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E61 HX machine getting zero steam pressure sometimes - ideas?

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  • E61 HX machine getting zero steam pressure sometimes - ideas?

    I have a 10yr old La Scala Butterfly.

    Lately it's been getting no steam pressure a couple of times, seems to be an intermittent fault.
    Pressure Guage stays on zero even though group head hot. Not a guage fault as nothing comes out of steam /water wands.

    Coffee circuit seems to function normally when it happens but I turn it off to be safe.

    Also started getting a steady slow drip from exhaust - I'm guessing seal on 3 way valve has recently gone there. I'm also guessing it's unrelated.?

    General heat seems to have gone up - never used to need a cooling flush, now occasionally pumps steam for a few seconds before water. Also group head feels hotter to touch.

    I've adjusted PStat down a bit but it still seems hot.

    I am reading as much as possible trying to educate myself, but I'd also welcome any ideas?

    Time for a new Pstat or maybe Brain box? I think an E61 rebuild is on the cards anyway?

  • #2
    It's a HX machine, so if the boiler is heating, it's heating.

    The reason for no steam will be a blockage in the steam circuit- milk, or more likely scale. Scale is most likely blocking the pressure gauge as well.

    Chris

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    • #3
      I have the same problem with Grimac Uno - an HX machine that was working great until this morning. The boiler heats up and I can pulla shot through the E-61 head, but no steam AND no hot water. In fact, this morning my wife drew a cup of hot water - all was normal. About 10 minutes later I realised that there was no steam and no hot water.
      The pressure gauge stays at 0. The pump comes on when I draw a shot, and then goes off. It used to come on occasionally (like 15-30 seconds every hour or so) presumably driven by presostat, now it stays off unless I pull a shot.
      I am sure it's not blockage. KiteStyle - did you get yours working?
      Any clues anyone?

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      • #4
        Blockage.

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        • #5
          GidiAA - I just got mine working last weekend. Took it to a repair place on Sunny coast, they diagnosed the brain box failing when hot and quoted $600. I paid them an inspection fee and took it back, found the current part (GICAR controller) for $165 delivered from germany. Installed it (huge thanks to Alan Frew from coffee for connoisseurs for the wiring pics/explanation as the previous part was GIEMMA and had a different plugging sequence) and it didn't work. Went back in and realised I was short one ground wire, so ran a new one. Redid a dodgy looking connection while I was there (green corrosion and some black colour to the plug plastic). Unplugged and replugged every electrical connection. Back together and Bingo she's running.

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          • #6
            What I can't work out is why it's still running hotter than it used to. Started a few months ago, before internals were tinkered with in any way.

            I have pressure down to less than 1.1 bar, around 1.05 on guage, but it still needs a 30s cooling flush to stop bubbling. Often first 5s are just steam, then bubbly water, then it settles down.

            Generally the machine is hotter than it used to be, before you could tap the group head without a burn, now she's noticably hotter, even the top panel is hot to touch.

            Is there any other way to control heat apart from Pressure stat? Could the boiler fill level be out or something?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KiteStyle3 View Post
              ..... previous part was GIEMMA......
              OCD here. I think you may mean GIEMME....no?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KiteStyle3 View Post
                What I can't work out is why it's still running hotter than it used to. Started a few months ago, before internals were tinkered with in any way.

                I have pressure down to less than 1.1 bar, around 1.05 on guage, but it still needs a 30s cooling flush to stop bubbling. Often first 5s are just steam, then bubbly water, then it settles down.

                Generally the machine is hotter than it used to be, before you could tap the group head without a burn, now she's noticably hotter, even the top panel is hot to touch.

                Is there any other way to control heat apart from Pressure stat? Could the boiler fill level be out or something?
                The pressure sensed by the pressurestat determines the heat. A higher fill level means more pressure (but less steam), but it would still cut out at the set point.
                Try a lesser pressure on the pressurestat and see how you go.

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