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Thread: Rancilio S26

  1. #1
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    Rancilio S26

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Howdy all,

    I recently purchased a Rancilio S26. I dont know much about it, except that it has lived its life in an ice cream store in a country town. The portafilter handles have been lost, and the machine had been in storage for 6 months or so. It was a big gamble, purcahsed sight unseen etc. Ive never fiddled inside a coffee machine before, so am learning as I go, and am hoping to get some direction from members here. Hope you will be patient with me!!

    So far I have given her a wipe over, taken off the sides and hood for a look, adjusted the thermostat down to 1.1bar (was at 1.5), taken off the showerscreen (straight to the bin) and established that it....

    Switches on
    Boiler comes up to pressure
    Brew swtch delivers hot water to group
    Steam works
    Hot water tap works
    Guage works (accuracy?)
    Lights all work
    No obvious leaks
    Pump will draw water from a container
    There is no rank smell from the water out of the hot water tap

    Other than 1 missing screw in the skin (in a place you cant see, I didnt notice it until the hood was off), and a bit of surface rust under the drip tray on the frame, I cant see any obvious damage or things not as they should be ..... not that I know what Im looking for.

    So on my first assessment things are looking good.

    I need to get a portafilter handle obviously (Ive tried the Nouva Simonelli and Giotto handles I already have and neither fits) to do a backflush with detergent, and then pull a few shots. While Im placing an order with coffeeparts, I guess Ill pick up a new group gasket (spacers?), showerscreen and screw. Ive replaced these on my NS Oscar, s hopefully it will be as simple an operation.

    Ill take any advice on other checks I should be doing, or standard things to look out for.

    In particular I want to know the best way to flush water through the boiler. So far Ive been just taking water from the hot water tap, and then the pump is refilling the boiler from a container of water I have on the floor. Is there some other way to give it a flush?

    Is there anything wrong with operating the machine without connecting to mains? ie. operating out of a 20L container?

    Ill try to attach a picture, but Ive never done that before either.

    Tim


  2. #2
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    From the right side


  3. #3
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    From the left side


  4. #4
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    From the top


  5. #5
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Plate


  6. #6
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Group (dirty!)


  7. #7
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Oh, and I also got a Cunil Space grinder ....


  8. #8
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Im feeling a little unloved here. Is anyone able to help with my quesrions, or just share a bit of the excitement of my new aquisitions (my partner was certainly not excited by ANOTHER coffee machine - so youll have to help me out in that regard). If done something that isnt worth getting excited about, I guess I need to know that too.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Gday TimO,

    Im sure youll get some helpful responses soon mate, we have quite a few members with Rancilio S20 Series machines and its only a matter of time before your thread is spotted.

    Hang in there..... :)

    Mal.

  10. #10
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Hey Timo

    Certainly wouldnt want a fellow CSer to be feeling unloved and I have similar issues with my partner, she just cant get excited about anything coffee related...........But dont worry ..... were excited!

    Great looking machine, I suspect all will be good with it

    Im not qualified to answer your questions, but it would seem what youre doing is pretty much commonsense, so it should be OK.

    Cheers Reubster

  11. #11
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Thanks Reubster. Good to have a bit of support!

    There seemed to be water in the boiler when I got it, which I suspect had been in the boiler with the machine sitting idle for 6 months or so - Id love to know how to get that water out, and fresh water in in some simply way. I think all Im doing at the moment is taking a little bit out (600ml at a time, out of a 4 litre boiler) and mixing the same amount of fresh in. Eventually that old water will be diluted, but better to macke a fresh start.

    I guess the real test is in how the water tastes I guess, and to be honest, I dont go much on straight hot water, so perhaps Ill fill a glass and chuck it in the fridge.

    I also would like to know a bit more about adjusting pressurestats. I have just used the guage and adjusted down to 1.1bar (this is what my Giotto sits on). Is it that simple?

  12. #12
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Got zero idea how to help you out here, but thought Id drop by to say that Im excited for you and hope it all works out in a great way! Nothing like restoring something back from the brink...

  13. #13
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Hi there. Nice machine you have. I have just gone through restoring a S20 midi 2 group. It was probably in similar kind of condition to yours. mine was in a restaurant for about 1 yr, and then in storage for the next 9. When I got it I was not really planning to do too much to it, but then I couldnt stand the thought of drinking everyday from something I what could be growing inside! So I stripped it completely down, replaced all the seals and gaskets, cleaned, descaled, etc. It really wasnt that filthy inside, but I now like the fact that I know it is like new. The other good thing about completely stripping it is you know exactly how it all works.

    As for draining, I cant help. Mine has a drain plug on the bottom, but cant see if yours has one.

    It sounds like you have adjusted the pressurestat ok - i personally would not worry about gauge accuracy too much, unless something makes you think it is wrong . I think the bigger issue for you is pump pressure. Depending how they had it setup before, the pump pressure could be way off. For example, I run mine off mains with a 350 kpa pressure limiter (about 4 bar), then the pump increases the pressure to around 9 bar. If they had a setup like this in the shop, then running from a container your pump pressure will be way too low. Probably a quickish test to see if you are in a reasonable pressure range is how much the grind changed from your old machine. If it has changed drastically it would be a sign the pressure is wrong. To get my pressure right I pulled a gauge off another machine I had with dual pressure dial. I just temporarily put it in my pump line and set it right. Ideally I would try and get a gauge from somewhere, or a portafilter with the gauge attached. its the only way you will know for sure.

    Your shower screen replacement will be simple. It may be very hard to get the group seal out though. Have fun! I had the advantage that I had both groups out when I took out the seals, so I hammered into it with a screwdriver, and they slowly crumbled out.

    I would just say dont be too worried about taking things apart - they all go back together pretty easily.

    With the portafilter, I recommend the rancilio one, they are nice and heavy and if you have a rocky doserless grinder as I do they sit in it well without having to hold the portafilter while grinding.

    Other than that, I think you can look forward to some good coffee once you have it set up right. When I first got myu machine, the pump was not operating properly and I was only getting mains pressure made coffee - pretty disgusting really. I was a bit worried about it, but once I got hte pressure going well the machine is great. Nice and quiet operation, good coffee pour of 30ml in 25 or so secs but most of all coffee tastes great. Much much better than my e61, really distinct flavours, and strips out many unpleasant bits which I didnt really notice were there until I had coffees from this machine!!!

    Damian.




  14. #14
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Thanks Damian. Assuming Im going to continue to run this from a tank (likely) and I can get an appropriate guage (dont really want to spend the $, but maybe I have to) and so know whether Im trying to increase or decrease pump pressure .....

    how do I actually adjust the pump pressure?

  15. #15
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    If they had it plumbed in before then you would need to increase the pump pressuure, as you are no longer getting any pressure from water. But once you get your portafilter you should be able to see if pressure seems wrong - like my mains pressure coffee which was clear it was not right. If you dont want to spend $ I would get the grind right for your other machine, adn assuming that is setup ok, adjust the new machine pump with that grind (hopefully using thesame filter) until you get the same quantity of coffee in the same time. Should get you somewhere close I think?? Thats the only way I can think of without a gauge to get you into a kind of ok pressure setting.

    To adjust it on the procon pump there is a nut on the rhs when you are looking at it front on (in your case I think I can just see the nut on the second pic). Just in case I am not clear, there are two arrows on the pump, in and out, and the nut is to the right of the in arrow. You will either have a closed nut, or one where there is a nut with a screw thread in the middle. Either way you depressurise the machine (no issue in your case, as you are not on mains), and then unscrew the nut. If the nut was the closed type inside you will find a screw. clockwise increases pressure, anticlockwise reduces. Once you have adjusted, close up the nut again, and test the pressure. With a gauge, I had to open, close and test about 5 times until I got it right. I ahve never run from a bucket, but I gather you should not have a problem with this pump getting the pressure up to 9 bar.

    Hope that helps some!

    I see youve got a mazzer mini. I am thinking of getting one of these. How do you find it? How would you rate the noise level?

    Damian.

  16. #16
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Thanks Damian. Ill give that a go once I get a portafilter.

    The mini is great, I found it to be an improvement on the rocky. I also have a super jolly now, which while faster than the mini, is no improvement in grind quality in my view.

    I have experience with the following, rated noisiest to quietest.
    Cunil Space, Super Jolly, Rocky, Mini. Purely perception though - no science here. Not really sure why noise would be any big deal - its not like they are on for long in a domestic situation.

  17. #17
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Hi,
    I only just spotted this today.
    I have an S27 by the way, nigh on identical bar the touchpad/volumetric control on mine.
    It also looks like your boiler is the bare copper and mine is nickel-plated.

    Pump pressure adjustment should be the screw circled in the attached picture.

    There should be a drain plug in the base of the boiler if you need to empty it.
    I just kept flushing water through the hot water spout and just checked the quality by letting a sample cool down, then tasted it. It was fine so I left it at that.

    Pressurestat adjustment is just the screw on the gicleur just as you did it. 1.1 bar works out at the right brew water temp on mine.

    Im running mine off a tank right now but I should get the pressure checked at the group.

    Spare parts are available from our sponsor Coffee Parts.
    Only Rancilio filter handles will fit generally.

    Ill have another look later and see if Ive missed any questions.

    PM me if you want me to email you a manual.

    Frankie



  18. #18
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Thanks Frankie - particularly for the photo of where to adjust pump pressure. Ill PM you my email address as Id love a copy of the manual. Ive placed my order with coffeeparts, cleaned up the group, ripped out the old group gasket ready for arrival of portafilter/gaskets/new showerscreen early next week. Im like a kid with a new toy, but no batteries.

    Ill then pull a few shots, and try to make some judgement about pump prssure.

    Did they change to nickel plated boilers at a particular time? Id like to know the year the machine was manufactured, and perhaps this can at least give me a before 19##.

    Can I ask about the steam tip on your s27? Mine is a 3 hole, but Im not having much luck with getting good whirlpool. Im planning to change to a coffeeparts 4 hole, and blocking a couple of holes. Ive done this with my NS Oscar and it works well for me. What is your steam tip set-up? I had a coffeeparts 2 hole kicking around, and the thread is the same, but the thread on the arm is too long, and with the 2 hole there is a few mm of thread exposed - not so good for cleaning. Hope the 4 hole is a bit deeper.

    Also, do you know if there are cool touch steam wands available?

    Tim

  19. #19
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    the valve picutred above is not what i was describing. this is another pressure valve attached to the pump. Im not sure how it is normally setup, but I put my pump pressure to just over 9 bar, and I set the pressure valve to 10.5. the valve basically opens if the out pressure is higher than the adjusted spring in the valve, and returns it to the in side. I see the valve pictured as more a safety if mains water pressure surges. So in my case, this valve should never open unless mains water pressure increases, and it will stop my brew pressure getting too high.

    Damian.

  20. #20
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Here is the addjustment I mean. Ignore my filthy machine before I cleaned!!! You see a down arrow on the rhs of the pump (can just make this out in the pic), and an up arrow on the lhs (which you cannot see) - which is the flow direction of the water through the pump. If you take off the closed nut you can adjust here.

    Damian.


  21. #21
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    Hi Damien,
    you are correct. My memory was a touch fuzzy and I didnt have the procon schematic available on the PC I was using at the time.
    Ive attached the procon pump design to this post and it shows the adjustment point for pump pressure via the pressure adjusting screw under the acorn nut.

    I also have this as a PDF if anyone wants it and if the JPEG is too fuzzy.

    Tim, the manual should be in your inbox soon.

    Frankie


  22. #22
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    Re: Rancilio S26

    yeah i looked at this for a while (pump and valve) and wasnt really sure what was going on til I pulled it off. I suppose you could adjust pressure down in a way with the valve, but if your pump pressure was too low you could do nothing with the pressure valve (as it would already be fully closed).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gz20tt View Post
    Hi,
    I only just spotted this today.
    I have an S27 by the way, nigh on identical bar the touchpad/volumetric control on mine.
    It also looks like your boiler is the bare copper and mine is nickel-plated.

    Pump pressure adjustment should be the screw circled in the attached picture.

    There should be a drain plug in the base of the boiler if you need to empty it.
    I just kept flushing water through the hot water spout and just checked the quality by letting a sample cool down, then tasted it. It was fine so I left it at that.

    Pressurestat adjustment is just the screw on the gicleur just as you did it. 1.1 bar works out at the right brew water temp on mine.

    Im running mine off a tank right now but I should get the pressure checked at the group.

    Spare parts are available from our sponsor Coffee Parts.
    Only Rancilio filter handles will fit generally.

    Ill have another look later and see if Ive missed any questions.

    PM me if you want me to email you a manual.

    Frankie

    Can someone explain for me how this regulator works?
    The problem i have, i can only get 8 bar pressure on mine. (feed pressure is 6 bar) so pump adds only 2 and i cant make it sweet spot 9 bars.



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