Squirting Steam Boiler

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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jeffsec
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Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:45 pm

Hi All,

Another steam boiler issue:

When the pump turns on to fill my steam boiler, water sprays out of the top pressure release valve (the thin flat nut with the round pin). And not just a little bit, like sprinkler style. It's strange because I would think that at the pressure that it would take to trigger the valve, the steam would be coming out of the wand full-force. But the steam wand barely even makes a noise and the hot water spigot just dribbles at this point.

I called Chris coffee support and they asked me to check the fill sensor. I undid the top nut and slid it out. To my surprise there was not a hint of burnt or calcification. I will call them back on the second (I assume they are closed on the 1st.)

Any ideas on this issue, and does anyone have a labeled picture of the top of the boiler so that I can get the right terminology for each of the parts? Also, should the pin in the middle of the pressure release valve be wiggly, it just flops around when moved.

Thanks for the help,
Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

jeffsec
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:07 pm

So, I spoke with the service techs today and I'm removing the inlet solenoid to clean it. It's not going well because of its positioning... I can't seem to remove the shaft from the valve--the wide nut that holds it in place will not even budge.... Meanwhile I keep bending the small copper tube even though I'm trying to hold it steady with pliers.

I'll give it a try again in a few hours.
The only post I found that had a similar problem to this was resolved by sending the machine back, but as I live in San Francisco, that is not desirable.

-Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

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JohnB
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:40 pm

So the thinking is that the Inlet Solenoid(valve A)is not closing & the steam boiler is being overfilled? Did they suggest testing to see if the boiler water level sensor was functioning properly? Since Valve A is feed by your water line/pump what would it be blocked with?
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jeffsec
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:47 pm

Hi John,

That is correct. They are speculating that the some kind of particulate must be stuck in the valve and that it is letting more water thorough that it should, overfilling the boiler. The only issue I see with that is that I had the same issue with the group solenoid valve (metal shavings) and when there was a flake of metal was in there it sounded like all hell broke loose because of the vibrating spring.

With the current problem there is no abnormal noise. The pump just engages for a normal cycle, then engages again over and over, even though no water was dispensed. It kinda leads me to believe that its a faulty probe, or the board is faulty reading the probe... but I'm no expert.

Thanks,
Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

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JohnB
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:11 pm

jeffsec wrote:
With the current problem there is no abnormal noise. The pump just engages for a normal cycle, then engages again over and over, even though no water was dispensed. It kinda leads me to believe that its a faulty probe, or the board is faulty reading the probe... but I'm no expert.

Thanks,
Jeff
That would be my thought also. If it were a stuck solenoid why would the pump keep turning on? Doesn't the fill probe send the signal that activates the pump? The solenoid would hold back line pressure but even if it stuck open I don't think the pump would activate.???
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chas
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by chas » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:57 pm

Right. If the solenoid was stuck the boiler should fill until the sensor triggers and then the pump should stop even if the solenoid valve doesn't shut. However, in that case water would still shoot out of the vacuum breaker valve since the house water pressure is being applied through the stuck solenoid valve.
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:08 am

Thanks for the input guys... I now need to figure out what to do next. I don't think it is worthwhile continuing to take a apart the inlet solenoid given that it is unlikely to be the problem and the difficulty it is presenting when dismantling it.
Today I drained the boiler and stripped down the machine. I am wondering if I should just go for the board preinfusion upgrade (since the machine is already apart), ask them to check the board and send me a new fill probe. Maybe the combo of new software and probe would do the trick?

Would you recommend a different course of action?

Thanks,
Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

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JohnB
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by JohnB » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:45 am

Sounds like the best course of action to me. Remind them that the pump/motor keeps kicking in & I don't see how they could blame the solenoid valve. Priority Mail will move things across country in 2 days each way so you shouldn't be down too long(if CC uses P/M).

I checked the pin in my pressure valve & it also wiggles freely so I don't see that as a problem.
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chas
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by chas » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:13 am

Of the three colors arrows in the photo below, which have you tried to remove?

I had the opposite problem a few years ago where this valve was blocked and the boiler wouldn't refill. When the boiler doesn't refill within 60sec, the machine turns off.

I pretty much disassembled the whole thing and then found out I could have gotten to the clog just by removing the nut shown by the green arrow.
BoilerFillSolenoid.jpg
BoilerFillSolenoid.jpg (31.53 KiB) Viewed 4885 times
Chas
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:03 pm

I removed the nut and washer at the blue arrow, and then was planning to remove the entire valve shaft.
Maybe I can go the same route and just remove the side nut (red arrow) and flush it.

Thanks,
Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

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chas
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by chas » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:11 pm

When you disconnect the green arrow nut you are removed a gicleur valve assembly. The screw head that protrudes through that nut adjusts the size of the gicleur opening which appears to be for restricting pressure and volume of flow into the boiler. I don't think this is a super critical adjustment but the less you change it the better.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

jeffsec
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Re: Squirting Steam Boiler

Post by jeffsec » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:30 pm

Update:

The issue seems ok for now. I'm not sure what happened but I turned the machine on, cycled it a few times and it seemed to work properly. This weekend I drained the boiler, removed the water level probe (again) wiped it down and started the machine back up. The boiler re-filled and stopped at what seemed to be the right level.

I turned off the timer for now and will be monitoring the machine closely for the next few days.
Thanks for the insight,
Jeff
-----------------
La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Gaggia MDF (to be replaced)
Plenty of cold brew made by my french press for the office
Old leaky Gaggia Carezza that served me well

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