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VBM Domobar HX not heating up

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  • VBM Domobar HX not heating up

    Hi all. This is my first post. I am still very much an ametuer when it comes to this stuff. A little background. I started with a percolator, had my morning routine, loved it. Got a job in a small cafe, loved making expresso, bought a cheap breville and loved it for a few years until I got fed up with the small basket, lack of steam etc. I was in the market for a Silvia when I found an old VBM Domobar HX machine for $400. WELL used. I took the plunge and bought it. Up until now it has been flawless. I haven't had the chance to open it up and explore how it works but it makes beautiful coffee. It was originally a plumbed in machine but at some point the pump was swapped to one from a tanked machine and it is now fed by an external tank.

    On to the issue. It no longer heats up. When turned on the pump no longer instantly kicks in and nothing heats up and no pressure is made obviously. When you pull the lever cold water comes out of the group. I have opened it up but it is unfamiliar for me so have no idea what I'm doing. I am generally handy so wouldn't mind learning about it with your help. I am hoping to at least diagnose the problem. My instant thought is element but there must be some other simple things I can check first?

    Any help would be fantastic!

  • #2
    Hello and welcome.

    You could check if the element is getting power, I would do that first as its your primary issue.

    Also, if it normally fills a bit when first turned on and doesn't do it, perhaps one of the water level probes/sensors is not right, or the controller (presuming it has one). I'm not familiar with how your model operates, try searching for a schematic or similar, will help diagnosing.



    • #3
      Sounds like the Boiler Low Water protection is operating....

      If the boiler has sufficient water but the element or pump won't operate, then it's possible that the Low Water Probe is not functioning properly due to calcification or the Low Water Level protection controller may be faulty.

      There a lot of schematics for VBM machines to be found on the Web (such as this one) but you would need to know the model number, etc to ensure you use the one specific to your machine.



      • #4
        Hi pgear,

        Will be one of element, control board or overtemp thermal.

        If your machine hasn't been serviced for a while, it would be a great idea to have it done at the same time when it is repaired.

        Hope you're up and running soon.


        • #5
          Thank you for the fantastic responses.

          I don't have a working multimeter anymore so can't test much. I really have no idea what I'm doing, although the above diagram made sense of some things my machine is slightly different from what I can tell. It has areas of corrosion and signs of leaking inside, so with 240v going through I think it's wise to get an expert to look at it.

          As it is a used machine I think it would be worth getting it looked at by a shop, then I can learn the maintenance tasks once it is up and running again. I hope it doesn't cost a bomb to get it going!

          Can anyone suggest a good service centre close to Mitcham or Balwyn in Melbourne?


          • #6
            Thank you for all of the help above, some great minds in this forum.


            • #7
              I had the machine looked at and the element has gone. It is beyond me to fix so I am hoping someone on here will want it to repair and have a beautiful machine. I will post it for sale on here soon.


              • #8
                A replacement element should be $<150 fitted. No reason to sell a machine which owes you nothing Paul?
                Last edited by TC; 8 April 2016, 07:04 PM. Reason: added fitted ;-)


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                  A replacement element should be $<150. No reason to sell a machine which owes you nothing Paul?
                  Even as low as $73.50 for a genuine item...



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                    Even as low as $73.50 for a genuine item...

                    ....should have added the word fitted to the above post ;-)


                    • #11
                      I was just being a bit cheeky mate...