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Thread: Bought a used Faema E98 compact A1 and looking for advice.

  1. #1
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    Bought a used Faema E98 compact A1 and looking for advice.

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

    I'm still very new to coffee snobs, have been lurking on and off for quite some time. I have just bought a second hand Faema E98 Compact A1 which the previous owner had in storage for quite some time. They indicated they had the machine serviced in January 2017 and put it in storage in April 2017. I am planning on replacing the filters and group seal and descaling (as well as a very good general clean up) . Is there anything else that anybody recommends replacing at the same time?

    Also the portafilter handle /basket is missing so I am needing to order a replacement, any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    These are a great machine! I would drain the boiler (has a drain bung one side of the boiler) to get out any stale/old water. Fill the tank up, fire it up, run the brew cycle to flush out water from the heat exchanger and see how it goes.

    I wouldnt descale unless it needs it.

    What filters are you referring to? the only thing it potentially may have is the resin filter in the tank. Would be worthwhile replacing that, you can use a different brand as long as it has a barb for the suction hose and is decent size as the rotary pump generates a fair bit of flow.

    The group is the same as the cimbali juniors so any of those portafilters will fit.

    Coffeeparts sell the group seals and portafilters. I would see how dirty things are before replacing them. If it was serviced it should all be pretty good.

    I used a plastic tray under mine to catch the water from the plumb in plastic box. If you are seeing water flowing into this box while brewing it is likely the pump bypass is jammed and its sending the pressure sky high and dumping out of the over pressure safety valve.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I used a plastic tray under mine to catch the water from the plumb in plastic box. If you are seeing water flowing into this box while brewing it is likely the pump bypass is jammed and its sending the pressure sky high and dumping out of the over pressure safety valve.
    Thanks for your warm welcome Artman. I have had a play with the machine and ordered some parts from coffee parts. I got the cimbali portafilter as it was in stock as well as some resin filters, group seals (square and tapered), shower screen and some cleaner and descaler. I did run the descaler through it as it really needed it.

    I've opened it up and given it all a good clean and descale (I don't think the old owners cleaned it often or thorough enough) I've filled the tank and run some boilers through the steam wand and water spout however I'm not getting anything through the group. It's going straight out the drain. I'm thinking it might be what you referred to above. Is this easy to fix? I've never worked on machines like this so am learning as I go.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    No water out the group?
    Group head blocked, 3 way jammed open.

    Presuming this is a hx machine, does the group head warm up? If so it suggests the piping from the hx to the group is working ok.
    Pull out the shower screen from the group and try for flow again. No? Then take off the 3 way solenoid and try again.

    Prepare for it to be messy as a rotary pump shifts a lot of water. Also the solenoid will have 240v when machine is turned on so take all precautions

  5. #5
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Yes these are HX.

    Agree with above, if you are getting no flow at all out of the group, then it would probably be a sticking 3 way valve. Run the group with the shower screen and dispersion screen removed to eliminate a major blockage there (probably unlikely unless the machine has been very neglected.

    Is it auto filling boiler ok?

    To confirm / eliminate the coil on the solenoid, swap it over with one of the confirmed working ones (eg steam). They just slide over the solenoid body. Then if still no go, see if any of the other solenoids are the same config and swap over complete (i cant recall if they are) or take apart the solenoid valve body and give it clean/unstick it.

    Unless you use the auto frothing function, there is a spare solenoid in that line you can use as a spare, i dont think its 3 way but you can check.

    Are you getting water from the OPV when its filling the tank? If yes then your pump bypass is likely stuck. You can unscrew the bypass assembly and free/lube the piston. Its tight but doable with the pump in place.

    Cheers
    Jackster likes this.

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    Hi guys, sorry for the slow reply, been a bit hectic. I've managed to get my machine going in between my work schedule.

    The three way valve in the group was indeed blocked. I ended up pulling the machine back to the boiler and soaking the boiler and other parts with descaler. I think the machine had been a bit neglected judging by the extreme build up in scale and the filth I cleaned out.

    The three way was completely seized and a bit rusty. Luckily when a previous owner had removed the auto frothing part they left the three way valve there. I've switched them over with great success. I've pulled a few shots yesterday and today. They are quite good but I have no experience in a decent machine so still learning. I've managed to get my double shot brew time to 28 seconds and am getting a nice amount of crema. Now I just have to get the wife hooked on coffee too.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

  7. #7
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Good work. the volumetric buttons can be programmed for short, medium, long flush and then a double shot brew. The group needs a flush after left sitting idle as the HX gets superheated not bing a thermosyphon design. these are awesome machines!

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Good work. the volumetric buttons can be programmed for short, medium, long flush and then a double shot brew. The group needs a flush after left sitting idle as the HX gets superheated not bing a thermosyphon design. these are awesome machines!

    cheers
    Thanks Artman. Can I ask how much water do you usually flush through? I'm still playing with the steam wand, can't seem to get nice microfoam yet.

  9. #9
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Canít recall how much it was. After a decent idle period maybe 100 ml or so? Sound like a lot bit itís only a few seconds as the flow is decent. Until the spitting/ steaming stops.

    Re milk, have a read of KK steaming guide.

    Also, what steam tip do you have? The total area of the holes makes a big difference to the technique required and speed of steaming.

    Cheers



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