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  • FAEMA compact brew problems

    I have a FAEMA compact E98 S1 single group same as the one pictured. I have owned it since new and have never had any problems until yesterday.
    I made a coffee first thing in the morning no problems, then when I went to make a cup two hours later, when I turned on the brew switch the Vibe pump started as normal then after half a second went very quiet and nothing came out of the brew group.
    I initially thought it was the pump, but after investigation, i discovered when i use the manual fill button the pump works as normal. My suspicion is that it is perhaps the group solenoid. Does this sound like the correct assumption? My other observation over the last two days is that it would seem that the problem exists when the machine is hot but not when it is cold. Once I could not get the pump to work, i switched the machine off and once it had cooled the machine worked as normal for the two times I checked it. this may just be luck, i can't be sure.
    I was thinking of pulling the solenoid and giving it a clean, not sure how id go about testing the coil, is there a way to do this safely? Maybe theres something else Ive overlooked??????
    I'd appreciate any thoughts
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I've pulled the group solenoid off, given it a clean and reinstalled it. Everything seems to be working, though it might just be luck as this has been an intermittent problem. I'll let the machine run for a while and see how it goes.

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    • #3
      Nope! still not working! This morning I switched the machine on and let it warm up for half an hour, then went to make a coffee and got the same result as before.
      It would seem the problem is not apparent until the machine has warmed up. I will try and post a video in the hope that its a little clearer.
      After taking the covers off yesterday, I'm not sure I'm up to diagnosing this problem. Because the machine is designed to be compact the internals are a bit more complex than any of the regular 2 group machines I have worked on.
      But to be systematic,
      it can't be the pump as the pump works normally when used to fill the boiler
      It can't be a blockage in the group as water flows normally when the group is cold
      I don't think it could be a solenoid as when its cold it seems to work fine.
      I guess I'm going to need to find someone who is familiar with these machines and get their advice.

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      • #4
        Here's the video of the problem
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Yh1...KAJNedq9KWOlXw
        I turn the brew switch then push the boiler fill button to give a sense of what the vibe pump should sound like, then try the brew switch again.

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        • #5
          Ive just had another thought after looking at a schematic of a Cimbali junior - which is basically the same machine- could it be a problem with the over pressure valve? I don't know why it would be dependent on heat or even how heat would reach it, but in tracing the water path it seems the only other thing between the pump and the group.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            last night after some discussion with another coffee enthusiast i got the machine up to fail temp. interestingly this took a while as I had removed the top cover, with all the heat escaping out of the top of the machine i could not replicate the problem until i had put the top back on and allowed it to warm up. Anyway once hot (and not working) I removed the slug/plunger from the brew solenoid and then engaged the brew switch and got water coming out the discharge tube, which means the pump is working and i'm getting water through the group so no blockages there. So it seems the problem was with the solenoid coil. I have ordered a replacement and hopefully this will solve the problem.

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            • #7
              Bought a new coil, then had to buy a whole new solenoid body as coffee parts does not stock sirai solenoid parts and I stupidly thought a parker coil would fit a sirai solenoid. Seems sirai solenoids are a bit rare as i couldn't find anyone in sydney who had them. Anyway, once the new solenoid was installed everything is back to working as it should.

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              • #8
                Just an update to this nine months on. The Parker solenoid is definitely not as good as the original Sirai. Sometimes when I'm backlashing the machine the solenoid does not vent the pressure form the group out of the discharge tube. I need to slowly try and remove the pressurised (with water and detergent) portafilter, then as it loosens slightly the solenoid releases the pressure. Its quite unnerving. Im guessing that the parker is more susceptible to dirt build up, as once its flushed successfully once it seems to be happy for a while until i get sloppy with the back flush routine.

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