"Pump came on, ran for a few minutes then cut out, all good so far..."
This may not be such a good thing at all... if the boiler had been drained and the water level was very low, then yes...all good... otherwise....?
"Tried one of the brew switches while this was happening and got no response from any of them. The *question is, is it normal or common for the switches to be disabled until the boiler is up to pressure and the ready light comes on? It seems unlikely that everything would be non-functional otherwise, so Im hoping.. "
Carimali is not really a common brand machine over here and your best bet would be to ask whoever is a service agent for the dreaded "Robert Timms" as they have been / or were / or whatever / the importer here for some time. It seems very *unlikely* there would be some kind of control to disable flow from the groups until the boiler has reached operating pressure...certainly this does not happen on any reqular commercial machines I can remember ever working on.
But you havent told us if the groups were subsequently switched as normal once the boiler DID reach operating pressure....in which case.......I guess it must be a feature of this model and quite OK!
"I ask because I cant wait until that point and test, because I seem to have a pressure leak from the relief valve, it starts bubbling a little liquid and then a small jet of steam quite soon in to the heating cycle. So waiting for it to cool down now to remove the valve and clean it. "
Aha...Not so Im afraid. There is no reason why you cant operate the machine while the pressure relief valve is leaking. Just make sure any condensed water doesnt end up on something electrical....and it usually wont, because leaking steam or water will steam straight off the surface of the surrounding hot boiler. / OR,
Are you sure you are not confusing the pressure relief valve with the anti vaccum valve because it is quite common for anti vaccum valves to leak */ spit steam at first, then seal up as more pressure builds in the boiler. Anti vacuum valves that DONT seal once a good head of steam has been reached can be "corrected" by simply tapping the leaking nipple with a screw driver until it seats itself in a position that does not leak. *
If it does turn out to be a leaking safety valve (pressure relief valve) and you dismantle it....make sure to count the number of turns it takes to get the bits apart and when you have repaired it ( if that is possible), screw the bits back up together to the same number of turms as you undid it originally...or you will end up on a different setting for *pressure* relief.
"Thanks for any info".