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Thread: What is this sandy stuff?

  1. #1
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    What is this sandy stuff?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So my coffee machine has been leaving behind this fine granular sandy stuff. Looks like it collects under the boiler. Is it just the breaking down on the insulation??

    coffee machine is an Expobar Minore iv just on a year old.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Strange that it piles up under there... You would think if it was boiler insulation, it would be more evenly spread over a greater area.
    Better to get a dental mirror in there and have a look.. is the element under there? Maybe it's the element insulation coming out.. seems strange
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  3. #3
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    It's the element insulation coming out - we just fixed a Minore of a similar age that was doing the exact same thing with both elements.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Which begs the question: what do they use as the insulator in these elements? I assume it's magnesium oxide, does anyone know?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    It's the element insulation coming out - we just fixed a Minore of a similar age that was doing the exact same thing with both elements.
    Hmm... why would the insulation be coming off? Is this something that’s easy to fix?

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, pretty well guarantee that it is MgO...

    Mal.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Think about how a coiled / shaped element is made: you can't insert the heater and insulation into the jacket when it's already shaped. Therefore the element and insulation go into the jacket then the whole thing is shaped, so the insulation has to be able to conform to shape.

    Since the insulation is ceramic and ceramics don't bend, it is filled as particles. To stop the particles falling out, the ends are sealed. If the seal fails the particles will fall out.

    Yes it's easy to fix: replace the whole element.
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  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubixcube101 View Post
    Hmm... why would the insulation be coming off? Is this something that’s easy to fix?
    No, not an easy fix unfortunately, will need to replace the element. Preferably before it fails to ground.

    The sealing material at the entry point for the element conductor has probably cracked and maybe fallen out. This allows the granular MgO to escape.

    Mal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Push the ceramic cap back in, and redo glyptal the end over the ceramic.

    Yea lyrebird, I only worked out how these were made recently and I came to same conclusion. Maybe there are formers along the inner wire to centralise it... Not sure, and not much Google info on making your own or rebuilding them..

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    Thanks for your help everyone. Seems like the element will need to be replaced. Wish I had asked the question earlier as I noticed the grains a while ago, thought it was from the coffee machine but wasn’t sure because it sits close to a window where it’s situated on the kitchen bench, and is sometimes open.

    Lastly is there a particular reason the seals would have cracked? Manufacturing defect?

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubixcube101 View Post
    Lastly is there a particular reason the seals would have cracked? Manufacturing defect?
    Either that or rough handling...

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Push the ceramic cap back in, and redo glyptal the end over the ceramic.
    Not advised mate. Once the seal is broken, moisture is allowed ingress as the element cools. Eventually, enough moisture will be 'sucked in' and create a ground fault.

    Mal.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubixcube101 View Post
    Thanks for your help everyone. Seems like the element will need to be replaced. Wish I had asked the question earlier as I noticed the grains a while ago, thought it was from the coffee machine but wasn’t sure because it sits close to a window where it’s situated on the kitchen bench, and is sometimes open.

    Lastly is there a particular reason the seals would have cracked? Manufacturing defect?


    Cheers
    I would contact the supplier a $2000+ coffee machine should last longer than a year before you need a new element or any major repairs. If the supplier won't help contact the ACCC see information below taken from accc website


    • the nature of the product – for example, a major appliance such as a fridge is expected to last longer than a toaster
    • the price paid for the product – for example, a cheap toaster is not expected to last as long as a top-of-the-range one
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