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Thread: Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

  1. #1
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    Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Bought 2005, most recently serviced 18months ago, this machine has now developed some little holes in one end of the boiler. June 2011 I noticed the first one when I had the side cover off, and by Dec 2011 there are 3. Each shows as a crusty white build-up protruding off of the boiler surface.
    Has anyone here seen this before? Is it a worry?
    Whats the cure? Is it reasonable build quality?
    [image available on request]

    Brian

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor coffee_machinist's Avatar
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    Re: Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

    I have seen a fair few boilers from a certain manufacturers domestic machines with this problem, but so far none from VBM. It will need to be rectified as long term the leaks will get worse and eventually steam will be released in quantities that will cook the electronics.

    Your best bet is to replace the boiler, its 50/50 whether the leaks will be repairable, and even then they may appear again down the line in another seam.

  3. #3
    KJM
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    Re: Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

    Brian - from the description it sounds like de-zincification of the brass.. Which is basically terminal.

    The zinc is more reactive (more electronegative) and essentially dissolves out with the associated white zinc oxide on the outside.

    Sounds like the manufacturer has too much zinc in the brass. From memory it is something like 14 or 15% zinc in the alloy that causes this. You can actually get dezinc resistant brass alloys which is what it should be made of.

    Personally, Id try contacting your supplier and have a complain at them. You wont be able to stop this process (assuming that is what it actually is).

    Best of luck..

    /Kevin

  4. #4
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    Re: Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

    Thanks Rick and Kevin. Ive reported it to the New Zealand agents attaching a couple of photos and await their considered reply.
    [Ill try again to put in a 74k image here]



  5. #5
    KJM
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    Re: Vibiemme Boiler with Pinpoint Leaks

    Ah - leaking from the weld/brazes! Thats a spot where you get the zinc coming out because the temperature goes too high to keep it in solid solution! (The lectures on materials 30 years ago havent been entirely wasted! Yay! ;) )

    Just like when you TIG stainless - the fusion zone is subject to migration of the chrome and you get rust pitting if youre not careful!

    /Kevin



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