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Thread: Saeco Royal Professional - Brewunit Block

  1. #1
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    Saeco Royal Professional - Brewunit Block

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

    We have a Saeco Royal Professional that is not working. After starting up it goes through a 'self test' and then displays the error 'brewunit block.' I've taken out the brew unit/group and gave it a good clean. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day mate...

    Perhaps this PDF Service Manual may be of help...

    Mal.

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    teds01,
    Hello and welcome along,I have a Saeco auto set up at my work staff room and (like yours) most times after I've moved or cleaned the group assembly,I get the error (light in my case).I simply just remove again or give a jiggle to seat it properly and always the error is fixed,perhaps you may have a buildup of coffee residue etc,usually something not quite fitting correctly.Is the brew assembly in the home position (check the arrows line up).
    Any more information?
    cheers,
    Mick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    G'day mate...

    Perhaps this PDF Service Manual may be of help...

    Mal.
    Thanks Dimal, I'll have a look through this later today, much appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulquemi View Post
    teds01,
    Hello and welcome along,I have a Saeco auto set up at my work staff room and (like yours) most times after I've moved or cleaned the group assembly,I get the error (light in my case).I simply just remove again or give a jiggle to seat it properly and always the error is fixed,perhaps you may have a buildup of coffee residue etc,usually something not quite fitting correctly.Is the brew assembly in the home position (check the arrows line up).
    Any more information?
    cheers,
    Mick.
    Hi Mick,
    The brew group locks into place fine and is in the correct position. When I turn it on it goes through a 'self test' process. It seems like the brew group starts to move, and then it stops and displays the error. If I start it up again, the brew group will move a little further in its cycle and then stop.... Now that I'm typing this, it could just be that the brew group is jamming. I've never had one of these machines before, when I cleaned it up the brew group was very dirty. The machine has only got about 4000 coffees on its counter and was used in an office environment, but I don't think it was regularly cleaned/serviced.

    When manually moving the brew group through it's motions (out of the machine) it requires a fair bit of strength to move it back into the home position... does this sound correct? I might need to clean the brew group some more and lubricate the moving parts???

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    teds01,
    Hello again,yes to lubrication of all the points of friction of the brew assembly,4000 coffee's later and maybe not much tender loving care given. Food grade Silicone lubrication,I used to use paw paw cream however,that's frowned on and I petroleum jelly is a good alternative (practically the same stuff ,w/out the paw paw).
    Still if you have the proper silicone food grade lubricant,give all the points of friction a good grease up.
    Check the tiny shower screen (usually one screw holding it on),this is usually where I would check first.
    Cheers,
    Mick

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    With what ever lubricant type you decide to use, I wouldn't go overboard with the amount used, especially with any of the food-grade silicone greases... less is definitely more with these. I would personally recommend the use of the silicone grease over any other types; the food grade grade ones are guaranteed to be safe...

    Mal.

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    Hi Mick and Mal, I used a food grade lubricant on the brew group and also cleaned the upper removable steel filter, but again when powering up the machine and starting the 'self test' the brew group would stop partly through it's cycle and then the machine would display the 'Brewunit block' message. Any other suggestions?
    Thanks

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    Sounds like the gear motor may be drawing too much current which makes the machine think that the brew unit is jammed or is otherwise loading the motor down.

    That's a gearbox out and motor change job which is literally one of the most unpleasant things to do. Once you see the absolute mess of components and wiring inside one of these you'll know why.

    I have a service manual for this at work, it outlines the test mode procedure which will test the gear motor and show the current draw so we can see if that is indeed the problem.

    Can you tell me the model number? It will be on the base of the machine or on the inside of the service door. It will be something like SUP016 or similar.
    Dimal likes this.

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    Hello teds01,
    Always wise to consider noidle22's advice,always on the ball!
    Further to my previous reply,I've found it always useful to remove the brew assembly (following the you tube video's).
    Strip it down to it's various components ,give them a good cleaning and lubrication (sparingly) and upon assembly and test,hopefully you may have some joy.
    I recently had a gaggia auto which behaved similarly,I went through the thorough clear/cleaning/lubricating task and sadly all to no avail ,turned out to be the grinder motor had at some stage cooked itself.
    By chance I also had a dead saeco incanto which yielded it's available grinder motor (swopped over grinder motor) and despite it being a bigger capacity motor......it works again beautifully.
    If you have the opportunity to check the user guide in the trouble shooting section,very worthwhile self diagnostics test you can carry out yourself which can point to the faulty part/section.
    Sadly,I often see lot's of saeco machines similar on the big E site ,listed as not working/operational (my favourite section),I'm sure most of them would require just a little bit of service and could live again....throw away society..seems that way
    Anyway good luck with yours,I also have an older saeco magic (again similar to royal) ..hard roadside rubbish pickup and just with a clean up,now working faithfully in my little staff room ,pumping out coffee after coffee,just great.
    I'm keen to know how you go with your's,hear from you again.
    cheer's,
    Mick.

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    Hi,
    Thanks for all the replies, Noidle22, the model number for the machine I have is SUP016RE.

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    I've attached the test procedure for the gear motor, give them a go. Let me know the results.

    I was mistaken with the current absorption test, it only measures boiler current draw but not the gear motor. You will at least be able to check and see if the position switches and motor are working ok.

    saeco troubleshooting.jpg

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    Hi,
    I went through the tests, the motor unfortunately does not move anymore. The grinder works and when testing to see if the coffee doser works, there is something trying to move and there is some sort of mechanism making noise. The pump works, but for the current absorption tests, there was nothing displayed on the screen for those tests....
    Thanks

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    Can anyone provide any more suggestions on this? Noidle22, should the current draw display on the screen? Thanks

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    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    I fixed one of these a few times for the very same problem many years ago. It was for an office. I've scratched my head trying to remember what ended up working after trying various ways to get it going. Unfortunately I just can't remember... I recall documenting what I did so I'll have to look for it on some old hard drives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teds01 View Post
    Can anyone provide any more suggestions on this? Noidle22, should the current draw display on the screen? Thanks
    Sorry I forgot about this thread, my apologies.

    The gear motor current draw will not show on the screen during the test.

    I've had another thought; in Saeco machines, the big power transistor that drives the gear motor can go bad and cause it to slow down. If for some reason it's operating correctly but then overheats or breaks down in some way whilst driving the motor this may trigger the error.

    This is certainly a cheaper and easier option than pulling the gearbox and replacing the gear motor.

    The transistor is a TIP33C and is available from RS Components. You will also need some thermal paste, soldering iron/solder and soldering skills.
    The transistor is mounted to a fairly large heatsink on the main power board.

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    Great, thanks for the replies. I've read about this transistor failing and found a youtube vid (german) of someone replacing the tip33c in an earlier model saeco. I might give this a go, the part is cheap and I think I can manage the soldering. I'll let you all know the result. Thanks

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    Hi,

    Just a quick update, I replaced the tip33c transistor. The transistor I replaced seemed to be faulty, however after reassembling the machine, I still received the 'Brewunit Block' message. From what I've read on the web, it is often recommended to also replace the 1.3w 33v zener diode too. Being impatient, I went to Jaycar and they gave me 1w 33v zener diodes, I used one of those, but still got a 'Brewunit block' message. I've removed the new tip33c to compare it with another new one, and it tests ok.... could the lower watt diode be a problem? If not, any recommendations on what could be the next part to check/replace? There seems to be repair kits for the Saeco with this brewunit problem that contain a range of other parts (on germanys ebay). Any ideas? Thanks!

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    Hi teds01 and others.

    Great information regarding the above... Thanks.

    Did you ever get your SUP016RE working again?

    I too have an exact same model, "brewunit block." message.
    The brew unit was attempting to move and you could hear the strain on the motor trying to move. So I removed the screw to remove the BrewUnit out.
    I then placed it in test mode after the brew unit mechanism was getting jammed to try and line up the brewunit in reset position with the motor position.

    I then tricked the machine to thinking the brewunit was installed.
    I was able to run the coffee machine in service mode : middle top + bottom furthest right buttons on the LCD Panel upon power up.
    Then button left and middle on the top was allowing the gear to spin CW and ACW. (As per the troubleshootting steps in the jpg file above).

    The motor was spinning CW and ACW only for a short period with and without the brewunit re-installed (but kept coming up with the error "Brewunit Block) and continually getting stuck.

    It now stops performing this function in TEST mode with CW or ACW (Even after completely powered off and cooled down).
    The coffee grinder and dropper all appear function ok in test mode.

    Appears to be heating up ok too.


    So I am thinking a faulty motor or faulty power board behind the LCD.

    I managed to pull out the power board and located both the TIP33C and Zener Diode, but not yet sourced or replaced them.

    Did you manage to get yours to work after the TIP33C and Zener Diaode replacement?
    Or was it something else?

    Any pointers appreciated?

    Also - RS Components no longer stock the TIP33C. Is there a replacement Power Transistor that can be used as opposed to the TIP33C?

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    This is caused by one of these reasons:1. Bad micro switch2. Disconnected plug3. Bad brew drive motor (open coil or shorted motor)4. Miss-wiring, or no cant nudity5. Bad or loose connection6. Jammed brew group (brew unit)7. Cup warmer plate defects (only for Roy. & Magic’s)8. Bad CPU or PCB boards

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcs730 View Post

    Also - RS Components no longer stock the TIP33C. Is there a replacement Power Transistor that can be used as opposed to the TIP33C?
    RS might not but Farnell / Element14 do: the package has changed to TO247 but it's backwards compatible (and actually easier to use because the tab is now isolated rather than being live to the collector).

    If they didn't all you need to do to find a replacement is navigate to RS products directory, select semiconductors: discrete semiconductors: BJT and bipolar transistors and enter a few terms in the filter

    NPN
    Collector current 10A - 20 A
    Collector Voltage 100V - 250V

    and select the appropriate package: Here I've selected everything with a package that is backwards compatible with TO218. Double check that the pinout is right: Base Collector Emitter 1 2 3 but that pinout is the most common for NPN power transistors.



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