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Thread: San Marco CKX heating element switching off randomly

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    San Marco CKX heating element switching off randomly

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All

    Just bought a secondhand machine which has not been used for about 2yrs. I am having some issues the first issue was a blocked jet which i cleaned and is now working.

    The second issue has been harder to diagnose. The machine switches off randomly, i.e. boiler heating element switches off. Initially thought it was a sticky pstat Ma-ter switch, which I changed. But I am still have the same issue!

    My next guess (literally) is the water level switch. Why this switch? When the heating element switched off I opened the steam valve and let all the steam out and closed the valve. I noticed that the water pump switched and the pressure started to go back up. COuld it be that i have a faulty water level switch? H.E.L.P.

    I have had a look on coffee parts, and it is a $20 odd dollar part. I dont want to be constantly swapping out parts like a bad motor mechanic. Can anyone give me some good advice?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: San Marco CKX heating element switching off randomly

    Welcome to CS beaneater* :)

    please be specific....... does it actually switch on and off randomly during use OR.....

    only when you first switch on from cold the machine never heats up, and then you discovered by accident that if you open the steam valve and allow an equalisation of pressure between the boiler and atmospheric pressure, the pressure gauge goes to zero and then the machine magically switches on and goes to pressure and temp and operates perfecttly....until the same thing happens again next time you switch on form cold again????????

    If it is the second option, this is quite normal for a machine that does not have an anti vacuum valve OR, for a machine that does have an anti vacuum valve but the valve is stuck in the "shut" position.

    In that case, continue doing exactly as you have been each time you switch on the machine and it will work as required. If it were me I would also free up the nipple in the anti vacuum valve by waiting until the machine goes to real pressure and CAREFULLY and quickly tapping the nipple with something like a screw driver handle (from a distance so as not to squirt myself in the face with steam). Tap it a couple of times and that frees up the valve, however what you have already discovered by opening the steam tap is normal practice anyway.

    By the way, I always pull the plug right out of the socket and release all pressure if doing any work on my machines because I wouldnt like to be the best steam disfigured or electrocuted DIY espresso machine repairer in the suburb* :D

    Actually I recommend you take it infor service and pay a professional repairer to check her over.

    Hope that helps.
    very first CS site sponsor

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: San Marco CKX heating element switching off randomly

    Dont swap any parts until youve confirmed with a multimeter which part needs replacing! And if you dont know exactly what to do when i say that, then take it in for a service :)

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