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Thread: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

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    Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive had a Kitchen Aid Artisan machine for 4 years. Its capable of making a good coffee but its broken down quite often and is now well out of warranty. A technician working at Peter McInnes told me that they had a lot of problems with them.
    The steamer / milk frother has just died and Im not sure its worth spending any more money on it, but it seems too good to give up on.

    Does anyone know a good trustworthy repairer in Sydney inner west?

    I havent been very impressed with the 2 repairers that Peter McInnes sent me to for previous repairs.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    You could ask the guy at Ashfield (on Parramatta Rd) if hed be interested.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 455B4F090 link=1275137635/0#0 date=1275137635
    Ive had a Kitchen Aid Artisan machine for 4 years. Its capable of making a good coffee but its broken down quite often and is now well out of warranty. A technician working at Peter McInnes told me that they had a lot of problems with them.
    The steamer / milk frother has just died and Im not sure its worth spending any more money on it, but it seems too good to give up on.

    Does anyone know a good trustworthy repairer in Sydney inner west?

    I havent been very impressed with the 2 repairers that Peter McInnes sent me to for previous repairs.
    As time goes on; it is the law of ever decreasing returns that one has to assess...

    Might be more efficient and cost effective to have it as a reminder of where ya came from *;) *

    PS. *See the author in my sig. *Yes; even life its self, has a price.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 19363F3D2A153936393F3D353D362C580 link=1275137635/2#2 date=1275138879
    As time goes on; it is the law of ever decreasing returns that one has to assess...
    That is good advice, right there.

    KitchenAid make fantastic stand mixers, but their espresso machines aint not great.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 4154465D5C50350 link=1275137635/3#3 date=1275217746
    KitchenAid make fantastic stand mixers, but their espresso machines aint not great.
    Its not that so much but the bang for buck equation. Basically these machines are two Gaggia Classics shoe-horned into a single chassis and then tagged with an exorbitant price.

    Cosmetically, they are a very attractive machine, no doubt about it but in espresso machine terms, they perform at the same level as a Classic with the added benefit of utilising separate Boilers for both Steam and Brew Water complete with their attendant pros and cons.

    A decent espresso machine tech will be able to sort out your woes, Im sure and even if an inspection dictates that a new Steam Boiler is required, these are not too expensive and quite simple to fit. Im not from Sydney so therefore am not in a position to recommend a tech to you but if ThunderGod makes a recommendation, that would always be good enough for me.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Yes Mal is correct in that the KA machine is simply two Classics in the KitchenAid chassis. You have a dedicated boiler for brewing and one for steaming. When you say the steam boiler simply died... how so? It could be something as simple as a thermofuse, which is there to prevent the boiler from getting too hot. Anytime I depleted steam/hot water from mine I always replenished it by opening the steam valve and activating the pump to refill. Might also be lots of scale buildup preventing the steam boiler from functioning properly.

    These machines use practically all Gaggia parts and should be a cinch to fix. Later!

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    excellent machine, built to last, worth fixing,
    but yes it is not always easy to find someone that knows what they are doing

    lots of repairers with little knowledge or ability

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    I cant possible recommend this machine. I owned one for just over two years and last week gained a partial refund from Peter Mcinnes. Id only owned it for 8 months when the gauges steamed up and the steam dial started to leak. Eventually the machine shorted with a good bang! It spent two weeks with the auth repairer in Brisbane and came back ok. It lasted in this way for about another 10 months before the steam gauge died completely. This was followed up with similar leakage issues as before. THe machine spent 2 1/2 weeks with the repairer again and when it returned the steam boiler didnt work at all. Peter Mcinnes picked it up and took it back to Sydney for inspection and found that their repairer hadnt fastened one of the power wires back on correctly - you have to ask what exactly they were testing for a week…

    In use, the machine produced reasonable coffee but the steam production was a bit anaemic. The poor performance I feel shouldnt reflect badly on Peter Mcinnes who are primarily a Kitchenaid agent and we understand that this is not a native Kitchenaid product. When pushed, just out of warranty I was given a partial refund but $650 back from a $1295 machine burns a bit. Avoid at all costs - there are MUCH better machines out there for this kind of money.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Im another one who fell for the looks of the KA. Plus wife had the mixer and we had to match the appliance ofcourse :)


    ANyway Im also having issues with the steamer. Its just not strong enough anymore. Mines also out of warranty. Who can you recommend in Melbourne for servicing?

    Appreciate your help.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    I bought one of thse 2 years ago, it broke down 6 times in the first 6 months, Kitchenaid then sent me a new machine which didnt work. I found it so stressful dealing with their customer service I just put them in the loft and forgot about them. I am now clearing out and wondering if it is worth opening them up to fix the pumps. The problem with both despite cleaning, descaling etc is that it takes 2 minutes to fill an espresso cup. On both the dials are broking, but thats not so important. Has anyone repaired or replaced the pumps themselves? :(

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Hi Cathy

    I have just been given two of these machines, probably for much the same reason you put yours away. I figured I had nothing to lose by having a go but I must state I am a total novice.

    I pulled mine apart, thanks to a picture guide posted on this forum....I can paste the link as I am a newbie.

    The previous owner said the dials steamed up and that water dripped from out of the machine. When I opened it up I found that the steam boiler had a leak, when the water hit the boiler it turned to steam and condensation formed all over the inside of the machine. I replaced the boiler gasket and turned it back on only to find the gasket or o ring at the top of the boiler was also gone, so replaced that. That seems to have sorted the problem out.

    There was quite a bit of corrosion on the inside of the machine, rusted bits here and there but it was pretty simple to get to and just required some force to get the hex bolts undone, but not too much.

    The 2nd machine appears to have the same problem. I opened it up and I can hear the hissing but havent got right inside it yet. Sounds like a common problem.

    From what I can gather it should be able to make good coffee, it is a Gaggia classic but has two boilers instead of one, and it is housed in a fairly sturdy body, The main problem people have is that they are over priced for what they are, you have paid for the kitchenaid name but unfortunately not the same reliability that made them who they are.

    Di bartoli have new boilers listed on their website but say they are out of stock.

    The gauges may just need a push on the needle or turn the needle back, they just twist out - but I would mark where the clear plastic cover sits on to the dial so you know how to put it back together, took me a few minutes of trial and error.

    There are service manuals online if you dig around which show an exploded parts view and as its gaggia inside, parts are available.

    You may be like me and get lucky and get both machines going or at least get one out of the 2!!

    Good luck.

    PS I would like to knowif anyone can help, if when you back flush these machines should their be a flow of water?* Can you measure the flow rate and adjust the OPV valve like in the classic or as this machine has two boilers is it configured differently? I have back flushed and the only fluid that appears is after I turn the pump off, it drips into the drip tray.

    Once I get the machine sorted I am going to replace the steam wand, the milk is tricky on this beast and I yes I have discarded the black plastic thing

    Thanks

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 6656474053534C72350 link=1275137635/10#10 date=1327178246
    PS I would like to knowif anyone can help, if when you back flush these machines should their be a flow of water?* Can you measure the flow rate and adjust the OPV valve like in the classic or as this machine has two boilers is it configured differently? I have back flushed and the only fluid that appears is after I turn the pump off, it drips into the drip tray.
    Hmmm, Not sure if the KitchenAid espresso machine has a three way solenoid/valve thingy, from the sound of that, it doesnt.

    Backflushing could possibly damage the guts of the machine if this is the case.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Yep the brew boiler has a 3-way valve, it will be on the left side of the brew boiler at the back, and the opv sits just on the outlet side of the pump and is a bit tricky to adjust as it vents downward into the drip tray. The outlet at the top of the OPV goes to the steam boiler.

    I think the KitchenAid is basically a good machine - dont worry about the gauges, they are electronic and once they go are a hassle to replace. There is nothing wrong with the Gaggia Classic internals, and given that it is a dual boiler machine the temperature stability is really very good.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Thanks Rick.

    So when I backflush it, I hear the pump labouring, should I see flow from somewhere. I dont and wondered if the 3* way valve needed some attention, the rest of the machine certainly did, and a lot of stuff came out the first few times I back flushed with the caffetto. It spilled into the drip tray from the internal pipe.

    I also noticed that the outside of the machine gets very hot, so the inside is obviously hotter, is there a point that it would be too hot? faulty thermostat or something?

    One other thing I am curious about since both machines have the same problem is, is it possible the steam boiler has too much pressure, or the safety valve isnt set right? Both machines seem to have similar corrosion and leaks, so my uneducated guesswork makes me think that the corrosion is damaging the seals or the pressure is too much or the heat is too much? Or all three!!!

    G


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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    With backflushing you only need to run the pump long enough to build pressure - any longer is just unnecessary stress on the pump, once there is pressure in the system the three-way valve does the rest. The OPV wont release straight away, but if you run the pump for more than a few seconds against a blind filter it should kick in and youll see a trickle into the drip tray. If theres nothing, then the OPV is probably stuck closed with scale, or set too high.

    If the machines havent been regularly backflushed I would remove the showerscreens and aluminium dispersion blocks (above the showerscreen, secured with two large hex bolts) and give them a good soak overnight in cafetto, then a wire brush if any crud is still hanging on.

    The temperature of the boilers are regulated by a very simple thermoswitch, they either work or they dont, and if one has failed the safety thermofuse on top of the boiler will blow and kill the power. As long as you dont get continuous steam out of the brew boiler, Id say everythings OK. There is a safety valve on the steam boiler but again it wont release unless there is a pressure problem. Is there evidence of a steam leak inside the case?

    Being aluminium, the boilers do corrode which can cause the o-rings to fail prematurely particularly on the steam boiler. The best thing to do is resurface the base of a leaky boiler with some emery paper and a mirror, and use the correct replacement viton o-ring.

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    Re: Kitchen Aid Artisan Espresso Machine

    Thanks again Rick I appreciate your time.

    yes inside the cases of both machines there is a lot of corrosion and rust, which I assume is from the leaks. I can hear hissing on the second machine but havent opened it right up to have a decent look but wont be surprised if it is the same problem.

    I may be confused but I was reading about measuring the flow from a Gaggia Cassic , with a blind filter in , to get an estimation of the pressure, and then tweaking the OPV. maybe I have that all wrong.

    When I back flush, water does come into the drip tray and I have done as you recommended and* pulled the dispersion block off. I will replace the group gasket and give it another go when I replace the steam wand.

    It might all come good!!

    Thanks again for your helpful insight.

    G

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    Hi all, I also have a kitchenaid artisan espresso machine and am quite happy with it (except the guages stoped working within the first 6 months). I've had it for about 5 years now and have had little problems except for the need to clean regularly.

    Recently while cleaning I removed the round dispersion block above the shower screen held in by the two hex screws. I've found the top of the aluminum disc to be quite corroded. my question is is this a problem to either the machine or health and should I replace it.

    Thanks for your feedback

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    I've just bought one of these cheap. Fixed all the leaks and all working ok except the steam gauge. I thought the gauge was a simple temperature gauge using a bimetal coil, but not so sure. Anybody know anything about the steam gauge?

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    Hi Mtomkins

    I have just pulled mine apart, again, the boiler isn't heating up. I have two kitchenaids, both were given to me, one I am trying to use for parts, but they are both in poor condition on the inside so it is a struggle.

    The steam boilers pressure gauge does appear to just be a thermometer. It is stuck in a mount on the outside of the boiler and held in place with a screw. To be fair I have never had an issue with lack of steam and have largely ignored the reading on the gauge, it is a twin boiler so the steam boiler is pretty much always good to go. Both the temperature gauge and the steam gauge look the same to me.

    Both are semi disassembled at the moment so can take some photos if you need.

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    Well I've just bought a K.A. Artisan. Hardly been used, just like new. Took the shower screen off, sparkling clean. Also removed the aluminium dispersion plate above the screen (which if not removed regularly and cleaned can be very hard to remove). This one just fell off into my hand after I removed the 2 Allen screws, and was almost still like new. I bought the KA because it was just so amazingly cheap ($400) I couldn't resist it, and am a long time user of Baby Gaggias which I like. Have had 2 of those over 25 years. Current Baby still going strong after 12 years. I have replaced the dispersion screen with a brass one from Parts Guru in the USA. Remains much cleaner than the aluminium ones and will probably do the same with the KA. I back-flush every month which may, just may, have contributed to the Baby's longevity.

    I have only made a few espressos since I got the Kitchen Aid. I find I have had to make the grind quite a lot finer than the Baby G needs, but the pour now looks very good, although a little fine tuning may enhance things still further. I must say it works with better consistency than the Simonelli Oscar I had for a couple of years did, and which I found somewhat cantankerous and needed 2 major services while I had it.

    Like other correspondents above, both the temp gauges have condensation in them. Is there a way of getting rid of this or it a sign that one of the boilers might be leaking? Might try leaving the machine on overnight to see whether it will evaporate

    I would also like to know how to take it apart if I need to, and see above that there is a service manual available on line. Can someone provide me with the link to it please?

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    K.A. a dismal failure and I believe it has now been withdrawn from the market after so many complaints from buyers, great looking machine, hope KA has another and better design in the wings.

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    Hi Allen

    http://www.kitchenaid.ca/assets/pdfs...%208212135.pdf

    This is a link to an exploded parts diagram.

    Service manual uploaded

    Somewhere on this forum there is a picture by picture how to, from memory, I think it was a how to change the steam wand over to a silvia, which I reckon made it much easier to steam. It shows how to get in to the machine. It is pretty easy to get in to.

    My guess, after having seen inside two, is that the condensation is from a small leak. I could hardly see the leak in mine but a torch helped pick up the steam. The rust inside was quite surprising so getting on to it early would be no bad thing. My guess is it's from the steam boiler as both brew boilers on both machines looked like new.

    I pulled the good brew boiler of the bad machine and am using it as the steam boiler, just waiting on some gaskets. One of the heating elements had given up.

    My guess at best practice for steam boiler longevity is to make sure the boiler is always full. Every time you steam milk, use the hot water button to flush until you get water coming out. That way the boiler isn't heating up empty.

    The general consensus is that paying retail for it is a waste of money, much better machines for your money but at a good price you have a good machine. It's a sturdy case that doesn't move around much and parts are readily available.

    Cheers

    G
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    https://plus.google.com/photos/10510...225?banner=pwa

    here is the how to picture guide posted by wrstikoff in this post

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...out-there.html

    It was useful for me, the first couple of times I pulled the machines apart.

    G

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    Thanks very much ScruffyG. Very helpful. I'll have a look inside and see if that's the problem. Funny if the gaskets leak. The BabyG I have has been very reliable, only had to replace one switch in the 12 years I have had it, and that I got from Parts Guru. I happened to have the Simonelli Oscar at that time, so was not deprived of espresso, but the switch did take 3 1/2 weeks to arrive. Did a Barista course about that time, and found that now I knew what to do, I could make an espresso from either machine and the results were virtually identical, so I sold the Oscar. I recently began looking for a possible replacement for the BabyG because I assumed it would not go on for ever and wanted to know clearly what was currently available, when I stumbled across the KA, and although I have always hated the look of them, it just seemed that for the money, I couldn't really go very wrong. We'll see.

    I thought that KA had stopped making its Espresso machine, a couple of years ago, but they still seem to be available both locally and especially in America.

    Even though it is black and as my wife says, something of a "looming presence", we're actually becoming quite acclimatised to it. Will post my further adventures with it in due course. Many thanks again.

    Experience to date is that it makes a very good espresso, lovely coloured pour and excellent crema. The frothing performance with the panerello (?) is horrible. I replaced the one on the BabyG with one from a Sylvia and that works a treat, although I seldom use it ---- only when visitors come or on rare occasions when I want a hot chocolate.

    The info about replacing the steam wand with a Wega mini is very helpful. I'll almost certainly do that, although I'll see whether the one from a Sylvia (which I have on the Baby) might fit, and it does have an adapter nut. However it only swivels and does not have a ball-joint
    Last edited by Allen; 8th August 2013 at 02:18 PM.

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    Have now had a look inside the machine. Quite a bit of condensation, but nothing corroded. Took the 2 Temp gauges out, dried the condensation off the glass, and put them back ---- but quite a fiddle. Started up the machine, and when everything was hot, discovered that a cold piece of glass would fog up in a neat small circle if I held it above where the water/steam outlet pipe comes out of the boiler top. The location appeared to be quite specific. So I don't think the boiler base gasket is leaking. It's probably the union which I may try tightening gently, or remove and put some plumber's tape around it and screw it back. I suppose it could be a tiny fracture in the thin plastic steam tube, but I doubt it.

    Another thing that puzzles me is that the steam boiler doesn't fill after I have taken some steam off, so I have to top it up manually. I see that David Paget thinks this is good and he removed the terminal that triggers the pump when the steam dial is turned. Maybe I have to let the boiler get emptier. Not sure. Anyway, that's the news for the moment.

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    Have now removed the 2 setscrews on the top of the steam boiler and found that the 'O' ring is pretty inflexible and the seat it fits into has light corrosion. Cleaned that up as best I could with fine emery paper, as well as the underside of the union, cleaned the 'O' ring and put some Lanoguard grease on it and re-assembled. SUCCESS! No more condensation that I can detect. Will now get a couple of new 'O' rings from Coffee Parts or somewhere and some high temp grease. I was wondering about drilling some vent holes in the top of the unit to let any moisture out, but perhaps the fact that the temp gauges get condensation in them is a good warning sign should anything else go astray.

    The 'O' ring leakage on the machine seems to be a very common problem, and I suspect that it might be due to the fact that the steam boiler is maintained at a higher temp than the brew boiler. I can't see why the Kitchen Aid should be unreliable. It seems to have the same boilers that my Baby Gaggia has one of, and it's been going without any problem (apart from a switch) for 12 years. And so did the one before it. Maybe it's because I seldom steam any milk. I guess some people don't realise that the signs of condensation in the K.A. signify a problem, and ignore it until it's all to late. Wish me luck, anyway.

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    Hi Allen

    I replaced the bottom gasket, reassembled it all only to find the o ring at the top needed replacing as well so you are in good company!

    What grit/coarseness emery paper did you use? I think I need to do the same on one of the boilers I pulled from the spare machine?

    I have marked the gauges with a permanent marker to make it easier to get it back in, I found them very fiddly but the marks help.

    Thanks

    G

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    Hi ScruffyG,

    Not sure about the emery paper grade, but it was very fine. It's quite hard to get into the concave base into which the 'O' ring fits, but with a little fiddling I seemed to manage to get it looking a lot better and the corrosion removed. I also gently sanded the faces of the joint before screwing the union back together. Anyway, as I say, the machine is now working just fine.

    I noticed that the 'O' ring, when I removed it, was flat on top and convex on the bottom where it fitted into the boiler. It was very hard, despite the machine having been used very little. Cleaning it thoroughly and rubbing some Lanoguard into it seemed to improve its flexibility, but ideally I'll try to find some high temp grease.

    I phoned KA in Sydney (McInness) and ordered a new set of gaskets ($37.00!!!) just to be safe. They had to send them to me via their agents in Bunbury ( I live in Margaret River W.A., 100kms further south). I ordered them on Wednesday, they arrived in Bunbury on Thursday and I had them on Friday, so no complaints there. However I noticed that the top 'O' ring was just that, not convex at the bottom and flat on top. Phoned KA again and spoke to the technician who assured me that was as it should be, and the 'O' ring would bed in correctly. However as everything is working ok, I will work on the principle that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    The pannerello steamer thing is woeful. Have looked at demos on YouTube, and the froth always looks suss to me. Have tried several times, but while it looks sort of ok on top, it's not real microfoam, too milky underneath. So my next task will be to see if I can fit the Sylvia wand I use on the Baby G (and which works so well) to the KA. But for some reason I get the impression that the KA steam boiler just doesn't have the same oomph that the Baby does when I get the timing right. Anyway, I find it all an entertaining adventure, and it is making a very good coffee.

    You are right about trying to put the gauges back in. Can't understand why it should have been made so difficult. I've now clearly marked them with my wife's nail varnish.

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    The emery paper was 1000 grade. Seemed to polish everything up.

    Have now transferred the Rancillio Sylvia steam arm from the Baby Gaggia (where it's worked so well) to the Kitchen Aid. Not a big job, and didn't even have to remove the temp gauges as there was enough slack in all the cables to allow me to lift the main cover off over the boilers to get at the steam valve. Removed the Pannerello pipe and to my joy and surprise, the Sylvia union screwed straight on to the K.A., so I didn't need the adapter which I had to use on the BabyG and suspected I might if I used the Weger Mini arm (suggested earlier somewhere in this thread). The only difference is that the Sylvia steam arm is not ball-jointed, but that is simply not a problem. Have only made a couple of quick trials but achieved excellent microfoam on both occasions, so very happy now and can provide a decent frothy coffee for those of any un-enlightend guests who happen to request it. It's rather the point of having something with twin boilers, isn't it?
    Last edited by Allen; 19th August 2013 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Additional Info

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    I am well aware that this thread is quite old but I too need to replace the seals in my Artisan.
    I can buy the seal kit from commercial link removed per site posting policy but $30+ for some o-rings seems ridiculous to me.
    I work in engineering and realize that o-rings are very inexpensive.

    *Does anyone have sizing and material information for the required replacements?*
    Last edited by Javaphile; 16th December 2013 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed

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    You can find the seals way cheaper, they are all the same than gaggia classic

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    I need a Hot Water push button for my KitchenAid Artisan ....mine burnt out...made smoke and dropped the breaker !
    Local price is $79.... In Europe they list for around 4 Euros.....! But when you go to checkout you get "does not ship to your location" Parts Guru in the US offered me a different switch (wrong fitting for press button) and when I sent some photos got really uppity telling me they cannot and will not "micro analyse" parts... Maybe the tech had a hard day!
    Does anyone know where I can buy one without mortgaging our house???

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    Pretty sure if you were able to visit a local Jaycar store or similar, with your old switch in hand, you would be able to find a suitable replacement.

    Bear in mind, all the usual warnings when working on 240V AC equipment. Never stick your hands (or anything else) under the bonnet while the unit is still plugged into the power outlet...

    Mal.

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    If you have a House store in your area, they should be able to order the part for you. When I got one I think it cost about $15 or so.

    I got trade price though, you should expect to pay a bit more but it shouldn't be anywhere near $79.

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    Hi Moggie

    I have a machine in the garage that I have been using for spares. If you want a used one let me know, I can throw it in the post.

    Not sure what your skill level is when it comes to repairs so you need to make a judgement call but another option - there is a small place in Bondi that do online spares, search for g4176411 that's the part number of the on/off switch and it should get you to the web site. They are selling the on off switch for about 4 bucks. They look the same except that the pins on the on off switch run at 90 degrees to the switch whereas on the hot water they are in line or at 180 degrees or point back towards the back of the machine - I hope that makes sense. And of course when you push it, it stays on.

    It may be possible to use that switch in there, you would have to double check and be confident you know what you are doing. For the price it might be worth investigating. The pins will bend back but once they are back there is less room to slide the plugs on. I agree that 79 bucks seems steep and I am all for cost effective alternatives but only if you are 100 percent confident, otherwise its clearly not worth it.

    The length of pins appear to be the only difference and the push part of the switch looks interchangeable so it depends what damage has been done or what has burnt out but you can easily unclip the push button part of the switch by flicking out the two clips on the side of the switch.

    Photos of the two different switches are attached.

    Cheers

    G
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dimal likes this.

  36. #36
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    sylvia Steam Arm Upgrade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    The emery paper was 1000 grade. Seemed to polish everything up.

    Have now transferred the Rancillio Sylvia steam arm from the Baby Gaggia (where it's worked so well) to the Kitchen Aid. Not a big job, and didn't even have to remove the temp gauges as there was enough slack in all the cables to allow me to lift the main cover off over the boilers to get at the steam valve. Removed the Pannerello pipe and to my joy and surprise, the Sylvia union screwed straight on to the K.A., so I didn't need the adapter which I had to use on the BabyG and suspected I might if I used the Weger Mini arm (suggested earlier somewhere in this thread). The only difference is that the Sylvia steam arm is not ball-jointed, but that is simply not a problem. Have only made a couple of quick trials but achieved excellent microfoam on both occasions, so very happy now and can provide a decent frothy coffee for those of any un-enlightend guests who happen to request it. It's rather the point of having something with twin boilers, isn't it?
    Allan,

    i know now this is quite an old post, I'm picking up a used Kitchenaid machine this weekend and im interested in doing the Sylvia Steam arm upgrade also. I haven't been able to find any direct information on what is involved in the upgrade and wondered if you had any additional information that might help? Do you know if there is anyone in Sydney that might do the upgrade that I could pay? Unfortunately I'm a bit of a Noob at this and don't want to wreck the machine (assuming the condition is reasonable of course).

    any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

    regards,

    zach

  37. #37
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    KitchenAid Steam Wand Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Have now transferred the Rancillio Sylvia steam arm from the Baby Gaggia (where it's worked so well) to the Kitchen Aid. Not a big job, and didn't even have to remove the temp gauges as there was enough slack in all the cables to allow me to lift the main cover off over the boilers to get at the steam valve. Removed the Pannerello pipe and to my joy and surprise, the Sylvia union screwed straight on to the K.A., so I didn't need the adapter which I had to use on the BabyG and suspected I might if I used the Weger Mini arm (suggested earlier somewhere in this thread). The only difference is that the Sylvia steam arm is not ball-jointed, but that is simply not a problem. Have only made a couple of quick trials but achieved excellent microfoam on both occasions, so very happy now and can provide a decent frothy coffee for those of any un-enlightend guests who happen to request it. It's rather the point of having something with twin boilers, isn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomzzz View Post
    Allan,

    i know now this is quite an old post, I'm picking up a used Kitchenaid machine this weekend and im interested in doing the Sylvia Steam arm upgrade also. I haven't been able to find any direct information on what is involved in the upgrade and wondered if you had any additional information that might help? Do you know if there is anyone in Sydney that might do the upgrade that I could pay? Unfortunately I'm a bit of a Noob at this and don't want to wreck the machine (assuming the condition is reasonable of course).

    any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

    regards,

    zach
    Allan and Zach,

    I also realise that this is an old thread but am in need of info about the wand upgrade to the KA. I am trying to upgrade my steam wand on my KA (just as you have) using the Rancilio Silvia V1 wand. I think the version people tend to use is like the one below:


    Is that right? I've read your comments saying that it should just be a straight swap over, but I am not finding this. Perhaps I have different parts to you?


    I can't see how this fits the KA without an adapter of some sort as this is not an articulated wand but he KA wand was. The size of nut on old wand and new wand is the same (so no problem), however, due to the fact that the old is a ball joint and the new is not, the new one is actually too long to fit into the pressure valve fitting. The new wand has a bit of a shaft that is inserted into the pressure valve with o-ring, but the pressure valve is not designed to take that shaft. Even if I were to grind a bit off the top of the shaft on the new wand, so it did fit, it would then not be making the correct seal at the base of the fitting (where the rubber o-ring is).

    Could you provide a bit more info on how you did the wand upgrade? Perhaps you have a different pressure valve on your KA?

    Mine is a 2010 model and the pressure valve that the steam wand screwed into is as follows:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz...k5nT3l2d0VNZWM

    Actually just took a pic of the two wands side by side (original KA on left and new Silvia on right). I can see others have done this upgrade but I can't see how it connects and holds the pressure
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz...mVrV3ZWcmltN00

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks in advance!
    Joe

  38. #38
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    Hi Joe

    From memory it should go straight on but you lose the swivel function.

    If I recall correctly, I was confused by the ball or lack of it but it did fit and worked well.

    I have 2 dismantled machines in my garage but I am away until after Boxing Day. I can take photos then if you like.

    G

  39. #39
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    Thanks ScruffyG,

    After your message, I thought I would try again to attach the new wand. It sort of works, but I know it isn't 100% correct. The shaft of the new wand inserts into the pressure valve and then the nut does up. I find the top of the wand shaft tightens onto the inside of the pressure valve - a metal on metal connection. This is the first issue I have - I expected there to be a rubber seal, but there isn't so there is a leak of water/steam inside the joint. This internal leak then further leaks out of
    • the thread of the nut, which can be solved using teflon tape. The o-ring which is on the outer of the pressure valve is effectively not in use as the nut can't be tightened sufficiently due to the wand shaft touching the inside of the pressure valve (I can actually see an impression where the shaft has been pressed inside it. This is the metal on metal connection I mention.
    • between the wand shaft and the nut, as there is no seal there. Again, trying to use something like teflon tape can be used, but it still leaks. It isn't a major leak, but it is definitely there.


    I note, after having installed the new wand like for like, it looks correct from the outside, but I know that the little o-ring that came with the new wand is not actually in use (I isn't actually sealing anything, even though it is in situ). Even if I solve the problem of leaks, I am sure it will spring a leak again, as it just hasn't got the right seals in the right places.

    I wonder if anyone who has actually done this mod has actually had leaks, but they have put up with them??

    Any photos you can take would be help once you are back home. Thanks.

    Happy Christmas!
    Cheers
    Joe

  40. #40
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    Hi

    Christmas has well and truly gone but here are the photos. Just an O ring that I can see and I never had a problem with it leaking. It worked like a charm.

    G
    Attached Images Attached Images

  41. #41
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    Thanks ScruffyG, That's what mine looks like too, though inside the valve housing I suspect that the wand and the housing don't fit snug together. Suspect you have actually ended up with metal on metal for a seal and have managed to get by (by chance) without leaks. Lucky you.

    Thanks again
    Cheers
    Joe

  42. #42
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    I'm experiencing similar issues with my KA and rancilio silvia v1. Can't get a proper seal, so it leaks a bit during frothing.

    I'm thinking of upgrading to the rancilio silvia v3 steam wand. Anyone here heard anything about using that version for the KA, and possible caveats?

    It seems sturdier, and has the ball joint.

    Best,
    Christoffer

  43. #43
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    Alright,

    I grew tired of the Rancilio Silvia v1 wand, and pulled the trigger on the v3.

    The nut on the v3 is too large (3/8" female vs 1/4" female in the v1/2) to screw into place directly. Therefore you'll need a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter.

    With the reducing nipple in place the wand fits the valve fine, the problem being that it doesn't fit through the hole made for the wand anymore. I just took a rough file to it, and after 5 minutes of filing and trying the hole for size it fit perfectly.

    Other than the above, I applied teflon tape on the threads, and I took the spring and the white plastic piece from inside the nut in the original KitchenAid frother, which puts some pressure on the ball joint, perhaps helping with the seal. These seem to be included in some of the V3 upgrade kits, make sure they are to be on the safe side.

    I did take some pictures detailing the process - but as I'm not able to attach anything to the post directly I instead uploaded them to the cloud. Here's the link: KitchenAid + Rancilio Silvia V3 wand

    The v3 looks so much better than the v1, and at least for now, doesn't leak at all. I'm happy - for now

    Best,
    Christoffer
    Last edited by ckarv; 13th April 2016 at 05:25 AM. Reason: Added emphasis, cleaned text, added link to pictures

  44. #44
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    Mar 2016
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    Hi Snobs,

    I'm having a issues with the machine at my in-laws. They've owned it for 3 years or so, and for the majority of that time it has sat unused. I've been using it regularly for the past 3 weeks and noticed condensation on the pressure gauges this week.

    This morning, plugged it in and turned on to heat up. Without pressing any buttons except the on switch, there is a sound as if the boiler is active and trying to extract coffee, but no water is coming out the group head. Smoke started to appear so I quickly turned it off.

    Anyone know what might be going wrong? Is there a blockage due to not being cleaned, or have the electrics blown?

    The steam wand hasn't worked for more than 2 years apparently. I tried using it this week, but it wouldn't get up enough pressure to really create steam.

    Cheers,

    Duncan

  45. #45
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    Hi nirschl

    if there is no steam pressure and condensation, my guess, given my experience with two of these machine, is that the steam boiler has a leak. Both of the ones I tinkered with had the same problem. It was just a matter of replacing a couple of o rings. (Gaggia parts for the internals) As for no water out of the group head, I'm assuming there is water in the tank for the boiler, but also if its been sitting for a while it may have had some scale build up and then loosened causing a blockage, vinegar and water works well, a tablespoon of vinegar to every 500mls of water then run it through the machine if it still runs. As for the smoke, can't help you there but I never managed to get smoke out of either of mine.

    It's reasonably easy to take the top off the machine to see what is inside, depending on how much respect you have for electricity, they aren't tricky to work on. See above posts for help. Also wondering if the button to the boiler has been pressed in by accident because the on switch should just heat it up, it should't start pumping straight away from memory, unless to fill the boiler. I remember reading somewhere that it was always worth leaving the machine primed with water after steaming etc to avoid the boilers over heating, if you do manage to fix it.

    Cheers

    G

  46. #46
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    Thanks for the super quick reply Scruffy.

    I'll have a look at the inside and see if I can fix both issues. I had had problems with sticky buttons, but I triple checked it wasn't pushed in yesterday.

  47. #47
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    Hi All,

    New here and could use a bit of help. I came into a brand new Pro Line machine and upon first use both boiler gauges have a circle of condensation on the inside. The condensation is limited to a distinct circle slightly off centre of each gauge. Any ideas on what the issue could be and if it's an easy fix?

  48. #48
    Junior Member Thackarnnga's Avatar
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    Hi DanielS
    Any condensation or steam in your gauges means a leak inside the machine either from the boiler or a hose but my guess is that it's a boiler. If it's a new machine it should be an easy fix. Start by removing the cover which is a bit of fiddling around. You will need a set of allan keys and a phillips head screw driver. Just remove the gauges from the housing, no need to remove them from the boilers. It may pay to put a mark on them with a sharpie so it's easy to reassemble. Once you have the cover off, switch it on and listen for a leak. Keep you fingers out, remember it is 240 volts. It could be from a hose or a pipe but it will probably be from the base of one of the boilers. Disconnect the power supply then check the tension of the 4 screws around the base of both boilers. If that doesn't fix it then you will have to undo the 4 screws and remove the boiler. It may only need a smear of food grade grease and refitting. If the O ring is damaged you can purchase them on E-bay or plenty of other places on the net. It is the same internals as a Gaggia Classic, and cheaper. The same part will cost twice as much in a kitchenmaid box. Hope this is of some assistance and good luck. They are a good machine if you keep them clean inside.

  49. #49
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    Thanks for the informative response, I appreciate it. KA ended up sending me a new machine and this one is working great. Very helpful information though, thanks!

  50. #50
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    Hi guys, I have one of these machines and its served me well for the past 8 years. As of today the steam is not working? I made a coffee the day before with no issues. If I press the hot water button hot water comes out but no steam at all? Any ideas? Cheers



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