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ECM Mechanika not fully heating (now not at all).

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  • ECM Mechanika not fully heating (now not at all).

    Hi all, I have owned an ECM Mechanisms for 5 years and it has been very reliable. Recently, however, it has not been heating properly. I have it on a timer for the morning and most days now the machine is vaguely warm but the boiler pressure is zero and it won't heat more. Usually tinkering (wobbling connectors, tapping the pressurestat, physically pressuring the boiler & depressuring with air etc) will kick it back into life. It will then over pressure by half a bar but after a few pressure stat cycles it returns to normal. This morning it was luke warm but I can't get it to heat more. It is not the vacuum valve (it's fine), it may be the pressure stat has died (Mater xp110) but I put a multimeter on it and it was only supplied with 10v. I descaled it about a month ago. Any ideas?

  • #2
    10V in reference to where? (Where are the two probes touching). What is the voltage across the element when it should be heating?

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    • #3
      The pressurestat is not inline with the element, it has a relay, so I'm not sure the 10v is a problem. The 10v was from the ptessurestat supply to ground. It did start heating again, to full pressure (reliably cycling), after about 30minutes and the element voltage was 240v. Maybe the descaling has partially blocked the pressurestat??? I'm hoping it is not an electronics issue...

      ​​​​​​I've also played with the pressurestat more & I'm not sure I understand how it works. The 2 terminals are normally electrically connected, ie no resistance, but when it switches (either way) they briefly show some resistance before returning to zero.

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      • #4
        I've discovered the pressurestat seems to be working normally (ATM). When I disconnected the terminals & checked its resistance, it is zero. When I pump the boiler pressure to > 1.5 bar is is an open circuit, as it should be. May be the relay. I'll check more when it fails again (hard to test working circuitry...)

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        • #5
          Probably a faulty element relay on the control board. I went through a phase a while ago where I replaced quite a few of them, may have been faulty batch or something.

          Can't remember what relay it was, if you open up the control box you'll see a big relay and a few small ones, the big one is the element relay. It'll say on the top of it the specifications. Check the pin configuration underneath so you order the right one. RS Components is the best source and the relays are cheap.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alan1 View Post
            Hi all, I have owned an ECM Mechanisms for 5 years and it has been very reliable. Recently, however, it has not been heating properly. I have it on a timer for the morning and most days now the machine is vaguely warm but the boiler pressure is zero and it won't heat more. Usually tinkering (wobbling connectors, tapping the pressurestat, physically pressuring the boiler & depressuring with air etc) will kick it back into life. It will then over pressure by half a bar but after a few pressure stat cycles it returns to normal. This morning it was luke warm but I can't get it to heat more. It is not the vacuum valve (it's fine), it may be the pressure stat has died (Mater xp110) but I put a multimeter on it and it was only supplied with 10v. I descaled it about a month ago. Any ideas?
            Alan, let me know if you need a new Pressurestat. I have a brand new one that I won't be using. I've gone back to using the big Sirai type in my machine. The new item I have is a Mater XP110, 0.5-1.2 bar.

            Evan.

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            • #7
              Thanks Evan. I'll let you know (if mine's done). More than happy to pay. Cheers

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              • #8
                Problem solved! It turned out to be a sticking trigger on the pressurestat microswithch. After much multimeter testing I determined that the pressurestat was not working properly but the relay was fine. The machine would heat for one initial cycle but once the pressurestat switch had been tripped, it would not reset after the pressure came down. If I bridged the terminals to force the machine to heat, the residual heat around the pressurestat eventually seemed to make it work normally. I decided to take up Evan's generous offer and buy his pressurestat. In the course of determining if his was correct, ie removing mine, I discovered the microswithch was sticking. I opened it, sprayed it with contact cleaner & reassembled everything and it's back to working correctly. Don't let a tiny bit of friction ruin your coffee (I was a manual pressurestat this morning, cycling the relay by hand to keep the boiler pressure right; afterall, coffee still has to be had!)

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                • #9
                  Good job on tracing the offending item

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