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Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

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  • Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

    I have put up with the embarassment of having a leaky wand for long enough. My Lelit combi started spluttering from the steam wand a week after I bought it and I have considered many different solutions until I came up with what I think is the simplest.

    To fix it, remove the valve from the machine (2 screws to take the cover off and a 17mm open ender to remove the split nut from the valve shaft and away you go!).

    Get hold of some 6mm diameter heat shrink tube and slip it over the end of the valve all the way to where the thread starts (see pics below).

    Cut the heat shrink a bit longer than the end of the valve to allow for a bit of shrinkage and give it a hit with the trusty corretto heat gun until it shrinks to fit.

    Cut the end off with a sharp knife and replace the valve. This effectively gives you a washer between the mating surfaces of the needle valve and stops that annoying leakage.

    I did this mod a week ago and it seems to have got better over time. Ill keep my fingers crossed that it is a semi permanent fix and post here if it fails. However, if it does start leaking some time down the track, its simply a matter of removing the heat shrink and replacing it - much better than buying a new valve every couple of months.

    G.






  • #2
    Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

    Gday G....

    Very effective remedy mate.... 8-)

    Have you checked the MSDS for the heat-shrink you used, just to be safe in the knowledge that nothing nasty can be leached out under super-heated steam temperatures..... :-?

    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

      Yes Mal, I did check it out and as far as I can tell, there is nothing volatile. Im still alive and as in contol of my faculties as I ever was.

      I will post a message if I drop dead

      G.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

        Originally posted by 67776179767573140 link=1311237977/2#2 date=1311238604
        Yes Mal, I did check it out and as far as I can tell, there is nothing volatile.
        Excellent G... 8-)

        Originally posted by 67776179767573140 link=1311237977/2#2 date=1311238604
        I will post a message if I drop dead   
        Not the ideal proof of concept outcome that wed like to see....

        Mal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

          Nice idea and application. I really hope it works, as this has been a real pita with the Lelit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

            Originally posted by 634249494E54270 link=1311237977/4#4 date=1311286103
            Nice idea and application.  I really hope it works, as this has been a real pita with the Lelit.
            Agreed. Itd be fantastic if this turns out to be a good longer term solution.

            Top work Grey [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

              Finally a remedy that does not require filing!  I hope this works.  Please let us know after a month if it still going good.  Im absolutely not a handy person, so is this something that I can find in bunnings?  do I need a heat gun or can a blow dryer do?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                Thats a great idea. Even if it wears out after a while, simple to redo. You can get the heatshrink tubing from electronics places like Jaycar, not sure if Dick Smith sells this stuff anymore.

                You can shrink it with any decent heat source, eg cigarette lighter, probably even hair dryer, will just take longer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                  Just had a look and plenty on ebay for under $8 delivered.  Doesnt really say its food grade though.  The one rated to 135 deg celcius continuous and up to 300 degrees for short duration looks interesting.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                    Looks like DSE has some http://dicksmith.com.au/product/W4114/heat-shrinkable-material-2-1-1-2m-x-6-4mm-colour

                    as does Jaycar http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=WH5544&form=CAT2&SUBCATID=996#1

                    One length would last a lifetime of steam valve leak proofing.

                    Not sure if they are all made of the same material re making sure its food safe. Just dont get the stuff filled with glue, sometimes hard to spot the difference before its heated.

                    How about stretching a bit of silicone tubing over the end? Although that will probably be too thick.

                    Hope the non sponsor links are ok, but I dont think any sponsors sell electronics gear currently.

                    Cheers


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                      Im a little worried about the higher rated shrink tubes which has some indication that they gain their properties via "irradiation". Although they advise that the material "...does not at any time become radioactive or possess any residual radioactivity" is comforting but still...

                      How hot does the steam arm get anyway? still looking for food grade rated shrink tubes, if there is such a beast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                        Here is an MSDS for a particular type of Heatshrink Tubing... http://tinyurl.com/3ck35ew

                        Some heatshrink tubing products coming out of China contain a wide range of contaminants, including several heavy metal compounds. If possible, try to view an MSDS for the particular product you intend buying prior to using it....

                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                          Looks like you can get silicone food grade tubing in 2 and 3mm dia, with a wall thickness of 0.4mm, and 4mm dia and up with wall thickness of 0.5mm. Not sure if that would be too thick to fit inside the valve, or if a smaller dia can be stretched enough to create a taper at the end to provide the seal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                            It looks like you have to be a little bit careful in the heatshrink you choose. The MSDS in Mals post above is for adhesive lined heatshrink. It seems that most polyolefin, non adhesive, heatshrink tubing is O.K.

                            As with anything though, do your homework to put your mind at rest. I am confident that the heatshrink I used is fine. The only thing I am worried about is its durability. It has been in the machine for just over a week now with no problems. I intend to take it out next week and give it a visual inspection just to see how it is handling the abrasion.

                            If its a winner I will start work on that bloody awful short steam wand. That shouldnt be much of a problem as mine has the acorn steam tip and I will be making up a short extension. After all, size does matter

                            G.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                              RS Online sells something that looks promising.

                              SRFR Heatshrink silicone Tubing (Shrink Ratio 1.7:1)

                              "Used in medical equipment because of it outstanding flexibility and its ability to withstand exposure to sterilisation conditions."

                              Temperature rating -75 to +200°C"

                              But this thing is like $58 excluding GST.  I dont know if thats a spool or just for 1m!

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