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Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

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  • Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

    If  the upgradeitis bug bites, let it bite deep. Go all the way.  
    Hence, my new used Grimac Eclisse 2-group commercial machine has finally arrived.

    Getting it to its temporary home on the kitchen bench has taken two weeks of stress -- beginning with bidding on that evil, evil auction site.  It was supposed to be a pickup only -- no shipping -- from Sydneys nothern shores, to Melbourne. But if I could arrange a courier, that would be OK.

    Then came two days trying to find an interstate courier. Finaly settled on one, but under no circumstances would they pick up a machine which wasnt securely packaged.

    Negotiations with the seller to find a big box, but that proved fruitless as the machine was too big and heavy for her to package.

    It weighs 70 Kg,  is 510 mm wide by  530 deep by 440 high.

    One company was very happy to collect it, package it in a liquid styrofoam which expands around the machine shape when dry, then courier it to my home. For $260.

    But I found another company  whod do it for $100 with ordinary packing....   Great. Except that the trucking company it uses lost my yet-unseen new toy which when new costs around $4000.

    For 7 whole days it has been lost, and I just about gave up hope until it unexpectedly arrived today.  I will never be dealing with this trucking company again.

    With the help of my wife and daughter, we lifted it up steps, dragged it along the carpet and unpacked it.

    It was nicely packed with foam bits and pieces everywhere, now making one hell of a mess on the floor.

    [img]NOTEBOOK//Desktop//grimac pix//packing mess.JPG[/img]

    We then lifted it onto the bench.

    First appearences.

    Looks good, stainless steel  everywhere expect for the plastic left and right covers.

    [img]C://Documents and Settings//Owner.NOTEBOOK//Desktop//grimac pix//IMG_1334.JPG[/img]

    Very easy access to the internals by removing a couple of screws here and there and lifting off steel cover plates.

    It is somewhat dirty under the drip tray. Under the bad evening light it even looked like rust, but a quick wipe and it was merely coffee grounds on pristine steel body parts.

    It has a copper boiler, 5 litres I believe.  With a rotary pump. Cant wait to hear that humming.

    A good clean up is in order, then will come the plumbing to mains supply and for waste water,  and a 15 amp dedicated power circuit.

    For now, time for a coffee break from my faithful Silvia.


  • #2
    Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial


    Can you send me the details of the company that was willing to pack it for you, im considering a machine up that way too.


    • #3
      Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

      Hey Robusto....

      wheres the picture?....

      Im waiting to drool over my keyboard.....


      • #4
        Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

        Ah.... much better than the photo of the packing!

        Yep looks good.... welcome to the commercial coffee machine club...

        If you have any queries Im sure those with similar machines can help you out.

        Now to fire her up and start the checkout - or are you going to do a strip and rebuild?


        • #5
          Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

          Thanks, Java B. I will certainly need help with pressurestats etc.

          At this stage, I will clean it, give it a close inspection. Get some new group seals as a matter of course. I dont know whether it will require a rebuild -- but you never know. It is a volumetric, so hopefully all the electronics work.

          What surprised me was the uncluttered interior, with plenty of space to swing a spanner.

          Takeaim: I have sent you a PM with names.



          • #6
            Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

            Looks great Robusto...I have a possible commercial two group on the horizon from a mate of a mate so your wetting my appetite for new toys!!


            • #7
              Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

              The biggest problem with this toy is its considerable size. Am/was planning to install it where Silvia sits next to the kitchen sink, but may prove to be a very tight squeeze. Alternatively, the breakfast bar bench on the other side, but that will require a major, major plumbing operation.

              Or, dont plumb it, run it off a 20 litre water container. But will the pump sel-prime and suck up water from over a metre below?

              Decisions. Questions.

              And why do I feel pangs of guilt, having just made an espresso for me and lovely latte for my wife from Miss Silvia who doesnt know shes about to be two-timed.




              • #8
                Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial


                I think you will find it is a 10 litre boiler.....

                Yep, commercial machines have lots of room inside and are easy to work on.

                At the risk of telling you how to suck eggs :

                The main switch on most commercials is 2 stage. The first activates the electronics including the auto fill circuit for the boiler...... make sure that the water level in the boiler is correct before switching to the second stage - which activates the heaters.... Not enough water to cover the heaters.... and one set of burnt out heaters....

                Also make sure that the auto fill does in fact switch off at the correct level - too much scale on the level probe and it just keeps filling (until the relief valve vents water over everything) !!!

                Re plumbing in Vs running from a reservoir.. It depends on the type of pump. My La Cimbali needs positive pressure - about 3.5 Bar - on the supply - no reservoir for me! Some pumps (procon for example) are happy to draw water from a reservoir..... this is more likely with a single group than your double - but it depends on the pump. And plumbed in is just sooooooooo much more convenient

                Let us know how you go.


                • #9
                  Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

                  Thanks again, Javab, I appreciate your most valuable input and will call upon your knowledge more as if you dont tire of what I am sure will be endless questions.

                  So far, Ive noticed that the glass water level tube is broken. Ive removed it and will probably also need rubber seals for where it is a sliding fit into large nuts.

                  There appears to be --suprise suprise --scale on the copper tubes from the boiler to the glass indicator, so the boiler will be no better.

                  Im tossing up whether I shoudl outlay $150 or so -- is that what a professional service costs? -- or just plod on myself. A descale was always going to be top of the list anyway.

                  I am pretty good at fixing things, most things.

                  So far, impressed with the build, very soild, very good thick copper pumbing throughout, no silicon tubes and circlips.

                  Fairly sure the boiler is 5 litres, though I know some Grimacs-- the slightly wider ones like the Ten, and Victoria -- come with 10 litre boilers. (Its roughly 160 ml diameter by 240 ml long)

                  Chris (2muchcoffee) will be pleased to know there were no cockroaches nesting away inside!



                  • #10
                    Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

                    Im so glad it arrived.
                    You must have been beside yourself.

                    Good luck on the way forward.


                    • #11
                      Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial


                      Only too pleased to help you get her up and running .... so fire away when you need to.

                      Yeah, you have the compact.... I assumed it was the larger version which is 10L ..... yours has the 5L boiler.

                      You can descale the boiler yourself, but dont try to do it in situ (by pouring citric acid down the safety valve opening..... you will need to strip it down and descale whilst the boiler is open so you can make sure you have removed all the bits (you tend to get more scale build up around the openings and the corners of the boiler etc.....)

                      And dont forget to do the heat exchangers at the same time.... they are also normally full of scale.

                      Check the water deficit from the groups.... if too low you will either have blocked group filters or blocked group injectors (I replaced both of these on mine as a precaution) .....

                      To test the pump have both groups running and check the delivery pressure on the gauge.... it should be steady at about 9 bars..... if it fluctuates quite a bit.... the pump is probably on the way out......

                      Commercial cleaning is probably going to cost quite a bit more than $150.... but if you do the strip down and rebuild..... and just get them to do the descale..... you might come in well under that. I did it all myself- and including replacement bits - it probably cost about $80 all up- group seals, boiler seal, heat exchanger seals, group filters and injectors. Thank heavens for CoffeeParts


                      • #12
                        Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

                        Good pickup there Robusto,

                        That is one serious espresso machine, and looks very presentable too. Will be very interesting to track your refurb job as time goes along.... lots of piccies please ;D,



                        • #13
                          Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

                          Thanks Thundergod, JavaB and Mal. Its reassuring to know that I have the moral and technical support of my fellow coffeesnobs in this project.

                          I will definitely descale myself. I have been quoted a ridiculous $400 -500 for a professional job, plus parts. So JavaB, Ill take your advice and unbolt the numerous pipes from the boiler, remove it and descale.

                          Im now off to get some parts.

                          The chrome and stainless steel panels have come up very well. Even the copper boiler and piping looks good, but copper being what it is will oxidise to a dull finish again.

                          [img]C://Documents and Settings//Owner.NOTEBOOK//Desktop//rear view.JPG[/img]



                          • #14
                            Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial


                            Once you have replaced the water level tube I would fire her up (connected to mains water at least for the test) and check out the functions.....

                            You really want to get a handle on the magnitude of work required before investing too many of your hard earned dollars - and time (thats the reason I like to see a used commercial machine working before purchase).

                            The most important (read expensive!!) things to check are:

                            The pump runs and produces a stable 9 bar pressure..... (you can generally test that by doing the boiler fill)

                            Once the boiler fills, switch on the heaters and the boiler should produce about 1 bar of steam pressure (generally somewhere between 1 and 1.5 bar depending on the pressurestat setting).

                            The on board "computer" functions correctly (you can get both groups to dispense water and the hot water outlet operates- if controlled by the computer rather than a tap).

                            The brew pressure and steam pressure gauges both operate.

                            If they all check out OK then thats the expensive bits out of the way. ;D

                            Then see how much water flows from each group during 30 seconds (without the PF) - should be about 400ml. If significantly less (and the pressure remains at 9 Bars....) then the group filter and or group jet is blocked- and will probably need to be replaced.

                            If you have got this far without slashing your wrists.... smile its descale time!


                            • #15
                              Re: Upgraditis: 2-group Grimac Commercial

                              Good one Robusto. A 5l boiler sounds nice and compact for home use. As someone who has just about come out of descale/clean rebuild process (I didnt type nightmare), Id thoroughly suggest a major rebuild.

                              Heres a few points. For descaling, citric acid is pretty safe, but really works best in hot water. Be careful with other commercial descaling solutions like CLR, as they are sometimes hard to completely remove without leaving a tell-tale smell. Even after citric acid use, the copper will be porous and exposed and will need to be re-passivated. This is done by kepping the machine running and up to pressure for some days and periodically flushing the boiler contents.

                              To get the compression fittings off without damaging the pipes or boiler (copper is a soft metal) give the spanner a tap with a hammer. The fittings often make a cracking sound before coming loose. Conversely, when putting the compression fittings back togather, dont over-tighten. The metal-metal seal works pretty well.

                              Make sure you descale all the pipes as you usually find scale all the way back to the pump.

                              When you rebuild the machine, carefully check each fitting for leaks. Also be aware that a couple of heating/cooling cycles may loosen some fittings, so be prepared to check a second time to be sure.

                              JavaB gave some good advice on the check list once fired up. I love the way commercials can isolate the element. That way you can check most things wiuthout worrying about the element. However, before rebuilding the boiler with the element, try taking the element to a coffee tech place so they can test it with a high voltage leakage beastie. A standard multi-meter often wont spot an element prone to tripping an earth leakage detector.

                              If youre going to all the trouble of pulling the thing down, then you may as well be sure that its all working when you put it back together.

                              Good luck with the restoration.



                              PS Miss Silvia knew her time had to come...