Pump sounds

Did your new VII work fine initially but have an in warranty (year one) problem later. Post here for advice. Later report on your fix. Posted photos documenting repairs are encouraged.
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Niko

Pump sounds

Post by Niko » Sat May 19, 2007 6:19 pm

After running my old S1 for some shots this morning, I noticed that the sound of my VII pump is not normal when compared to this machine. The VII's pump is making a clicking sound as it dispenses water or shots through the group. It's not the motor, that sounds smooth just like the other S1 when it cycles the steam boiler to auto refill with water. I'm trying to isolate the sound before I start ripping the covers off but it's getting close to that point. Another thing I noticed is that immediately when the shot cuts off, the 3-way valves makes a sticking sound (almost squeak-like). This sound with the valve is not constant, it does it when the machine sits idle for a while and then it seems to work that "sticking" out once the machine pulls a couple of shots. The pump click is constant, it's been happening for a couple of weeks or maybe longer, it's a constant clicking as it pumps water. It isn't a loud clicking but there to annoy me enough into removing the covers to investigate. I would like to assume it's the valve causing this or just something simple enough as some loose part in the machine that just needs tightening down.
Anyone else experience this kind of sound?

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ScottW
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Post by ScottW » Sat May 19, 2007 8:17 pm

Niko - Haven't heard anything like that from my V2. As you probably remember, I had the "capacitor touching the motor" noise but that just sounded like a loud "rattle" any time the pump was running so doesn't fit what you describe.

I also found out a few days ago what it sounds like when the pump is starved for water -- due to a combination of other concurrent water draws in the house, the pressure dropped low enough that the S1 wasn't getting quite enough flow. I think you said at some point you had experienced that, too, so you probably already know what that sounds like. Doesn't sound like what you are describing.

Is the noise loud enough you could capture it in a recording and post it here for us to take a listen?

...Scott

Niko

Post by Niko » Sat May 19, 2007 9:41 pm

I'll try and figure something out about posting a video (for the sound of the pump). I'm going to get to the bottom of this, kind of annoyed how this newer machine is irritating me to no end with this (sort of) cavitating sound. I keep hearing it in my sleep, I can hear it now and the machine is at the other house...it's starting to sound like a horror movie now. Maybe it is what it is and there's no way of making it sound like the other machine because no two machines are exactly alike? I don't know but I'm almost willing to pay out of pocket for a new pump to shut this one up. I can't really claim anything but anoyance with it, technically it still works so I can't say it's broken (other than my nerves). Whatever the pump costs, it's worth the price to be able to drop kick the old into another zip code.
Can you tell it's driving me mad?!
Other than the nerve racking sound, the machine runs like a champ.

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ScottW
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Post by ScottW » Sun May 20, 2007 1:07 am

Whoa, Niko, time for some decaf. :blob6:

Have you checked that it is getting enough supply pressure/flow? You could disconnect the supply line from the machine, and make sure there is good flow there. Maybe some more of that teflon tape is clogging up the works!

I don't recall... Is there a screen at the inlet of the machine? If so, could be some debris there clogging things up there.

I'm sure the techs at Chris would be glad to listen to the noise -- just hold the phone next to the machine. Seems like they are pretty good at associating noises with a specific cause.

Good luck, let us know what you find!

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 2:16 am

ScottW wrote:Whoa, Niko, time for some decaf. :blob6:
I don't have 600+ posts for nothing...




I know, I know decaf is in order after a day like this. I had about 4 shots of some killer Central American stuff, problem is, I don't do well with Centrals...they push me over the edge.

Doesn't anybody else drink 16 shots a day around here?

Anyways, the covers are flying off tomorrow. I'll post what I find (if anything).

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StuBaby
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Post by StuBaby » Sun May 20, 2007 7:39 am

Hey Buddy,
Sorry about your noise. I have the same sound, and some other to boot. Don't mean to sound (ha, pun) grim, but I haven't found too much help from anyone in the Spaz sound effects department. Let us know if you get lucky. But, like you said, it still makes coffee. Just be glad you don't have the run-off from the group like I do.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 12:15 pm

I don't have the "chirping" like you posted in a video, that's weird. Is it still doing that? I'm going to pull the morning shots around the house here first, about 16 rounds for everyone. After that I'll do a Cafiza flush, if it doesn't go away the covers are flying and then I'll report.

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Post by StuBaby » Sun May 20, 2007 12:30 pm

Actually, the chirping has subsided for now, not sure why, but now I have the clicking, which was always there, just subliminal to the chirp. I actually took the three way valve apart in my last adventure. Very easy to do but ask first, you don't touch the allen bolts on the group head casting. If it comes to dismantling the solenoid, Roger can walk you through it, or give me a hollar and I'll help you.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 3:34 pm

I might have found the problem.

Can someone please post a pic of their dual manometer while the machine is not in use? I need to see something...

I'll soon post my findings after I see more than one VII's manometer.

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ScottW
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Post by ScottW » Sun May 20, 2007 3:58 pm

Niko wrote:Can someone please post a pic of their dual manometer while the machine is not in use?
Do you mean turned off and cold? Or just when the pump is off? Here is a pic of mine, up to temp and waiting for action:
Image
The group pressure when pump is off indicates line pressure, in this case about 1.7bar (roughly 25psi from my regulator).

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 4:06 pm

Thanks for posting the pic, I really needed to see what your street water coming in looks like. Mine looks the same but I thought I've seen others that showed the needle roughly on the 10 o'clock position. I removed my regulator (since the adjustments are trashed anyway, getting a new one tomorrow) but my needle jumped to the 10 o'clock and the pump seemed quiter already.
Makes me wonder why is the pump starved (slightly enough to annoy me) at a reasonable pressure? I have it set around the 25-30 psi range, at least that's what the junky gauge says.

Why does your steam pressure cut off after it hits the red zone? That just goes to show you how accurate these stupid gauges are, it's the board that controls when to cut off the heat element. I knew Greg Scace was onto to something when you announced his new Scace2 Device which includes a gauge (because he thinks all others are crap).
Hmm, makes me wonder...

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ScottW
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Post by ScottW » Sun May 20, 2007 5:36 pm

Niko wrote:I removed my regulator (since the adjustments are trashed anyway, getting a new one tomorrow) but my needle jumped to the 10 o'clock and the pump seemed quiter already. Makes me wonder why is the pump starved (slightly enough to annoy me) at a reasonable pressure? I have it set around the 25-30 psi range, at least that's what the junky gauge says.
The PRESSURE is just a means to getting enough FLOW. The flow is what's important.

Hypothetical extreme: Let's say you clogged up your softner/filter such that only a few drops per minute could get through. With the S1 at idle, the line pressure would still build up to your line (or regulated) pressure. But as soon as the S1 tried to draw water, the pressure between the clog and the S1 would immediately drop to near zero and the pump would be starved. Stop drawing water, and the pressure would build quickly, because the line is full of water -- so even those few drops per minute will build pressure up quickly.

Another hypothetical... Assume the S1 has a screen at the inlet (I don't remember if it does or not), and that screen got clogged with some gunk (like some teflon tape shreds from the regulator connections, perhaps). With the screen partially covered, the 20psi line pressure that would normally supply plenty of water might not be enough and the pump could starve. The pressure measured in the line just before the S1 would look fine, but the restriction at the inlet screen would reduce the flow and cause starvation of the pump. A higher inlet pressure MIGHT get more water past the restriction, but obviously the better solution would be removing the restriction.

A couple of quick things to try:
(1) If you have a gauge between the filters and S1, watch the pressure there WHILE THE PUMP IS RUNNING. If it shows good pressure when the pump is off, but drops really low (say <10psi) when the pump runs, then you may have a restriction somewhere upstream of the gauge (like a clogged filter).
(2) Turn off the supply, disconnect the feed to the S1, and put it over a bucket or sink. Turn on the supply and see if you have good flow. This would eliminate any concern that it is a supply flow problem upstream of the S1.
Niko wrote:Why does your steam pressure cut off after it hits the read zone? That just goes to show you how accurate these stupid gauges are...
Agreed -- These aren't super accurate. First, there is a lot of error just reading them, due to the imprecise scale. As best I can tell, my line pressure going into the S1 is about 29psi -- but is reported as about 1.75bar = 25.4psi by the S1 gauge. Assuming my external gauge is accurate, that means the S1 gauge is reading 12% low.

If that 12% error is linear, the 8.5bar reading during shots might mean I am actually getting as much as 9.5bar. I would like to measure the actual pressure with a calibrated gauge sometime.

As for the steam pressure, it normally stops dead-on the 1.35 bar line (end of green, start of red). But after it sits for a while, and the boiler cycles a few times, it works its way up just above that -- as seen in the picture. It's never gone higher than that, and never tripped the pressure popoff -- so it hasn't worried me.

...Scott

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 5:59 pm

The pump is quieter now after I removed the regulator. When I did have it running with it installed, the gauge showed about an 8 psi drop when the pump was doing its business. I've read other people have the same exact drop (but that doesn't mean it's good either). Maybe a filter is clogged, I wouldn't doubt it since we had some sediment come through the plumbing about 2 months ago that completely clogged our little filter that's attached to our faucet. We ran that without knowing about the sediment so it was too late and the little filter got destroyed. Damn city workers, they were messing around with the water lines.
Pressure is good, a little too good since the manometer reads about 3.25 bars when idle compared to where it used to be (just like yours).
As far as a screen, there isn't one at the incoming supply line to the S1. I did disconnect the water a week ago and ran water from it, flow was good and strong but it did have the occasional sputter (haven't figured that one out yet) but I think it was due to the fact that I removed the filter to examine it closely for clogs, yeah right...like I'd be able to tell just from a visual. I ordered a new regulator, it arrives tomorrow but I'm going to wait a while and see how the machine operates without it for a while. In the meantime I think I'll get another set of filters soon just to be on the safe side. I might start changing the filters every six months rather than wait a year. Our water here is great, our house plumbing is ancient built back in the day of the Model T, so you can imagine what can flow through these pipes but then again they're copper (they don't make 'em like they used to).

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Post by MDL » Sun May 20, 2007 7:15 pm

If you are concerned about crud (sediment, rocks, etc.) in your water clogging your softener system you could put a third 10" filter housing into the system before the softener cartridge and put a coarse filter into it.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 7:43 pm

Only thing that worries me about adding another filter is the water pressure, it's going to take another dip and drop the pressure even more. But if there really is a build-up somewhere, I guess a sediment filter should keep the others cleaner.

Maybe adding an accumulator might help...

Has anyone used one with their S1 yet?

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Post by MDL » Sun May 20, 2007 8:07 pm

An accumulator will presumably help with the pressure regulation (as we discussed in the regulator thread) but it will do nothing about crud. If you really have crud I'd put in a coarse filter at the front end; they are cheap and you can replace that and save your more expensive softener and charcoal cartridges.

From what you have described it sounds to me as if your regulator was limiting your water flow. If your pressure varies substantially the spring regulators are not going to be able to deal with it (the same situation that I sometimes have). Every morning I check the pressure before I start the coffee routine and adjust if necessary.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun May 20, 2007 9:47 pm

I remember that conversation on the other thread about regulators. Unfortunately mine just joined the big regulator in the sky recently. The other bad thing about running the system without a regulator is that my brew pressure just hit the stratosphere, it's running at 10 bars. I have to adjust my grind to make up for it but I think this actually helped my ristrettos :wink: earlier.
Now my VII is operating at the same pressure as my Anita, gimme' 10 bars baby! As for flavor being affected by brew pressure (saw another thread on this), I certainly didn't notice any difference except for the shot pouring faster.

Hmm, something just bonked me over the head (besides the 2 doubles I just inhaled), I wonder if dropping the brew pressure might quiet the pump even more... :dontknow:

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed May 23, 2007 9:21 pm

This was all due to a faulty pressure regulator.
I installed the new regulator a couple of days ago and I'm happy to report that the water pressure isn't dancing up and down anymore. It's (factory?) set at a very stable 30 psi and it's STAYING there and I'm NOT touching it because the machine runs dandy.

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Post by chas » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:25 pm

When I first installed my pressure regulator from Chris the adjuster screw had absolutely no effect. I finally disassembled it and the problem was obvious. The techs had screwed in the JG connectors so far that the adjuster was hitting them and was not free to move through much of its range of travel at all. I backed out the JG connector a bit and all has been well since.
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Niko

Post by Niko » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:33 pm

What setting do you have the regulator set at? Do you have it adjusted at 30 or 25 psi?
Mine hovers around the 30 mark.
My pump made another scary sound this morning, while running a blank it made a fairly loud clanking sound for a couple seconds before I cut the power off to check the incoming water. Everything seemed fine so ON it went again and fired off 4 more shots for guests.
I don't know, maybe my pump is dying a slow death...hopefully it dies within the 1 year warranty if it does decide to meet its maker.
Are pumps easy to change, is it doable for a home user with some sense?

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Post by chas » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:03 pm

I haven't actually studied the pump with thoughts of changing it in mind but from what I have seen I don't think it should be too bad. Everything seems to be pretty accessible from behind the front panel. Now if you had to change the pump motor, that would be a different story.
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Post by chas » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:07 pm

Niko wrote:What setting do you have the regulator set at? Do you have it adjusted at 30 or 25 psi?
Mine hovers around the 30 mark.
I set mine to about 25lbs but it is variable. I am on a well and the pump kicks off at 50psi but not back again until around 35psi. Not much I can do about that
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Post by Weska » Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:13 pm

NIko, maybe this should be another entry in the confessional thread that we were thinking of starting, but I once heard a loud, metallic clanking sound from--what?--my pump, my three-way valve?--when I decided that it would be OK to do a backflush after as shot just when the boiler had decided to fill.

When I heard the sound, I stopped at once. There have been no consequences since.

I don't know if this can be related to what you heard, but I offer it as another bit of observation and even reassurance that these sounds are not necessarily fatal, or even significant.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:26 pm

chas wrote:I haven't actually studied the pump with thoughts of changing it in mind but from what I have seen I don't think it should be too bad. Everything seems to be pretty accessible from behind the front panel. Now if you had to change the pump motor, that would be a different story.
That sounds encouraging about the pump. I know it's not my motor acting up, that's really smooth because when the steam boiler refills, the machine is noce and smooooooth. It's when that group gets cycled that all the crap starts.

and Weska,
my pump sounded like a can of marbles shaking. It only happened for a brief couple of seconds because I cut the power before it went any further.

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Post by Weska » Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:19 am

Then I doubt it's the sound that I heard. Mine was more like repeated hammer blows inside the machine somewhere. Rhythmic and discrete clanks.

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:08 pm

You hit the nail on the head, no pun intended...
Mine sounded sort of like that also. It's not easy to describe but it's the pump being starved for water. If you ever starved a pump completely, trust me, it is LOUD. On my old S1 the water was off and the pump cycled for about 1 second, I thought I was going to lose my hearing it was that loud.
I'm guessing your machine had an air bubble, like mine and the Vivaldi Brothers were not happy.

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Post by chas » Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:14 pm

So far I've been lucky. Everytime I've heard that sound it's because I went out of town, turned off the water valve to the S1, then on my return turned the S1 back on without also turning the water back on.
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Niko

Post by Niko » Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:22 pm

Whenever I leave town, the Vivs stay on. I've left for up to 3 weeks with the water and power on with no problems so far. The only thing I had to do was get rid of the nasty water in the boilers, to do that I pull 6 double blank shots and 5 (20oz) pitchers full of water from the spigot.
My biggest fear was if the machine stayed plugged in, I want the water available to it incase something cycled the machine on.
I guess what you do is better, just unplug the machine and turn the water off...

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:25 pm

Well...
my pump is back to annoying me again with that endless rickety sound. There's one more thing I should check, the collar that secures the pump onto the motor might have a loose screw or something around there. I'll have to wait until I have time to get the covers off again for easier access to that area.
I made a video so people can hear the sound I'm talking about. I'll post a link soon.
Other than that, the machine works just fine so I'm hoping it's a loose screw causing this sound.

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:20 pm

All right everyone, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Lc6iywBsA

In the foreground you'll hear the nice smooth hum of the motor, listen carefully and you should hear the slight clanking of the pump in the background.
Let me know what you think.

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Post by chas » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:56 pm

You worry too much. It sounds OK to me.

Line every internal surface with Duramat and you won't hear it anymore....or just turn the stereo on!
Last edited by chas on Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Weska » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:51 pm

Niko, that sounds about like mine too.

Niko

Post by Niko » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:36 pm

Well, I guess I'm crazy and I should stop "hearing" things...I'm going to yank the video offline and drink decaf for a couple of days.
Thanks for listening and I'll post other meaningful videos of the Spaz on the other thread.

jackiechang

Post by jackiechang » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:35 pm

The problem is the I-roar. Try to listen for cracks between the roar. Wait, I think I just heard my cell phone ring........No, it's just me. :lol:

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