Out of the box problems

Did you have a bad "out-of-box" experience with your Mini? Describe it here and report back with the final resolution.
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Mike@redbrickcafe

Out of the box problems

Post by Mike@redbrickcafe » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:20 pm

Hello to everyone. I am new to this site and also new to the La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi. I've been reading some of the posts on here and I know that some of you may have had the same problem that I am experiencing now. My new machine showed up yesterday late in the afternoon from Fed Ex and seemingly damage free. After doing the initial start up proceedure and letting the boiler build pressure I tried making the first espresso shot. Barely a few drops came out. The gauge on the left was only at 2 bar and only when the button was pressed. The right hand gauge is at the bottom of the green and have lots of steam pressure. I checked all the connections that may have loosened during shipping. All are tight. At one point the left gauge did hit 4 bar so I am thinking a flow/blockage problem. I'm just not sure where to look. If there is anyone that can give me a direction to head in it would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:43 pm

Here are some questions for you. The answers should narrow things down.

1) When you press either the one or two-cup buttons, do you hear the pump running? If not your timer switch is probably set wrong. (Set to On and you have no timer)
2) Do any front panel lamps flash or change in any way. If so, which lamps? These would represent error codes that are described in the User's Manual.
3) If the pump does run and you don't see any indication of error codes, press the one or two cup buttons with an empty PF and measure the water that comes out before the auto-shutoff. Did it auto-shutoff? About how long did it run before auto-shutoff? If you did get a volumetric auto-shutoff and you got less that 2-3Oz try setting the volumetric dosing according to the User's Manual. Unless something else is not right it is best to set the volumetric dosing for a reasonable amount of water before troubleshooting further.
4) If the pump runs, no front panel error lamp indications are seen, and you were able to set the volumetric dosing, now what is the max pressure with the blind basket installed? If less that 9bar then consult the manual about how to adjust the pressure.

Hopefully, in doing the above you are able to find and fix the problem. If not, your answers will help us tell you what to try next.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by MDL » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:44 pm

Disclaimer: I use a Vivaldi II, not a mini.

Have you tried just pushing a shot button without any portafilter or coffee to see how much water comes out of the shower screen?

I would start by checking to be sure that the volumes are somewhat reasonable for the single and double shot buttons (without a portafilter or coffee). Then move to trying to pull a shot.

I don't know how the mini primes the brew boiler.

If you don't get any water out of the shower screen when you push a shot button I would call the dealer and ask them.

Good luck,
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by GDK » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:51 pm

Mike, push the water tank firmly to make sure it is locked in place as otherwise the water valve on the back of it may not be fully open thus not allowing enough flow to the boiler and group head. This might cause the low pressure.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:47 am

I am having the same darn issue. I made sure the tank was "seated" as best I could.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by oton » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:25 am

It's me or there are a lot of problems lately with the new machines?

No pressure, rust boilers, etc. :-? If this issues goes to general forums like HG or CG, it could affect the sales in my opinion.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:12 am

I recommend that Mike and Symbology run through the steps I outlined below and report back with the results.

I am guessing it will be the same issue in both cases. Usually if CCS is getting ready to ship a batch of machines, they will set them all up and run through the pre-packaging check out process in assembly line fashion. It's rare, but I have seem them forget a step on all the machines. The last time I can recall was 2-3 years ago around Christmas week, They forgot to reconnect the cables to the solenoid valves on the group and steam connections after removing them to drain all the water out before shipping. They are very diligent about water removal - especially this time of year - to prevent freeze damage in transit. BTW: The symptoms don't seem quite right for this to be the problem in your cases.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Mike@redbrickcafe » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:13 am

Thanks for all of your replies. I will try to answer all the questions you have asked.

-after warm up all 3 of the green lights are on as is the next yellow light. The next yellow light(position 18 or 105 boiler) flashes in time with the red boiler light. When the boiler light goes solid so does the flashing yellow. Code 18 is failure in water dosing system for coffee.
- water does flow from the PF when I hit the 1 or 2 cups. The volume is around 2 ounces & 4 respectively and they both do shut off automatically.
-The pump does run and the left gauge never goes higher than 2 bar. I can pull a shot with PF and coffee but it comes out very thin with no crema at all.
-There is nothing in the manual about a "Blind Basket" should I have received something with the machine that would block off the brew head?
-the tank is pushed as far back as it can go.

I'm still wondering if there may be a small piece of brass from assembly stuck somewhere as I did get 4 bar of pressure once.
I got little help from the supplier...all he said was that I was in program mode and just turn the machine off and on again.

Just for my own info, what should the left guage be reading after the machine has warmed up before any buttons are pushed?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Mike

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:31 am

chas wrote:I recommend that Mike and Symbology run through the steps I outlined below and report back with the results.

I am guessing it will be the same issue in both cases. Usually if CCS is getting ready to ship a batch of machines, they will set them all up and run through the pre-packaging check out process in assembly line fashion. It's rare, but I have seem them forget a step on all the machines. The last time I can recall was 2-3 years ago around Christmas week, They forgot to reconnect the cables to the solenoid valves on the group and steam connections after removing them to drain all the water out before shipping. They are very diligent about water removal - especially this time of year - to prevent freeze damage in transit. BTW: The symptoms don't seem quite right for this to be the problem in your cases.
Are you referring to the two large black cables that come up to the front and one attaches to group and the other to the water valve? If so, these are connected. Everything inside seems to be connected.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by GDK » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:39 am

Blind basket or insert are not included with the machine. You can buy these on-line for $8-$10. In the meantime this is what I did to emulate a blind insert to test the max set pressure. Cut a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and line it up on the bottom of the basket. Then place some ground coffee in the basket (on top of the foil) tamp and proceed as usual. Very little or no water should come out of the group when you pull the shot. In my case, the pressure went up to 9 bars and stayed there, as it should.

If you read an error code though, contact the seller or LaSpaziale directly - they have to address it.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:44 am

The next thing I would do is try adjusting the group pressure using the instructions outlined in section 8.1 of the User's Manual. Download it here if you don't already have a copy of the latest version (Rev. D): s1v2/MiniV2Manual/Mini_V2_Owners_Manual_RevD.pdf

On the VII "Maxi" the group pressure gauge indicated house line pressure when not pulling a shot. However, on the Mini you are just seeing relatively meaningless fluctuations in group boiler pressure as the heating element cycles on and off.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:47 am

GDK wrote:Blind basket or insert are not included with the machine. You can buy these on-line for $8-$10. In the meantime this is what I did to emulate a blind insert to test the max set pressure. Cut a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and line it up on the bottom of the basket. Then place some ground coffee in the basket (on top of the foil) tamp and proceed as usual. Very little or no water should come out of the group when you pull the shot. In my case, the pressure went up to 9 bars and stayed there, as it should.

If you read an error code though, contact the seller or LaSpaziale directly - they have to address it.
Yes, sorry. CCS has never included a blind basket with the machines. However, they used to include the rubber disk. I know they stopped for a while then started including this disk again by popular demand. Are you saying that have again stopping including the rubber disk?
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:51 am

Mine has the rubber disk.

I worked with CCS this morning and we discovered that the in tank filter is not allowing the pump to build up pressure. Pull it out and I get pressure. Yay....... They are sending out a new filter. Hope that takes care of it.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:24 am

oton wrote:It's me or there are a lot of problems lately with the new machines?

No pressure, rust boilers, etc. :-? If this issues goes to general forums like HG or CG, it could affect the sales in my opinion.
Agreed & they seem to be only with the Mini.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:25 am

symbology wrote:Mine has the rubber disk.

I worked with CCS this morning and we discovered that the in tank filter is not allowing the pump to build up pressure. Pull it out and I get pressure. Yay....... They are sending out a new filter. Hope that takes care of it.
If all these machines are tested before shipping how could they miss a no pressure issue?
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Mike@redbrickcafe

Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Mike@redbrickcafe » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:42 am

In reading the last post I too pulled off the filter and the pressure did come up to 7.5 bar but bleeds off quickly, and the pressure guage drops to 2 bar during the shot pull, still no crema. Still have the flashing light...I was looking in the manual for a way to clear the alarm code thinking that it won't function properly until it is cleared. Anyone know how to do this?

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:42 am

It seems like it took a while for the pump / system to get fully primed. I was still having intermittent pressure issues, but it has all gone away now. I will run it for a day or so, and then try to put the filter back in place.

Steams better than the Andreja, I think. Not sure if it is the pressure, or the angle of the holes on the tip?

Thanks for all the help.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:46 am

Mike@redbrickcafe wrote:In reading the last post I too pulled off the filter and the pressure did come up to 7.5 bar but bleeds off quickly, and the pressure guage drops to 2 bar during the shot pull, still no crema. Still have the flashing light...I was looking in the manual for a way to clear the alarm code thinking that it won't function properly until it is cleared. Anyone know how to do this?
Set your dosing to 6oz and try that. Mine kept shutting off before I was getting anywhere. Thought something else was wrong. I bumped the dosing up to 6oz and now everything is working as it should. Now, it is time to dial in the grind. The last double was about 40 seconds and tasted pretty good. I get the first drips of coffee from the PF at around 11 seconds. Is that normal with a MIni w/ PI chamber?

I have to wait for a while before pulling any more shots. :) The last few have been drinkable, and well....... I consumed them.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by symbology » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:00 pm

JohnB wrote:
symbology wrote:Mine has the rubber disk.

I worked with CCS this morning and we discovered that the in tank filter is not allowing the pump to build up pressure. Pull it out and I get pressure. Yay....... They are sending out a new filter. Hope that takes care of it.
If all these machines are tested before shipping how could they miss a no pressure issue?

Great question.....
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:33 pm

I wonder if they only install the filters after testing. Maybe they think that is the best way to go so the owner is sure he has a pristine filter and/or to ensure that a wet filter doesn't sit on the shelf for a long period.

Did the pump get quieter after you pulled the bad filter? I don't know how the vibes react but if you starve the rotaries for water, they make a cavitation noise that sounds like they are self destructing.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:38 pm

Mike@redbrickcafe wrote:In reading the last post I too pulled off the filter and the pressure did come up to 7.5 bar but bleeds off quickly, and the pressure gauge drops to 2 bar during the shot pull, still no crema. Still have the flashing light...I was looking in the manual for a way to clear the alarm code thinking that it won't function properly until it is cleared. Anyone know how to do this?
Mike there are two kinds of alarms: Blocking and Non-Blocking. For non-blocking you get the alarm lights flashing and obviously whatever is causing it is not working correctly, but the machine continue to function. And when the problem is corrected the lights stop flashing. With a blocking alarm the machine will shut off. The problem has to be fixed and you usually have to unplug the machine and then plug it back in to clear the alarm.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by GDK » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:05 pm

Mike, let's eliminate an obvious variable - coffee grind setting and and tamping force. What you describe might also happen with a coarse grind and/or very light tamp. Sorry if my question sounds silly to you as you are likely experienced with espresso :)

I would go with the blind basket emulation approach as a next step to see if pressure builds and stays at 9 bars during the shot. If test is successful, it would point to a flow related problem and rule out the pump as problem on its own.

One other suggestion. Push and hold the water tank backwards while testing a shot. There is a water level sensor right behind the tank bolted on a metal strip which if not mounted precisely might be preventing the tank to go all the way back and plug into the water line properly. If That is the case, then bending the strip backwards slightly (1-2mm, not more) should resolve the issue.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:55 pm

JohnB wrote: If all these machines are tested before shipping how could they miss a no pressure issue?
Seems somebody new, brought in for the Christmas rush perhaps, is testing the Minis with the softener installed. I suspect the softeners will choke the flow if left to dry in the warehouse before being shipped.

Just a guess.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by jpt » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:53 am

Mike@redbrickcafe wrote: -after warm up all 3 of the green lights are on as is the next yellow light. The next yellow light(position 18 or 105 boiler) flashes in time with the red boiler light. When the boiler light goes solid so does the flashing yellow. Code 18 is failure in water dosing system for coffee.
The yellow light flashes as an indication that the brew boiler heater is on. You would have and water dosing system failure if you had three lights flashing at the same time (14-15-16 or 17-18-19).

If the boiler light and the temperature indication light flash at exactly same time every single time, then there is problem with the machine, as they should not be connected.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:27 pm

'Just got my new Mini from UPS today. Filled reservoir, attached 15 amp adaptor cord, plugged in.... no standby light -nothing! I checked the 15 amp outlet & it's good. I ordered the 15 amp model -could it be set up for 20 amp?
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Pryz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:53 pm

Not an expert like some here, but the setup (15/20 amp) shouldn't cause that problem. Based on the principal that the simplest answer is likely the correct one - are you sure your adapter cord is good?
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Pryz wrote:Not an expert like some here, but the setup (15/20 amp) shouldn't cause that problem. Based on the principal that the simplest answer is likely the correct one - are you sure your adapter cord is good?
'Just put a tester on the adaptor cord & it has power coming thru it -good guess though!

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Pryz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:16 pm

Great. I would open the top (1 screw) and make sure the toggle switch is in 15 (can 't hurt to be sure). While you have the top off, make sure the timer switch is set to "off" (assuming you do not have one). I think I read on this site that it might not turn on in that situation. Switches are on the right hand side and down in a bit. They weren't quite where I was expecting from the manual. This will take under 5 minutes to do and is the next simplest possibility.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Pryz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:25 pm

If that doesn't work, I'm sure Chas will answer with a detailed description of what cord came loose during shipping. However, you may have to wait until tomorrow as I think he is out east. I'm just hoping to get you some coffee for the morning. Unfortunately, my knowledge is not that comprehensive.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:37 pm

Pryz wrote:Great. I would open the top (1 screw) and make sure the toggle switch is in 15 (can 't hurt to be sure). While you have the top off, make sure the timer switch is set to "off" (assuming you do not have one). I think I read on this site that it might not turn on in that situation. Switches are on the right hand side and down in a bit. They weren't quite where I was expecting from the manual. This will take under 5 minutes to do and is the next simplest possibility.
Opened it up. Switch was set to "15" and timer was set to "on". Turned timer switch to "off" (no timer installed) put cover back on, plugged in, still no standby light". We are inching closer...

Thanks,

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Pryz » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:56 pm

I was really hoping that was it. You're going to have wait for Chas or call your vendor. My money's on Chas. Sorry I couldn't help.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:58 pm

Thanks for your help! I really appreciate the input.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by Pryz » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:04 am

Do you know if it was tested at your vendor before it shipped? If so, there should be a finite number of things they could go wrong during shipping. These are the things I as trying to explore. If it wasn't tested prior, it could be anything right down to it didn't work right from the factory. The timer being set to "on" doesn't give me a lot of good feelings about it being shop tested. If you ordered from Chris' Coffee, I know they shop test as does my vendor in Canada. Other than that, I don't know.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:09 am

Pryz wrote:Do you know if it was tested at your vendor before it shipped? If so, there should be a finite number of things they could go wrong during shipping. These are the things I as trying to explore. If it wasn't tested prior, it could be anything right down to it didn't work right from the factory. The timer being set to "on" doesn't give me a lot of good feelings about it being shop tested. If you ordered from Chris' Coffee, I know they shop test as does my vendor in Canada. Other than that, I don't know.
I purchased from Clive Coffee (great customer service) but it was bench tested/calibrated by Chris' and drop shipped from there (it was wet when I opened the box).

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:31 am

I'm wondering if the fuse might have come loose during shipment -can anyone guide me in to it?

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by richardcoffee » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:46 am

The fuse is underneath the machine on the back by the power cord.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:51 am

Good choice of things to check, I was going to recommend that, too. It's right where the power cord goes into the chassis; i.e. the rear, left corner (when facing the front).

It's not the easiest thing to check since you'll probably need to tilt the machine on the left side or toward the front to get to it. So don't forget to dump the water tank first!

It's also possible that the ribbon cable that connects to the front panel got jarred loose. That would also cause the symptoms. After CCS bench tests the machines, they drain the water tanks and also remove the solenoid valve fittings so they can blow the water out with compressed air. One of these is near the ribbon cable so it's possible they accidentally knocked it loose.
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by richardcoffee » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:53 am

after you changed the setting of the timer switch, did you unplug for 5 seconds and then replug? I don't know why but the manual suggests you have to do that for the machine to sense the new setting.

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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:17 am

If the timer switch is set wrong, the machine will power up and the boilers will heat just fine but nothing happens when you press either the one or two-cup buttons. So that's not the root problem here.

Just as an FYI: Both the 15/20A and the Timer On/Off switches are only sensed when power is applied. So changing the state of either one requires unplugging the machine and plugging it back in. However, neither switch being in the wrong state will cause this issue.
Chas
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:07 am

chas wrote:Good choice of things to check, I was going to recommend that, too. It's right where the power cord goes into the chassis; i.e. the rear, left corner (when facing the front).

It's not the easiest thing to check since you'll probably need to tilt the machine on the left side or toward the front to get to it. So don't forget to dump the water tank first!

It's also possible that the ribbon cable that connects to the front panel got jarred loose. That would also cause the symptoms. After CCS bench tests the machines, they drain the water tanks and also remove the solenoid valve fittings so they can blow the water out with compressed air. One of these is near the ribbon cable so it's possible they accidentally knocked it loose.
Hi Chas
What is the best direction to access the fuse and ribbon cables from -top, front, or ??

Lex
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:42 am

Just checked the fuse next to the power cord base and it looks fine and wasn't loose.

Lex
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:51 am

My power tester shows power is good from the outlet, cords and it stops somewhere between where the cord goes into the unit and the fuse.

Lex
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by chas » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:38 am

Maybe the fuseholder itself has an internal fault. Did you try removing the fuse and then checking continuity between the internal fuseholder contact and the plug?

Also, did you check for continuity between both ends of the fuse rather than just doing a visual inspection?
Chas
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Re: Out of the box problems

Post by javajohnson » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:12 pm

I sent the unit back to the vendor (Clive Coffee) last night and they're already sending it back to me! It was just a disconnected wire on the fuse housing -not sure how this made it through the bench testing without being noticed by Chris'.

Lex
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
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Bunn G1
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