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Thread: Vibiemme Super Boiler Refill Not Working

  1. #1
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    Vibiemme Super Boiler Refill Not Working

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone.

    First time poster here, and I have scoured through previous posts trying to find an answer but none are exactly the same issue.

    My 10 year old Vibiemme Super HX has stopped autofilling, and if not for having just spent $600 on a service and full descale / scale repair, I would take it to get checked out. But before spending much more on it, I would love to see whether I can find the issue.

    When the boiler level is low, nothing at all is happening. No Pump, no clicking of the solenoid just silence.

    I have:
    -Tested resistance on the level probe, and cleaned - can see continuity when the probe touches the boiler water, and no continuity when the water level is low or probe is pulled out. So the level probe does not seem to be the issue.
    - Tested and replaced the autofill solenoid coil with a brand new one. Still not the issue (as I said, not actually hearing the click).
    - I have read that sometimes it can be the Gicar controller, and have opened it up to check for any crazy obvious faults, and visually there does not seem to be an issue.

    Does anyone know what the best method of testing the controller would be (to narrow it down)?
    Does anyone have any other suggestions or testing I can do to narrow it down?

    Everything else works fine, the machine can brew and steam when water level is sufficient.

    I could replace with a new controller, but the last thing I want to do is go spend another $300 for a controller, if its not the issue.

    Thanks in advance for any help
    Ryan

  2. #2
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    So if you pull out the probe, or disconnect it from the Gicar controller the pump won't come on?

    On a couple of occasions my machine has failed to respond to the Gicar controlled touch pads. Both times I pressed the ribbon cables firmly into the Gicar and everything worked again.


    If that doesn't fix it, you may want to open the controller again and trace continuity to the probe and check for swollen capacitors, dry solder joints as two of the usual suspects in circuit boards.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    So if you pull out the probe, or disconnect it from the Gicar controller the pump won't come on?
    Thanks for the reply.

    So, after work today I took another look.
    I tested the level probe again (strangely now no continuity tested with varying levels of water in the boiler).
    I then removed the probe terminal completely from the Gicar and turned the machine to I - and nothing.

    I then realised it might need to sense the tank being full and the tank was on the bench since it was all apart, so I turned it to I AND held down the tank weighted switch - but still nothing.

    Attached are photos of the Gicar.
    https://ibb.co/0Q8bqT8
    https://ibb.co/BLhztpg

    The only thing that looks remotely unusual is perhaps the top of the black half moon shaped thing at R2 - the top being a little bit wavy and depressed.
    (I know very little about electronics obviously).
    Theres obviously more to it than you may be able to see visually.

    Not sure where to next, although it's a bit weird I couldn't get continuity today on the level probe.



  4. #4
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    The probe will turn on the pump if it's not touching ground. If the probe is out of the boiler, suspended mid air, the pump should come on and remain on until the probe is grounded on something, be it the boiler, chassis or of course, water in the boiler.

    That thing to the left of the resistors is a transistor.

    You can test them.

    Also If you have a magnifying glass, run it over the solder joints and see if any are "dry". A dry joint looks dull compared to the good ones, and will be separated from the component's protruding wire.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    That thing to the left of the resistors is a transistor.

    You can test them.
    Hopefully I have some spare time to put to testing the transistor in the next few days.

    Is there anything that can be deduced from the noticeable disappearance of the distinct relay click. My click that used to come from my relay was usually very loud (almost sounded like an electric arcing noise or something).

    But if the relay is not clicking, are there any parts on the board that are directly involved in sending the signal to the relay? Or could it be the relay itself?

    Fortunately ive had the loan of an espresso machine for the past little while but now it's time to fix mine

  6. #6
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    This happened to mine a couple years ago. I replaced the GICAR to fix it, about $80. Hard to find the right one though.

    I did not know how to test the GICAR properly, luckily the repair shop that sold me the replacement agreed to refund me if it did not resolve the problem.

    I had been servicing the machine at the time and was manually triggering the water level sensor to overfill it for flushing. Not sure why the GICAR failed but the autofill suddenly stopped after working fine for a few minutes.

    These days I just remove the OPV and fill/drain the boiler using a siphon hose to avoid it happening again (easier too)

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    Quote Originally Posted by applor View Post
    This happened to mine a couple years ago. I replaced the GICAR to fix it, about $80. Hard to find the right one though.

    I did not know how to test the GICAR properly, luckily the repair shop that sold me the replacement agreed to refund me if it did not resolve the problem.

    I had been servicing the machine at the time and was manually triggering the water level sensor to overfill it for flushing. Not sure why the GICAR failed but the autofill suddenly stopped after working fine for a few minutes.

    These days I just remove the OPV and fill/drain the boiler using a siphon hose to avoid it happening again (easier too)
    Hmm... Thats an interesting option.
    I see you are Brisbane southside, do you mind PM'ing me with the repair shop name?
    I would consider at a Gicar for $80, coffee parts has them for around $250. Maybe these are refurbished?

    My latest diagnosing, I have tested all resistors, capacitors, diodes and some transistors. All seem ok.
    I've tested the relay with a multimeter when not powered and it seems normal.

    BUT, when I have the controller connected to the machine with power, something seems strange.
    The solenoid is getting 240V which indicates the relay has switched (i dont hear it), but the pump lead is only getting 120V. Seems strange as they are both fed by the same 240V from the brew switch?

    Anyways I have ordered a replacement relay, i figure for 10 bucks if it fixes it great, if not ill have a spare.
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    krindog: I have a Domobar Super which is waiting on a new pump and a couple of other bits to fix up and was using it as my backup machine. I am on the Northside of the Gold Coast (assuming you are Brisbane or GC based). If you wanted to bring your machine down you are welcome to try the Gicar box out to isolate your problem. Mine is an older Domobar Super only with a boiler pressure gauge but I assume they run the same Gicar. I bought this as a backup when my Rocket Giotto was tripping the RCD on our meter box. If you wanted to chat more send me a PM.
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  9. #9
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    I had similar issue and turned out to be the transformer on the 240V-9V Gicar box. $9 part and a quick solder job. Can have a look if you're interested
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    The vibe pumps have a diode in them. Some are built in to the pump (Ulka) others are external. If you are measuring after the diode, it would be correct at 120v.

    I don't think this is your issue....

    Awesome you are going to a component level repair on this. Will be interested in the resulting repair.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Maybe bridge the 240v relay connections. This will check all the 240v side.

    Maybe you can run the relay with its lid off, and the 240v disconnected. Then you can see the triggering is working ok.

    If it's the relay, I would consider swapping the element relay to the pump relay, and putting a SSR on the element. Need to see what the trigger is on the gicar, because the SSR comes in ac or DC trigger. (I see in the pics it's 24v DC)

    I had a Diadema with burnt relay contacts recently
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by roosterben View Post
    If you wanted to bring your machine down you are welcome to try the Gicar box out to isolate your problem.
    Roosterben: Thanks mate - If the relay replacement doesn't work ill drop you a pm!

    harrison6987: I hope its not the transformer, my transformer is a 240V, with 15V and 20V outputs and I haven't found that exact one online yet.

    Jackster: So my testing on the relay in the Gicar would be before the pump, right? So shouldn't I be getting 240V (same as the solenoid terminal next to it on the relay)
    Im going to power the relay coil with 24V tomorrow and do a standalone test on the relay.

    Its great to have a place to come for assistance, and hopefully if I sort my issue out it'll be some info for others to use.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by krindog View Post
    harrison6987: I hope its not the transformer, my transformer is a 240V, with 15V and 20V outputs and I haven't found that exact one online yet.
    Potentially something like this? https://www.tme.com/au/en/details/te...2-d230-15-20v/ (not a sponsor site). Not sure where to get in Aus - looks like this is in Poland.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrison6987 View Post
    Potentially something like this? https://www.tme.com/au/en/details/te...2-d230-15-20v/ (not a sponsor site). Not sure where to get in Aus - looks like this is in Poland.
    Pretty horrendous shipping costs on this though...

    Mal.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by krindog View Post
    I hope its not the transformer, my transformer is a 240V, with 15V and 20V outputs and I haven't found that exact one online yet.
    What model is the Gicar box? I've never seen a multi winding transformer with different outputs used in any control boxes before. Can you provide a photo of the transformer you have?

    They're usually just a single output, 18V is common.
    Sometimes a twin output of the same voltage is used in which case they are paralleled.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    What model is the Gicar box? I've never seen a multi winding transformer with different outputs used in any control boxes before. Can you provide a photo of the transformer you have?

    They're usually just a single output, 18V is common.
    Sometimes a twin output of the same voltage is used in which case they are paralleled.
    The Gicar model is a RL30/1E/2 C/C. (Had to put a space between 2 and C otherwise it changed to second crack )

    https://ibb.co/hLm86W6

    That TEM looks like the same thing virtually, a small difference in the current ratings?

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    So further testing today:

    Relay actually seems ok, I powered the coil with 24V and it switched - and i checked continuity during switching and it all seems fine.

    Ive run the multimeter over the transformer and the input pins 1 and 5) is showing 240V across it (with and without the level sensor terminal plugged in).
    But the two dc outputs are not showing any voltage (with or without the level sensor plugged in).
    The level sensor comes into the gicar and travels straight to one of the dc outputs of the transformer, so Im assuming this acts as the negative for that dc output.

    Could the transformer be faulty in this case?

    Would be so easy to replace to check if it was available!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by krindog View Post
    The Gicar model is a RL30/1E/2 C/C. (Had to put a space between 2 and C otherwise it changed to second crack )

    https://ibb.co/hLm86W6

    That TEM looks like the same thing virtually, a small difference in the current ratings?
    Interesting, it certainly is a two output.

    You won't see DC coming out of the transformer, it operates on AC. The AC output of the transformer goes to the bridge rectifier (small round black part at the top left) where it changes to DC and feeds the rest of the system.

    You can just check the transformer windings using your resistance setting on the multimeter. This is with the power off to the board. Measure the resistance on the primary winding (240V side) then measure the two output coils. The primary should be around 2-5K ohm and the secondary's much less, usually below 100 ohm. If you see a steady reading and it isn't open circuit, it's likely ok.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Interesting, it certainly is a two output.

    You won't see DC coming out of the transformer, it operates on AC. The AC output of the transformer goes to the bridge rectifier (small round black part at the top left) where it changes to DC and feeds the rest of the system.

    You can just check the transformer windings using your resistance setting on the multimeter. This is with the power off to the board. Measure the resistance on the primary winding (240V side) then measure the two output coils. The primary should be around 2-5K ohm and the secondary's much less, usually below 100 ohm. If you see a steady reading and it isn't open circuit, it's likely ok.
    So with the transformer, there was approx 60ohms on one secondary and approx 200ohms on the other.
    I tested between the other two which i'm assuming based on the pin layout is the primary AC, and got OL or no continuity.

    I wonder could this be an issue at all?

    The bridge rectifier tested ok.

  20. #20
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    But as I mentioned in a previous post, when powered on, i measure 240V accross pin 1 and 5 (the primary ac winding).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by krindog View Post
    I tested between the other two which i'm assuming based on the pin layout is the primary AC, and got OL or no continuity.

    I wonder could this be an issue at all?
    Certainly is. Primary winding is open circuit.

    You'll still see 240V at the pins as they connect directly to the 240V supply but as the coil is open, nothing much else happens.

    You definitely need a new transformer. If you google Myrra 44950, there should be a result for a "custom potting transformer" AS3012. This looks to be the right one, about $16.
    You can also contact RS Components, they stock a lot of Myrra transformers and may be able to get it in.

    Other option is finding the shop that sold that guy the control box for $80 which is exceptionally cheap. For that price it could just be easier to buy the whole box.
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  22. #22
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    You definitely need a new transformer. If you google Myrra 44950, there should be a result for a "custom potting transformer" AS3012. This looks to be the right one, about $16.
    Nice find on this one "noidle"...

    Mal.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Certainly is. Primary winding is open circuit.

    You'll still see 240V at the pins as they connect directly to the 240V supply but as the coil is open, nothing much else happens.

    You definitely need a new transformer. If you google Myrra 44950, there should be a result for a "custom potting transformer" AS3012. This looks to be the right one, about $16.
    You can also contact RS Components, they stock a lot of Myrra transformers and may be able to get it in.

    Other option is finding the shop that sold that guy the control box for $80 which is exceptionally cheap. For that price it could just be easier to buy the whole box.
    Thanks noidle!

    That chinese one is shut for chinese new year and wont ship for a while yet.

    Is there any reason the TEZ2 one in harrisons link above wouldn't work (assuming the physical size is the same)?
    The only difference is the amp rating which is 57mA for both.
    I could get this one quicker (found it on ebay for less shipping cost too).

    So excited to know the cause of issue now!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krindog View Post
    Thanks noidle!

    That chinese one is shut for chinese new year and wont ship for a while yet.

    Is there any reason the TEZ2 one in harrisons link above wouldn't work (assuming the physical size is the same)?
    The only difference is the amp rating which is 57mA for both.
    I could get this one quicker (found it on ebay for less shipping cost too).

    So excited to know the cause of issue now!!
    Didn't notice that post from earlier, my bad. It should be fine to use, the circuit should only draw the current it requires from that winding at the rated voltage, 57mA is just the output limit.

    The resistance of the winding will be different than the Myrra but this shouldn't affect other parts of the circuit. This can be a concern with replacement relays, if the coil resistance is higher than the original the driver circuit can be stressed.

  25. #25
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Mentioned above that the shipping for this item from TME is pretty steep...

    Mal.
    Shipping.JPG



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