Water leaking into drip tray

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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Water leaking into drip tray

Post by yb » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:12 pm

I have had my S1/VII for six months, and a few weeks ago I started having a leak into the drip tray. It only happens when the machine is on, but I like to leave it always on. My boiler is normally off (only turn it on if I will need to steam milk). Tray fills in 3-4 days, but it is unpredictable. It can go for a week with no drip, and then fill in 2 days.

A quick look inside did not reveal any obvious leaks. The counter is always dry, so whatever is leaking goes into the tray. Any ideas/suggestions?




Post by Niko » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:19 pm

It sounds normal to me.
The incoming water pressure might have something to do with how intermittent the leaking is. If you have a regulator, you might want to turn it down a little. My machine leaks whenever it is on and it would probably fill the drip tray in the same amount of time like your machine. You can make some adjustments to slow it down or even completely stop it, I managed to do this on my other S1 without trying - it was the regulator that fixed it for me when I turned it down a few PSI's.
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Post by yb » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:45 pm

OK, thanks. I would have assumed it was normal except it started after six months of no leaks. I guess I just have to remember to turn it off if I am going to be away for more than 2-3 days... Do you think it is a bad idea to leave the machine always on?


Post by Niko » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:12 pm

yb wrote:Do you think it is a bad idea to leave the machine always on?
I think it's actually better for the machine to leave the group on 24/7.

Just turn it off if you're leaving town for longer than a day.

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Post by bbqnut » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:50 pm

Sounds like the expansion valve. It drains into the back right corner of the drip tray.

Mine had a worn seat, and was dripping any time the group boiler refilled. Jason at Chris' coffee sent me a new seat, and and now it is good.

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Post by RGoldman » Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:36 pm

I recently ran into the same problem except that my drip tray was filling up about every 24 hours.
The 3 way valve from the grouphead was the problem. If you take off the front panel and look at the bottom right side of the drip tray, there is a copper tube that comes of the three way valve. Watch and see if it's dripping steadily when the machine is on.
I had to take mine apart and clean it out the other day and the problem is solved. I tried a large amount of backflushing first and that didn't help. When I got the valve apart, there was a buildup of coffee oils that although didn't look too bad, it was enough to keep the valve from seating properly. A good soaking in Cafiza and some scrubbing took care of it.
Since I didn't know what I was doing, it took about 30 minutes to get the whole thing apart. About 10 to have it back together and working perfectly!
My machine must be getting close to 1 year old now and it's been very reliable.
Yes.... it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything. Sorry about that. It has just been a crazy year around here with the business and the teen age kids... Ummm.... teenage daughter in particular!


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Post by chas » Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:28 pm

Most of the dripping that folks have comes from the expansion valve. Often if you unscrew it, clean it out, then readjust the pressure at which it opens followed by readjustment of the group pressure that will do it.

The expansion valve is just a rubber disk that sits on top of a spring and pushes up against a pipe that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the rubber disk. You can see the impression of the pipe in the rubber disk. If that impression runs off the side of the rubber or the rubber is damaged or cracked that will certainly cause a drip. I see that Chris has that rubber disk for sale on his website now.

Also as Ron noted, it could always be the 3-way valve. The two sit side by side so you really have to take the front cover off to see which one is dripping.
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Post by bbqnut » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:29 pm

Regarding the expansion valve. Mine actually did start dripping again after replacing the rubber disk and re-calibration. I am using an RO system that is putting out about 30 psi (2 bar).

I put back in the pressure regulator, and have found that at 20 psi (1.33 bar), it does not drip at all. At 25 psi (1.66 bar) it drips fairly slow. Without the pressure regulator at 30 psi (2 bar), it was dripping a LOT.


Post by Niko » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:40 pm

Well no wonder mine drips a little, the regulator is now reading 25 psi but I'm not touching it since the machine is really happy right now.

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Post by algrilli » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:39 am

Mine drips, but it never amounts to more than about 3 oz overnight. Jason at Chris Coffee told me it's normal, so I'm OK with that.

Occasionally I'll notice a bone-dry drip tray. It happened once when I drained out the hot water boiler and another time when I changed the inline the water filter. But it only lasts for for a few days.

I seem to recall that the incoming water should be about 25 PSI. What's the minimum requirement of the machine? I just look at the manometer reading, making sure it's between 1.25 and 1.75 at rest (i.e. appx 18-25 psi). Should I trust that, or would it be better just to install a separate guage after the regulator?
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Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:09 pm

If you are using CC's pressure regulator just pick up their gauge that screws right in. I've got their set up & I see 30 psi on the pressure gauge & 2 at rest on the manometer.
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