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  • Time to replace shower screen?

    I've had my VBM Junior for just over 6 months and I noticed after a chemical backflushing session that the water started to pool in one area. I pushed the screen where the water started pooling and now the water is going to the edges. My guess is that the filter is getting loose. Does this mean its time to change it?

  • #2
    I would unscrew it and give it a good clean (soak in some backflushing solution and scrub). You would be surprised how quickly they can gunk up even with a good cleaning schedule. It shouldn't need a replacement tho

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    • #3
      i agree with burr - 6 months sounds a little too short to need a replacement... i'd try removing the gasket and giving it a good clean/wipe. also maybe you might not be locking the PF in tight enough?
      just curious but where is the water pooling exactly?

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      • #4
        The water is pooling on the the shower screen. ie. I take off the portafilter, lift the lever and see water coming out at only one place on the shower screen. I pulled off the shower screen and I see very little coffee as it was cleaned a few shots before. Cleaning consists of dropping the screen into backflush solution (hot), leave it for 10mins and scrubbied like burr said. I then place the screen back to run a chemical backflush on the coffee machine. The water still pooled so I then took off the shower screen to see if it was the brass dispersion thing but it seemed ok. Without much choice cleaned the screen again and push down the screen slightly where the water pooled and noticed the water flowing from the sides like it usually does. Will see after next coffee if it occurs again.

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        • #5
          Some machines seem to disperse water better than others, not sure how much it matters. I guess once it hits the surface of the coffee puck it evens out more before flowing through it. If you have a naked portafilter it will be easy to tell if it is producing an uneven extraction!

          Hahah I recently saw there is a Sproline precision shower screen on the market for >$100. Now I think that is going too far.

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          • #6
            Here is a picture of what I mean. Just a warning that this was straight after making a coffee so the shower screen hasn't been cleaned at all. It definitely runs more water through the puck within the same region but the extraction is by no means extremely uneven. It doesn't extract too well if I overdose a bit but underdose/ spot on and it looks quite nice but offcentre abit (obviously towards the stream of water)
            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              what you're seeing there is good in my eyes,
              water is actually flowing out of the entire screen evenly, and combining into one point due to the surface tension of water
              much like a good pour from a naked PF

              As a test, with it running like that, move your finger (or use a spoon to not burn yourself) around the screen and see if the column of water follows

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              • #8
                Oh? I thought it was meant to be like rain droplets coming out on the shower screen or atleast slightly dispersed since there are holes located throughout the shower screen. All the water is combining to one point off centre.

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                • #9
                  Once the puck is swelled with water and fills the portafilter, the water will push through evenly,
                  but the only way you'll get a "shower of tiny droplets" is if surface tension didn't exist or the water was being pumped out at a massive flow-rate or pressure like a garden hose.

                  Take a look at your kitchen tap, it probably has a fine mesh filter on the end of the spout

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Robbks View Post
                    Once the puck is swelled with water and fills the portafilter, the water will push through evenly,
                    but the only way you'll get a "shower of tiny droplets" is if surface tension didn't exist or the water was being pumped out at a massive flow-rate or pressure like a garden hose.

                    Take a look at your kitchen tap, it probably has a fine mesh filter on the end of the spout
                    Interestingly experiments with transparent portafilters is showing that contrary to popular belief the puck does not swell when hit by the water but rather it swells after the extraction has finished when the pressure on the puck is relieved.


                    Java "I can see clearrrrrly nowww the chrommmme is gonnnnnnne..." phile
                    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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                    • #11
                      Makes sense....Not too much expands at all when under 130ish PSI (9Bar) of pressure....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                        Makes sense....Not too much expands at all when under 130ish PSI (9Bar) of pressure....
                        Except hot air..;-D

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                        • #13
                          Funny, water seems to come out straight from the centre on my screen. Maybe your table is just a little off level?
                          But every so often it does go to the side as well. I think it's still pretty centred imo

                          Also if you give the screen a good wipe you'll see the droplets coming down for a few seconds before combining into a single stream (at least it does on mine)

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                          • #14
                            I just went to have a look using a spirit level and it was definitely off level. I noticed that one leg was unscrewing itself for whatever reason. Really strange. The leg was unscrewed quite abit but now screwed in all the way again and more or less level again. Luckily I caught it before one side crashes down onto my counter top if the leg decided to unscrew completely off. Cheers for that.

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                            • #15
                              Haha wow. I never thought my little fleeting comment would be that much help

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