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Thread: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

  1. #1
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    Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So I just stripped out my s20 Midi and treated it to a nice acid bath.* Got her back together and noticed that there was a very small amount of water fizzing away on one of the brass fittings.* At first I thought it was just some residual water evaporating but on closer inspection (and when running that group head made a little more come out) I realised that it was coming from a hairline fracture in the brass :(

    Its a tiny tiny leak.* In running the head for 20 seconds (without a handle/coffee in that is), only 1 drop of water comes out and then evaporates promptly.

    (see attached piccie)

    So... can this be fixed??* Im hoping that someone knows a little about brass welding and can confirm/deny that this fracture can be sealed up.*

    Also... am I right in saying that this isnt one of the highly pressurised parts of the boiler??* (not that Im going to use it till its fixed...)




  2. #2
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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    If the fitting can be removed from the boiler, it can be easily brazed or silver soldered. A jewelery repair person could do it without a problem. That would fairly well guarantee that it will not leak or fail in the future. If it is a permanent part of the boiler, some J.B. Weld or equivalent high temp metal epoxy should work if properly applied.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Its attached to the boiler...

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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D22283E293B184C0 link=1327321997/2#2 date=1327354236
    Its attached to the boiler...
    So only two viable alternatives. Assuming that it would be a pain trying to silver solder or braze the fitting while the boiler is in place, the only easy solution is J.B. Weld or equivalent. Otherwise you will (or should) remove the boiler and have the fitting repaired or replaced.

  5. #5
    KJM
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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Quote Originally Posted by 66555A504D6B731A340 link=1327321997/3#3 date=1327354614
    Assuming that it would be a pain trying to silver solder or braze the fitting while the boiler is in place
    It looks pretty accessible - personally Id be inclined to get the small torch out and silver solder it. The only thing youd have to really be careful of is melting the solder that holds the fitting to the boiler, but it looks like there is plenty of room..

    Youll need to clean it up nicely for the soldering though.

    The other plan-B kind of thing might be one of the wicking/capilliary glues that people like Loctite make.

    Or plan-C - unsolder the crook fitting and replace ;)

    My $0.02
    /Kevin

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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    have noticed that one of the other fittings has the same issue in 2 places :/ Bugger.

    Tried the JB Weld (equivalent) but it didnt work so I guess Im going to have to pull it all out and braze it. BUGGER!

    Might have a go with the loctite stuff though... Was this the one you mean? : http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/t_lkr_green/overview/Loctite-Threadlocker-Green-290.htm

  7. #7
    KJM
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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Quote Originally Posted by 616E6472657754000 link=1327321997/5#5 date=1327493175
    have noticed that one of the other fittings has the same issue in 2 places :/ Bugger.

    Tried the JB Weld (equivalent) but it didnt work so I guess Im going to have to pull it all out and braze it.* BUGGER!

    Might have a go with the loctite stuff though... Was this the one you mean? : http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/t_lkr_green/overview/Loctite-Threadlocker-Green...
    Im now suspicious! Sounds like poor brass - maybe youre experiencing de-zincification of the brass. This gives pin-holes through the material - so it becomes less a solid thing and more a sponge like material. Which makes me think you might need to look at having someone with a torch sweat off the existing fittings and replace them with new ones.

    But the loctite product I was thinking of was a cyanoacrylate (super glue). To use this, youd need to dry the fittings out - that means drying the tiny holes out. So youd need to drain the boiler and then heat the fittings to evaporate the water. A drop of the low-viscosity version the adhesive will wick in via capilliary action and pretty well plug the hole. Depending on the exact adhesive you choose these things start to soften at something like 150-200C; so well within the range of temperatures that the boiler will see!

    But if youve got multiple failures Id be looking at the replacement option (seriously). The glue trick works for a pin-hole though. I still have a 2" gate valve that was "fixed" temporarily 22 years ago ;)

    /Kevin

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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    craaaaap.. if the brass has degraded... that sucks. :/

    How the heck would you go about getting new ones of those... doesnt seem to be a part you can order... or even a new boiler for that matter.

  9. #9
    KJM
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    Re: Rancilio S20 - leak in a brass fitting

    Looks like a standard tee thats been soldered in place to me.. Maybe give one of the local (to you) sponsors a call ??



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