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Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

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  • #31
    Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

    Seriously, I have turned that valve on and off over 170 times over the past 3 weeks and slurped my way through nearly 1.5 kilos of Beanbays finest and apart from the occasional drip, it has been as dry as the Sahara.

    Prior to the mod, it was dripping as the machine came up to temp and spluttering when the steam switch was on.

    I am a happy little cafelattechino (my version as I cant get the amount of microvelvet right) chappy.

    More length, I must have more length...


    G.

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    • #32
      Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

      Agreed.  Needs to be much more substantial in the wand area...almost embarrassing how short it is.  The 2011 models looks very decent though.

      I managed to get a perfect latte micro-foam once...I dont know what I did but the volume built up quickly and I even got a bit of latte art (per my profile pic  8-)).  It was the best tasting latte...silky and smooth.  So I know it can be done, and easily too...just need to trace back my every movement to recreate.  Ive perfected my grind and tamp, now just the steaming.

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      • #33
        Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

        Saoye, I dont have any trouble with the micro-foam. Maybe its because my previous machine was an entry level EM with crap steam. If you can get good foam from one of these machines it seems to make it easier on a machine with plenty of steam.

        Try this for a start:

        http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1220959662

        It seems that even when you get everything right, the art comes and goes over time. Ive had some really good runs with rosettas and then all of a sudden they start to look like Freddy Kruger or something out of the Alien movies.

        Have you started roasting your own beans yet? If not, that is a journey well worth taking. I usually roast 600gm every week in my stealth corretto for excellent results.

        Now, back to the drill press...

        G.

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        • #34
          Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

          I suppose I should say "latte-art-foam" or maybe its textured milk pour technique that I got right that one time.  I get micro-foam consistantly from the lelit and as u say plenty of steam.

          Im going to do your valve mod in three weeks time I think.  Need the machine to be working the next couple of weeks since Ill have guests staying over...which means more opportunity to practice my latte art!  ;D

          Also, by then Ill know for sure that your fix is a winner...its really a winner already.  Hopefully a hairdryers going to do the job  [smiley=undecided.gif]

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          • #35
            Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

            Greybeard, any updates on the "non-leaking" steam valve?  Did you end up pulling it out to have another look at how the shrink tube is doing?

            I never ended up doing the mod.  I pulled it all out to investigate a rattle, tightened a loose screw, stared at the steam valve for almost a minute, contemplated taking it apart, wondered where my wrench was, then decided its time for another coffee...put it all together again... :P

            Im happy to say though that the rattle was gone.  The leak really doesnt bother me anymore.  But I should do it one of these days.  Maybe before I move the machine to my office (after I fix up the ECM Giotto).

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            • #36
              Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

              I have been very busy lately but the machine is still not leaking. I picked up some beans from Andy the other day and said that I was going to go home to take it out and post a photo. Unfortunately, I was called back to work so Ill see if I can do it this week.

              Its hard to let it cool down on my days off because I usually overdose on caffeine

              G.

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              • #37
                Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                Thanks for sharing the idea and findings Greybeard. Has anyone found a good supply of food grade heat shrink tube?
                My Lelit is almost a year old and has started leaking consistently so I would be interested in doing this mod.

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                • #38
                  Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                  Well I did something wrong...either I did not heat it enough or I used the wrong heat tube. Mine came apart and clogged up the end of my steam tip - woops. Got it all out fine so no probs there. I took off the part that had not broken away and re-assembled. Still leaks...but maybe a bit less than before. May try again but not for a while I think.

                  However I also pulled off whole steam arm at the same time and found the o-rings were perished. Got new ones and had a bit of trouble re-assembling as it is very fiddly. Dont think it is back together as well as it was before as it seems like extra air bubbles are getting in from somewhere. The steam is coming out more powerfully and with more water as well? Cant figure it out. Definitely cannot get the quality of milk we were achieving for the last year!? :-?

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                  • #39
                    Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                    My problem exactly - the steam wand leaked until it eventually fell off. Turns out the o-ring was shot and the nut worked itself off the connection. I got the new o-ring from 1st-line equipment but I cant see how to reach the nut without removing the entire guts of the machine. Unfortunately they dont seem to give a crap after theyve sold you the part. Has anyone replaced it and if so how did you get the damn nut back on???

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                    • #40
                      Re: Fix for leaky Lelit steam valve (hopefully)

                      Hi Another Tim
                      I hope you have managed to fix this by now. If you have not, the way I tightened the nut is with a modified version of an thin open ended spanner that comes with some kids toys. The metal is thin enough to be bent 90deg so it fits. Prior to tightening I used my fingers to turn it and a screwdriver to hold it in place but dropped the nut many times. As I said I found it frustratingly fiddly!

                      I have since done this to my steam wand http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1317304282/2#2 and it is working very well. Oh there is a slight leak but it is not at all significant and I generally leave the wand over the drip tray.

                      All the best with it. 

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                      • #41
                        Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I wanted to add my $0.02 here after trying the fix above.

                        My Lelit PL041QE steam wand was leaking, and getting progressively worse, and this thread came up highly in search results for fixes. I had some heatshrink tubing available so I thought I'd give it a shot.

                        Unfortunately, like Outbackstriker, the fix didn't work for me. The heatshrink was almost immediately torn apart and made it's way through the steam wand, all the way to the tip, in an incredibly tight ball. This completely blocked the wand, and was very difficult to remove. Even worse, I attempted the fix on the 23rd of December (yes, this is my fault entirely), and as a consequence I very nearly ruined xmas.

                        Of course the attempted repair became a spectator sport, with lot of comments from the sidelines. I got it all going again, but it's a hassle I'd rather not repeat.

                        When my life was no longer in any immediate danger, I started investigating other options.

                        As it turns out, there is now a new steam tap assembly available from Jetblack Espresso (search for the MC216Teflon + MC214-41Teflon parts). The new parts have a teflon seal on the tap, and a redesigned tap seat area. As well as the new tap assembly, I also needed a MC072 female quick release valve to connect the 3-way valve to the new tap assembly as the new assembly has a male quick release rather than a threaded end for the 3-way valve.

                        I decided to go all-in on this repair and also ordered a new ball-joint steam wand (MC742).

                        The biggest issue I had fitting the new parts was that the ball-joint wand is quite a bit larger where it mates to the T-joint, and I had to bore out the hole in the chassis to suit. Other than that, the upgrade was straightforward and easy enough to do with a few basic tools.

                        Whatever hassle it was to do the upgrade seems to have been worth it. The new steam tap with the teflon seal appears to be a much more reliable and long-term fix. The new wand is great. Although I've ended up with a bit of a Frankenstein machine, I'm hopeful that it will now be able to provide me with many more years of useful service


                        TLDR; heatshrink may or may not work (it didn't for me). If you can spare the $$, it might be worth ordering a new teflon-seal tap assembly.


                        Thanks to Jetblack Espresso for maintaining such a great catalogue of parts for these machines, and for getting them out to me so quickly over the holiday period.

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                        • #42
                          Sounds like a great outcome in the end Gundy...

                          Mal.

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