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Thread: Help! Breville*BES920 Dual Boiler*won't produce steam after descale

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    Exclamation Help! Breville*BES920 Dual Boiler*won't produce steam after descale

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone! I'm new to coffee snobs and in dire need of help. Did my first descale last night and the everything seemed to go ok, but after switching the machine on this morning it doesn't want to produce steam.

    I've done another descale today hoping last night's process may have simply caused some build up to create a blockage but unfortunately I'm no closer to steam.

    Hoping there's something silly I've done and haven't caused too much damage. If anyone can provide any advice before I take it into the shop I'd very much appreciate it.

    Thanks everyone!

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there is a known issue with all 920s sold up until a certain point that the programming for the descale leaves the steam boiler element on without any water in the boiler. This kills the element. Call Breville tomorrow. It will need to go in for repairs, or they will tell you how to fix it.
    Last edited by level3ninja; 5th June 2017 at 07:14 PM.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Bad luck, is it still under warranty?

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    Help! Breville*BES920 Dual Boiler*won't produce steam after descale

    If its a known issue probably no wiggle room for breville not to fix regardless of product warranty status

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    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Hopefully it's tripped the thermal fuse before the element has blown. That's what the fuse was designed to do.

    The 920's that I have repaired for this problem have only ever needed a new fuse. Unfortunately it's still a complete disassembly, boiler out job which is a massive pain.
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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Mine had bits of the element (I assume, something that looked and smelled metallic) come out into the drip tray.

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    Did I read somewhere there's a new procedure for the descaling? Sure I saw mention in a long thread of failed steam heaters.

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    Consumer affairs says your contract is with the shop or dealer from whom you purchased it. Not Breville. Return it to the shop it's their responsibility.
    When I went to a Breville authorised repairer it took ten weeks to tell me the part was out of stock.
    The shop where I bought it got me a new machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Did I read somewhere there's a new procedure for the descaling? Sure I saw mention in a long thread of failed steam heaters.
    Yes go to the Breville web site and look for the first software version.

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    Hi Guys, new to this forum...

    Saw this and seems we have to go quite a long way for someone to hit the nail on the head. noidle22 is correct with the diagnosis, I have the same machine, the Thermal Fuse is conveniently placed in the most inaccessible place, obviously attached to the main steam boiler, which involves a complete strip down! I have had this issue twice now, despite following the "older model" instructions on how to descale, and yes, just 3 months out of the warranty!!

    Whats confusing me is that the Thermal fuse was replaced before under warranty and again has gone, the TF is the correct one 167 degrees, 10 amp. The element is giving near 50 ohms, so thats OK. what really confusing me is that the boiler is fitted with a thermal cut-off sensor, which should also stop the current when the boiler reaches temperature, or am I missing something?
    the boiler operates at around 130 degrees Celsius apparently, therefore how does the thermal fuse blow? is it likely to be a faulty Thermal Cut-off sensor which is strapped to the cylinder? If this was defective the boiler would continue to call for heat wouldn't it?

    I thought of fitting a 150 degree resettable thermal switch instead of the thermal fuse such as this:
    eBay link removed as per Site Posting Policy

    This way if the boiler ever got above the 150 degrees, it would reset automatically once the temperature had been below that for 1 minute, enabling me to diagnose other possible issues without having to strip the entire machine down again just to replace the damn fuse.

    Any comments appreciated.


    Thanks
    Last edited by Javaphile; 18th December 2017 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Removed eBay link

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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    If the boiler is dry (or low on water). The thermal cutout will not read the temperature correctly, the element will continue to cook itself.

    Think of a kettle, it won't know when to turn off, if there is no water on the temp sensor

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    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    I haven't had one apart, so not really sure of how the thermal fuse works.
    It maybe that it melts after a time with the element on (over current), or it melts as its closer to the element and gets its temperature.

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    I had the exact issue yesterday but have had it before where I got no steam and th dreaded 3 beeps. The first time it was like the boiler was dry but after a short time it started working again. Yesterday it was nothing...luck I drink espressos so I went about my business this morning making a coffee and checking the steam. After a while I started hearing the boiler start drinking more water. I thought that maybe my other boiler was shot too. I checked the steam again and what do you know, it is alive!! Good luck with your machine JimfromIreland.

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    Hi all Google led me to this wonderful forum.

    As all the above, never had a single issue with the machine until said to descale. Bought correct stuff to do descale, followed the instructions from Breville step by step. These were original instructions which were with machine when purchased in 2015. Switched all back on in the morning and the steamer wont work and the 3 beeps. Googled it read all of this, called Breville who played dumb that they know nothing about this being an issue and just said not much can do other than telling me there are new descale instructions which she sent me by email. Which may I add are COMPLETELY different to the first ones. Why change them if no issue? Can you all let me know how you went in regards to repairs and being compensated (if you were at all) and proving this as I cannot locate a Breville statement of course admitting there is an issue, only all the posts I have read on numerous forums of the exact same issue that the process cooks the elements and fuse when descaling. I have emailed place purchased from who doesnt want to know me so after some advise how you guys proceeded, if repaired the machine and any help is appreciated. Please note 4 hours later last night after running the new descale process that they advise takes 1 hour (crap) the steam still does not work.when i hit the wand it let out the smallest spurt steam for half a second then nothing but beeps. The water coming out of draining the boilers also is hot which hope is a good sign. I live in regional area so for me to fix this its going to financially be a nightmare.

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    was this under warranty? when they replaced or out of?

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    Red face Found a trick to get the boiler working but you need to open the machine.

    Why this happens:
    What happens is the descaler makes the machine think the boilers are full (different resistance than water). Once the descaler coats the sensors, the machine will continue to think water has hit them even when it hasnt. We esentially need to trick the machine to fill with clean water in order to rinse the descaler off the sensor.


    How to "trick" it and fix it:
    1) With machine OFF and unplugged; Open Machine. (two screws left and right of group head. Two more on back of machine. Be careful there are wires going to top lid. Just prop the top UP.)

    2) Locate sensor wires of boiler. (Red and blue, on right hand-side steam boiler)

    3) Disconnect one of the sensor wires (red or blue does matter, they should should be unplug-able. SEE PICTURES here: https://imgur.com/a/QZkqDWU).

    4) Put steam lever into ON position (important not to put pressure on the steam boiler pump).

    5) Plug machine back in; Turn ON and you should hear the steam boiler filling. Let it go until you see water going through the steam wand (takes pretty long, make sure to start with plenty of water).

    6) Turn off the machine and then drain the steam boiler.

    7) Reconnect the sensor, power ON the machine.

    8) At this point it should fill the steam boiler again, if it does, reassemble the machine. If not you can try repeating the process (steps 1 through 5).


    Keep in mind, this will likely happen next time. I think one possible way to avoid it would be to dilute your descaler more, but it won't be as effective. I just got to the point that taking apart the machine has just become part of the process of descaling.

    Really hope this helps someone, I RMAed my machine and even the new one had this issue. It's pretty disappointing for a $1000+ machine but still great outside of this big flaw.

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    Is there a re-set or some way to get the machine to NOT bug you to descale? I do what the commercial shops and owners of high end machines do... I use scale-free water. I never descale because I never need to. So it would be best for me with my -920, if when it starts bugging me to descale, if I could just reset something and make it stop bugging me, since I already know I don't need to descale.

    -Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrussell50 View Post
    Is there a re-set or some way to get the machine to NOT bug you to descale? I do what the commercial shops and owners of high end machines do... I use scale-free water. I never descale because I never need to. So it would be best for me with my -920, if when it starts bugging me to descale, if I could just reset something and make it stop bugging me, since I already know I don't need to descale.

    -Peter
    You can reset the entire machine machine but you lose all your settings. I beleive you do it by starting with the machine off, then hold the one-cup button while power on. at this point you should see rset on the screen and you just hit menu to reset it all.

    In all honesty it's probably better to either ignore it, or just run through the descale process without descaler. This should not give you the issue and it does not hurt to flush your boilers anyways.

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The quicker way to do it I believe is to run the devalue function 3x but cut it short each time. It looks for multiples of 3 for some reason so if you do 4 or 5 it will keep bugging you.

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    Norbs, thanks for that. I do drain the boilers monthly or so, especially the steam boiler, to try to reduce mineral buildup (not scale but other minerals).

    Say, what is the "devalue" function? If it is an auto correct error, it's still escaping me. Good observation on the "rule of threes though". Love it.

    -Peter

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Yes autocorrect, "devalue" was meant to be "descale"

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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Yes autocorrect, "devalue" was meant to be "descale"
    It isn't called "Autocucumber" for nothing - that autocorrect thing.
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    Thanks @norbs12

    you said
    5) Plug machine back in; Turn ON and you should hear the steam boiler filling. Let it go until you see water going through the steam wand (takes pretty long, make sure to start with plenty of water).
    How long on average do you wait? Itís been 30mins so far and no water has come out of the steam wand.

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    I called up the UK service company Sage/Breville recommends (they fixed my solenoid valve last year!).
    they have said the 3 beeps for the steam wand is due to the steam boiler not heating up. It could either be:
    1) Probes have lost continuity or have corroded - (Norbs12 possible solution I guess would fix the continuity issue)
    2) Thermal link may be broken
    Have said either are easily fixable- will be two weeks before then can come out though.

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just had this happen on his machine. Did the boiler fill/flush a few times by disconnecting one of the level probe wires as above. The boiler now fills correctly but stays cold.

    Are there any tricks to pulling out the boiler to get to the thermal fuse?

    Hopefully it is just the thermal fuse and not the element.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Hopefully it's tripped the thermal fuse before the element has blown. That's what the fuse was designed to do.

    The 920's that I have repaired for this problem have only ever needed a new fuse. Unfortunately it's still a complete disassembly, boiler out job which is a massive pain.
    On a scale of 1 to Ďpay a professional to do ití how hard is it to get to and replace the thermal fuse? I think I blew mine

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimfromIreland View Post

    I thought of fitting a 150 degree resettable thermal switch instead of the thermal fuse such as this:
    eBay link removed as per Site Posting Policy

    This way if the boiler ever got above the 150 degrees, it would reset automatically once the temperature had been below that for 1 minute, enabling me to diagnose other possible issues without having to strip the entire machine down again just to replace the damn fuse.
    Did you ever end up installing the resettable thermal switch?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yojabbajabba View Post
    On a scale of 1 to ‘pay a professional to do it’ how hard is it to get to and replace the thermal fuse? I think I blew mine
    Pay a professional to it, it's a hateful job. I have a steam boiler swap coming up on an Oracle, boy am I not looking forward to that.
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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You're not wrong, its a pita but not really that bad. Hardest thing is trying to work out what needs to be undone and where all the screws are etc.

    Watch out for o rings dropping out of the connections and the little metal cylinders at the end of the tubes coming out. They shouldn't but can. push them back in.

    Main steps (from memory):

    Drain boilers

    Remove top

    Remove back

    Remove base then the bit of plastic under drip tray some base screws hidden under feet on the corners (just like smart grinder!)

    From steam boiler remove temp probes, level probes, brew HX tube, steam tap tube

    Disconnect steam boiler drain and two tubes near base of steam boiler (one is from one of the pumps, one thin (a bastard to refit on the barb) and a larger dia tube. these will be obvious when doing it.

    The brew boiler drain can probably remain in place. if you remove it take note of its route, its not very clear if you are putting it back a few days later!

    Remove the 2 screws on the top and 2 at the base of the steam boiler/frame/pump assembly.

    Once you have done the above you can wiggle the steam boiler/frame/pump assembly up enough (no need to remove it fully) to get to the thermal fuse and also confirm continuity in the element and confirm open circuit in the thermal fuse.


    For the people that have fitted a resettable fuse, how did you mount it? I understand the resetable ones are like the temp switches as opposed to the thermal fuse which is like a resistor in form factor. There is a thermal switch on the side of the steam boiler held on by a strap surrounding the boiler. The thermal fuse just sits inside a two flat parallel plates attached to the boiler wall.


    Reverse the above and enjoy the restored steaming!


    Great for breville providing a thermal fuse that (hopefully) blows before the element ($$$ for complete boiler) but not great for painful access.


    Cheers

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    I thought my machine broke after descaling. @norbs12, thank you so much! Your method worked. Next time, I'm just going to manually descale my machine by directly pouring heated solution int the boilers and manually draining it. As for the tubes and pipes, I'll just run a weak solution by doing a blind extraction.
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    i am new, can you tell me how to manually drain the boilers please

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    can you send me the new instructions please

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich2222 View Post
    can you send me the new instructions please
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/documenta...on-manual.html

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    Paging noidle22 and artman... So annoyed at myself! I should never have descaled... I brought home the broken Oracle from my office last week, opened it up, replaced some o-rings and a melted solenoid coil and was back in business! Made 2 great lattes. Thought I'd descale it, since I don't think it had been done in the years we had it at work. I think I have blown the steam boiler thermal fuse, or the entire heating element. Since I got the machine for free and live in the U.S. where we do not have a repair option other than sending it to Breville for $400, I am inclined to fix it myself IF IT IS JUST THE THERMAL FUSE. Before I engage in this endeavor, is there a way to determine whether it's the thermal fuse or the whole element is burnt?

    Here is what I recall happening, and my current symptoms:
    1) Descale procedure as instructed on Breville website.
    2) Somewhere along the draining during descaling, nothing was coming out of the steam boiler drain. I didn't understand that this meant it had no water in it. I thought maybe some scale was blocking the drain, so I kept at it.
    3) At some point, noticed some smoke/steam come out on the LEFT side of the drip tray. Not sure if this is relevant. Possibly it was steam from the hot water draining normally.
    4) If I detach the red probe wire / the shorter probe, the steam boiler fills, but still does not heat normally.

    Now: After finishing the descaling process and doing the final drain, the steam boiler does not appear to fill. I have filled it manually as well, and it does not heat. The coffee boiler seems to be working normally but temperature will not go above 150.

    Any ideas?

  35. #35
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Measure the resistance/continuity of the heating element and / or the thermal fuse. Thermal fuse will have continuity if ok, open circuit if blown. Heating element will have some resistance if ok (say 30-60ohm??) and generally open circuit if burnt out. Easy check to confirm the culprit.

    Cheers

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    Thanks so much, Artman! Time to tear down. Will update. Hard to get the part, though. I think the only source is BigWarehouse in Australia and I’m in US.

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    Another question, how does the steam boiler know whether to fill with water? I don't think mine knows it should fill now. Does the thermal fuse being blown tell the machine not to fill the steam boiler? The coffee boiler still seems to fill and come up to 150 degrees, but no water in the steam boiler unless I trick it by unplugging the red probe wire. Is there something else wrong in addition to the thermal fuse?

  38. #38
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The thermal fuse is a standard item, should be available in any electronics supply store, just get the correct temp.

    If you mean the boiler, then you will need a US part as everywhere else is 240 (not 110v).

    The level sensors tell the machine when to fill the boiler (my understanding).

    Have a search for my post on changing the thermal fuse, its not that bad to do.

    Cheers

  39. #39
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Sounds like the fill sensor has a issue too. It has been mentioned that they get a coating on them from the descale solution, but it is said that it will rinse off easily.
    It seems that the probe itself is the problem as you say it fills when it's disconnected, and won't fill with it connected. Try removing and cleaning (it's a probe right?). Or replace it while you are in there

  40. #40
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Yes as above, remove probes and give them a clean and a gentle scrub/polish with 000 steel wool if needed.

    Cheers

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    Artman, I don't know the correct temp for the thermal fuse. Is it 167 degrees C, 10 amps as noted by JimfromIreland above? I'm not sure where he got that info, though. No plans to replace the whole steam boiler, as that would just cost too much at that point.

    Artman and Jackster, I did previously scrub the longer 2 probes in the steam boiler with steel wool, as when I first pulled them out, the bottom 2" of the longer ones were coated in brown muck. I can't quite remember if I scrubbed the shorter probe (which is the one if I disconnect it, the boiler fills). I will try scrubbing that one too. Hopefully I don't also need new probes, as I also think I can only find those in Australia.

  42. #42
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleyip View Post
    Artman, I don't know the correct temp for the thermal fuse. Is it 167 degrees C, 10 amps as noted by JimfromIreland above? I'm not sure where he got that info, though. No plans to replace the whole steam boiler, as that would just cost too much at that point.
    I don't think the exact temp rating is critical here, as long as there is some leeway above the normal operating temp, and it lets go before the element burns out.
    I replaced the blown fuse on an old Gaggia classic with one I got from a local electronic components shop for a few dollars. I'm a bit hazy now on the details, but I do recall that couldn't match the original temp rating exactly. I think it was about 175įC and I had to settle for 190į. It had an amperage rating able handle the Gaggia's current draw.
    At the time, I could have ordered the correct temperature fuse from China even cheaper, but with very slow delivery, so I went with the local unit. It worked fine, and is still going many years later. As far as I know, it's never been put to the test, but I'm confident that if it was, and it blew under 200į, it would save the boiler and it's elements.
    Last edited by deegee; 22nd May 2019 at 10:03 AM. Reason: extra info

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    Artman, Iíve gotten this far along removing the base parts and Iím somewhat stuck at this stage. You made it sound like once Iíd removed the gray piece thatís under the drip tray, Iíd have easy access to the bottom of the steam boiler, but this black plastic housing seems in the way. Did you have to remove it too? Hope the difference isnít due to this being an Oracle vs a 920. Or do I have to access everything from the small holes for the drain?

    Can't figure out uploading images here. Here are links, last link most relevant but the other pics showing the removal of each step of the base:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5hxmy7j6wa..._6996.JPG?dl=0https://www.dropbox.com/s/h82xcwhzxl..._6997.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zfeiiw0u6p..._6998.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ub5udc5hdz..._6999.JPG?dl=0
    Last edited by littleyip; 22nd May 2019 at 02:26 PM.

  44. #44
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deegee View Post
    I don't think the exact temp rating is critical here, as long as there is some leeway above the normal operating temp, and it lets go before the element burns out.
    Yep, agree.

    Cheers

  45. #45
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleyip View Post
    Artman, I’ve gotten this far along removing the base parts and I’m somewhat stuck at this stage.
    Hmmmm.... cant recall TBH. Reading the notes from above:

    .....Remove the 2 screws on the top and 2 at the base of the steam boiler/frame/pump assembly.

    Once you have done the above you can wiggle the steam boiler/frame/pump assembly up enough (no need to remove it fully) to get to the thermal fuse and also confirm continuity in the element and confirm open circuit in the thermal fuse......

    Pretty sure the steam boiler frame screws are accessed from the top, should be visible. Once unscrewed, then you can wiggle the boiler up and tilt it to get to thermal fuse.

    Cheers

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    Yes, I can’t figure how to access anything at the base, like the screws you mention or the tubes that need to be disconnected near the base. Here’s what it looks like from the top. If I can’t figure out how to access the parts from the base, I may end up disconnecting all this mess of pumps to the rear of the steam boiler. I did remove the 2 screws circled in red, but so far no wiggle room.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/c3q64rpzdn...age1.jpeg?dl=0

  47. #47
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    There are two more screws from memory holding the entire boiler assembly, two at top two at bottom. Both accessed from the top? Should be fairly obvious.

    Cheers

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    Ah, I see what you're saying now. The 2 screws at the bottom of the assembly are still accessed from the top of the machine with a long screwdriver. I shouldn't be looking for screws at the bottom of the machine.

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    I removed the back electronics panel and moved the white box of electronic software out of the way and can now see the 2 bottom screws I believe I need access to, but think there is no way to unscrew them without removing all the pumps and tubing to the rear of the steam pump.
    In better news, I was able to use long ohmmeter prongs to poke inside and check the resistance of the heating element, which still seems good I think! Now just to get at the fuse...

  50. #50
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The pumps should not need disconnecting, you should be able to maneuver the boiler toward the top and tilt it to get to the thermal fuse.

    Cheers



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