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Brasilia Portofino Del 2 from 2008 - water flow problem?

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  • Brasilia Portofino Del 2 from 2008 - water flow problem?

    I have a Brasilia Portofino Del 2 from 2008 that is experiencing some serious issues, and I'm curious to know if anyone can tell me what the issue might be?

    This machine is not plumbed in, it's using a water tank system. Basically what happened is that this machine is at my work, and no one knows how to take care of machines properly. So I just got hired 5 weeks ago and found out that this machine has not ever been backflushed as long as they've had it. They've had it at least 2 years. This is the second Portofino Del 2 machine they've purchased.

    2 weeks ago the building maintenance guy replaced the pump and the pressure gauge (I have no idea what symptoms it had that caused this to be done) and it was pumping out a flood of about 4 gallons of water every 30 minutes in a big mess, and the pressure was too high the portafilters were flying off the groups.

    So he removed that pump, put the old pump from their FIRST machine in, and now there's a hissing sound coming from the left group and there is hardly any water flow. Yet there is enough pressure to blow the portafilters off the groups randomly. Even coarse ground espresso takes too long to brew because there is barely any water flow to either group. Enough to pull shots that "pass" as espresso visually to people who don't know any better, but I won't drink it.

    The left group is also clogged, it sprays out in 100 different directions from the screen. This was clogged before the pump issue.

    They finally let me buy detergent and a group brush, so tomorrow I'm backflushing it to see if that helps the clog but the pressure is still an issue with the groups and the left group is hissing. The steam wands seem to be OK.

    I uploaded a video of the pressure gauge flickering back and forth when the brew cycle is started:
    (I've never seen a gauge do this before)
    Brasilia Portofino Del 2 2008 Pressure Gauge - YouTube

    And here is a video of the clogged group's water flow:
    Brasilia Portofino Del 2 2008 Clog - YouTube

    And here is a video of the right group's water flow:
    Brasilia Portofino Del 2 2008 Group - YouTube

    I've got them to consider having a qualified person come in. I have my fav repair company in mind, but I'd like to be able to see if I can pinpoint potential solutions before I call them.

    Thanks for ANY help you can share!

  • #2
    Pressure fluctuations.
    Most likely, a broken pressure pin, which is attached to the pressure screw, which is on the pump head. It's usually damaged when someone tries to change the pressure while the machine has no water flowing through the pump, basically, if you want to change the brew pressure, make sure there's water running from the group heads. Use the new pump you may still have.

    Group heads multi-directional spray.
    Unscrew the filters from the group heads and soak them overnight in some coffee cleaner powder (mixed with water). They're clogged & this is probably where the hissing is coming from.

    Would probably be a good idea to backflush with some coffee cleaning powder (like 'Full Circle'). Follow the instructions on the back of the cleaning powder bottle. Clean the seals as well by slipping the filter handle (with blank filter in) in and out of the groove in the group heads while the water is flowing from the group head.

    As for the group heads flying off with the new pump, maybe the seals need replacing (or cleaning), or maybe the pressure is set too high on the new pump. If you'd like to adjust the pump pressure, just load a coffee in like normal, press the button on the far right, the * button, and use a screwdriver to turn the pressure screw. The pressure should be between 8-10 bars, with 9 being the agreed norm.

    Good article on cleaning group head filters & shower plates:
    Last edited by SamTonin; 19 June 2013, 07:20 PM. Reason: add link