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Getting started with a BZ99s

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  • Getting started with a BZ99s

    I picked up a Bezzera BZ99S on ebay recently and it arrived safely from Sydney yesterday.

    I was keen to get it home for my day off today, so I wrangled it onto the train last night. What a trip that was!

    It's in surprisingly good condition considering its age; I contacted Bezzera who were very helpful, and told me it was at least 14 years old.

    I gave the portafilters and baskets a good wash - the double obviously got used a lot as it was very dirty under the basket.

    Managed to get the shower screen off, and cleaned all the grime of it, the group and the seal. Also unblocked all the holes in the plate behind the shower screen.

    I wanted to take the top off to take a look inside, but that requires removal of the tank. I'm a bit hesitant to undo the bolt which holds the tank in, as the plastic around the bolt hole is slightly crazed and it feels like the nut on the other side is spinning. Any tips on how to do this without damaging the tank? Pictures in the ebay auction show the tank has been removed recently.

    The purpose of this post, is to ask if there is anything important I should know getting it going for the first time? My previous machine was a BES820, so this is my first HX machine. I plan to descale it on the weekend, but want to see how it runs first.

    Shall I just fill the tank and turn it on?

  • #2
    Congrats on the new purchase MrJack.

    Sounds like you're on the right track....quick inspection and clean down of any and all external items is a great start before going to crazy and pulling everything apart.

    I would fire it up and generally check everything is working correctly before opening her up. At least this way if something is wrong you'll have a fair idea where to start looking.

    Following that if you don't know it's history, a chemical back flush and soak the show screen, handle and baskets to make them shine like new


    • #3
      Pulled a couple of shots. Choked it on a double grinding the finest my EM480 would go, and gently tamping with a 51mm tamper. Came out over the portafilter so I expect the group seal needs replacing. Did get one shot which was OK, but not much crema (Yemen 2 days post roast is normally a crema monster. Get quite a bit of steam flashing from the water wand ( that normal?)
      I will try a longer cooling flush.

      The autofill was very brief when I first started the machine, which is odd if the boiler was empty as the seller claimed. The manual doesn't mention if manual fill is required on first fill.


      • #4
        Got some better shots on the weekend. Still not up to the best I had on my breville, but oh how much nicer the bz99 is to use.

        Shots are still a bit 'muddy' to my tastes.
        Still think its a bit hot, even after a long (10s) flush. Have an idea of how to fix that though.


        • #5
          How long after the flush are you waiting before pulling the shot?


          • #6
            Long enough to empty the cup and lock in the portafilter, so a few seconds.


            • #7
              So, figured out how to remove the tank. You just pull it up and out (who'd have thought!). After syphoning out the water of course.

              The machine is actually is surprisingly clean condition. The pump, solenoid, relay and opv almost look new. The gicar box is a little discoloured on top (almost looks like someone spilled coffee on it).
              The pump seems to be sitting just out of the wire support on one end, and may be touching one of the bolts which holds a foot on, which could explain why its so loud. I'm going to try to seat it properly on the weekend and see if that makes a difference.

              Photo's to come soon...


              • #8
                The discolouration on the Gicar is probably from the boiler heat. There should be a little heat shield between the boiler and it, but it's only squeezed in there so may have been replaced too low.

                Vibration pumps will make anything rattle that's not tight.


                • #9
                  One pic of the outside.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Way to go "MrJack"...

                    These little beauties can produce wonderful quality shots. You're in for a very enjoyable journey...



                    • #11

                      I seated the pump properly and its much quieter now. Still some work to do though.
                      The 90deg tee was rubbing on the bolt which holds the foot. Still some potential to rub, so will shorten the bolt.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                        The purpose of this post, is to ask if there is anything important I should know getting it going for the first time?
                        Doesn't sound like it...


                        • #13
                          Hopefully not!

                          The pump noise is now much better - last night I wedged some sponge between the pump and the rear part of the frame (seems odd the pump is so close), and also between the pump recycle loop and the tank shroud. You can talk over the pump now!

                          I also have put a short piece of tube on the waste outlet, as I was getting some leakage into the machine. Hopefully there is no other leaks.

                          Thinking of insulating the boiler and then encasing the rear of the machine (behing the tank shroud) in some kind of sound insulation.

                          Also need to replace the boiler head gasket, as there appears to be a small leak at the bottom that has led to a buildup of salts/corrosion byproducts along the gasket.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14

                            It's alive... I saw something moving



                            • #15
                              It's the only bit not spotless! Looks interesting with the camera flash.