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  • Breville BES820 issues

    Hi,
    Been working on my BES820 that ive pretty much had to rebuild when i got it. Didnt know it had had so much use but i found that out when i replaced a ton of worn out parts :P

    The problem ive had for a while is that when i turn the knob to give me steam, it pumps away but no steam comes out, doesnt purge any water through the steam wand either. Some days however, it worked fine and steamed like a champ. Now i presumed it was an intermittent problem with the solenoid valve, it wasnt engaging properly or something. I ended up listening to where the valve is located on the machine and i could hear a hissing noise like escaping steam. Checked it out and the o rings between the valve and the plastic connectors to the tubing were perished.

    Replaced them and it was running fine for a few days. We come to this morning when i went to make a coffee, poured the shot (still pretty poorly cos im refining my grind/tamp techniques etc, still a noob) then turned the knob to give me some steam.
    Went out of the kitchen to check something on the computer quickly whilst the wand was purging but before i made it back i hear a pretty loud BOOM come from the kitchen. Run in there and theres steam and water flying out of the machine everywhere. Quickly unplugged it, got rage at it, left it for a bit then a few hours later pulled it apart yet again.

    Id like to post up a photo of what happened but cos i have less than 5 posts it wont let me post links -_-
    essentially, the thread on the plastic connector that joins onto one side of the solenoid valve (tube coming from the thermoblock) had snapped off the connector due to the massive pressure that had built up behind it.

    now, i checked the directional valve and its working properly, powered the machine up to check the voltage at the solenoid and its getting 240Vac at both active and neutral with reference to the earth on the solenoid.

    also pointed the tube away from me and tried to make it produce steam and it cranks it out straight away. fairly interesting blasting steam and water 5 metres across the shed over a lot of speakers and amplifiers :/ probs wont be doing that again.

    from this, i can only imagine the solenoid valve is faulty and isnt switching properly. i was pretty worried that i wouldnt be able to get a spare plastic connector (the part that snapped) but it comes attached to the valve when you order it luckily.

    basically, is it worth spending the 50 bucks on a new solenoid valve in the hope that it is the problem (pretty sure it is) or do you think that theres something else that may be the root of the problem?

    cheers


  • #2
    Re: Breville BES820 issues

    ive got an elec schematic @ home for this machine, and ill check but I dont think that you should be getting 240 on the neutral side of the solenoid. Can you trace the neutral wire and see if its been disconnected somewhere (with the power off and machine unplugged of course). Also look for any loose solder joints or bits of broken track on the PCB. I had to solder in a jumper wire on my old one to make the pump work due to faulty track that was stopping the pump from running.

    I hope you have enough skills to be safely playing with water and electricity!

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Breville BES820 issues

      Thanks, ill check it out. Seeing as the solenoid runs ac, there should be 240v on both active and neutral when in use. Its just a coil of wire after all i suppose. I was also thinking there could be an intermittent fault on the driver board (dry joint as you mentioned perhaps) which causes the solenoid to randomely lose power.

      Another thing i forgot to mention before, sometimes when trying to steam, itd pump and pump with nothing coming out and then all of a sudden just blast a ton of cold water out of the steam wand. This time however, it didnt do that and the pressure had to escape somewhere else

      Hopefully i shouldnt kill myself from working on it, im an electronics technician :P all of my work is in tvs, amplifiers, dvd players etc. so coffee machines arent as familiar to me yet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Breville BES820 issues

        The idea of a neutral is that it is neutral with reference to ground ie. 0vac between neutral and ground. If you have 230 on neutral then it typically means that there is a loose connection somewhere, as it is no longer connected to 0vac.

        Also in my experience the blast of cold water is typically caused by a blocked steam wand. Have you been purging it after steaming milk?

        I have attached the schematic to make things easier for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Breville BES820 issues

          I have just had a better look at the schematic and it would seem that the triac is switching on the neutral side of the coil. This means that it would be normal to see 230ac on the neutral side of the solenoid when it is not in operation. As a sparky we never switch the neutral, so that was why I had the reaction I did on hearing about 230vac on it.

          I wonder if you have a similar fault on yours as I did on mine. I just tested continuity on all of the tracks and components for the pump switching (or in your case solenoid) cct and found a corroded track that was causing the intermittent fault between the resistor and the base of the triac. Soldering a simple jumper wire on it did the trick!

          These PCBs cause a lot of trouble on these machines!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Breville BES820 issues

            thanks for the info man, been checking it out over the past few days.
            tested the neutral side of the solenoid when set to the steam function and it drops to around 25V. returns to 240V quickly when steam function is turned off so it seems ok. ive checked the power pcb for any track corrosion or damage but its all ok, all components have good solder joints (but i redid them anyway).
            i tested both triacs and the surrounding resistors and they all measure fine, the opto that drives the dump output (solenoid neutral) also tested ok, as far as i can test it without ammeters and transfer ratios etc. etc.
            of course, testing passively vs testing when powered is different but im fairly certain that everythings running ok.

            at this stage i reckon buying a new solenoid would be the way forward. pity theyre so damn expensive, $80 in fact from bigwarehouse spares, luckily its an aussie company with free shipping and should get here within a day or two. the other alternative is ereplacementparts.com in america which ive purchased from before. the solenoid is $53 with about $15 shipping so id save a bit of money but have to wait ages for it, and i want my coffee machine back soon.
            do you happen to know of any other places that have breville spare parts like this? ive looked around but havent been able to find anywhere else.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Breville BES820 issues

              nah. im in NZ and we have bugger all down here. good luck with the search!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Breville BES820 issues

                got the new solenoid in tonight and its all working like a dream
                when you shut the steam down it doesnt madly spew steam out of the base anymore and its purging far, far less water after pouring shots and steaming. i used to have to empty the drip tray after about 3-4 coffees, now just did 2 coffees and its barely got any water in it.

                actually tried putting it in last night after work because it arrived that morning, was a bad idea though. was far too cold to be outside and i had no concentration. as a result i somehow managed to connect the mains active lead to the mains neutral connector on the control board, and neutral to active -.-
                safe to say, the main house fuse didnt like that very much. changing a fuse wire in near freezing temperature wasnt my idea of fun.

                ill chuck some photos up of how its looking currently after this post cos ill finally have 5 posts and will be able to put photos up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Breville BES820 issues

                  new one installed. as you can see its been supplied with the upgraded metal connectors to the water lines. wasnt expecting that as the photo on the website showed plastic connectors.
                  no complaints though, theyre worth about $8 each those metal connectors.



                  this is what happened when it want bang the first time



                  how the beast sits currently. also rebuilt the direction valve so its a lot smoother when switching steam and hot water on and off.
                  the pump was replaced along with the safety valve as the first repair i did on it, still working well.

                  other work includes new group head seal, blue led conversion in front buttons (looks sick you should all do it) and infrared led conversion on water level led, full service and flush and probably some other things i forgot.

                  now all that remains is to get unpressurised baskets, a decent tamper, mod my bcg450 grinder and start refining my techniques cos the shots are still pouring way too fast.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well, the machine's at its end, and i'm at my end with Breville products. after replacing the pump and safety valve assembly ages ago, which i detailed in my very first post, the exact same thing has happened.

                    was pulling a shot, within normal pressure, went pop and i lost all pressure. upon inspection, the threaded end that connects the safety valve to the pump has snapped. AGAIN.
                    this is what it did the first time i fixed it and i have literally no idea why it's happened again. i would've thought the safety valve was there to prevent things like this from happening but i guess i was wrong. i'm not going to fix it again and i'm never going to buy another Breville product.

                    now i'm in the market for something a bit better, not sure what yet. if you have any suggestions, throw them up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Since you know the problem, i would fix it again, then sell it as a working m/c to help fund your next m/c.
                      My choice would be a used HX (NS Oscar etc) , Silvia, LeLit or similar.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blend52 View Post
                        Since you know the problem, i would fix it again, then sell it as a working m/c to help fund your next m/c.
                        My choice would be a used HX (NS Oscar etc) , Silvia, LeLit or similar.
                        yes that's an option i suppose, it's just that it's happened twice now for no apparent reason. if i was to repair it again and sell it, there's the chance that it'll just break again and the person i sold it to will get angry. if i just sell it with the double wall baskets and standard tamper chances are they wont be getting enough pressure anyway to do damage.

                        after reading many other threads here the silvia looks like a good option, watching a few on ebay now. i dont have a large budget so hopefully i can find something that suits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by noidle22 View Post
                          well, the machine's at its end, and i'm at my end with Breville products. after replacing the pump and safety valve assembly ages ago, which i detailed in my very first post, the exact same thing has happened.

                          was pulling a shot, within normal pressure, went pop and i lost all pressure. upon inspection, the threaded end that connects the safety valve to the pump has snapped. AGAIN.
                          this is what it did the first time i fixed it and i have literally no idea why it's happened again. i would've thought the safety valve was there to prevent things like this from happening but i guess i was wrong. i'm not going to fix it again and i'm never going to buy another Breville product.

                          now i'm in the market for something a bit better, not sure what yet. if you have any suggestions, throw them up.
                          Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents...

                          I've had a BES820 for the last (nearly) 2 years. About a year ago it had problems with the steam/hot water valve, and had to be repaired. They said it had plastic parts in it that were a known issue and replaced them with metal ones. A couple of weeks ago, while steaming milk, the pressured started dying off until it went BANG, steam spurting out from all directions etc etc... sounds much like what happened to yours.

                          So... still under warranty, back to the shop it went. They replaced it with a brand new BES840 - the new "Infuser" model.

                          It looks very similar - but it's not.

                          First up, admittedly, it does have a little problem which I'm sure is completely coincidental, in that the steam auto-purge isn't working properly... and I'm getting a replacement unit as a result. But that's an odd electronics fault and could happen to anything.

                          As to the machine itself, it has a thermocoil heater, rather than thermoblock. It heats MUCH better than the BES820 ever did, the steam is so much stronger, it froths beautifully, the espresso is much better quality. You can hear the pump sounds much more solid - and the feel of the steam/hot water valve is TOTALLY different. The other one felt cheap and nasty in comparison. This one is very light and smooth and feels like it would last forever. All in all, it's just a totally different machine.

                          I am VERY happy with it (apart from the auto-purge niggle).

                          Perhaps it's worth looking at?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by giesse View Post
                            Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents...

                            I've had a BES820 for the last (nearly) 2 years. About a year ago it had problems with the steam/hot water valve, and had to be repaired. They said it had plastic parts in it that were a known issue and replaced them with metal ones. A couple of weeks ago, while steaming milk, the pressured started dying off until it went BANG, steam spurting out from all directions etc etc... sounds much like what happened to yours.

                            So... still under warranty, back to the shop it went. They replaced it with a brand new BES840 - the new "Infuser" model.

                            It looks very similar - but it's not.

                            First up, admittedly, it does have a little problem which I'm sure is completely coincidental, in that the steam auto-purge isn't working properly... and I'm getting a replacement unit as a result. But that's an odd electronics fault and could happen to anything.

                            As to the machine itself, it has a thermocoil heater, rather than thermoblock. It heats MUCH better than the BES820 ever did, the steam is so much stronger, it froths beautifully, the espresso is much better quality. You can hear the pump sounds much more solid - and the feel of the steam/hot water valve is TOTALLY different. The other one felt cheap and nasty in comparison. This one is very light and smooth and feels like it would last forever. All in all, it's just a totally different machine.

                            I am VERY happy with it (apart from the auto-purge niggle).

                            Perhaps it's worth looking at?
                            that problem with the plastic parts that broke on yours was what went wrong the second time with mine. it was actually the reason this thread was started :P
                            it's the solenoid that controls water flow between the block and the steam diverter valve. the plastic connector snapped at the base of the thread, i replaced the solenoid and if you look about 3 posts below this you can see a picture of it. see the silver metal connectors with water lines running from them? that's the metal parts that they were talking about. so in that respect, that function of my machine is in perfect working order. the problem i have now is to do with the pump and it's valve system.

                            i know what you mean about the cheap feel/sound of the BES820, always seems like it's on the verge of breaking or shaking itself apart. steaming takes ages and i was never happy with its performance really.

                            i was considering a higher end Breville machine, and i'll get warranty and extended warranty on it if i do buy one which is something that needs considering. that 840 of yours sounds ok, i might check it out, thanks. for now though it's looking like a Silvia, there's a good one on ebay currently that i've got a keen eye on.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A plastic fitting snapping at the base of the thread...

                              Wasn't over-tightened was it?

                              I've had my 820 for a couple of years now, and apart from the pressure guage failing some time ago, I've had no major problems. Certainly things I don't like about it (noisy, slow, inconsistency, no three-way valve). Sounds like the 840 goes a way to fixing those.

                              Comment

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