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Thread: Expobar Minore IV Steam Pressure

  1. #1
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    Expobar Minore IV Steam Pressure

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

    Just an inquiry to Minore DB users, or anyone with DB machines, regarding steam pressure gauge operation.

    Machine is quite new(3 months). Have had the Pressure relief valve replaced as it was leaking.

    I notice when I open the steam the pressure drops from aprox. 1.1 bar to about 0.6-7 bar. This has been the case from day one. I have a 3 hole tip(as supplied standard).

    Can anyone confirm if this is normal or not. My curiosity is because I have seen you tube videos where this doesn't seem to happen.

    Gordon

  2. #2
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    My minore DB is 4 months old and drops to .6-7 too, using a profitec 4 hole tip
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  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    How's the Steam quality?
    Strong and dry or weak and wet?

    Mal.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    How's the Steam quality?
    Strong and dry or weak and wet?

    Mal.
    Hi Mal,

    I have strong steam and am able to steam 300ml milk in less than 20 secs. I am unsure about how to tell if wet. I am just surprised at the drop.

    regards,
    Gordon

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day Gordon...

    Sounds like the Steam quality is Ok then, so I wouldn't worry too much about the apparent loss in indicated pressure. Probably just a machine idiosyncrasy.

    Mal.
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    Update on Steam issues??

    Since my initials questions posed I have experienced the following:

    1. leaking over pressure valve in steam boiler. Fixed by replacing relief valve
    2. Sand underneath machine - see next.
    3. Steam boiler failed to heat - turns out the sand was from the steam boiler heating element. Fixed with new element
    4. Steam boiler intermittently started to heat continuously causing relief valve to open. Unable to re-produce problem in workshop - replaced Steam valve presure stat.
    5. Fault 4 has repeated itself

    Have any CSs had similar experiences or suggestions for troubleshooting? The machine is still under warranty.

    I do like the machine and enjoy(95% of the time at least) the machine. Having to lug it downstairs then delivering it to the agents and return is getting a bit tiresome though. I wonder if I've just got the odd lemon.

    Now I've vented I feel better.

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    As a follow up this is a link to a video I made showing the problem. The importers are currently looking into it for a solution.

    https://youtu.be/mjQNpFXzr_g

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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons View Post
    Update on Steam issues??

    Since my initials questions posed I have experienced the following:

    1. leaking over pressure valve in steam boiler. Fixed by replacing relief valve
    2. Sand underneath machine - see next.
    3. Steam boiler failed to heat - turns out the sand was from the steam boiler heating element. Fixed with new element
    4. Steam boiler intermittently started to heat continuously causing relief valve to open. Unable to re-produce problem in workshop - replaced Steam valve presure stat.
    5. Fault 4 has repeated itself

    Have any CSs had similar experiences or suggestions for troubleshooting? The machine is still under warranty.

    I do like the machine and enjoy(95% of the time at least) the machine. Having to lug it downstairs then delivering it to the agents and return is getting a bit tiresome though. I wonder if I've just got the odd lemon.

    Now I've vented I feel better.
    My Machine is in for warranty repairs at the moment with the similar issues. From what I’ve been told is that the pressure stat has been replaced, so we will see if the issue repeats like yours. I did think the safety relief valve was leaking but I don’t think that has been replaced.
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  9. #9
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    Hi rubixcubw101,

    My machine has had a new pressure stat fitted about a month ago. I videoed the problem after the pressure stat replacement(see post above).
    Does your machine do the same?

    Gordon

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    I was looking at this machine, you've definitely made.me rethink that now.

    Thanks for the info, keep us posted.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobSac View Post
    I was looking at this machine, you've definitely made.me rethink that now.

    Thanks for the info, keep us posted.
    Hi BobSac,

    It is irritating, but apart from this issue it is a very good machine. It's like everything sometimes you get one that misbehaves. I think if you dig into the forum most all machines have that one bad one. Bang for buck I am still happy with it. There are some features on other machines I would like, but the extra cost didn't warrant it in my case. Just as an aside since I videoed the issue I experience it hasn't occurred since then, so at the moment I treat it more as an irritant rather than a catastrophe.
    Last edited by gordons; 19th April 2019 at 07:13 AM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Might be worth a read through - https://wiki.wholelattelove.com/Expo...roubleshooting

    These guys had a bit to do with the development of the Expobar Brewtus IV (Overseas 110V version of the Minore I believe).

    If you don't find an answer in there you could try contacting them with a pleading desperate tone in your message .

    Or try leaving a query on YouTube which they seem to answer readily - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVKg4z3yhkI
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 19th April 2019 at 05:04 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Might be worth a read through - https://wiki.wholelattelove.com/Expo...roubleshooting

    These guys had a bit to do with the development of the Expobar Brewtus IV (Overseas 110V version of the Minore I believe).

    If you don't find an answer in there you could try contacting them with a pleading desperate tone in your message .

    Or try leaving a query on YouTube which they seem to answer readily - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVKg4z3yhkI
    I appreciate the info CafeLotta. However it is remiss of me for not stating the machine is still under warranty and currently the importers are looking into the problem to try and find a definitive answer. When the problem is resolved I will certainly post here. I wont mention the suppliers as they are not site sponsors, but they have been very helpful in trying to fix it. Although it is not yet resolved I'm sure it will be.

    Gordon.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons View Post
    As a follow up this is a link to a video I made showing the problem. The importers are currently looking into it for a solution.

    https://youtu.be/mjQNpFXzr_g
    The element indicator light turned off when the boiler was refilling. This shows that the autofill function is operating correctly by powering off the element when it detects low water.

    I don't know this machine well enough off the top of my head, but most other machines these days which use a pressurestat controlled boiler just use the pressurestat as a trigger to power on or off a bigger relay on the circuit board. I would assume this machine operates in a similar way.

    What I think is happening with your machine is the control board isn't seeing a trigger to switch off the element. The autofill function overrides this trigger and turns off the element relay regardless of pressurestat condition (open or closed).

    A possible reason for this, particularly the intermittent nature of it, would be a blockage in the pressurestat feed pipe or pressurestat itself. It would be strange for this to happen on such a new machine but I think it would be a fair suspect.

    Another possibility could be faulty wiring between the pressurestat and control board. I've seen a few Expobar machines and they have all seemed to be built fairly well but as each are handmade, there can be slight problems.
    I've seen some pretty shoddy build quality on a few other high end Italian machines.

    If it's neither of these then there's just an issue with the control board itself. I would tend to think not though given the element does switch off when the autofill kicks in. If the element relay was stuck on then the element would keep powered regardless of the state of the machine. There may well be another issue on the board at fault.

    Also just a question, you mentioned that the importers replaced the relief valve because it was leaking. Did you have steam over pressure problems at this point and this is when they replaced the valve or was it leaking under normal operating pressure?
    If they replaced it because it was leaking due to an over pressure situation and that was their resolution.......if you have the option of taking it somewhere else in the future then I probably would.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    The element indicator light turned off when the boiler was refilling. This shows that the autofill function is operating correctly by powering off the element when it detects low water.

    I don't know this machine well enough off the top of my head, but most other machines these days which use a pressurestat controlled boiler just use the pressurestat as a trigger to power on or off a bigger relay on the circuit board. I would assume this machine operates in a similar way.

    What I think is happening with your machine is the control board isn't seeing a trigger to switch off the element. The autofill function overrides this trigger and turns off the element relay regardless of pressurestat condition (open or closed).

    A possible reason for this, particularly the intermittent nature of it, would be a blockage in the pressurestat feed pipe or pressurestat itself. It would be strange for this to happen on such a new machine but I think it would be a fair suspect.

    Another possibility could be faulty wiring between the pressurestat and control board. I've seen a few Expobar machines and they have all seemed to be built fairly well but as each are handmade, there can be slight problems.
    I've seen some pretty shoddy build quality on a few other high end Italian machines.

    If it's neither of these then there's just an issue with the control board itself. I would tend to think not though given the element does switch off when the autofill kicks in. If the element relay was stuck on then the element would keep powered regardless of the state of the machine. There may well be another issue on the board at fault.

    Also just a question, you mentioned that the importers replaced the relief valve because it was leaking. Did you have steam over pressure problems at this point and this is when they replaced the valve or was it leaking under normal operating pressure?
    If they replaced it because it was leaking due to an over pressure situation and that was their resolution.......if you have the option of taking it somewhere else in the future then I probably would.
    Hi Noidle22,

    Thank you for the in depth analysis. The sequence of events were as follows:

    1. The relief valve was leaking under normal operating conditions. I didn't have steam pressure problems at this stage - apart from my wondering if the pressure gauge was dropping to much whilst steaming It was on about 1.1 bar but dropped to abouy0.6 when steaming. It doesn't since the pressurestat was replaced.

    2. Later on the steam element failed and was replaced. I noticed prior to this a small amount of sand under the machine. Apparently this was from the element.

    3. A couple of weeks after this I heard the pump come on for a few seconds, I assumed this was just topping up one of the boilers( I had made a coffee about 30 mins prior), then a few minutes later I heard the pump come on again - I then went to investigate and the relief valve was open, the led was on and the steam pressure gauge was sitting on about 2 bar so I turned the steam boiler off. After a few minutes I turned the boiler back on and all seemed ok. Over the next couple of weeks the op valve popped off a couple of times so I took the machine back to the suppliers. They had the machine for about 2 weeks but could not replicate the problem. They replaced the steam pressurestat on spec and I took the machine home.

    4. Since then it has happened on 2-3 occasions - the last time this happened (2nd April) I videoed the problemr.

    So I guess it may be, as you suggest, down to the controller board or relay or a wiring issue.

    It is still under warranty and where I purchased it from is the closest to where I live.

  16. #16
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    An update on Steam issues:

    Saturday(27th April) I went to make our afternoon coffees and found the PID sitting at 32C, No Steam Boiler pressure and Power light on indicating trying to heat steam boiler.

    As we had been out for a couple of hours I initially thought we had had a power outage - this was not the case.

    I activated the lever to see if there was any action on the shot side - all ok.

    I then turned the Steam boiler off to see what would happen - within a minute the PID started rising and continued up to 92-3C I was able to pull a shot.

    So as it stands I have no steam and am unable to use machine except for shots, so I have to boil the jug to make long blacks, or I can put a scoop of ice cream into cup and pour a shot over that(incidentally it's pretty good)

    Frustrating to say the least - BACK again for warranty repairs(this will be 4th return) - Perhaps I have been unfortunate in fluking the colloquial "Lemon" as I haven't seen anything similar on this forum or other overseas forums.

  17. #17
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Oof, can't win, can you gordons? I'd be seeking a full refund/replacement from the supplier. Or chasing up with the ombudsman if needed.
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  18. #18
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    Update on steam issues

    Problems have finally been resolved so I'm now a happy chappy.

    There were 2 issues finally resolved. The following is a brief description as told to me from the repairers.

    1. The replacement pressurestat was defective - replaced

    2. Apparently Expobar have recently started putting a fuse attached to the steam boiler element(external). This was blown, hence the fine powder under the machine.
    This has been removed as is unnecessary. Sounds like an EU directive telling manufacturers how to build things.

    I have now had the machine back for over 2 months and it hasn't missed a beat

    Whilst the machine was with the suppliers for over 6 weeks I had a loaner Bezzera Domus which was ok. I liked the soft close steam and water taps - did not like the hot steam wand or the small little drip tray. It did look nice though and I had "that conversation" about "it looked better in the kitchen one". Sometimes you just have to reply in thoughts only!

    Thanks to everyone who contributed with great advice, it was very much appreciated.

    Gordon.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons View Post
    An update on Steam issues:

    Saturday(27th April) I went to make our afternoon coffees and found the PID sitting at 32C, No Steam Boiler pressure and Power light on indicating trying to heat steam boiler.

    I activated the lever to see if there was any action on the shot side - all ok.

    I then turned the Steam boiler off to see what would happen - within a minute the PID started rising and continued up to 92-3C I was able to pull a shot.

    I've got this exact issue with my 17mth old Expobar Minore IV, which just happened this morning, switched both Steam and Brew Boiler on, came out an hour later and Brew Boiler temp was down to 64c, did some troubleshooting switched
    off steam boiler switch and presto brew boiler comes up to temp.

    I can't see any fuse you mentioned routed via the steam boiler element underneath. Given this is only 17ths old, purchased June 2018 new.

    Anyone got any ideas what the issue would be, PID seems to be working ok, Brew Boiler works when steam boiler switch is turned off, otherwise both switches on and steam boiler doesnt come up to temp to
    switch the brew boiler element on.

    Blown Steam Boiler element?

  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    The PID Controller may be set to Steam Boiler Priority which will allow the Brew Boiler temperature to lag a bit...

    Mal.



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