grinds in the portafilter, a very uneven tamp, and / or overdosing to the level that the puck is being jammed into the shower head (along with several other aspects of witchcraft that have been proposed). It doesn't 'sound' like you are overdosing though....but depends on the size of the basket that you are using.
    I'm going to start using the naked portafilter. I like it better for a variety of reasons, and think I'm definitely better and more consistent tamping than I was a few weeks ago. I just used it without any spritzing, and had a similar experience earlier. I still have that same indentation however.

    Thanks for all your input Barry

  28. #728
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    When you prepare the portafilter and are ready to make a shot, wipe the shower screen with a cloth to dry it completely, insert the portafilter, lock it in, then remove it again straight away. Are there any changes to the puck of dry coffee? Any indentations etc?

  29. #729
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    Hi,
    I agree with all of the above and think it is unlikely to be a machine fault, particularly with a new machine. More likely distribution.If you do a quick test as ninja says and try finer going (as Barry says), Im sure you will work it out. Having lots of squirters from the blind portafilter is why you should keep using it - a finer grind and better distribution until you get a nice tail flowing is what you are after
    Keep us all in touch with how you are getting on. There are lots of good people here who can offer helpful advice. They have certainly helped me.
    Cheers
    Dave
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  30. #730
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    Hi Seeds, in my experience, if I see any channeling/squirter on a botomless portafilter, there is a good/high chance that the culprit is on the grinder's end or a problem in coffee distribution as mentioned by the others.

    To mitigate the channeling issue, I always use a maneuver called WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique). It's basically a fancy name for stirring ground coffee (before tamping) with a wire/pin to help homogenize the coffee. Works 99% of the time for me. You can google using that term and find out more information (on how to do it etc).

  31. #731
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    With a double spring leva, you're bang on 12Bar for almost all of the shot- so dose and distribution is even more important that at 9Bar. As for solenoid issues, it's generally a case of end user not taking into account that filter cartridges should be flushed before connecting to a machine. Machine gets a belly full of carbon and you then have a blocked solenoid.

    I'd recommend against any process whatsoever using a blind filter. A jiggle rinse with a conventional filter is fine. I advise wipe the screen and clean around the coffee parts of the group with a damp cloth and brush. Pull the shower every so often as well for cleaning.
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  32. #732
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Hi,
    I agree with all of the above and think it is unlikely to be a machine fault, particularly with a new machine. More likely distribution.If you do a quick test as ninja says and try finer going (as Barry says), Im sure you will work it out. Having lots of squirters from the blind portafilter is why you should keep using it - a finer grind and better distribution until you get a nice tail flowing is what you are after
    Keep us all in touch with how you are getting on. There are lots of good people here who can offer helpful advice. They have certainly helped me.
    Cheers
    Dave
    Going finer has helped with taste and texture. I am now having to go over 40sec for 20grams in and just shy of 40 grams out. I distribute the grounds evenly, and am careful to tamp evenly as well. If my tamping and distribution was the culprit, I think the indentations would have followed the basket when I tried rotated it after tamping. I'm not getting squirting any longer on the naked portafilter after starting to use it again. I believe the cause of this was due to my beginning days tamping and possibly stale coffee. I don't want to confuse the two subjects, so I maybe shouldn't have said anything about squirting with the naked portafilter.

    I just made sure I redistributed the grounds in the portafilter tried tamping after rotating the portafilter 90 dregrees, and the indentations were in the same place, on the left side of the portafilter. Afterward held the handle handle down for a bit to analyze the water coming out of the shower screen, and it does look to come out more densely on that side, although this isn't easy to see or totally clear.

    Do you find it odd Dave to receive a machine with a bad solenoid on delivery (water pouring out of the machine when connected to the main waterline), and a bad vacuum breaker after a week of use? My luck with this machine has me questioning it from the get go.
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  33. #733
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeds View Post
    Going finer has helped with taste and texture. I am now having to go over 40sec for 20grams in and just shy of 40 grams out. I distribute the grounds evenly, and am careful to tamp evenly as well. If my tamping and distribution was the culprit, I think the indentations would have followed the basket when I tried rotated it after tamping. I'm not getting squirting any longer on the naked portafilter after starting to use it again. I believe the cause of this was due to my beginning days tamping and possibly stale coffee. I don't want to confuse the two subjects, so I maybe shouldn't have said anything about squirting with the naked portafilter.

    I just made sure I redistributed the grounds in the portafilter tried tamping after rotating the portafilter 90 dregrees, and the indentations were in the same place, on the left side of the portafilter. Afterward held the handle handle down for a bit to analyze the water coming out of the shower screen, and it does look to come out more densely on that side, although this isn't easy to see or totally clear.

    Do you find it odd Dave to receive a machine with a bad solenoid on delivery (water pouring out of the machine when connected to the main waterline), and a bad vacuum breaker after a week of use? My luck with this machine has me questioning it from the get go.
    Unfortunate Seeds, however these things can happen, sounds like the person you bought it from has looked after you, with a bit of luck you wont have any more issues for years to come, Izzo machines have a good reputation, I can understand your disappointment at having issues with a new machine

    Pleased to hear your getting things sorted out.
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  34. #734
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    The shower screen might be partially clogged with lube from the factory. Mine was caked with lube. The seals only need a thin smear. I've also had a similar thing happen when I didn't reinstall the shower screen correctly. Water came out from one side and blasted down the side of the puck.

    A similar thing happens with the E61 group when you forget the dispersion screw.
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  35. #735
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    Hi Seeds,
    Yes odd to have 2 issues and disappointing for you- we all feel your pain after spending so much on a high end machine. We are lucky here as Chris at Talk Coffee (Australian importer of Izzo) thoroughly checks them prior to shipping- I understand that Antony at Casa Espresso does the same

    In fact I am sure all of the sponsors on this site do the same with their machines too.

    As Yelta says it should be sorted as they are a superb machine.

    The solenoid can get blocked from a water filter not being flushed adequately- see above in this thread. Odd for a vacuum breaker to hiss so early - I would ask the supplier if it is a new machine, if so has it sat around for a long time? Sometimes it can be scale that just needs a clean to fix though.

    As to the indentation on the puck- check that it isn't the circlip (which holds the shower screen in place) which is not seated correctly. If so that's an easy fix with circlip pliers

    Failing that I would give Chris a call at Talk Coffee in MLB for any advice (assuming you are in Australia)

    Cheers
    Dave
    Last edited by Dr_Dave; 12th March 2019 at 08:44 AM. Reason: spelling

  36. #736
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Hi Seeds,
    Yes odd to have 2 issues and disappointing for you- we all feel your pain after spending so much on a high end machine. We are lucky here as Chris at Talk Coffee (Australian importer of Izzo) thoroughly checks them prior to shipping- I understand that Antony at Casa Espresso does the same

    In fact I am sure all of the sponsors on this site do the same with their machines too.

    As Yelta says it should be sorted as they are a superb machine.

    The solenoid can get blocked from a water filter not being flushed adequately- see above in this thread. Odd for a vacuum breaker to hiss so early - I would ask the supplier if it is a new machine, if so has it sat around for a long time? Sometimes it can be scale that just needs a clean to fix though.

    As to the indentation on the puck- check that it isn't the circlip (which holds the shower screen in place) which is not seated correctly. If so that's an easy fix with circlip pliers

    Failing that I would give Chris a call at Talk Coffee in MLB for any advice (assuming you are in Australia)

    Cheers
    Dave
    Thank you Dave and the rest, much appreciated responses and support. I actually bought this in the states from another dealer with an identical human name. You guys just happen to have the best Internet thread on the Alex Leva that I have come across.
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  37. #737
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    As I need to replace the grommets for the steam and water taps I began thinking of a modification. After discussion with Chris at Talk Coffee and Antony at Casa I purchased Izzo Joystick taps yesterday from Antony. These are genuine Izzo taps and should be a straight swap. They arrive in about 10 days time, once I have the time I will swap them over and let you know what I think
    Cheers
    Dave
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  38. #738
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    As I need to replace the grommets for the steam and water taps I began thinking of a modification. After discussion with Chris at Talk Coffee and Antony at Casa I purchased Izzo Joystick taps yesterday from Antony. These are genuine Izzo taps and should be a straight swap. They arrive in about 10 days time, once I have the time I will swap them over and let you know what I think
    Cheers
    Dave
    Will be very interested to hear your comparison of the two types of tap Dave, I've always expressed a preference for rotary, have yet to hear from anyone who has made this change.
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  39. #739
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    As I need to replace the grommets for the steam and water taps I began thinking of a modification. After discussion with Chris at Talk Coffee and Antony at Casa I purchased Izzo Joystick taps yesterday from Antony. These are genuine Izzo taps and should be a straight swap. They arrive in about 10 days time, once I have the time I will swap them over and let you know what I think
    Cheers
    Dave
    Hi Dave... I too would be very interested to hear how the 'joysticks' work. Send some pics when you have them installed.

    Loving the Leva and still brings a smile ot my face everytime I see her.

    Alastair
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  40. #740
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    Back from holidays and taps arrived.
    I hope to fit them this weekend
    If so, I'll let you know what I think and take some photo's
    Cheers
    Dave
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  41. #741
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    Sadly wrong tap arrived
    Will be a little longer
    Cheers
    Dave

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    Keenly following this thread Dave - this modification has been on my wish list for my Leva too.
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  43. #743
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Sadly wrong tap arrived
    Will be a little longer
    Cheers
    Dave
    Turning into a bit of a saga Dave, still keen to hear about the final outcome.
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Hamptons
    Posts
    296
    Hi
    New tap finally arrived and an engineer friend fitted them over the weekend
    The thread size was different from the original so required a new thread being cut, so not a simple retrofit
    I like them (after making only one coffee today), so will report back after using them a little
    I will try and add a photo
    Cheers
    Dave
    NJD and 338 like this.

  45. #745
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    498
    How are the new taps Dave? Any chance of some pics?

    Cheers
    JB.

  46. #746
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Hamptons
    Posts
    296
    Hi JB,
    I really like them and am very happy with the swap. I used the new long steam wand and to do so the tap is at 90degrees to the machine. I will try and load a photo - I tried a week ago but couldn't load a jpg for some reason
    I could use the old wand and it would look better however function beats aesthetics for me!
    I am lucky to have an engineer friend who did the mod as the thread sizes of the new tap are different - initially told they were the same
    Overall I am really happy and would do it again tomorrow
    Cheers
    Dave
    Dimal, javabeen, trenttdk and 1 others like this.



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