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Thread: All of a sudden - crap steaming

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    All of a sudden - crap steaming

    About a month ago, I noticed that one of the steam holes in the wand of my Diadema Perfetta was functioning less well than the other.
    I used a needle to clear a slight calcium build-up and afterwards the steam function seemed to have about twice the pressure.
    The Diadema has always been a very strong 'steamer' but now, even on a reduced steam output it seems to be too strong, makes a lot of noise that it did not previously make, and hits the 70 degrees in about half the time.
    It did not steam this way when new or at any other time during ownership. Microfoam (or any sort of foam) is currently unobtainable.
    Persisting on a low pressure to try to slow the process down still eventually results in lumpy milk but no foam - as though the milk is heated above the ideal temp.
    I have always produced nice microfoam on this machine and I am totally at a loss to explain what has happened. I would not have thought clearing a steam hole would make much difference to anything.
    You would think that just turning down the pressure and steaming more slowly would solve the problem.
    Has anyone ever had anything like this happen? Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Unscrow the tip and have a closer look what going on. I think you made the holes wider using the needle or the tube inside

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Yep, failing any other explanation, I will see if I can get the tip off the wand. I cleaned it gently with a fine needle and unless it is totally different to what I expect the tip of a steam wand to be like it is hard to imagine why there has been such a marked change. If I had stuck a drill bit up it and given it a good ream out I could understand it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    It's also possible that clearing one hole has changed the relative amount of steam dispensed in different directions, and that this means that the positioning of the wand in the milk that generates the 'whirlpool' effect will change. You many need to change the angle of incidence and positioning of the wand (but maybe you've tried that?)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Nuh, that tip doesn't come off. it's round and smooth and nothing to grip anyhow. Only two holes and they both seem to emit the same amount of steam.
    The feeling I get is that something that used to 'regulate' the quantity/pressure/temp of the steam is no longer functioning.
    Seems to hit 70 degrees in half the time without frothing the milk. Don't know if that makes any sense or is even possible.

  6. #6
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    Clearing a blockage can have a huge effect. If it is only a two hole tip, you would doubling the steam power.
    Overall steam power would be dependent on the boiler temp. Alternatively, could try to find a swret spot when opening steam valve?

  7. #7
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    Snap a toothpick off in one hole and try that. Leave enough to get it out after.
    Boiler pressure is still ok?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Yes, boiler pressure/temp is same as always. I was trying to think my way through the process to determine whether anything could have changed regarding the pressure/temp for the 'Steam' setting.
    Logic says that just using a 'smaller' opening on the Steam Wand should solve the problem. Maybe I haven't experimented enough. I will go back to the 'Drawing Board'.

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