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Thread: Rocket Giotto Dispensing Time Lag

  1. #1
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    Rocket Giotto Dispensing Time Lag

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Expat in Penang. The 2012 Rocket Giotto Premium Plus (vibrating pump) purchased in 2012 and brought over here from Melbourne still going strong. Noticed some green copper corrosion around some of the pressure vessels welded/soldered areas and not sure what to do about that.
    Recently have noticed that there is an increasing time lag between when the group dispensing lever is lifted (button pushed) and when the pump actually starts pumping. Now it seems like at least 1/2 second. This has been a slow creeping change. Is this a sign of pending problems? Maybe corrosion on the electrical switch/solenoid? Or the pump getting tired?
    Any ideas welcome with thanks.

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    I have the same problem with a Premium Plus purchased at about the same time. It has had an easy life with perhaps one duty cycle per day, regular cleaning and two major services. In addition to a short delay after activating the dispensing lever, it sometimes stalls for a second or so mid cycle. I would appreciate any advice about this problemm.

  3. #3
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    The logical places to look are: pump microswitch, control board and pump. Not unusual to replace any or all in machines of this age.
    Last edited by Caffeinator; 1 Week Ago at 11:27 PM.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Caffeinator is right, I have a 10 year old Bezzera machine that is used daily, in the past few of years I have replaced the Pump, control board, relay, pins/seals in the group head and an exhaust valve.

    Nothing lasts forever, having said that, after doing the above, along with routine maintenance over the years, the machine is running as well as the day I bought it.

    Is there someone in the area that can service your machine?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Pump should flow 300ml (or close) in 30sec. Test this with shower screen and any other flow restrictions removed

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    OK thanks. The issue is usually with the first time the pump is used after a break (esp overnight). So this would point to the pump itself?

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    The pump flow is around 240 ml in 30 seconds, with a full reservoir. So not too bad?
    Will be searching for service availability which, if it exists at all, will likely be in KL which is a 4 hours drive.
    The other issue is the weeping corrosion on the pressure tanks. I will try to take a pic and post that. But if the tanks are iffy, then pump repair may not be worth it.
    Thanks everyone for your advice.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Good enough flow there...

    You say there is a delay. Does the pump start immediately, but the water takes a while to get to the group head? If so, there is a one-way valve in the nose of the pump that may be allowing backflow of water

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Good enough flow there...

    You say there is a delay. Does the pump start immediately, but the water takes a while to get to the group head? If so, there is a one-way valve in the nose of the pump that may be allowing backflow of water
    The pump just doesn't start at all. Pull the dispensing lever and, this morning, there was a full second before the pump starts vibrating. I pulled the lever when the machine was cold and the pump started immediately. After 3 hours 'warming up' (went back to sleep!) , then there was this sort of 'latency' delay after pulling the lever.
    No luck with finding servicing agent but haven't given up.
    An alternative is to just get some parts sent over (pump, switch, ?) and put them in randomly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    The logical places to look are: pump microswitch, control board and pump. Not unusual to replace any or all in machines of this age.
    Have you checked out the Bold items listed here as yet?
    Easy to do and if replacements required, relatively inexpensive as well...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Have you checked out the Bold items listed here as yet?
    Easy to do and if replacements required, relatively inexpensive as well...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal. Finally found a Rocket supplier in KL. Will order those parts and see if they make a difference. Cheers everyone. Will post a pic of the tank corrosion later. Advice on best treatment would be appreciated.
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  12. #12
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    Here are some pics of corrosion on the tank. Is this anything to worry about? Can they be treated in any way? eg sodium bicarb.
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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    The second one is not problematic: the mess on the tank is caused by brazing flux left in contact, a typical Italian practice. It looks to me like the fitting is leaking slightly so that will need to be looked at but they are about $4 from your local plumbing supply.

    The first one I am more worried about, the concentration of copper salts in one place could be a pinhole in the seam in which case the boiler is pretty well toast.
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  14. #14
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    Agree with Lb...

    Definitely looks problematic.
    If you knew of a business locally who do copper boiler repairs (TIG Welding preferably), you could remove the boiler and get it seen to but that would only fix the problem(s) you can see. Might end up chasing your tail...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Agree with Lb...

    Definitely looks problematic.
    If you knew of a business locally who do copper boiler repairs (TIG Welding preferably), you could remove the boiler and get it seen to but that would only fix the problem(s) you can see. Might end up chasing your tail...

    Mal.
    Well thanks Mal and LB. This is what I feared and thought (secretly!). I agree.
    So my plan is to keep using this machine until it just gives up completely. Then get something new. VBM seem to popular here, with the Super Double Boiler going for around RM12,500 (divide by 3 for AUD). Maybe I'll get a rotary Rocket. Mmmm. Everything to do with good coffee is a bit expensive here. For example good green coffee beans are around RM70-80(AUD23-26) per kilo.
    I had just found a good service agent for the Rocket, in KL; La Marsa Coffee, just in case anyone has an issue with a Rocket in Malaysia.
    Thanks everyone for your input.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Yea, but I have seen what you guys do to modify cars, so I reckon you could get some of those guys to fix a leaky boiler, or even make it a stainless replacement.

    I drive your national car- proton arena (jumbuck here), Evo 3 front end and turbo 2 litre engine.

    I think the delay issue is probably the main board.

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    Thanks Jackster. Might make it a longer-term restoration project.
    In the meantime considering getting a Breville BES920. As an old fart now, maybe can't taste the difference in the cup anyway. Only 7 years from the Giotto is a trifle disappointing.

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyShak View Post
    Only 7 years from the Giotto is a trifle disappointing.
    Yeah, it is but an extremely rare occurrence just the same.
    Have you conducted any testing on the water you use? It may be slightly acidic...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yeah, it is but an extremely rare occurrence just the same.
    Have you conducted any testing on the water you use? It may be slightly acidic...

    Mal.
    Haven't checked the acidity. Have been told though that Penang water is not noted for hardness. Even so, we have been using an Everpure MH2 cartridge filter (supposed to reduce scale buildup in coffee machines), water is then boiled (extra cautious but most seem to do that here), and finally the Brita jug filter we brought over from Oz (only cos we had a bunch of cartridges which have now all been used up). As a result, the Giotto inline filter is quite clean! This seems to be a production/welding issue and we are probably just unlucky. Reassuring to hear this is unusual.

  20. #20
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    Probably still worthwhile checking the pH of your local supply; it would aid the decision of whether to repair or replace and then formulate a plan on what to do if you replace the machine altogether. I think the BES-920 uses s/s boilers but I'm not sure of the grade...

    Mal.

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    Thanks Mal.
    Pulled out the boiler. Can't believe that nearly all the fittings were loose and leaking. Almost hand tight. Well the advertising says "built by hand"! The badly corroded fitting near the bottom is stuck and might have to stay. The copper tank will buckle before the thread loosens. Might soak in some sort of acid for a while to try and loosen.
    If this is ever reassembled, is there any sort of thread seal/locker that is recommended? I have a tube of "Loxeal" (for gas and water fittings) but wonder if this is 'food grade'. Love this feedback. Thanks.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Thread tape is used by many. I like it because it maybe providing a anti corrosion layer between the 2 parts.

    Hold that fitting in a vice and rock the boiler abit Turing to get a bit of movement there. Try CRC, try it after descaling. All that corrosion will be all through the threads, but the fitting will be as loose as the rest once you get the corrosion moving.

    Not that difficult to cut it off and drill it out, fitting is very soft

  23. #23
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    Haha. Heat gun on the tank, then ice block on the stud. Came off like a dream. Teflon tape then. Thanks.

  24. #24
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Actually, Loxeal is much better to use and is food safe if you grab the correct one. Bunnings and others sell it...

    Mal.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    I have the loxeal, and it is good. I couldn't find it anywhere here. But it is good if you can find it.

    There should be a equivalent Loctite product, but I don't know what that might be...

  26. #26
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post

    There should be a equivalent Loctite product, but I don't know what that might be...
    Loctite 577. Works well in this application.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 1 Week Ago at 07:14 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    I have the loxeal, and it is good. I couldn't find it anywhere here. But it is good if you can find it.

    There should be a equivalent Loctite product, but I don't know what that might be...
    I love Loxeal. Quick update. Drove all around Penang and nobody either could or would weld the boiler. Fully understand. Pressure vessels are tricky and you need a special licence in Oz. And it should be pressure tested after. Can get a new boiler here for RM1350 (AUD450), by the way. Soooooo. Cleaned it up (well it looks like new). Reassembled everything (using Loxeal) , put all the old components in as still trying to get a pump, switch and control box. Getting parts for anything in Penang and even KL is a problem, especially if you say it is DIY (they just laugh usually). Fired it up. The pump was chattering away happily for quite a while, then the lights went out. All of them. My guess is the pump finally crashed and somehow tripped the earth leakage relay. Now waiting for the parts. Back to the Bialetti!
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  28. #28
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Grrr, that sucks.
    Did you need to disconnect element, or manually fill boiler before turning it on?

  29. #29
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    Not really. The new pump was on it's way anyway. Might get here on the weekend. Couriers here are cheap and fast. RM10 (AUD3) to send parts from KL to Penang; a 4 hour drive. And disconnected the element before turning on. Read that some people exchange with a rotary pump, but don't know how to do that. Maybe a future project.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinator View Post
    The logical places to look are: pump microswitch, control board and pump. Not unusual to replace any or all in machines of this age.
    Thanks everyone. All finished. Replaced Pump, Microswitch, Control Box, Anti-vacuum valve, Expansion Valve, Group head kit with ceramic mushroom. Surprise, surprise. Everything works a treat. As for the boiler, the 'leak' (really just a hint of a weep) remains and we wait for the inevitable. Who knows when. My guess is at least another 7 years. Great learning experience and thanks to this forum.
    Andrew
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