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  • Diadema Junior Plus leaking valve

    Hello,

    I'm hoping someone can help me. I bought a brand new Diadema Junior Plus just over a year ago (a year and one week), from one of the sponsors of this forum. I have been very happy with it until now. In the last few days, the hot water valve (not the group head) started to drip, it leaks about 3-400ml of water each hour. As a result I can't leave the machine switched on, and I have to constantly monitor the water level when it is on. I still get a good coffee and steam, of course.

    I rang the company I bought it from and they told me:

    1. I have to send it back to them at my expense (which is fair enough, I'm not local)
    2. I have to pay $55 for a quote fee
    3. It will take 4-6 weeks for a technician to look at it and then tell me what has to be done.
    4. It may not be under warranty.

    Needless to say I'm not very happy with this response. I don't think it is very good customer service, and certainly isn't a very helpful approach.

    Is there any adjustment that I can make myself, or any other advice that people can give? I don't really want to name the supplier at this stage (though I am tempted!) as I would rather solve this problem amicably.

    Cheers

    Tim

  • #2
    stupid question first - are you certain that there's nothing preventing the knob/tap from screwing all the way in?

    in terms of a diy fix, do you actually use the hot water? if you are technically minded you could either remove and re-build the valve or simply plug the pipe. the latter is probably not ideal (nor as straight forward as it sounds - a simple fix like a bolt in the boiler outlet may give rise to some other interesting problems).

    the former is not so complicated, but i'm not entirely sure how user serviceable the valves are. my BFC steam valve is intermittently sealing shut which tells me it needs a rebuild with some food grade lubricant but i haven't gotten around to it yet so i'm not really of any help. if you need a new valve you may need to talk to a supplier directly as i've not seen diadema/bfc specific items for sale online.

    usual disclaimers apply, there's 240vac and hot water under pressure in that box so be careful

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have the lever group or semi-auto (push-button)? If it's a mechanical valve (the semi-auto has a solenoid controlling the hot water) it's just the cup seal that has perished, perfectly natural for this to happen in that timeframe. Not a big deal to service the valve, the expense seems about right but 4-6 weeks is nuts!

      I would leave it to a tech though, the BFC valves are very good quality but hard to disassemble without some big shifters / vice, then you need to have the right replacement seal. Sometimes you can flip them over, but better to have it replaced.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks.. yes, I do use the hot water, it provides instant hot water for long blacks or cups of tea

        The valve is an electrical solenoid operated by a switch - so not a manually operated valve. As far as I can tell there is no adjustment, but perhaps someone can point me to one.

        I can of course plug the end of the water nozzle, which gives a temporary fix, but it isn't the long term solution. Anyway, having bought a top class machine I rather thought that a) the valves would last longer than a year and b) that the supplier would be a bit more helpful!

        Cheers

        Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Rick,

          The machine has 3 switches on the front, not push buttons. One of the switches operates a solenoid valve for dispensing hot water. So the fault is in this valve and as you say it is likely to be some type of internal washer or seal. I can source a replacement valve but then of course I am making unauthorised repairs and so voiding warranty to something I really feel - given the age and claimed quality of the machine - is something the supplier ought to be fixing.

          Cheers

          Tim

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, unusual for a solenoid plunger to leak in that timeframe. Have you tried just giving it a few rapid on/off/on/off flicks, sometimes that can dislodge a little bit of whatever that's preventing the plunger from making a good seal. If that doesn't work, it will require a new plunger.

            Comment


            • #7
              where are you ?
              How DIY competant are you ?
              Have you done a descale recently ?
              It may be quicker & cheaper to order and fit a complete new valve assy if you dont want to strip & inspect it..

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi blend52,

                I live in country Victoria, about 200km from Melbourne. I have done regular flushes of the group head with "Clean Machine" using the recommended procedure. As far as I can tell, this process only cleans the group head and does not affect the hot water valve. The last time was a few weeks ago, well before this problem surfaced.

                I'm quite DIY competent and it would be no problem to fit another valve if I have to. If this was an out-of-warranty situation that is what I would do. The trouble is that I am faced with a machine that appears to still be in warranty, but a totally unhelpful supplier who advised me that if I even take a cover off, I will void the warranty.

                As well as this thread, I have also emailed the supplier with my concerns, but have had no reply. This machine cost well over $2000 only a year ago. The valves really should not be failing, but of course things can go wrong - that is what warranties are for. My real concern is not that something has gone wrong, but that this supplier is doing nothing to help.

                I suppose if I don't hear from them soon then the best I can do is what you suggest, and then reveal the name of this supplier so that others on this forum can have fair warning about their approach to customer service.

                Thanks again

                Tim

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was actually thinking that a full "descale" proceedure of the boiler , pipework , and valves, may help cure the leak..if its a piece of scale stuck in the valve .
                  It sound like you need to have a "serious" discussion with the supplier, at least to be sure the $55 quote fee is refundable if it is a warranty repair.
                  This sort of thing really irritates me, and why i no fan of warranties. Personally i would rather pay less and rely on my own resources to maintain equipment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tim,

                    Might be worth PM'ing the supplier via this site. The ones I've dealt with have responded pretty promptly when I've made enquiries via that route (I'm sure the extent to which they check their PMs varies though...but can't hurt), including one involving a minor repair on an e61 machine under warranty.

                    Cheers
                    BOSW.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rick_bond View Post
                      the expense seems about right but 4-6 weeks is nuts!
                      One thing to consider is whether the company the machine was bought from only deals with 'domestic' machines, or sells/services commercial equipment as well. Commercial work always takes priority, since a broken-down domestic machine is an inconvenience, but a broken-down commercial machine is costing the owner $ every minute it is broken down. Domestic repairs as a result can often be the lowest priority work through necessity rather than by choice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        True, as a tech I know commercial repairs often take priority, but I'd be embarrassed if I told a customer it would take 4-6 weeks to quote on a machine, even if it had just been pulled out of storage let alone in daily use. Also - if it's a leak from the h/w solenoid they should be able to quote over the phone, and repair should take an hour, tops, WITH a service for good measure.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks to all,

                          I have phoned and emailed this company. The result of the phone call I reported in my first post, and I have not had a reply to my email.

                          The company appears to be well represented on this forum, and is one of the sponsors. They have been in business for decades, and they do sell both commercial and domestic products. I assume this level of customer service is not the way they have made and retained their reputation. So I'm a bit puzzled.

                          The bottom line though is that I'm between a rock and a hard place. A new valve will cost around $90, whereas the cost of shipping the machine for a warranty repair will be a minimum of $50 each way. Either way it will cost me.

                          For the present I can live with it simply by plugging the hot water outlet and boiling a jug. I don't think that is a very good solution for a machine that cost over 2 grand a year ago. The next time I want to spend several thousand dollars I will know where not to shop.

                          Thanks again to all for your responses. I really appreciate all the help, and to be honest I still enjoy the coffee I am getting from this machine.

                          Cheers

                          Tim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's shabby treatment, if warranty applies. If not then you may be pushing it, since the seller is no longer under that obligation. As for the quote charge, that would breach consumer laws while under warranty. That's a no brainer, cos seller gotta fix what's broke, no buts, no maybes, it's black and white. You really need to get the warranty question sorted before deciding on a course of action. Your machine is either in warranty or not in warranty, that's black and white too. Check your invoice date, and paperwork. As for the six-week repair wait, well that would be less black and white, but as a warranty job, the seller is entitled to "reasonable" time to fulfill the obligation. What is reasonable will depend on the nature of the repairs - do parts have to be ordered from overseas, for example. By the same token the seller must take all reasonable steps to ensure repairs are timely. Given that the machine may no longer be covered by warranty, I would be looking for a local technician. Ask cafes, pubs and restaurants in your area who services their machines. When the tech is next in your area, schedule a service. Get hold of any technical diagrams and parts lists as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Bern,
                              My understanding of these quote charges at most places, are that if the machine is returned during warranty and either there's nothing wrong with the machine, or non-warrantable events (e.g. pouring milk into the water tank) have caused problem, the quote charge applies (but is deducted from the cost of repairs if carried out usually). If the machine is returned and repaired under warranty neither the quote or repair cost are charged (but freight etc is where applicable). So I don't see the quote charge per se as breaching consumer laws. My minor repair had the quote charged credited and then debited off the invoice once the problem was diagnosed (without any intervention by me).
                              Cheers
                              BOSW

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