Steam boiler alarm

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sjseattle

Steam boiler alarm

Post by sjseattle » Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:04 pm

After noticing that the steam boiler takes longer than usual to come up to pressure, today the pressure gauge needle never moved at all. No steam, no hot water. No alarm condition was indicated by the lights. I finally decided to brew a straight espresso. That worked fine (delicious!) but shortly after that the alarm light 19-20-21 came on steady. This indicates a damaged temperature probe. It is supposed to be a "non-blocking" alarm, but in that condition nothing functions - not even the on/off button. By unplugging/plugging the alarm lights went off and I was able to power back on as before.

I've emailed Chris Coffee and also left a phone message and am waiting for a response. Labor Day is probably not the most opportune day for getting prompt service.

Will post more later to explain how the problem gets resolved. :cry:

I posted a similar description of this problem earlier but didn't assign a subject, so I assumed the post went into internet limbo.

Steve

sjseattle

Steam boiler problem

Post by sjseattle » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:19 pm

I talked to Roger at Chris Coffee this a.m.. He told me that he had never seen a failure of the temperature probe on a steam boiler and suggested that the problem was most likely the heating element. I noted that it had been taking longer and longer for the steam boiler to come up to pressure and he said that that made sense. He had me check the steam boiler heating element for continuity. There was no continuity across the heating element so he said I could either send the machine in for warranty service or he could send me the new heating element so I could install it myself - with coaching from him if I wanted it.

Since I can still brew espresso and I am not afraid of doing the replacement myself, I opted for him to send me the replacement element.

So far I am very impressed by the quality of service from Chris.

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chas
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Post by chas » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:06 pm

By all means photo document the replacement process when you do it and post here. Good luck.
Chas
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sjseattle

Steam boiler problem

Post by sjseattle » Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:27 pm

The heating element is being shipped. I anticipate installing it in about 2 weeks since I will be on vacation when it arrives. I will photo document the process as much as possible.

Steve

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chas
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Re: Steam boiler problem

Post by chas » Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:21 am

sjseattle wrote:The heating element is being shipped. I anticipate installing it in about 2 weeks since I will be on vacation when it arrives. I will photo document the process as much as possible.

Steve
Any update on this?
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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sjseattle

Post by sjseattle » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:13 pm

Steam boiler post is coming. I think I finally have "image" posting figured out and found a place on the internet for my photos. Sorry for the delay.

sjseattle

Post by sjseattle » Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:10 am

I replaced the heating element in my steam boiler recently and this is what Chris' Coffee sent me - an element and a gasket:

Image

To start, I made sure that it was a weekend evening when there would be no one to call and no place open to pickup tools. Anyway, I unplugged the S1, shut off the water supply valve (left the water line connected). I like to tip the machine up on 1 side to take off the covers:

Image

In the picture above if you look closeley on the bottom of the machine where the water line drapes down you can see the boiler drain plug. If I had been aware of it ahead of time, I would have drained the boiler and also have detatched it from the bottom panel by removing the drain plug. I found it later when I was trying to remove the boiler.

The next shot shows the panel in the middle of the machine to which the side of the boiler is screwed on to. The machine screw with a washer is just below the steam tube (I already had the boiler cap off when I took this picture):

Image

To remove the heating element, it is necessary to remove the boiler cap and the heating element wires. The 2 black boots in the middle of the boiler cap cover the heating element terminals - they pull off easily. Then the wires can be disconnected from the terminals. The next picture shows the "before":

Image

Also, you can see the 10mm cap screws - about 9 of them and the 2 heating element mounting nuts under the black boots; they are 22mm and as I found out later, it's a lot easier to have a 22mm deep socket to take those off and put them back on (found one at Sears).

Next I am removing the cap screws:

Image

As you can see there are a couple of ground wires attached to one of the cap screws - the green wires. I wanted to unplug the 2 black wires in the white plastic connectors to the right of the socket wrench but either I didn't know the method or they were on really tight. So I left them on.

Next shot shows the cap removed with the heating element sticking down at a angle into the boiler. I removed the element at this time:

Image

After removing the heating element, I could tell that the gasket was pretty well destroyed and would have to be replaced. The next shot shows the boiler gasket and the heating element sitting disconnected inside the boiler:

Image

I tried to pull the gasket off but it was pretty well stuck on so I started scraping it off. After some pieces fell into the boiler, I decided it would be best to take the boiler out so it would be easier to work on the gasket and to clean out the debris from the boiler. To pull it out of the machine, I disconnected the boiler plug from the bottom and the screw from the side. Also, the 3 water/steam tubes had to be disconnected - they were no problem at all.

This is the boiler when it's out of the machine. Notice that the pressure gauge and tube remained connected:

Image

With the boiler out, the gasket could be scraped out of the machined recess where it sits:

Image

It took me about an hour to completely scrape out the gasket using a pocket knife.

The next 2 pictures show the ohm readings - 1st on the old element and 2nd on the new element:

Image

Image

Also, here is a picture of the bottom of the boiler showing the drain plug:

Image


The new gasket doesn't require any sealer so it is just replaced back into the recess. The heating element has a couple of white gaskets which I were able to reuse. Putting it back together was mainly a matter of reversing what I had done to take it apart. It is important to tighten up the heating element to the boiler cap while the cap is still out of the boiler so you can hold the hex part of the heating element under the boiler cap with a wrench while snugging down the 22mm mounting nuts on the top of the cap. Also, without a deep socket it is very difficult to access the 2 nuts as they are crowded in by other fittings - I tried it with a crescent wrench before I bought the socket.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who may want to try this in the event that the element fails.

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chas
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Post by chas » Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:33 pm

Great documentation job. If you can't permanently keep this photos stored at their current location, let me know. I'll be glad to copy this entire post over to it's own page on the S1 Web Site.

The inside of your boiler looks very clean, but then again this is a pretty new unit isn't it? I've been curious as to what mine looks like inside. I keep meaning to unscrew the drain plug just to see if the water that comes out is pretty clean or full of mineral flakes.
Chas
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Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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sjseattle

Post by sjseattle » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:13 pm

I've had my S1 for about 10 months. The water we have here in Seattle is pretty soft so we don't get mineral build-up too fast.

As to the pictures, I have them on a google blog. I don't know what the time limit is but you're more than welcome to make a more permanent copy.

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admin
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Post by admin » Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:50 pm

sjseattle wrote:I've had my S1 for about 10 months. The water we have here in Seattle is pretty soft so we don't get mineral build-up too fast.

As to the pictures, I have them on a google blog. I don't know what the time limit is but you're more than welcome to make a more permanent copy.
I copied these section to its own web page at: http://www.rimpo.org/s1/S1Boiler.html so that it will remain for posterity in case the images on Google mysteriously vanish at some point.
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Barry

Post by Barry » Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:57 pm

Great job at documenting the procedure Steve. Could you detect any reason why the original element failed?

sjseattle

Post by sjseattle » Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:17 am

The heating element looked identical to the replacemnet. I have no idea why it failed other than the fact that I do not leave the machine on 24/7 - I usually power it up first thing in the morning and then at lunch.

Roger at Chris' Coffee asked me if I would return the dead element so he could show it to some visitors from La Spaziale at the end of September. I sent it to him and will call to see if he learned anything.

Steve

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chas
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Post by chas » Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:44 am

Maybe he'll at least learn how to curse in Italian :roll:
Chas
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Post by hlsheppard » Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:00 pm

Yes sir, Steve!

Very nice job with the photos / notes. Thanks for the extra effort!
Howard L. Sheppard
howardsheppard(at)sbcglobal.net

"I wish I were less awkward around strangers. I never know what to say when someone asks me who I am and what in the world I'm doing in their house." -- Andy Ihnatko

prejudica

Post by prejudica » Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:56 pm

yoo...
thanke for the photos...

greetings
pre

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