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Thread: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

  1. #1
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    Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hopefully this post is a bit pre-emptive and I can sort this out on the phone tomorrow but just in case my pessimism is justified......

    Our ECM Giotto was serviced 1 week ago through Caffe Bianchi (dont know who they use for servicing) in Leichhardt. It worked fine from last Sat for a week and then on the w/e the pressure would drop off to nothing and the boiler wouldnt heat... no coffee (I assume the safety relay was kicking in here or something to stop the boiler heating). This happened about 4 or 5 times and the prob was solved by turning the machine off for a few minutes then on (could hear the heater click on then a brief hiss (from anti vacuum valve???) and the pressure would build as normal and coffee etc. But by the end of yesterday the valve had stopped doing its thing and no coffee >:( . There is no hiss sound when power is turned on and no pressure.

    Am I thinking in the right direction with the anti vac valve? This is mainly my suspicion as it was replaced in the recent service and I just saw a post mentioning one that had seized.

    Before I go exploring inside the machine to try to sort this out I just wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions and knowledge of whether I should just try to get a new part and replace or if the current (new) valve could be made to operate correctly. I would love to just pop back in the the store and have them sort it but we are 3 hrs from Sydney and another trip in that direction is not likely in the near future.

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    TC
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by beetle link=1208690984/0#0 date=1208690983
    Hopefully this post is a bit pre-emptive and I can sort this out on the phone tomorrow but just in case my pessimism is justified......

    Our ECM Giotto was serviced 1 week ago through Caffe Bianchi (dont know who they use for servicing) in Leichhardt. *It worked fine from last Sat for a week and then on the w/e the pressure would drop off to nothing and the boiler wouldnt heat... no coffee (I assume the safety relay was kicking in here or something to stop the boiler heating). *This happened about 4 or 5 times and the prob was solved by turning the machine off for a few minutes then on (could hear the heater click on then a brief hiss (from anti vacuum valve???) and the pressure would build as normal and coffee etc. But by the end of yesterday the valve had stopped doing its thing and no coffee *>:( . *There is no hiss sound when power is turned on and no pressure.

    Am I thinking in the right direction with the anti vac valve? *This is mainly my suspicion as it was replaced in the recent service and I just saw a post mentioning one that had seized.

    Before I go exploring inside the machine to try to sort this out I just wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions and knowledge of whether I should just try to get a new part and replace or if the current (new) valve could be made to operate correctly. I would love to just pop back in the the store and have them sort it but we are 3 hrs from Sydney and another trip in that direction is not likely in the near future.
    Hi Beetle and welcome...

    Sorry to inform that its very unlikely an anti-vac valve. If they fail, you will see normal pressure indicated on start up which then drops to zero when you purge the steam wand. All is normal again until the machine is cold...

    I fear that your machine may require a brain transplant- i.e a control module....The bit is $200+ plus labour if required. Alternately, the element has failed (slowly) and need to be replaced. If you check the element for resistance (machine switched off and unplugged), you will get ~45ohm...If not, its just a dead element.

    I sincerely hope Im wrong on #1 ;)

    Chris

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Speaking of those pesky little anti-vac valves, Ive replaced 3 of them and now just open up the steam valve when I swtich on the machine till a little pressure builds up.

    I think the latest Giottos have a new, souped-up version of the valve fitted that has eliminated this irritation? Is this correct Chris?

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1208690984/0#2 date=1208692339
    Speaking of those pesky little anti-vac valves, Ive replaced 3 of them and now just open up the steam valve when I swtich on the machine till a little pressure builds up.

    I think the latest Giottos have a new, souped-up version of the valve fitted that has eliminated this irritation? *Is this correct Chris?
    Yes Dennis, a better ant-vac valve, an improved breaker valve as well as vastly easier to work with OPV valve- just to name a few changes....There are other differences as well- which have led to modifications of my upgrade kit...

    Chris

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Hi Beetle
    I have had something that sounds similar to this happen to me. You turn the machine on and 15mins later nothing, no pressure, i put this down to being no water in the tank to fill the boiler as the unit wont heat if the boiler cannot fill up. I checked and found there was plent, i lifted out the tank and put back in and the machine immediately started to heat as it should.

    I assumed there was an airlock stopping water from getting to the boiler. Perhaps not though.

    It hasnt happened for about 6 months or so

    Touch wood, the unit it performing beautifully, it would be even better if the home barista performed as well as the machine ;D

    Mal

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Ok. Thanks for your replies and suggestions. Here is the latest update.

    Turned on from stone cold this morning after reading all the suggestions and thinking happy thoughts that Chris was wrong. I cracked the hot water and turned the machine on, after a couple of minutes there was some steam venting and the boiler started to heat as normal (and I shut the hot water off completely once pressure started to go up) until the pressure stabilized at the normal point. Everything was looking good until I ran some water through the group head. I ran through no more than a shot then the heater switched off and the pressure fell steadily back to zero. Steam and hot water would come out but no more water through the group head while the temp dropped back down.

    No amount of switching off and letting it sit before turning on with steam cracked or not is getting it to do anything now.

    Bolbs post also prompts me to mention a similar tank issue that we have had for a while and have just got used to. Often when the tank empties (and safety cutout turns off boiler) we find two common problems. 1) The water tank must be lifted out to switch the flow valve (??) before the pump starts again to top up the boiler or 2) the pump keeps running in an attempt to fill the boiler though the water tank is empty. To be honest I thought these two issues were unrelated to the current "fatal defect" but maybe they do indicate a control module problem as Chris has suggested :(.

    Having stumbled on this forum only last night and seen some of the posts about the "modifications" available for the Giotto and new, improved parts in the Rocket Giotto. Can I assume that the two machines are essentially the same and that the ECM Giotto can be upgraded with the Rocket Giotto parts as they fail/wear etc?

    Thanks again. :)

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Hi Beetle,

    If youd like to give me a buzz (prob. best via mobile), I can run you through a few checks to ascertain where the problem lies. It could also be an issue with the water circuit failing to register the presence of water- so there are a couple of things to check...

    As for the upgrade, we can do it on ECM Giotto Premuim or the new Rocket Espresso Giotto. There are some minor differences dependent on what machine it is...

    regards

    Chris


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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Just thought Id post the outcome of this issue as I think the assistance I received from the team at Espresso Company Australia worthy of mention in that it was great. After a full service and descale it turned out that the control board needed to be replaced (ouch). The descale resulted in some pretty dirty water coming out of the machine so perhaps there was a relationship between that and the control board failure - actually the person who serviced the machine said he had never seen water so bad on a descale.

    Now that its all cleaned out with new parts the machine is a new person :D and the difference in shot quality and steam pressure is very noticeable. Fingers crossed that we have no more nasty expensive repairs again in the near future.

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Good news.

    I would suggest you think about using filtered water rather than normal tap water.
    I use filtered and when i got my machine upgraded the comments from Chris were that everything was great inside and i have not descaled the unit once in nearly 2 years.

    Mal

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by bolb link=1208690984/0#8 date=1215408584
    Good news.

    I would suggest you think about using filtered water rather than normal tap water.
    I use filtered and when i got my machine upgraded the comments from Chris were that everything was great inside and i have not descaled the unit once in nearly 2 years.

    Mal
    Hmm, Whether you use filtered water or not, I think this may be affected by the quality of water where you live. Doesnt hurt to descale, and its a lot cheaper than a repair.

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Funny you should mention that as I have purchased a new filtration system from Bombora (as opposed to none) as a result of all this. I am pretty sure that there is a lot of clay in the water here (Central West) and the machine was running on tap water for about 4 months (was in Sydney prior to that). Would highly recommend filtered water to any other Giotto users if not already using. The shot quality is much better too.

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    Flo
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee link=1208690984/0#3 date=1208692502
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1208690984/0#2 date=1208692339
    Speaking of those pesky little anti-vac valves, Ive replaced 3 of them and now just open up the steam valve when I swtich on the machine till a little pressure builds up.

    I think the latest Giottos have a new, souped-up version of the valve fitted that has eliminated this irritation? Is this correct Chris?
    Yes Dennis, a better ant-vac valve, an improved breaker valve as well as vastly easier to work with OPV valve- just to name a few changes....There are other differences as well- which have led to modifications of my upgrade kit...

    Chris
    Are all these part of the upgrade you perform Chris? Ive now changed the anti-vac valve 3 times too and it still does the same thing. Perhaps a descale is in order..

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flo link=1208690984/0#11 date=1216659250
    Are all these part of the upgrade you perform Chris? Ive now changed the anti-vac valve 3 times too and it still does the same thing. Perhaps a descale is in order..
    Hi Adam,

    No- The valve would be considered a service item. 3 in your ownership time frame seems high. You should be able to retrofit the new valve but so far, I have not received stock of it. Might be worth trying ECA or Coffeeparts.

    A descale is probably due too- depending on what your water is like. I usually remove the wire from the boiler level probe to get a better fill.

    Chris

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Quote Originally Posted by beetle link=1208690984/0#5 date=1208734515
    Turned on from stone cold this morning after reading all the suggestions and thinking happy thoughts that Chris was wrong. I cracked the hot water and turned the machine on, after a couple of minutes there was some steam venting and the boiler started to heat as normal (and I shut the hot water off completely once pressure started to go up) until the pressure stabilized at the normal point. *Everything was looking good until I ran some water through the group head. I ran through no more than a shot then the heater switched off and the pressure fell steadily back to zero. *Steam and hot water would come out but no more water through the group head while the temp dropped back down.

    No amount of switching off and letting it sit before turning on with steam cracked or not is getting it to do anything now.

    Bolbs post also prompts me to mention a similar tank issue that we have had for a while and have just got used to. Often when the tank empties (and safety cutout turns off boiler) we find two common problems. 1) The water tank must be lifted out to switch the flow valve (??) before the pump starts again to top up the boiler or 2) the pump keeps running in an attempt to fill the boiler though the water tank is empty. To be honest I thought these two issues were unrelated to the current "fatal defect" but maybe they do indicate a control module problem as Chris has suggested *:(.
    Sounds similar to what happened to me - draw a lot of got water, causing boiler to fill, pressure drops, draw more but then it doesnt recover.

    Chris suggested using non-filtered water as a trial - doing that right now. Ive been able to replicate the problem too; this morning it wouldnt recover, but tonight it took a good 10 mins for pressurestat to read 1.2bar.

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Just on the anti-vacuum valve - I hear that these are somewhat problematic on the Giotto Premiums and need to be replaced about once a year. I also hear that there is a "better" anti-vacuum valve now available that lasts much longer than the standard one. Can any please validate this?

    If so, can the "better" type just be fitted when its time to replace the valve without any further modification?

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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Cremachine;

    Since Rocket expresso took over the manufacturing of the Giotto we have seen the new anti-vaccum valves. basically is the same site nut but with a heavier pin in the middle. You do not need to do any modification to this machine, only change it. We have this part in stock if you need one.

    http://www.dibartoli.com.au/product_details.asp?pid=227

    regards

    Renzo

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    Flo
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    Well I have fitted the "new" anti-vac valve to my Giotto Premium and it has been working a treat for the last month or so. As Renzo said you dont need to perform any modification to the Giottos innards to get the AVV to fit. It slots straight in. (I was actually the guinea pig..sorry for not posting this info earlier Renzo!!)

  18. #18
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    Re: Giotto problem - anti vacuum valve?

    maybe there was a bad batch of the older anti vac valves. My original one lasted almost 5 years and i only just replaced it with the same one. Will see how long this one lasts.



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