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Thread: ECM Giotto Premium not working - restoration attempt

  1. #1
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    ECM Giotto Premium not working - restoration attempt

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

    I have managed to pick up a second hand ECM Giotto Premium for not very much.

    I have derived a lot of knowledge and enjoyment from this forum and others journey's restoring these wonderful machines. I hope to add this one to those success stories with your help.

    So when I got it, I plugged it in, turned it on and the power light came on. When engaging the lever, the pump kicked in and water came through the grouphead. No heating, steam or hot water and the gauge was permanently stuck at 0.5bar. I figured at this point it was not going to be an easy fix so I parked it whilst I read as much as I could on this machine including the above mentioned restoration threads. Most of these were pointing to the controller, which I found, with disappointment, upon looking it up was the most expensive part to replace. However, I found a thread where a member of this forum had repaired the control board through information on Home Barista, so I have started a thread there for help with the controller diagnosis which can be found here at http://www.home-barista.com

    A few days a go I decided to start the strip down, for a heat exchanger, it is not in terrible condition but definitely needs a clean and some TLC to get it looking good again. Here are some photos.

    Not me in the reflection, notice gauge at 0.5bar


    Internal


    Boiler removed


    Mushroom


    Boiler internal


    HX internal, this was hard to get a decent photo of.


    Thanks for having a read, any tips or pointers you can pass on?

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    Looking good

  3. #3
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    Regarding the pressure meter. I think that either the pipe is blocked with scale or the actual guage is. I have replaced several of these. I would suggest a new updated controller and updated wiring. This is sort of the heart of the unit! I have replaced my controller and I am very happy with it. I am guessing that the ECM is similar to the Rocket premium in wiring.

  4. #4
    TC
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    You will find this one to be a true "renovator's opportunity"

    The pics provided so far indicate that you will need plenty of parts to get this one right.

    FWIW, I'd be taking this back to the chassis and getting rid of the corrosion and having the powdercoat done again before commencing one like this.

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    A 'renovator's delight', I like that one.

    It makes you wonder how it got this bad and just how cruel the previous owner was. He probably beat his pet dog and pissed in the goldfish bowl as well. Lowlife.

    PS. Hope he isn't your brother-in-law or something...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    A 'renovator's delight', I like that one.
    Yes: New weatherboards, windows, stumps, floors, plaster, roof, wiring, water, electricity and gas. New bathroom, laundry and kitchen, paint and it needs an extension. Great old house though!
    metho, kbc and wattgn like this.

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    Thanks for popping in and helping out

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    FWIW, I'd be taking this back to the chassis and getting rid of the corrosion and having the powdercoat done again before commencing one like this.
    Thats a fair idea, I was going to just touch it up where it is bad, but I will get a powder coat quote in the morning, something tells me it will be dear. Otherwise, I might brush it and use a spray on metal primer/paint system. It will definitely look nicer for it.

    I am in the process of putting together a list of parts to grab, most seem acceptable so far, so it is mainly gaskets and o-rings. Speaking of which, does anyone know what the gasket is on the water level probe? Seems a fibre gasket of some sort, I thought it might have been copper, but i broke it trying to lever it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vovo View Post
    Thanks for popping in and helping out



    Thats a fair idea, I was going to just touch it up where it is bad, but I will get a powder coat quote in the morning, something tells me it will be dear. Otherwise, I might brush it and use a spray on metal primer/paint system. It will definitely look nicer for it.

    I am in the process of putting together a list of parts to grab, most seem acceptable so far, so it is mainly gaskets and o-rings. Speaking of which, does anyone know what the gasket is on the water level probe? Seems a fibre gasket of some sort, I thought it might have been copper, but i broke it trying to lever it up.
    You're in for a big job but you will learn a lot. Gaskets and o-rings are cheap enough and all the parts should be easy to get. I presume you have a schematic and parts list. If not just google it or ask one of the sponsors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    A 'renovator's delight', I like that one.

    It makes you wonder how it got this bad and just how cruel the previous owner was. He probably beat his pet dog and pissed in the goldfish bowl as well. Lowlife.

    PS. Hope he isn't your brother-in-law or something...
    Haha, no one I know, the bloke I bought it off seemed like a good bloke, reckons he picked it up as a project and ran out of time. Benefit of the doubt I guess. He did say that it did work whilst he had it though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vovo View Post
    Haha, no one I know, the bloke I bought it off seemed like a good bloke, reckons he picked it up as a project and ran out of time. Benefit of the doubt I guess. He did say that it did work whilst he had it though.
    Should make a complaint to the RSPCEM...

  11. #11
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I successfully got a gauge going by hooking up a hose to the gauge, raising it to give a metre or so of head and filling with descaling fluid to do its thing for a couple of days.

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    Regarding the pressure meter. I think that either the pipe is blocked with scale or the actual guage is. I have replaced several of these. I would suggest a new updated controller and updated wiring. This is sort of the heart of the unit! I have replaced my controller and I am very happy with it. I am guessing that the ECM is similar to the Rocket premium in wiring.
    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I successfully got a gauge going by hooking up a hose to the gauge, raising it to give a metre or so of head and filling with descaling fluid to do its thing for a couple of days.
    I got a 60ml syringe with a blunt fitting which I fired descaler into the gauge line and along with some thin copper wire managed to get the scale out and the gauge appears to be working again.

    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    You're in for a big job but you will learn a lot. Gaskets and o-rings are cheap enough and all the parts should be easy to get. I presume you have a schematic and parts list. If not just google it or ask one of the sponsors.
    Most fittings appear to be in good condition, but without applying pressure it is hard to know for sure. I will be ordering a few 1/4" copper and Teflon gaskets.

    I am still not sure what gasket is required for the water probe (no diagrams list it specifically if at all), if I don't figure it out I'll just try a teflon gasket and see how that goes, it'll increase the water level in the boiler slightly, but I doubt it'll be enough to make a difference.

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    I opened up the gear on the front and it looks like it hasn't been back flushed in a while.

    here is the hot water valve (the steam valve looked better but had heaps of thread tape, so perhaps there is a leak)


    Top chamber


    under shower screen


    Drain Valve seat


    Drain Chamber


    Cam Shaft housing


    Cam shaft


    I have started cleaning it up and descaling most of the parts. I'll pop some photos up when I get a chance.

    Cheers
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    While I have the machine in bits, I figured I should consider insulating the boiler. Has anyone done this on their machine and is there a recommended product for the insulation?

    Cheers

  15. #15
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    Plenty of discussion to be found here...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...dampening.html

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Plenty of discussion to be found here...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...dampening.html

    Mal.
    Thanks Dimal, thats exactly what I was after.

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    Gahhh was this the one on gumtree in goldcoast for $100 you must have been quick I got him at about 2hrs after posting and it was gone!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chilltrout View Post
    Gahhh was this the one on gumtree in goldcoast for $100 you must have been quick I got him at about 2hrs after posting and it was gone!!!!
    I'd say it is one and the same

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    So I have totally taken the machine apart and there is a bit of damage to the chassis. I got a quote for powder coating but it was bit more than I was currently willing to spend so I had a crack at doing it myself. Make sure you wear a dust mask as it makes a mess and gets everywhere.

    Main Chassis


    Underneath


    Stiffener


    Behind the front stainless panel


    After stripping the paint, you can see some corrosion damage, this is under the water tank receptacle. All other corrosion was superficial.


    After painting, ready for a bake


    In for a bake to cure the paint.

  20. #20
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    Is that PowderCoat?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Is that PowderCoat?

    Mal.
    No, its just a high heat metal enamel paint.
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  22. #22
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    Ah, no worries "vovo"...

    I've got an old machine waiting to be restored one of these days and the idea of being able to apply a PowderCoat one's self was quite intriguing...

    Mal.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    You can powder coat at home but unless you're doing a lot of parts it may not be economical. There's places like this who sell the supplies needed (The bay of evil is of course also another source. ). Here's a page laying out how to do it (The page came from the supplies site linked above but has since been removed it looks like.). These are of course just some quick examples of places for supplies and instructions, there are many others out there including some closer to home I'm sure.


    Java "DIY what?" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  24. #24
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    To be fair, the quote I got was $120+ GST. Which I wouldn't consider excessive if you have something you really want to protect. If you do the sand blasting yourself you might save some more if they let you.

    I paid about $10 for the wire cup and $17 for the paint. If was doing a proper job I would have use a high build zinc rich primer, but in reality, it is not a very tough environment, so as long as the paint sticks, it should be good. I did sikaflex the stiffener joins, as I think that is the only place corrosion could do some proper damage.
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  25. #25
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    Thanks for that info JP...

    Much appreciated mate, I didn't realise that it was even possible to get a home system.
    Food for thought now...

    Mal.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Hi vovo.
    Cool project. I'm more that happy to help out with parts at genuine wholesale price. PM to discuss.
    Cheers - Paul
    Very nice offer Paul! :-)

    Regards,

    Matt.

  27. #27
    kbc
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    More than happy to help with this project. I can't wait to see the result

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    Having some very frustrating issues with the control board. I get voltage across the 16A relay but no heating. I have direct connected the heating element to 240v and it works. I've got the pressurestat and Thermo switch bridged out until I can figure out my problem even though they work.

    I did take the opportunity to check how the boiler goes with a bit of pressure and it held up fantastic. A few seals to replace and that's it. I've sheared off the threads of the Thermo switch because i was a gorilla when a light touch was needed.

    I'll pop up some more photos soon

    Thanks
    vovo

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    So i have had a good attempt at descaling the boiler and tubing downstream of the boiler. This involved multiple attempts of mixing descaler with boiling water and filling the boiler and soaking a few fittings in solution. The fitting threads were pretty badly scaled so I attacked those with a wire brush. The fittings have all cleaned up very well, but the boiler is not yet complete. I will run a descale through the machine once I get it all working again. I definitely needed to take it apart to clean up the fittings and tubing though.

    Also thanks to the internet, I have cleaned up the front stainless panel with some bicarb and then polished up the panel with flour.

    As you can see the boiler has cleaned up a bit but still has a bit to do, but it is hard to keep the boiler full without it being all connected and I didn't want to just drop it in a bucket as I am not sure what the coating is on the outside.


    Fittings reconnected to the boiler. I need a few washers to seal up a few as the existing copper washers are not reusable, but I am putting together a list to complete the restoration in one go once I have confirmed it works properly.


    Pump and wiring reconnected to the chassis, I am a bit disappointed that the rust remover has caused such an uneven substrate that it can be cleary seen where it was used under the paint. You can see it bottom right.


    Here is the front, all cleaned up and polished, I have lost the I/0 symbols around the power switch which came off during cleaning.
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  30. #30
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    Looking good there "vovo"...

    The plating on the outside of the Boiler is most likely Tin(Sn) or Nickel(Ni) or a SnNi alloy coating. Both are used and look similar. Nickel is not usually used for the inside though, can leach into the water under certain circumstances...

    Mal.

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    Well, life got in the way and this project got parked for a few weeks, I also got extremely frustrated and needed a break.

    Tried as hard as I could to try and figure out what was wrong with my controller. The heating element would just not turn on. Each input was tested or bridged but I could not get power to the element. I tried changing out both the transformer and the element relay (even though I was fairly sure they were not the problem) but they were not faulty. I still could not figure out the problem.

    At some point I fried one of the surface mount resistors (I think 5.6 Mohm) near the heat element relay coil, at this point I was so bitterly disappointed that I had been defeated I just packed it up for a bit. Anyways I have now bought a new controller and the unit is functioning very well. couple little leaks to deal with and it'll be good as new. I'll pop up some completed photos shortly once I fix the leaks and clean up the side and rear panels.

    Any recommended methods for locating gas/steam leaks? anything water based will just vapourise due to heat.

    Cheers
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by vovo View Post
    Any recommended methods for locating gas/steam leaks? anything water based will just vapourise due to heat.
    A small mirror or a small piece of shiny s/s is as good a method as any...
    After the machine is up to pressure, turn the power OFF at the GPO - Then, just wave the mirror around in the vicinity of where you believe the steam leak is, and it should fog up the mirror when you're in front of it. Simple but effective...

    Mal.
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    I seem to have sorted almost everything, but can't seem to seal up the pressurestat. I seem to get liquid dripping out of the joint even though it should in theory only see steam. This is also where I believe I can hear the hissing from but can't seem to get anything to fog up.

    Any ideas for how to seal it, and why I am getting liquid dripping out?

    Thanks

  34. #34
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Do you know exactly where the steam is coming from on the P/stat?

    If it's coming from inside, there may be a pin-hole in the diaphragm...
    This would make the p/stat pretty sluggish in operation though.

    If it's coming from the pipe thread/connection, then I would suggest that you use something like Loxeal...

    Loxeal.JPG

    Bunnings usually stock it.

    Mal.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Do you know exactly where the steam is coming from on the P/stat?

    If it's coming from inside, there may be a pin-hole in the diaphragm...
    This would make the p/stat pretty sluggish in operation though.

    If it's coming from the pipe thread/connection, then I would suggest that you use something like Loxeal...

    Loxeal.JPG

    Bunnings usually stock it.

    Mal.
    Thanks for your continued help, it is definitely appreciated.

    I am actually not sure, I can hear it but I can't locate it or pin point it. Is there a way to check the diaphragm on a Mater P/stat?

    I stopped the water dripping leak with the old tried and trusted "heaps of thread tape" method.

    The P/stat seems to work reasonable reliably between 0.95 and 1.1 Bar, but, having not had one of these before it is hard to say whether it is operating sluggishly or normal.

    Cheers

  36. #36
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    Very impressed. Try a soapy solution and paint in various places and look for bubbles. But be aware of any 240 volts points. I guess the problem will be under the pressurestat so away from wires. It may be somewhere else with the sound reflecting. E.g those molecrickets who reflect their noise.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    Very impressed. Try a soapy solution and paint in various places and look for bubbles. But be aware of any 240 volts points. I guess the problem will be under the pressurestat so away from wires. It may be somewhere else with the sound reflecting. E.g those molecrickets who reflect their noise.
    Snoop was my first thought, but with nearly everything above or around 100degC its a bit hard to use a liquid. The perfectionist in me wants this sorted but the realist in me tells me that I am at a point where the small leak or loss of pressure might be causing the heater to operate 10% more which in the grand scheme of things and at 26c/kWh is not very much.

    So I will run a descale through it with the heater on to give it a thorough clean then put the back and sides back on. It is making good coffee, the barista is definitely the weak link now.

    Thanks

  38. #38
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    Well the restoration is complete and working very well. Now I need to work on my barista skills.

    Thanks to everyone who helped out.

    coffeechris, Dimal, metho and 4 others like this.

  39. #39
    TC
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    Came a long way that junker.

    Congrats and enjoy the spoils of your great work!
    Last edited by TC; 20th October 2016 at 06:15 PM.
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  40. #40
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    A new old Giotto - Wow!

    Great work mate...

    Mal.
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  41. #41
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Awesome work, well done!

    Don't forget you could manually pump up the boiler with air pressure to check for leaks, might be easier not being hot (and live) so you can touch things? You could unbolt the pipe to the pressure stat and block to confirm/eliminate the leak there.

    Cheers
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