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Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

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  • Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

    Hi guys, im getting ready to descale the boiler on my LSM (yes thats right, ive put it off for months now) and im just not sure what exactly to order from Coffee Parts, and i dont want to start...realise i needed an extra part...and then have to wait for it to be posted out with my machine in pieces in the meantime.


    So basically...once i remove the boiler, and unscrew the endplate and element etc....what gaskets/parts/thingies am i going to need to replace, and what will go back in again once im done?


    Also...what is the difference between the "Black" boiler gaskets and the "teflon" ones on the Coffeeparts website? Do i need both? or do you get one or the other?



    Any other tips?



    thanks in advance guys.

  • #2
    Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

    Zakal1,

    What Id suggest is you ring Pedro at CoffeeParts.... hes an unbelievable source of knowledge on these machines and he will know exactly what you need... (and will explain the options re gaskets etc)

    Basically if it is a gasket, washer, O ring or any non metal bit - replace it!! I even replaced the bolts around the group assembly, just to be sure. The price for these "consumables" is relatively cheap - so do the job right the first time and then you can forget it for years.... Penny pinch and you can bet your bottom dollar something will fail before long.... and then back to pulling it apart again.... so unless you are a masochist..

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

      Oh yeah, i forgot to mention, i posted this thread mainly because i tried to ring Pedro but it was too late and i think hed gone home. hehe.


      I was hoping to get my order in tonight so i can get things moving (wish i lived in sydney so could do a pickup).


      As for the bolts in the group assembly etc, i think ill just be focusing on the boiler at this stage as ive done previous work on the groups and they seem to be running okay, although im getting a few steam-arm washers and gaskets because i have only rebuilt one side and the other side is a little crappy.

      I was also thinking about getting a different steam tip for one steam arm, because the 5-hole one thats standard seems a bit..hmm...powerful if your not steaming half a litre of milk, plus a few months on, my foaming ability still sucks so im looking for something to blame. But i can pretty much change that over anytime, so i might still leave that for now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

        Hi, can anyone point me in the right direction regarding this? Im having trouble contacting CoffeeParts and im desperate to get the parts ASAP while i have some free time so i can get it done...and if theres any problems...get more parts before the weekend.


        Thanks guys.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?


          Definitely replace all the gaskets. One tip for installing new gaskets (fiber ones) is to also use a gasket silicone to ensure a good seal. You can get high temp silicone gasket compounds that are suitable for potable water.

          For descaling, citric acid is good enough. The hotter you make it the better it works. I usually mix it with boiling water and let it do its trick. I believe homebrew shops sell citric acid or acid blends that can be used for descaling. Im not sure if coffeeparts stock a descaling solution.

          For steaming, Ive been very happy with the Bezzera 4 hole tip for small quantities of milk. They also have a 3 hole tip which works well but is slower. Coffeeparts sells a 2 hole tip that is supposed to be quite slow. Id try to master the faster tip though. Its great to be able to do fast milk.

          Cheers,

          Mark.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

            Hi, cheers for that.

            What ratio of citric acid to water do you use?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

              Zakal1....

              The usual for in machine (just pouring in the reservoir) cleaning is 10grams / litre..... but that will take forever if the scale is thick.....

              I basically just pour it into the boiling water..... and stir..... when the reaction slows down..... pour in more!!

              Not very precise, but you will be watching what is happening. The local La Cimbali agents use dilute hydrochloric acid to clean the inside of the boiler, pipes etc. - does a really great job too - and thats heaps stronger (and more dangerous) than citric acid.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                yeah, well i spoke to the La San Marco agent in Melbourne and they were saying they used to use something similar, but dont anymore because its too potent and you cant properly do it on-site.

                Said they use a citric based product called ScaleClean or something now so they can wash the waste water down the drain, and because its citrus based, its less dangerous if somethings left behind.

                They also told me that they usually just run the solution through the machine without removing the boiler, but told me to remove the safety valve and the hotwater line so i can shine a torch through one, and look through the other to see just how much scale is there first.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                  Im about to descale my La Pavoni boiler. After taking out the overpressure safety valve and a few other lines, I can see the scale. Its not too bad, but its worth doing properly. Its a huge 14l boiler, so will require a large vat of acid.

                  I was considering doing it in situ, but have decided against it. You really want all the descaling acid out of the boiler before you operate it. If the boiler is made out of copper, descaling will expose fresh copper, which will smell quite harsh. You dont want to steam milk with any residual acid in the boiler as it will prevent the surface passivating and keep the harsh smell. After descaling and removing all the acid the hot boiler will passivate the exposed copper, turning it black. That will take the smell away and not affect the taste.

                  In short I reckon its better to pull out the boiler and dump in in a huge vat of descaling acid. Then rinse all the acid out, put it back together and turn it on, let it heat up and run it long enough, with regular flushes, to get the exposed metal smell out of the system. Then youre ready to go.

                  If you do decide to do it in situ, beware (reiterating JavaBs warning here) that descaling can possibly generate small particles that can potentially block up the expansion valve in the brew path. If this happens, when you heat up the machine, the expanding water will have no where to go and could potentially rupture the heat exchangers themselves.

                  Cheers,

                  Mark.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                    Yeah im worried about those small particles as well (and its the reason i decided to remove the boiler in the first place) but im finding it difficult to get a hold of the gaskets anyway, and i removed the safety valve and the hotwater pipe and can now see (a little) inside teh boiler.

                    It doesnt look too bad at all, most of the surfaces are quite smooth (and blackish like you said). The element looks similar to the sides of the boiler. Its not mirror-polish smooth, but it doesnt look caked in scale either.

                    I have descaled a small domestic machine before and that was actually caked in scale...additionally ive also seen Kettles with worse scale buildup than this.

                    As a result, i think ill give it a go in place, though i think i might do it twice, and the first time just fill it with already boiling water (kettle) and citric acid, and then just drain it after a bit thru the boiler drain tap at the base.

                    That way it wont really be under any pressure, and if particles break off, they will only blockup the drain pipe (which i will notice hopefully).

                    Then if all goes well i might do it again, but this time run the machine as you said while descaling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                      Yep Sparky....

                      Your method is FAR safer and more effective...

                      The advice I passed on re not doing it in situ actually came from one of the La Cimbali service agents here in Perth.... They do HEAPS of full machine restorations (not only La Cimbali).... and I have spent quite some time talking to them (and they have lots of hard to get spares.... like body bits - which CoffeeParts cant supply.)

                      The chap that does most of the work - and his results are magnificent - told me to NEVER- NEVER EVER descale a commercial machine without disassembly...

                      And Id certainly follow that advice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                        Originally posted by Zakal1 link=1171347666/0#9 date=1171436270
                        That way it wont really be under any pressure, and if particles break off, they will only blockup the drain pipe (which i will notice hopefully).

                        Then if all goes well i might do it again, but this time run the machine as you said while descaling.
                        Zakal1,

                        Unfortunately its not the bits which break off whilst you are descaling - its the bits you cant see (with limited visual access) which are disturbed but dont dissolve and come loose sometime after re assembly.... (likely locations are around the boiler fittings - plumbing, water level sensor, heater element opening etc where there are little ridges etc where scale can build up more)

                        The chap I mentioned above told me to do a complete visual inspection of the whole inside before reassembly - and that can only be done with the end off the boiler.

                        The dark shiny surface Sparky spoke of (desirable after descaling) can also hide a big problem prior to descaling.... Scale is porous (Calcium Carbonate) and will absorb minerals from the water (often iron) or even milk which has been sucked back into the boiler..... So often scale is a very dark shiny colour..... (There are some photos of Javaphiles restoration on CoffeeSnobs where you can see both the colour and the thickness of the scale he had to almost chisel off).....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                          Its not the main boiler thats the potential problem. Its the heat exchanger circuit, which doesnt have a drain pipe.

                          I think the best call would be to either not descale at all, or do a complete pull down and descale/rinse and then reassemble.

                          Im going to take my boiler to a coffee tech to descale, as its a little too large for me to do easily. I dont expect itll cost too much and then the whole machine will be starting from as-new condition (hydraulically).

                          Actually my problem is even more difficult as my jumbo boiler has no endplate. So the biggest inspection port will be where the element screws in. Ill need to get the element removed using an impact wrench, to avoid damaging the boiler itself. Hence the coffee tech and their large swag of tools...

                          Cheers,

                          Mark.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                            Originally posted by JavaB link=1171347666/0#11 date=1171437183
                            Originally posted by Zakal1 link=1171347666/0#9 date=1171436270
                            That way it wont really be under any pressure, and if particles break off, they will only blockup the drain pipe (which i will notice hopefully).

                            Then if all goes well i might do it again, but this time run the machine as you said while descaling.
                            Zakal1,

                            Unfortunately its not the bits which break off whilst you are descaling - its the bits you cant see (with limited visual access) which are disturbed but dont dissolve and come loose sometime after re assembly.... (likely locations are around the boiler fittings - plumbing, water level sensor, heater element opening etc where there are little ridges etc where scale can build up more)

                            The chap I mentioned above told me to do a complete visual inspection of the whole inside before reassembly - and that can only be done with the end off the boiler.

                            The dark shiny surface Sparky spoke of (desirable after descaling) can also hide a big problem prior to descaling.... Scale is porous (Calcium Carbonate) and will absorb minerals from the water (often iron) or even milk which has been sucked back into the boiler..... So often scale is a very dark shiny colour..... (There are some photos of Javaphiles restoration on CoffeeSnobs where you can see both the colour and the thickness of the scale he had to almost chisel off).....

                            Hmm from what you say of Javaphiles restoration, it seems like that scale can get pretty hard (hence it not scraping off when i scraped it with a skewer before). The LSM guy told me to be very gentle with the inside of the boiler as its just brass and especially careful around the endplate.

                            When screwing the hot-water outlet back onto the top of the boiler (my sight hole) just before i can see why...certainly has a different feel to the tempered steel of an engine block hehe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Descaling a LSM 85-16M-2...what will i need?

                              Yep,

                              The scale can be very hard -rock hard - by the way the chiselling was just a figure of speech .... he actually used lots of acid.....

                              Be gentle with the brass and all will be well.

                              Comment

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