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  • VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

    Hi there,

    I got my hands on a second hand machine and am not sure that it performs as it should. I have read a lot on the web but think that talking to someone that knows these machines (how to operate and troubleshoot the internals) would be very helpful.

    My current problem:

    1. when I pull a shot the pressure gauge increases to about 12 and then suddenly drops down to 4 during extraction. Is this how it should be?

    2. During the heating up process the needle rises, jumps back down, rises, jumps back down, etc.. until it settles at about 2bar. This jumping does not look very "healthy", but maybe it is as intended?

    I could imagine that scale is causing havoc inside the guts. I took the group apart and descaled it, but havent touched the inner parts yet.

    Your help is much appreciated.

    If you send me your mobile number via PM I can save you typing up your reply

    Thanks!

    Werner

    ps ah, another thing: is it normal that pushing the lever in the UP position is a lot easier than in the DOWN position? I had the group apart and greased the excenter - before then pushing down was almost impossible. Now it is ok, just takes a bit more force thant the brew position

  • #2
    Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

    Completely forgot to mention:

    When I switch the machine on and it is heating up, "shocks" run through the silicon hoses that lead to the tank.... is this normal :-?

    Werner

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    • #3
      Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

      Originally posted by 003225393225570 link=1304118345/0#0 date=1304118345
      My current problem:

      1. when I pull a shot the pressure gauge increases to about 12 and then suddenly drops down to 4 during extraction. Is this how it should be?

      2. During the heating up process the needle rises, jumps back down, rises, jumps back down, etc.. until it settles at about 2bar. This jumping does not look very "healthy", but maybe it is as intended?

      I could imagine that scale is causing havoc inside the guts. I took the group apart and descaled it, but havent touched the inner parts yet.
      1. Pretty much normal but the brew pressure might need adjustment - sounds  a bit high.

      2. Not sure - its been a couple of years since I owned one of these.

      The brew lever action sounds suss. The can surface and pins may need  lubricating or replacing. I remember noticing wear on mine when using too much much backflush detergent stripped the lubricant. From what you described, that looks to have been the problem. Ive posted about this on CS.

      Jerking hose? Once again not sure but have a vague memory of seeing his happen. Probably related to the gauge action and may be normal if it only occurs during warm up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

        thanks Flynn,

        meant to PM you anyway, given that you left a trail of posts regarding this machine on the forums ;-)

        Just went to a showroom and tried the levers of a handful of new E61 groups...they do feel similar to mine, so no problem there. Got new pins on order anyway.

        Werner

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

          Solved!

          The problem was the pressure adjuster (the brass valve connected to the pump).
          I read somewhere on forums that this can cause these symptoms. So I took the valve apart and the rubber seal inside was quite worn.
          So I sliced a bit of it (salami style) and now all these symptoms are gone.
          No jerky hoses, and most importantly: when running against the blind filter or when pulling a shot: NO sudden pressure change on the gauge.

          Very happy!

          Werner

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          • #6
            Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

            If your problem reappears, check that you vacuum valve is not stuck shut. I have had a simillar problem and on startup there were false pressure readings., opening the steam valve to bleed it got around it., but it was caused by a sticking vac valve.

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            • #7
              Re: VBM Piccolo pressure gauge behaviour

              Ok, will do. But havent seen the needle jump since I fixed the expansion valve.
              A shame that you cannot buy that little rubber piece inside the expansion valve on its own, afaik.

              Comment

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