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Thread: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

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    ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So I am the proud owner of a 2007 ECM Giotto Premium just arrived last week :D

    The outside looks spiffy, but I think the inside isnt so. I knew there was possibly some work to do, so Im prepared for it... I think!

    Firstly, the boiler takes a LONG time to get up to pressure - at least 2 hours before it finally got to 1 bar, and no further. After about 1/2 hour it was at 0.5 bar. While pulling hot water, extracting, and short steam bursts it barely budged from 1bar. I guess the upper limit is set by a pressurestat (which seems to be working) and the slow speed is due to scale?

    Secondly, the hot water seems to be quite dirty, but the group water is clean. I understand a HX doesnt take group water from the boiler at all? The hot water even seemed milky - but didnt smell so I dont think its from milk suck. It didnt clear after sitting, so its not the usual bubbly hot water tap syndrome.

    Theres also some residue in the cup from the hot wand - a bit of green and white particles like sand. Hopefully it was just dislodged sludge from the transportation? The cloudy water and particles reduced after about 4L of water, but its still there a bit.

    Should I remove the mushroom to see if it needs descaling, or just go ahead and do it?

    thanks for the advice :)

    Iain.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hi Iain,

    Not hard to remove the mushroom to survey the scale. Though that green white sand you described certainly sounds like scale build up to me.

    The scale would be the first thing I would tackle before making any adjustments to the pressure stat or anything else. See how it behaves once any scale is under control.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Sounds also like it has a sticky gauge to me. If its hot in 30 min but the gauge isnt reacting, it will be scaled and most likely require replacement.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    I have had exactly the same problems with my Premium in its earlier days. I have had 1 gauge replaced during a service but the 2nd time got it serviced as soon as it started to happen, which included a de-scale. I suspect it was just the gauge not working due to scale build-up rather than the machine actually taking that long to get to pressure. Since those days I do very regular de-scales, and still try and get it serviced annually, rather than strip it myself.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A796A6A7D74180 link=1315922389/1#1 date=1315952400
    Not hard to remove the mushroom to survey the scale
    do I need some sort of thread tape or "locktight" to put this back? I can see a white band around the top of the thread which looks like nylon or something. The previous owner said he never descaled it since it "wasnt needed", and used filtered water. hm.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C797473475B777E7E7D7D180 link=1315922389/2#2 date=1315952732
    and most likely require replacement
    thanks for the advice :) How hard would you rate this job? Does it just screw straight into the boiler?

    While Im at it the hot water drips very slowly - is that just a steam valve o-ring replacement for the hot water side?

    And the water tank seal sometimes doesnt fall into place exactly meaning occasionally it will leak when I take it out, until I pop it into place...

    uh-oh, a "project" :D

    Unfortunately Ill have to tackle these next weekend since Im busy till then :(

    Is there a "service manual" that lists all the parts to check, replace, lubricate, etc?

    thanks :)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Sadly, it sounds like a bit of a train wreck Iain and a fair bit of work will be required to get it running well.* :(

    I presume its not ex. CS.

    Many people run their machines on "filtered water". Most have no idea that its not softened and no concept of scaling. Sounds like the original owner was one of them.

    I recommend that you take it to an authorised service agent and have all of these jobs done correctly. It will probably also need to be rewired to 2010 spec or you will be up for a control board at some point as well.

    Sounds to me like theres easily a good few hundred in work and parts there. I hope this was factored into your buy price.

    There is no service manual. Approved techs are appropriately skilled and can complete the required task efficiently and safely.

    Chris

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 07323F380C103C35353636530 link=1315922389/5#5 date=1315960166
    Sadly, it sounds like a bit of a train wreck Iain and a fair bit of work will be required to get it running well.* :(
    oh darn...

    I presume its not ex. CS.
    Actually yes... I quizzed and quizzed as much as I could, given that theres no shop within 2000kms where I could actually view one.* All the answers came up well... Do you think I should say something to the buyer? [edit: hehe thats me.. I meant seller]

    I recommend that you take it to an authorised service agent and have all of these jobs done correctly. It will probably also need to be rewired to 2010 spec or you will be up for a control board at some point as well.

    Sounds to me like theres easily a good few hundred in work and parts there. I hope this was factored into your buy price.
    Know of any in the NT? Otherwise Ill just have to send it to you.* It was semi-factored into the price - ie. it was a good price but not good enough given what Ive just discovered, and I didnt want to include a return air-fare just to view it ;)

    Know of any in the NT? Otherwise Ill just have to send it to youThere is no service manual. Approved techs are appropriately skilled and can complete the required task efficiently and safely.
    gotchya.

    thanks :)

    Iain

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    soak everything (boiler, all pipes, gauge, group etc) in citric acid for 2 days, rinse and repeat twice. then go from there.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 76524858535A3B0 link=1315922389/7#7 date=1315984871
    soak everything (boiler, all pipes, gauge, group etc) in citric acid for 2 days, rinse and repeat twice. then go from there.
    I may be misinterpreting your post Mischa- but I would never soak the external finish of any part of the machine in Citric- or any other acid for that matter. As an internal descaler for assembled machines, Citric causes more problems than it solves.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C797473475B777E7E7D7D180 link=1315922389/8#8 date=1315985538
    Quote Originally Posted by 76524858535A3B0 link=1315922389/7#7 date=1315984871
    soak everything (boiler, all pipes, gauge, group etc) in citric acid for 2 days, rinse and repeat twice. then go from there.
    I may be misinterpreting your post Mischa- but I would never soak the external finish of any part of the machine in Citric- or any other acid for that matter. As an internal descaler for assembled machines, Citric causes more problems than it solves.

    ah yes i meant internally everything.

    Whats the issue with citric??

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D6973636861000 link=1315922389/9#9 date=1315987377
    Whats the issue with citric??
    Hi Mischa,

    It lifts scale off in plaques which can then cause issues in places of restriction- gicleurs, solenoids et al. Commercial descalers use other acids to dissolve the rubbish.

    If the bits are in a bucket, perhaps, but real descaler is cheap, so even then I wouldnt bother.

    Chris

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D686562564A666F6F6C6C090 link=1315922389/10#10 date=1315989452
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D6973636861000 link=1315922389/9#9 date=1315987377
    Whats the issue with citric??
    Hi Mischa,

    It lifts scale off in plaques which can then cause issues in places of restriction- gicleurs, solenoids et al. Commercial descalers use other acids to dissolve the rubbish.

    If the bits are in a bucket, perhaps, but real descaler is cheap, so even then I wouldnt bother.

    Chris

    ah, i see your point, makes sense :)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Descaling sounds do-able, and I factored the control board into the near-future, but I wasnt planning on stripping the whole thing!

    Do you think its bad enough to cut my losses? Doesnt seem that bad does it?

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Also I forgot to mention, the pump comes on for a second or two every 5 - 10 minutes when its not being used (but turned on). Is this bad?

    I sincerely hope not!

    thanks :)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    re - pump turning on... check if theres any water leaks (drip tray, underneath the machine etc).

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 767560666C646975646B7176050 link=1315922389/14#14 date=1316047724
    re - pump turning on... check if theres any water leaks (drip tray, underneath the machine etc).
    yep check leaks. Open the machine and listen for any hissing noise (as the water may evaporate and not leave much evidence). If that fails, check the level probe. But really, from what youve said about the machine, if it were mine, the first and only thing i would do it it would be a full strip and overhaul.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Just turned it on again.

    30 minutes after turning on, I had pulled a number of blank shots, backflushed, steamed, run hot water (all boiling) and the guage was below 0.5 bar.* After emptying boiler, releasing steam pressure and letting it sit for a few minutes its still very slowly coming down.* Stuck.

    I didnt notice any leaks or drips today - perhaps a bit of scale got stuck in the hw thread and its now come loose? guessing.* Didnt open it up.* Not as bad as I first thought!

    Removed the hw tip - ooh la la! Looks like it was filled with sand! Some miniature pics attached.

    Comments?* (PS Chris, thanks for not saying "I told you so" ;) )






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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    wow.* *:o At least youve found out why the hot water dripped so slowly.* Im guessing you havent done the descale yet?* Definitely major scales I think if youve got that in the hot water tip.

    I think the machine just needs a much needed once over.* Have you pulled a shot yet?* Just to see the not to drink...

    I just bought the same machine from a small office environment in Sydney...at a scrap value price though so Im not too worried if it requires a rebuild.* The secretary tells me it heats up, steams and hot water works...but coffee comes out watery ;) all my fingers are crossed that I just bagged a bargain descale job and that the people using it just had no idea what they were doing and couldnt get a good coffee out of it.* She tells me they just want an auto machine in the office...and the machine comes with "two handle thingy and a pressy thingy".* Well I figure if it all goes to pot and the machine is useless, just the two portafilters and the tamper should get me my money back.* My sis will pick it up for me and pay them cash at pickup since she lives that way, and Im heading up to Sydney next weekend for my nieces 1st bday so its all working out perfectly...so far!* Until I actually turn the thing on ofcourse*:D

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Yep I pulled a shot - didnt spend the time on tweaking it so it was a bit sour, but it has pressure at least.

    From what you told me before saoye, I think youve got more than a bargain! If hot water comes out its worth much more than what you paid for it. Most likely its weak because they didnt know how to grind / dose / tamp properly. Im supremely jealous!

    Book it in for a full service, descale, and upgrade. Make sure you get a proper scale reducing filter, and youll have a machine for many years to come.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hi,

    Yeh,Im not counting my chickens yet, but I think it is fairly risk free.* I dropped by a local cafe that sells the Giotto and had the exact 07 ECM Giotto Premium on display as a demo until their new shipment of Giottos come in.* Had a good chat to the Italian owner who was busy roasting this morning.* He advised me it was very important to excess the boiler and manually pull the auto fill lever (described as a pin sticking into the boiler) to artificially overfill the boiler before descaling the machine because you dont want descaler in the boiler.* He says its impossible to get out once it goes in the boiler.* So undo the fastener, pull the pin a half inch or so until you hear the boiler starting to fill and until it stops...then descaler into the tank and descale as per usual.* He says only through the grouphead and not through the steamer or hot water taps.* Now I dont know if he really knew what he was talking about but sounded like he did.* Anyway, he says if the pressure gauge is stuck it needs a major service and his friend would do it for $200 which includes a complete descale and clean...I dont know if that includes a new gauge but how much does a major service usually cost?

    Does anyone know who the official ECM/Rocket service provider is in Adelaide?* Is there a local site sponsor that could do the job for me including upgrade to 2010 level?

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hi saoye

    I think hes confused there. There is no way to descale a machine properly without filling the boiler with descaler. See http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1274615034

    See http://espressocompany.com.au/suppliers.htm for suppliers. Best to call ECA for a service recommendation as not all suppliers are able to service what they sell.

    Chris

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    I contacted ECA and the only service tech in the NT is in Alice Springs :o

    Do you think I should try a general espresso service centre in Darwin?

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    If hes a good tech, he will need to source parts and information from ECA. Might be best if he contact them once he has an idea of the scope of the work ;)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 695C5156627E525B5B58583D0 link=1315922389/22#22 date=1316141510
    If hes a good tech
    therein lies my hesitation...

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    I contacted ECA earlier on this morning and they referred me back to their SA reps/stockists.* Phoned one and got the same response about $200 for refurb including gastkets etc but probably more if I need to change gauge or any major components.*

    Do you think its necessary to go to an ECM specific service or a commercial espresso machine service centre could do it?* Theres one practically outside my home, they have a warehouse full of Cafe multi-group commercial machines and all they do is servicing - no sales.* Got quoted $65 for a descale and clean for any machine...

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 20323C2A36530 link=1315922389/24#24 date=1316143059
    I contacted ECA earlier on this morning and they referred me back to their SA reps/stockists.* Phoned one and got the same response about $200 for refurb including gastkets etc but probably more if I need to change gauge or any major components.*

    Do you think its necessary to go to an ECM specific service or a commercial espresso machine service centre could do it?* Theres one practically outside my home, they have a warehouse full of Cafe multi-group commercial machines and all they do is servicing - no sales.* Got quoted $65 for a descale and clean for any machine...
    Depends on the scope of their descale. Its too frequently a case of chuck the descaler in the tank and shell be right mate. This strategy achieves very little. A real descale will take a good 2 hours and you would expect to pay accordingly. Severe scale can take longer and may require partial disassembly of the boiler and associated plumbing. Pressurestats, solenoids and gauges are frequent casualties of scale.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Just rang one place and asked about the Giotto - "How do you spell that?". Rang another place - "Never heard of it..."

    Sucks to be living in the NT sometimes.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Iaindb are you no longer going to try to do the descale yourself? Its not like its never been done before.* Almost every 4th post on this site is about how someones cleaned up an old machine and after a few weeks its like a new machine.* Im wondering if I shouldnt try to descale myself and see what happens.* It might save a little money in "labour hours" against the service.* The cost is all in the labour - part prices are quite reasonable.*

    Hehe.* I think Ive just set myself up for a reprimand by TC* :P

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 36242A3C20450 link=1315922389/27#27 date=1316150282
    Hehe.* I think Ive just set myself up for a reprimand by TC
    Not likely. Believe me, the least pleasurable part of my job is descaling machines. Id sooner clean a dunny.

    NB we replace plenty of control boards and rewire Giotto Premium machines to 2010 spec. These parts and gauges are not cheap and labour is insignificant.

    Any tech would be pretty foolish to supply a board and schematics to an unskilled home user...Christmas decorations and all that....

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 497C7176425E727B7B78781D0 link=1315922389/28#28 date=1316150908
    Believe me, the least pleasurable part of my job is descaling machines. Id sooner clean a dunny.

    NB we replace plenty of control boards and rewire Giotto Premium machines to 2010 spec. These parts and gauges are not cheap and labour is insignificant.
    For someone who hasnt done a pull down of a machine and descale it sounds a little exciting...get to know your machine and all.
    I wouldnt consider doing anything electrical myself for sure.*

    Youre not in SA are you?* What does a job like the one you mentioned ie replacing control board and rewire to 2010 spec usually cost?

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    yes I could descale it myself, but its the "full service" I know nothing about.

    I reckon I could have a good go at the control board replacement, having wired custom circuit boards and soldered chips and so on... however I dont want to take the chance because Ill find some component I dont know about and blow it! Not worth it on a $1500 - $2000 item!

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    From what Ive done on an HX, and what Ive read about a complete de-scale, it sounds a bit fussy but not delicate or actually difficult. (Maybe like Chris says--cleaning a dunny!) No real disassembly is required.

    I recommend you read the instructions here (and other places that Google can find) and see whether you can give it a go. Scale can bung up the works real well, and a good clean can have the most problematic machine running well in a couple of hours.

    (I had an armourer friend who used to make quite a good living repairing firearms. He said that 80% or so of his repairs were nothing more than a good clean!)

    If that doesnt work, then at least it wont have to be done again by the service agent.

    Greg


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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    took me half an hour to fully strip the internals of a 2 group machine the first time i did it, and the same time to put it back together. Believe me, these are very simple machines! ive youve ever worked on cars doing anything beyond changing oil, pulling apart a well put together coffee machine is a stroll in the park.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    OK, Ill give it a go next weekend.

    Chris, if I dont replace the control board now, whats the worst that could happen? I just need to replace it when it dies, or does it take out other components with it?

    thanks :)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    In your professional or experienced opinion (anyone?) how bad is this on the scale (haha) of scaled up machines?

    Im about to tackle the rest of the mushroom...




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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 505850575D5B390 link=1315922389/33#33 date=1316180355
    Chris, if I dont replace the control board now, whats the worst that could happen? I just need to replace it when it dies, or does it take out other components with it?
    If there is black and grey going to the pressurestat, you will probably do an element relay and then have to do the board as well. The rewire may save your board.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A020A0D0701630 link=1315922389/34#34 date=1316248102
    In your professional or experienced opinion (anyone?) how bad is this on the scale (haha) of scaled up machines?
    Theres some scale. We need to see the mushroom. This is the top bolt which leads to the gicleur. Remove the biggie.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    OK, put the sick kids to bed (everybody say awwww) and took out the group shaft, that big chunk of green scale came off easily which shows brass underneath.

    Took out the Valve assembly - looks quite clean.

    Looking into the top of the group head there is lots of big chunks of green stuff. I washed it down - is there a chance it could block up the pre-infusion cylinder?

    Chris, your continued advice is above and beyond the call of duty :) thanks.




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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    I have seen plenty worse Iain,

    Nevertheless, a real descale would be beneficial I think :)

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    yes, will do the descale next weekend. I think Ive removed quite a few large chunks of scale which will probably help in that there will be less to dissolve (I hope).

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    And just for anyone following, heres the inside of the Giotto. Ive labelled some parts.

    There is a bit of green/white around some fittings - does that imply leaking and need resealing?


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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    The proper descaler stuff is amazing. I put some in a pot my wife has been using to boil water, and the (admittedly thin) layer of scale literally dissolved in seconds.

    The green stuff would indicate a minor leak. Most stuff has nylon or copper seals/washers which is easy to replace.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    After a while the fittings that are brazed into the boiler can leak. Just a bit of seepage shouldnt be a problem though. Maybe someone can confirm. A decent old school Metalworking shop can rebraze fittings though.

    One thing at a time though. Deal with your scale situation first.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Just fitted the Bombora water filter and new tap :D once Ive descaled, I hope never to see the stuff again!

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hi Iaindb. Im following your every step religiously seeing as Im probably going to be doing the exact same thing soon. Bombora water filter...is that for your home water filtration or is it something fitted onto the ECM Giotto?

    Im using puratap to fill my Lelit...I think it helps but I dont think it stops scale build up.

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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hey saoye, picked up your Giotto yet?

    Bombora is the company (and site sponsor) who sold me the filter, which is an under-sink system I plumbed in to a 3-way sink mixer. Bernard was super-helpful - he even rang the tap distributor to see what sized fitting they used and modified the filter kit accordingly. He also downloaded the local water utility water report and analysed the readings and set the bypass on my filter. Hes a fountain of knowledge on water filters!

    I just installed it this arvo - everything was in the box from the tubing to press fittings to teflon tape etc.

    A hint for your Giotto - get some BIG spanners for the mushroom - I dont like shifters for this sort of thing but had no choice as the sizes are (at a guess) 22 and 34? mm.

  46. #46
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Giotto gets picked up by my sister monday in Sydney.* I dont get to meet her until Thursday night when I head up there with my daughter to celebrate my nieces 1st bday.* hehe...I may end up disassembling the mushroom there and pack what i can back to Adelaide sending the rest via courier back to Adelaide.* At least then I can start descaling while the rest of the machine makes its way to Adelaide.*

  47. #47
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    THe mushroom is only an indicator of scale and removing what you see there has no effect on the rest of the machine.

  48. #48
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Yes, but its the satisfaction of starting the process of cleaning my "new" Giotto ;D Also, the more I pack with me in my hand carry bag, the less weight and the cheaper it is to send back to Adelaide...not that the musthrooms going to take off much weight I guess... but again, something for me to do while I wait for it to come to Adelaide.

  49. #49
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 392B25332F4A0 link=1315922389/47#47 date=1316388547
    Yes, but its the satisfaction of starting the process of cleaning my "new" Giotto* ;D Also, the more I pack with me in my hand carry bag, the less weight and the cheaper it is to send back to Adelaide...not that the musthrooms going to take off much weight I guess... but again, something for me to do while I wait for it to come to Adelaide.*
    Not really... Freight comes down to cubic metres. You will pay the same ;)

  50. #50
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    Re: ECM Giotto minor tweaks

    Hehe...I kinda new that...but leave me alone. I want to take parts of the machine back with me. I wont see it for another 2-3 days when I come back from Sydney. At least I can do something in the meantime in terms of descale.



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