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Steam wand not so wanderful! Profitec Pro 500

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  • Steam wand not so wanderful! Profitec Pro 500

    A question and some advice please. I had my Profitec Pro 500 serviced a few months ago, and when it came back to me the steam wand seem so much more powerful than had been before. It was great!

    Over the last couple of months, the power of the steam one seems to be less than it was. It takes longer to texture the milk and there seems to be residual steam – after I have closed off the valve – that takes at least a few seconds to dissipate.

    Perhaps I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but I realised that I was not doing enough to keep the steam wand clean and that perhaps it was just clogged.

    I bought some Cafetto MFC blue and a brush and got to work. I think I have used the cleaning solution properly, but I also unscrewed the tip of the steam wand to try and get the brush in there. I found this broken O ring loitering there, and now I am wondering if there is actually something that is broken rather than just being a problem cleaning.

    Am I doing the right thing? Do the problems I have encountered sound like a specific fault, or is it just an issue of cleanliness?

    Any advice gratefully received.
    Last edited by zeedok; 6th August 2019, 09:09 PM. Reason: Typos

  • #2
    Are you using appropriately treaded (filtered) water to stop scale build up in your machine? I’ve seen some nasty scale build up blocking steam wand / valves that cause restriction?

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    • #3
      Mb21 is right, so check to be sure you are using soft water or buy it at the store if your house water is hard. There is an o-ring between the steam wand tip and the arm its threaded to, is this the o-ring you're talking about? Also, right after each and every use of the steam wand for milk, you must purge the steam wand for a second or two, otherwise while the steam wand is cooling down it will suck milk residue up inside it and harden as well as cause a spoiled milk odor/flavor.
      You might want to ask the people who serviced it a few months ago what they did, then go from there but in my opinion, you are doing the right thing, no question.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Martino View Post
        Mb21 is right, so check to be sure you are using soft water or buy it at the store if your house water is hard.
        Thanks guys — yep, have a filter (actually two — wife didn’t like the taste of soft water)

        Originally posted by Martino View Post
        There is an o-ring between the steam wand tip and the arm its threaded to, is this the o-ring you're talking about?
        After some more research I have learned that my tip has two Teflon O rings. One sits outside the threaded part and one inside the tip (presumably it goes around the latex tube). The inner ring is now missing, so I presume that is the one that is broken. Looking around various forums, I am not sure the inner ring does much, except prevent heat from transmitting up the tube.

        Originally posted by Martino View Post
        Also, right after each and every use of the steam wand for milk, you must purge the steam wand for a second or two, otherwise while the steam wand is cooling down it will suck milk residue up inside it and harden as well as cause a spoiled milk odor/flavor.
        I do that routinely, but wasn’t doing any other dedicated cleaning. I used the blue MFC for the first time last night and let it soak for a couple of hours — this morning the pressure is much improved, so I suspect the issue was milk build up after all.

        I have emailed the service centre to see what they think.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Zeedok.
          Do you also clean the steam tip holes regularly?
          Even though I always purge and I have no noticeable clogging, I always get a slight improvement after using a paper clip on the steam holes.

          Cheers
          Mal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zeedok View Post
            After some more research I have learned that my tip has two Teflon O rings. One sits outside the threaded part and one inside the tip (presumably it goes around the latex tube). The inner ring is now missing, so I presume that is the one that is broken. Looking around various forums, I am not sure the inner ring does much, except prevent heat from transmitting up the tube.
            Which numbers in the diagram are the two o-rings and which one was the missing one? Were bits of the broken one clogging your steam wand holes?

            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brewster View Post
              Hi Zeedok.
              Do you also clean the steam tip holes regularly?
              Even though I always purge and I have no noticeable clogging, I always get a slight improvement after using a paper clip on the steam holes.

              Cheers
              Mal
              Thanks Mal — I hadn’t been cleaning them, thanks for the tip. I think the Cafetto MFC made a big difference. As I understand it the milk can be sucked up the wand, so the steam tip holes are no that only problem.

              Originally posted by Martino View Post
              Which numbers in the diagram are the two o-rings and which one was the missing one? Were bits of the broken one clogging your steam wand holes?

              [ATTACH=CONFIG]22978[/ATTACH]
              This diagram only seems to have one o ring — 24, but my machine has (or had) two. The one labelled 24 goes over the threaded part, but another one is inside that part. I read somewhere that Profitec changed the design from one to two o rings — I guess mine is the updated version. I’m not sure whether the remnants were clogging the holes. It came out in one piece — I think it was milk residue.

              Meanwhile the service service centre me to a replacement part.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by zeedok View Post
                This diagram only seems to have one o ring — 24, but my machine has (or had) two. The one labelled 24 goes over the threaded part, but another one is inside that part. I read somewhere that Profitec changed the design from one to two o rings — I guess mine is the updated version. I’m not sure whether the remnants were clogging the holes. It came out in one piece — I think it was milk residue.

                Meanwhile the service service centre me to a replacement part.
                I think you mean #23 and not #24, correct? I have never seen a steam wand with more than one o-ring at the tip. In looking at this parts diagram, o-ring #23 creates a leak tight seal between the nozzle (24) and the arm is screws into. There would be no reason I can think of for a second o-ring. Looks like you have the no burn steam arm, right? This is what is being depicted by the gray color within the steam arm. That is usually like a silicone or plastic sleeve that insulates the steam from the metal arm and that sleeve simply ends near or possibly within the steam tip. There are other o-rings in the steam arm diagram, like #20 and #18, do you think this is what whatever you read may have referred to?
                What was it that came out in one piece? The o-ring or a ring made up of milk residue? What did you do with it once it came out? I have in fact seen a milk residue shaped like a ring before. Zeedok is correct, you must regularly clean out the steam wand tip holes as well as remove the tip on a periodic basis and clean the inside too. I probably do this every four months or so but I purge the steam wand after each and every use with milk, just a second or two does the trick and keeps it pretty clean.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Martino View Post
                  I think you mean #23 and not #24, correct?
                  Sorry, yes #23.

                  This one has two O rings.

                  Here is a photo showing the two (I think I have attached it properly — if not I will add later)
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for posting the pic! Ok, so the o-ring inside the steam nozzle is where the silicon/plastic steam sleeve fits into. Interesting because I have since looked at a few parts breakdowns for the 500 and none of them had it. So, it this is in fact supposed to be there, you will want to be sure to have some food grade grease on hand and after taking apart the nozzle to clean it, apply the grease on that inner o-ring and the outer o-ring before reassembling the parts. This acts as a lubrication to ease the assembly and protects the soft rubber o-rings from getting chewed up. I wonder why they felt the need to add the inner o-ring?

                    Anyway, are you happy now with your machine? That's what really matters :-)

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                    • #11
                      I have a Pro 500 too and sometimes the milk steaming is very poor, other times very happy with it and get a nice whirlpool going and nicely textured milk. I think the machine just needs a good amount of time to heat up, I am leaving it on all day now. Changing from the 2 hole to 4 hole tip helped a bit too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Martino View Post
                        Thanks for posting the pic! Ok, so the o-ring inside the steam nozzle is where the silicon/plastic steam sleeve fits into. Interesting because I have since looked at a few parts breakdowns for the 500 and none of them had it.
                        Like I said earlier, I found somewhere that they changed the design to include the second inner ring. The explanation was to avoid the heat travelling back up the steam wand (I guess so it is cool to the touch)

                        Originally posted by Martino View Post
                        Anyway, are you happy now with your machine? That's what really matters :-)
                        Yes, very happy. I had a replacement sent out and it took about 4 seconds to fit etc.

                        Originally posted by javameister View Post
                        I have a Pro 500 too and sometimes the milk steaming is very poor, other times very happy with it and get a nice whirlpool going and nicely textured milk.
                        This experience has taught me the value of proper cleaning. Maybe you should give it a try too.

                        Originally posted by javameister View Post
                        I think the machine just needs a good amount of time to heat up, I am leaving it on all day now.
                        I have mine on a timer. It gets at least half an hour to warm up.

                        Originally posted by javameister View Post
                        Changing from the 2 hole to 4 hole tip helped a bit too.
                        I must admit, the extra power of a clean 4 hole tip doesn’t leave much time for texturing. You’ve got to be on your game!

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                        • #13
                          My Bezzera Matrix has the two o-ring design. I tested it this evening with the inner o-ring removed, the steam performance was the same as with the o-ring in place.

                          The wand did get hot though, as mentioned before, this o-ring is there to stop steam travelling up the tube and heating it up. It has no impact on steam performance.

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                          • #14
                            Well zeedoc, looks like the case is solved, eh? You've had a lot of good advice from forum members and you now know more about your machine than before so all is good. Watch your steam pressure gauge, looks like it goes up to between 1 and 1.5 somewhere. When it peaks out, its ready to go. You should run your hot water nozzle on a regular basis and drain about a cup or two of water out of it, careful cause its awfully freak'n hot and powerful as the pressure pushes out the water but this spout feeds off the bottom of your steam boiler and will help flush out sediment, calcium, etc from your boiler. Probably do it once a week or once every two weeks. This is the same reason why its also recommended to do the same with your house water heater....flushing that and replacing the sacrificial anode rod will keep your water heater in good shape. Same principle, both are water boilers.

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                            • #15
                              Hi JavaMeister,
                              if you have low steam you could try to dump some water out of the boiler using the hot water wand. You don't need to dump much water just a little. Then wait a few seconds for the water sensor to activated the pump to re fill the tank. This works for my ECM heat exchange machine.

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