Anyone out there with a Wega or San Marino fed up with a a sore forearm from stiff steam valves. Im sure this is an option for all machines with dials not levers but im told by my machine tech all Wegas and San Marinos use the same steam valves.
I recently had my steam valve replaced and the new one was not much better than the old one. Fed up with the twist twist motion all day and the RSI in my forearm I set out to improve my machine.
Long story short the simplest ideas are usually the best and found that a good quality 7mm spanner with a bit of hose slid over works a treat. The valve rod is 6mm but a 6mm spanner didnt fit.
So, get yourself the spanner, cut off the open end, bend from the hex end head just slightly more (this will avoid hitting the hot water dial) and slide some hose (for heat insulation) over the top. I got mine for free from my local ENZED. About 10cm should do it.
Now all you have to do is pop your old dial/handle off and slide your spanner over the valve rod. I find it doesnt even have to be secured as it sits on there reasonably snug and doesnt slide forwards or backwards.
I found this has virtually eliminated my RSI within a couple of weeks and has even improved my milk quality slightly as youre getting virtually instant pressure on and off just by a quick palm over and back not a twist twist motion. On my machine (Wega Atlas) a half turn is full pressure so I have the handle set to 2 oclock (just above the hot water dial) and turn it to 4 oclock (just under the hot water dial).
Hope this info helps anyone out there. Even if your arm isnt sore its worth it for the improvement to milk quality alone. it cost me $3 for the spanner, hose was free and I knocked it together in under 5 minutes.
First pic attached is of the valve rod and the second is of the rod with spanner attached.