Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

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yooncs
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Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by yooncs » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:36 pm

Hello,

I've received my Vivaldi Mini from Chris Coffee. My machine's boiler pressure stat stays 0.5-0.8 bar and cycles every 1-2 min. Looks like everyone's machine have 1.0-1.25 bar and cycles 5-10 min. I hear small creaking sound while the boiler pressure drops if I listen carefully. I am certain that vacuum breaker isn't leaking and steam seems to be working though it is very wet. What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance,
Chong

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Endo
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Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by Endo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:43 pm

The cycle time is normal. My steam boiler heater comes on about every 1.5 minutes. It willl make a quiet "rolling boil" noise, like a kettle, but not creaks. If you get scale, you might hear a few extra crackles and pops.

Your problem seems to be your pressure is reading low. Mine is at 1.3 bar (but will drop to 1 bar when I start steaming). To check if the gauge is working correctly, see how long it takes to steam 6 oz of milk (1/2 filled 12 oz pitcher) with the stock 4 hole tip. It should take roughly 21 seconds. If you are getting somewhere near that time, your pressure is probably good, so I'd look into clearing the gauge tubes (possibly some shavings inside) or replacing the gauge itself.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
HG-one, B.Vario, Quest M3

"It's the coffee, stupid."

yooncs
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:21 pm

Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by yooncs » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:41 am

Hi Endo,

Thanks for the reply. After leaving the machine on for 24 hours, I just measured the boiler cycle. Boiler light blinks for 8 sec and another cycle begins 1.5 minutes later. Good to know that yours does it too but why others say 5-10 min?

In 21 sec, the machine can make cold water (below 60F) to 160F. My machine might be in a better shape than I thought?

I am still puzzled at the small noise it makes. What I hear is small buzz sound after all the heaters are off which is kinda weird..

Also does boiler refills at strange times - after sitting idle for 1+ hr..

Thanks,
Chong

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Endo
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Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by Endo » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:12 am

yooncs wrote: I just measured the boiler cycle. Boiler light blinks for 8 sec and another cycle begins 1.5 minutes later. Good to know that yours does it too but why others say 5-10 min?
When they say 10 min, they are talking about how long the boiler takes to drop from the steady 1.3 bar back down to 0 bar (I think). In other words, how long it holds pressure.
yooncs wrote:In 21 sec, the machine can make cold water (below 60F) to 160F. My machine might be in a better shape than I thought?
Sounds like your steam pressure is fine. Is the gauge still low?
yooncs wrote:I am still puzzled at the small noise it makes. What I hear is small buzz sound after all the heaters are off which is kinda weird..
You sure that's not the cooling fan? It comes on whenever the steam boiler is heating.
yooncs wrote:Also does boiler refills at strange times - after sitting idle for 1+ hr..
Yes. It refills whenever the boiler level drops too low. This can happen at any time (even when not steaming). It happens most often right at start-up, once the water has cooled and shrunk in volume.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
HG-one, B.Vario, Quest M3

"It's the coffee, stupid."

yooncs
Americano
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:21 pm

Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by yooncs » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:48 pm

Hey Endo. Thanks again for the reply.

Yes, the gauge is still low. I just emailed Chris and waiting to see what he says.

It is not the cooling fan. Very faint buzz sound when no heaters are on. Could caused by internal parts expanding and cooling down but I suspecting this and low gauge reading is related. Also boiler refills in random time. The machine is on for 24/7, an hour after I've pull a shot, it refills. Unless water inside evaporates, there is no reason that water volume should go down.

Not sure what is going on but not really happy when I spend 2000+ on the new machine and won't work properly out of the box..

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Endo
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Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by Endo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:35 am

Sounds like a water level sensor problem. I guess Chris will tell you for sure.

I agree it should work out of the box. But, as we all know, it's a complicated machine, made in relatively low volumes (compare to say a car), and then abused by the shippers. So I understand it will never be perfect. Just imagine how the GS/3 folks feel ! Even more problems and $7000 ! :shock:

The same thing with my Vario grinder. It died after 6 months of use.

This is why when buying high end espresso gear, it's absolutely critical to deal with a retailer with A++ customer support (like Chris Coffee or Baratza). They seldom disappoint.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
HG-one, B.Vario, Quest M3

"It's the coffee, stupid."

yooncs
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:21 pm

Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by yooncs » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:22 am

Couldn't figure it out over the phone or the email.. So the machine went back to Chris and new one came! This one works perfectly! I got the new one w/o pre-infusion, and for some reason, for me it is easier to avoid channeling w/o. Thanks to Endo for his help and for sure getting it from Chris was a good choice.

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Endo
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Re: Boiler pressure low 0.5-0.8 bar cycles every 1-2 min

Post by Endo » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:56 pm

Good news. :bounce: All's well that ends well as they say.

Seems to me like there has been an increase in the "out of the box" issues lately. Or it may just be the season, or the increase in the amount of S1's they've been selling lately.

Either way, good to see Chris come through again.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
HG-one, B.Vario, Quest M3

"It's the coffee, stupid."

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