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Running a commercial lever machine on gas only

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  • Running a commercial lever machine on gas only

    Can this be done? I've got a Brasilia Antonella 2gp lever machine with gas kit and have found the gas kit to be extremely sluggish, it takes over an hour to get up to 1.5 bar and needed two purges to stabilize. Clearly the gas kit is undersized or defective, but not too sure how to overcome this. My guess is that the gas kit is simply meant to augment the electric heating element and speed recovery and warmup, but this machine is to be used in a mobile setup where power isn't available. Is it possible to run a commercial gas lever machine exclusively on gas while still producing good shots? Here's a photo of it. Thanks for any help and advice.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Have you had the gas system checked to see if its working properly ?
    It sounds as if the burner is stuck on low fire and never goes to full burn state.
    There are normally adjustments that can be made to improve the burner output.
    What is the boiler capacity ?, and what is the burner rating ?

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.
      You may well be right about the burn rate, the electric portion of the machine ran it up to proper pressure and kicked off at 1.3 bar, but at 1.6 bar the burner never changed its flame rate. If I had to guess boiler capacity, it's the same size as my two-group VFA-Expres which is 11 litres. Burner rating unfortunately isn't marked anywhere. I don't have a gas guy to check this out, it's up to me. I'm licensed to work on industrial truck propane fuel systems, so I am familiar with propane systems, I just have to learn how this one works.
      Regards

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skydragondave View Post
        ?.....this machine is to be used in a mobile setup where power isn't available. .
        What gas are you running it on ?
        Do you know what gas it was originally set up for ?...butane, propane, natural, ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skydragondave View Post
          My guess is that the gas kit is simply meant to augment the electric heating element and speed recovery and warmup, but this machine is to be used in a mobile setup where power isn't available.
          Running on gas only would require a manual boiler fill lever - is there one?

          If so and you're now running it LPG I'd look at the pressure regulator maximum setting.
          Or if you're running it on natural gas, the jet could be for LPG which would make heating roughly 2.5 times as slow.
          Last edited by simonko; 30 April 2013, 10:07 AM.

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          • #6
            Hi guys,
            I'm trying to run it on propane. Anyone's guess what it was meant for originally but probably either propane or natural gas. It has a manual fill "button" under the driptray. There's not much info on these machines out there and the machine itself isn't helping much - it has a date stamp on the boiler of May '93, it has CMA/Astoria groups, and was probably made by Brasilia for a distributor to sell under their own name. Thanks again for your help - any thoughts are appreciated. Cheers

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            • #7
              how is the size of the flame controlled?

              is there some sort of thermostat arrangement?

              is it posibal that it is just in the pilot light position for the burner?

              I would expect the flame to change size as the heating requirements change.

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              • #8
                Hi Don,
                These are the very questions I am trying to answer. Thanks

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                • #9
                  the machine should definitely be able to run of gas only. If the burner was designed for LPG it probably won't work correctly with natural gas and vice-versa- so you need to find that out if you can.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Dave,

                    Sounds like whatever it is, it has not been ued for a long time (if ever).

                    This is a task for a combustion engineer (b type gas tech). My advice is to have it checked for your safety and that of your clients.

                    In Victoria, machines of this type would require certification for a coffee cart for example. Venting of leaks and a whole heap of other factors would need to be considered.

                    As always, best to do the right thing rather than lick your wounds- or burns...

                    Chris

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replies,
                      I ended up removing this system entirely and replacing it with a current Astoria gas burner kit. Once installed and adjusted, all that was required was a field approval from a certified gas technician. It is now in service. Regards

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                      • #12
                        back in the 50's/ 60's most commercial machines in north america were run solely on gas. one of my machines, a 1954 gaggia 3gr was used that way in canada.

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