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I'm expecting my first! (HX Machine) - Bezzera BZ99S

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  • I'm expecting my first! (HX Machine) - Bezzera BZ99S

    Hi All,

    Upgraditis has been itching away at me for a long time now, and while going through my daily auction site hunt last week, i managed to win a used Bezzera BZ99S for what seems to be a reasonable price, ~$430 (+shipping).
    I understand the implications of buying sight unseen, however considering the price difference it was a risk i'm willing to take. I'm upgrading from a PID'd Rancilio Silvia V3, so it should be a fair step upwards.

    This will be my first HX Machine, so i've been reading up on best practices, cooling flushes, and descale procedures. Can anyone offer any advice on what i should immediately be looking out for once the Bez' arrives later this week? Wanting to give it a good make-over/clean, but unsure where to get started.

    Obviously i'm wanting to do this myself as i find things like this enjoyable, so taking into a shop for them to look over isn't what i'm wanting to achieve. However, i'm expecting that i'll probably need to pick up a few parts here and there from CoffeeParts (or elsewhere).

    Tips, tricks, and advice welcome! I'll update this thread as i go along, once the machine arrives!

  • #2
    Congrats!

    When I got mine, I followed Talk Coffees "How to descale a HX machine properly" guide.

    On mine (ca. 1998), the tank can be removed whilst full just by lifting it up - although watch you don't snag the connection for the low water sensor on the LHS. The top of the machine then comes off by unscrewing the two screws under the grille in the cup warming tray.

    In use:

    Watch your dose. The shower screen protrudes a long way into the basket (8mm or so I think - nearly the depth of my tamper).

    A two hole tip helped me tame the steam.

    I added a small piece of tubing to the nozzle from the three way valve to the drip tray - less mess that way.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Haha, I put a bid in on this machine but gave up once it went past $150. Wasn't gonna trust it with such little information provided.
      I hope it goes well for you, as long as the control board is good and the boiler isn't cracked or something catastrophic I'm sure it'll make a good machine.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies! I'll dig out and thoroughly read through the Talk Coffee article on descaling a HX, it doesn't seem like an overly complicated process - thankfully.

        You're right, Noidle22 - There wasn't too much information provided in the advert, however the guy was open and willing to discuss via PM which helped partly set my mind at ease. Time will tell though! I'm expecting a few repairs needed, however hopefully the boiler and controller are all okay as you mentioned.

        Any ideas how i can tell the age of the machine from the serial number? I've seen people mention the last 2-digits of the number are the build year, but doesn't seem to be mentioned consistently? If so, that would make this machine an '09... Seems newer than i was expecting!

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        • #5
          Email Bezzera Australia, they are very helpful

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          • #6
            Last two digits of Serial number thing doesn't work.

            Mine has a build date of 3/01 and serial number is 301XXX. May or may nor be a coincidence. Look ar the dates on pump and 3 way solenoid. Also red badge is pre 2006 and white one is after.

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            • #7
              So it arrived earlier today! Hurrah!
              Visually, it appears to be in very good condition. The body is clean, the group head and shower head are shinny clean - however im yet to open it up to check outside of the obvious.

              When powering on, the orange light turns on and a relay/solenoid clicks, however the two indicator lights (yellow & green) stay off. There is no pump sound, and it's almost like the machine is in "safety mode"?
              How do i force water back into the boiler, or tell it to trigger the pump to start auto-filling?

              The saga begins...

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              • #8
                That sounds like a low water shutoff. Can be triggered by boiler or water tank probe or waterr tank not being seated. Possibly other things I don't know about.

                First thing: pull water tank out and make sure it is fitted properly.

                Are you using softened water? Try filling tank with tap water if you are for diagnosis.

                You can try cleaning the low water in boiler probe, it's on the right from memory.

                The bolt sensor in water tank may be corroded, descaling the machine helps or you can take to it with a nail file.

                If you are seriously unlucky their may be a control board fault which is expensive and or fiddly.

                Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Thank you, Azzah! My initial thought was low-water shutoff too.

                  From what i'm seeing so far, i think it's a grounding issue. Once i opened the back up (noting the inside is exceptionally clean, from my expectations!!) there was two ground wires that were unattached. The spade terminals had come off.
                  I've pulled the tank out, there's a slight leak coming from the feed mechanism so i've disassembled, cleaned and about to test to see if it's maintaining a seal now.

                  I'll upload some photos shortly, have been taking a few as i progress along

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                  • #10
                    It's alive! My suspicion of the grounding appears to have been correct.
                    I've got power, pump works, as does auto-fill, and boiler heats up. However, no water from group head or steam from wand? Hot water tap is working fine.

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                    • #11
                      Sounds like someone is spending their weekend stripping and descaling

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                      • #12
                        Machine is descaling at the moment. Got the steam wand working before hand, the tip was just blocked up. Pulled the valve apart, gave it a clean down and reinstalled. The copper lines to the steam wand were visually okay, and steam pressure strong - so perhaps i won't need to tear down to descale? Time will tell.

                        There's a slight leak from the water tank, still trying to diagnose where it's coming from.

                        Now for some quick photos!







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                        • #13
                          Looks pretty good. I wouldn't tear down if not necessary. Just FYI on my domus Galatea the serial number ends in 11 and it's a 2011 model. It also has the build date on the sticker.

                          Cheers

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Arty! I sent an email to Bezzera a few days ago to see if they could confirm that the same last 2-digit rule applies for these machines - no reply as of yet.

                            Descale is still going, and if i can avoid stripping it down then that would make it much easier! Water wand, and steam wand are working well (although water coming out is dark blue/green in colour). Still nothing from the group head, and when the brew switch is enabled - no water is coming out of the 3-way valve return either. So there is clearly a blockage somewhere which i'm yet to discover!

                            Will see how it goes tomorrow, after i pick up some more descale solution in the morning.

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                            • #15
                              Popped open one of the nuts on top of the boiler this morning to take a peek inside, and it appears to be pretty clean. I'm now thinking that the issue with the water not getting to the group head is either something to do with a stuck 3-way solenoid, or a blockage in the HX unit itself? Although hot water tap is fine... So probably not, right?

                              The lines leading to/from the group head are clear, but one end of the 3-way solenoid appears to be pretty gunked up. Have it soaking in citric solution at the moment.

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