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Thread: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

  1. #1
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    Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi this is my first post but I have have been reading this forum(and other forums) a great deal over the last 2 months, doing research on espresso machines and grinders.

    I had made up my mind on what to get - a VBM junior and Mazzer Mini. However there is something I read/discovered about the VBM junior which that made me a bit uneasy. It all started when I was having a look at the VBM junior & super at my local kitchen/food equipment shop(dont laugh-I am from NZ and the city I come from does not have a dedicated coffee equipment shop like many of you do :)). They did not have the VBM junior on display that day as they had just sold the display model and were expecting more more stock shortly. However the manager was kind enough to show me one that a customer had brought in to get something repaired, just so I could get an idea of how the machine looks, we did not operate it of course as it belonged to someone. I did not ask what was wrong with it but I noted a note next to the machine saying that the "Lever switch was stuck". I did not take much notice of this till later. We proceeded to playing around with the range of VBM supers and I was most impressed with the quality of espresso that I tasted.Beans ground from the mazzer of course. I had always wanted a machine with smaller footprint due to bench space and the VBM junior is perfect and from what I read does not compromise on the quality of espresso produced compared to its bigger brother.

    Later I stumbled on a post where a couple of other users of the VBM junior on coffeegeek had similar problems with this switch. Just to be clear the switch in question is the one on the front just behind the lever which depresses and activates the pump when the lever is pulled. The post is here and is more towards the end of the post. http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/464705?LastView=1269151083&Page=2

    It seems that the switch gets stuck as in depressed but does not pop back in place as it is supposed to when the lever is returned to its original position.

    Due to other commitments,I have not had a chance yet to go back and compare the switch between the super and junior(but will in due course) but my guess is that they will be similar? Which brings the question - is this problem common? Has other users here experienced it? Is it only exclusive to the VBM junior?


    With all the experts here I am sure someone will be able to shed more light on this and many thanks and appreciation in advance.


  2. #2
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Hmm....Its a $10 microswitch...

    If theres an issue, its usually because the switch may have been installed 1mm too far forward. A 2 minute adjustment overcomes it and this should be part of the bench test.

    I am not aware of this issue in Australia so far...

  3. #3
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Hi, im from New Zealand too, so i sympathise with the lack of quality espresso equipment stores.I owned a VBM Junior for about 6 months, while i thought it was a very good machine, mine did have a few issues out of the box.One of them was the switch you mention.I think it has been placed slightly too low down, so that as you pull on the lever it presses down on the switch before pressing it in to activate the pump.
    I solved mine by adjusting the switch further in, and also applying a little food grade lube to the lever cam.For a long time though it was making a horrible popping noise as the switch was pushed down, and then finally gave way and pressed inwards.After i fixed it, it was fine with no issues.
    The other problem i had was the hot water tap leaking quite alot during use, i fixed it by dis-assembling, cleaning and re-assembling with food grade lube.Maybe some debris was inside?
    While this may sound bad, i was very happy with the machine - all machines have their good and bad points.There is no such thing as the perfect machine - otherwise everyone would have it!
    There seems to be a growing number of junior owners on here, so hopefully some of them will chime in with their experiences

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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Yeah id say theyd be identical.
    No such problem with my machine..it operates smoothly.

    NZ seems to have obtained an early release of machines, which probably skipped a final adjustment & testing routine...either that, or the container destined for nz got dropped on the wharf! :P


    a sticky switch could be caused by debri, or improper adjustment of either the switch or lever/cam... but either way; simple parts & easy to service.

    itd be a quick & easy warranty claim (a safety issue after all).. * *even if the 1 year warranty is up, just quote our good ole Consumer Guarantees Act; $X000 coffee machines are expected to last much more than 1 year!!

    if buying a machine today (of any brand)i would ask for a full tune up and test report ...there are a lot of tiny mechanical adjustments that could be messed up during shipping, or whatever...best to get them sorted out early.

  5. #5
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    No issues here..............as yet anyway, certainly none with the operation of the switch, as has been said not perfect but would certainly buy one again if I needed to.

    Steve

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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    after reading the coffee geek thread.. the issue sounds kind of familiar..

    Backflushing with [s]descaler[/s] detergent can strip away a lot of the grease from the levers internal cam.

    this makes the lever movement sticky.. its a problem on all e61 machines, but particularly noticeable when new.

    applying fresh (food grade, high temp) grease to the lever is the way to solve it...is a routine maintenance thing (i do it after each bi-monthly descale - it takes about 5 mins max to unbolt the lever assembly, apply grease and reassemble).

    if the switch is sticking in completely; thats something a bit different (and very odd). *but in this case, i think it would be very possible that its actually a lack of lube, rather than a problem with a switch..or that theyre related.


  7. #7
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 766E6069697C050 link=1269159333/5#5 date=1269167154
    Backflushing with descaler
    :o :o I really hope that was a typo. NEVER backflush with descaler

  8. #8
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    I moving back to Europe in 2 weeks time and have my eyes on Junior. Will let you know if tI have the same problem.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Mine is three weeks old and the lever is quite sticky. It doesnt actually get stuck, but its certainly not smooth. I dont think its a huge issue - not yet anyway

  10. #10
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    I had a simular problem with my GPP, i rubbed some food grade lube round the part that actuates the switch, it worked for me perfectly, i was finding that the switch was rubbing the chrome plating off the brass cam slightly, which was causing some resistance, now its smooth as ;)
    looselegs likes this.

  11. #11
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D2A21212A3B3B4F0 link=1269159333/8#8 date=1269171611
    Mine is three weeks old and the lever is quite sticky. It doesnt actually get stuck, but its certainly not smooth. I dont think its a huge issue - not yet anyway
    Hi Bennett,

    Try turning the machine off and then push the microswitch in by hand and try the lever in isolation....That way, you will know one way or another ;)

    Chris

  12. #12
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F77797070651C0 link=1269159333/5#5 date=1269167154
    strip away a lot of the grease from the levers internal cam. this makes the lever movement sticky.. its a problem on all e61 machines

    Not if they have a toggle switch or a touchpad!

  13. #13
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 57504B43445651250 link=1269159333/11#11 date=1269172688
    Not if they have a toggle switch or a touchpad!
    Then you get to replace both in time, and probably the group solenoid as well ::)

  14. #14
    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F6A67605448646D6D6E6E0B0 link=1269159333/10#10 date=1269172236
    Try turning the machine off and then push the microswitch in by hand and try the lever in isolation....That way, you will know one way or another

    Hi Chris,

    The microswitch is fine in isolation. The Lever is fine in isolation. It seems that its the action of the lever on the switch that causes it to stick momentarily. Like 2mcm said, maybe its because it is 1mm too far forward and needs a slight adjustment.

    By the way when I play with the microswitch in isolation for a few presses - the problem seems to go away for a while.

  15. #15
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    exactly the same as mine.......
    Quote Originally Posted by 4642647D7D7867707F110 link=1269159333/9#9 date=1269172071
    i rubbed some food grade lube round the part that actuates the switch
    ;)

  16. #16
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 76717A7A716060140 link=1269159333/13#13 date=1269174094
    The microswitch is fine in isolation. The Lever is fine in isolation. It seems that its the action of the lever on the switch that causes it to stick momentarily.
    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by 43476178787D62757A140 link=1269159333/14#14 date=1269175009
    exactly the same as mine.......
    Quote Originally Posted by 4642647D7D7867707F110 link=1269159333/9#9 date=1269172071
    i rubbed some food grade lube round the part that actuates the switch
    ;)
    Any lever type action onto a push type button will be an issue of ongoing maintenance unless you have 100% alignment.

    Tis why in critical situations such as assembly lines and medical where this action is required the switch activator is usually modified to manage minor miss alignments.. Most vommen being that of a bearing.... But hey its only a coffee machine.. Use some lube and polish the knob :-?

  17. #17
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Hmmm...

    The Lever on my DJE was quite stiff to operate for the first couple of weeks but started smoothing out little by little after that to where now, it is very smooth in operation. Never sticks or jams up at all.

    After back-flushing, it does revert back to being slightly stiff/tight in operation but once a seasoning shot is pulled it immediately returns back to smooth operation. Coffee oils doing their job internally I guess.

    If the Pump Switch has been incorrectly adjusted, you should notice that the force being applied by the Operating Cam on the Lever, will continue to push the entire switch inwards, until the end of travel has been reached. This of course, is very detrimental to the ongoing longevity of the Switch and probably causes excessive wear and tear on the Cam Lobe as well.

    If you notice this occurring on your machine and it is still under warranty, itd be a very good idea to contact your vendor and point this out to them. They may give you instructions on how to adjust it (the switch) yourself or request that you bring the machine in to their premises for their technician to adjust for you. I wouldnt just keep operating the machine like this though.... :-?

    Mal.

  18. #18
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E66686161740D0 link=1269159333/5#5 date=1269167154
    can strip away a lot of the grease from the levers internal cam.

    this makes the lever movement sticky.. its a problem on all e61 machines
    Quote Originally Posted by 7F78636B6C7E790D0 link=1269159333/11#11 date=1269172688
    Not if they have a toggle switch or a touchpad! *
    Quote Originally Posted by 596C6166524E626B6B68680D0 link=1269159333/12#12 date=1269172982
    Then you get to replace both in time, and probably the group solenoid as well *::)
    Just pointing out an over-generalisation - not making a value judgement! *

  19. #19
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Agreed Mal, just give your vendor or importer a call as it helps us to look busy for the boss.

    We do our best to check lever feel and micro switch alignment when we do our pre-sale bench test. I would say if the unit is new and you are feeling a bump in action that the micro switch needs to be set back a mm as suggested Mr Talk.

    Otherwise its important to finish off a back wash with a good rinse back wash (no chemicals same procedure). This will make sure there is no residual chemical to harden and damage your lever group action. Then its a couple of seasoning shots to get the lever feel back to smooth.

    A dab of lubricant on the lever base (where the lever mechanism hits the micro switch) can sometimes be an easy fix ;).

    IMO its rare that the issue would be a faulty lever switch on a new unit.


  20. #20
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E41594F444F434A4A4949414D422C0 link=1269159333/6#6 date=1269168083
    Quote Originally Posted by 766E6069697C050 link=1269159333/5#5 date=1269167154
    Backflushing with descaler
    :o :o I really hope that was a typo. NEVER backflush with descaler
    Yep - thanks for pointing that out! definate slip of the tongue :-X
    i meant "scale inhibitor" ie, detergent (pulycaf etc)

  21. #21
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 524A444D4D58210 link=1269159333/19#19 date=1269241659
    Quote Originally Posted by 1E41594F444F434A4A4949414D422C0 link=1269159333/6#6 date=1269168083
    Quote Originally Posted by 766E6069697C050 link=1269159333/5#5 date=1269167154
    Backflushing with descaler
    :o :o I really hope that was a typo. NEVER backflush with descaler
    Yep - thanks for pointing that out! definate slip of the tongue *:-X
    i meant "scale inhibitor" ie, detergent (pulycaf etc)
    NO!!! Its not a scale inhibitor either. Pulycafe etc are backflush powders. They have nothing to do with descaling whatsoever.

  22. #22
    A_M
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 306F77616A616D646467676F636C020 link=1269159333/20#20 date=1269241993
    NO!!! Its not a scale inhibitor either. Pulycafe etc are backflush powders. They have nothing to do with descaling whatsoever.
    Backflush / Rinse / Chemical cleaner / Descaler scale inhibitor / group / basket / temperature etc etc

    The wrong word can complicate things... And some users wonder; why we some times get anal and try to spell out things..


    My HD just died... Can ya bring it in ? But it is a very big black box... HD is not a PC ;)

  23. #23
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Vibiemme Junior-potential switch issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by 032C2527300F232C2325272F272C36420 link=1269159333/21#21 date=1269242940
    My HD just died... *Can ya bring it in ? *But it is a very big black box... *HD is not a PC *
    You phoned a computer shop about your Harley? ;D

    Greg
    (Lube inside the lever mechanism, and a smear on the lobe that pushes the microswitch made a huge difference to my COFFEE machine.)

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    "I solved mine by adjusting the lever further in ... ".

    Apologies for reviving a thread that's been dormant for the better part of a decade, but I've recently experienced the same issue with my lever/switch -- the popping noise is getting unbearable, so I came online to see what I could do. Is the adjustment of the switch an easy procedure? Or will I have to get inside the machine and tinker for a while? At the moment, I'm getting around the problem by using one hand to push in the switch, then the other to pull up the lever, but it's only a band-aid solution. I'd like to take care of the problem permanently, or at least until it recurs, which seems to be every 3-4 years in my case (the last two times, I was due to get the machine serviced anyway, so someone else fixed the problem for me). Thanks in advance. (Hopefully you still check this site!)

  25. #25
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    You can sort it with a roller microswitch: https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/c199900306-microswitch

    Regardless, these things can be wallet time bombs if not serviced regularly. If it hasn't been looked at for for a couple of years, there are plenty of other potential issues just waiting to cause invoice shock...

    Don't say I didn't tell you!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    You can sort it with a roller microswitch: https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/c199900306-microswitch

    Regardless, these things can be wallet time bombs if not serviced regularly. If it hasn't been looked at for for a couple of years, there are plenty of other potential issues just waiting to cause invoice shock...

    Don't say I didn't tell you!
    Ha. Thanks for the tip, Caffeinator. Unfortunately Iím in Tokyo, and the only guy I know of in Japan who services these machines is on the other side of the country. The cost of sending the machine there and back usually amounts to more than the service charge. Despite that, I still send it over every couple of years.

    Iíll check out that roller microswitch. Cheers.

  27. #27
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    These are normally easy to acquire, several companies in Japan make them for the rest of us to use.
    Some samples here...

    Mal.

    RollerPlungerSwitch.JPG
    Caffeinator and jjlamore like this.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    An addendum to the above: check size carefully if buying from RS or Element 14. The roller plunger switches they stock are the industrial standard which is too big to fit a coffee machine, especially a VBM junior: both the body of the switch (about 50mm long) and the diameter of the roller (about 12mm) will cause problems.

    All the ones in the pic above are this size, I haven't been able to find the subminiature size needed through RS, Element14, Mouser or Digikey so I bought mine from a coffee machine spare parts place.
    Dimal and jjlamore like this.

  29. #29
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep...

    Handily though, sites like E14 usually provide all item dimensions to facilitate identifying the correct switch. Even better, to buy direct from one of our Site Sponsors. I'm sure there'd be no trouble in getting one sent to you. Bit like sending coal to Newcastle though...

    Mal.
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  30. #30
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    Thanks all for the tips. Greatly appreciated.
    Dimal likes this.

  31. #31
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    Also look at screwing the switch "inwards" towards the chassis. Locknut on the inside of the fascia, just loosen and adjust so the switch is not sticking out as far. This means actuation is a little further on the roll up of the lever, but mine has been fine like this for a long time (5+years now).

  32. #32
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    Take a print of the picture in post 25 to akihabra, one of the stall holders will have the switch and will know who can instal it if you are not able to do it yourself.



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