Vivladi Leak(s)

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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BeRad
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Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by BeRad » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:31 am

Can anoyone tell me how to take apart this type of fitting or what the proper name for it is? The picture shows the connection from the steam boiler to the pressure guage. I have a leak where the tube enters the fitting. If I press the tube and the collar into the fitting the leak goes away. Hopefully the tube just needs to be better seated into the fitting but I see no obvious way to separate the two parts in order to do this.

Also, I don't know if it's related but since this connection is between the boiler and the pressure guage I thought it might be. When the boiler is first warming up it seems like the pressure relief valve is releasing some pressure and then for quite a while after that (at least an hour, if it stops at all) I can hear a 'sputtering' coming from the valve which I assume is the residual water being boiled away (but it seems to go on much longer than needed just to evaporate this small amount of water). Otherwise the machine seems to steam fine and the pressure is reading 1.35bar at idle.
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Thanks!
(My NEW vivaldi also has another leak I haven't been able to eliminate either, but I'll have to save that for another post... Uggh!)

*edited for grammar
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slo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by slo » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:38 am

This is a quick connect fitting. Similar to the popular John Guest fitting.
The last bit of the fitting, with a little shoulder, should be pushed-in to make the seal on the tube.

The sputtering and everything you described is normal for the vacuum breaker.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

BeRad
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by BeRad » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:55 am

Thanks. Applying a bit more elbow grease to push the tube/shoulder into the fitting seems to have done the trick for now. I'll keep it an eye on it and hope that it holds.

BeRad
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by BeRad » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:51 pm

Ok, with leak #1 out of the way it's on to leak #2. This one is where the braided hose from the pump connects to the "T" (t2 in the mini water flow diagram). The water seems to be coming out the top of the nut (see arrow on picture). No matter how many times I re-connect the fitting the water always leaks in the same spot. Unfortunately it is on the rear of the "T" so inspecting it for any kind of damage is a little difficult. It seems like this should be an easy five-minute fix but after numerous attempts at improving the connection (overtightening it, undertightening it, adding teflon tape, etc) I've mangaged to reduce it to a slow drip but have not been able to eliminate it completely.

The one thing I noticed was that the braided hose does not have an O-ring or rubber washer in the fitting. I was thinking maybe this is keeping the "T" and the hose from making a good seal w/ each other. Anyone know if it should have one? Since the other end of the hose doesn't leak I don't think I'm brave enough to take it off to check.

Any ideas? Is it possible I'm just not tightening it enough? More teflon tape? Could the "T" be damged? I know I'm not a plumber but I figured I could at least resolve this on my own...

I'll probably only have one more shot at fixing it before I have to give in and take it back to the shop for repair. The wife wasn't really excited in the first place that the new machine was going to take away precious counter space but now she's really PO'ed that tools and parts are strewn all over the kitchen. My final selling point to her on the machine was supposed to have been when I brought it home and started pulling better drinks than she gets in a cafe. Not off to such a great start so far!
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MDL
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by MDL » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:50 pm

I don't have a mini so my connection is to the pump but I can tell you that there is no "o" ring or gasket in the fitting from the braided hose. A little teflon tape on the connection and it is just fine on my machine.
Good luck...

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Endo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by Endo » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:44 pm

+1 with the teflon tape.

You might want to check for leaks around the vacuum breaker (and copper cup) on top of the steam boiler as well. Another place that often needs teflon tape. (Since there are only a few threads to seal.) When you hear a hissing noise when the steam boiler comes on, it's usually from here.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
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"It's the coffee, stupid."

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chas
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by chas » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:20 am

As the boiler comes up to speed you will hear hissing and sputtering from the vacuum breaker valve. However, the valve should completely seal and the noise should stop within about 15 seconds. If you continue to hear it, then it is not sealing properly. Usually you can clear this by pressing the little pin that sticks up out of the valve down with the end of a screw driver (so you can keep from burning your fingers) and letting it pop back up. Once or twice should do it.

If that doesn't do it, you can usually remove and disassemble the valve, soak it in vinegar for a while, clean it off, and reassemble. Rarely does the valve need replacement.
Chas
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slo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by slo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:05 am

Ooops! Reading Chas response made me think that I must have missed something in the original question... Yes indeed the hissing and sputtering should not last more than a few seconds... Sorry for misleading you!!!
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

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chas
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by chas » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:54 am

I also concur that you just need more wraps of Teflon tape on that water fitting coming from the tank. As I recall, even though these two fittings screw together just fine, the threading is not completely identical on the male and female connections thus the need for multiple wraps.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

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Endo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by Endo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:40 pm

chas wrote:If that doesn't do it, you can usually remove and disassemble the valve, soak it in vinegar for a while, clean it off, and reassemble. Rarely does the valve need replacement.
His Mini is new. Soaking in vinegar only works on vacuum breakers that are scaled-up.

The steam boiler top plate is thin and only has a few threads in it, so it often needs help teflon tape. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the right number of wraps to seal perfectly.

These are irritating day one problems, but leaks are pretty minor and easy fixes (usually), so you should be up and running in no time.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
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"It's the coffee, stupid."

BeRad
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by BeRad » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:10 pm

Thanks for all the helpful replies. Apparently I am not skilled enough to operate Teflon tape because whether I do a lot of wraps or just a few the result is always the same - a slow drip on the back of the connection seems to just bubble up through the tape. The location of the fitting makes it a chore to get the tape on real tight so this could be part of the problem. I'd like to take the entire 't' out and inspect it or reverse the hose so that the leaking end is now connected to the pump in order to see if the drip follows but I'm reluctant to take apart fittings that aren't leaking out of fear of making a bad situation worse.

In any case, as much as I hate to have other people fix a problem I should be able to easily resolve myself, it looks like it's going back to the dealer for repair. If my wife sees me spending one more night working on a brand new machine I'll have more than a small leak to repair. The dealer thinks the hose fitting may be bad so they're going to replace it. Not sure if that will do it, but it will be in their hands then. I will also ask them to check on the vacuum breaker as well. Hmmm, they had a lot of nice machines in their shop I wonder what their loaner plan is like???

*********
A few months ago I posted on the forum asking for advice on shipping a Vivaldi USPS from the US. I had intended to provide a detailed update once I got the machine and started pulling the shots I'd always dreamed of but as you can see I haven't gotten to that point yet and right now my enthusiasm about the whole situation is pretty low. Here's a brief summary:

I called a few dealers in Europe and asked if they could simply order me a 110VAC unit. They both spoke to their distributors, who in turn spoke to La Spaziale who came back w/ a 'No problem'. I placed my order w/ a dealer about 2hrs from my home, ordered a big transformer to run it off of and then waited for it to arrive. A month later the dealer called to let me know that La Spaziale said they would not ship a 110VAC unit w/in europe. His understanding was that Chris's Coffee had the exclusive on the 110VAC model. Some drama ensued after that (like an entire shipment from the distributor being damaged and having to be replaced) but it ended w/ me buying a 230VAC unit from them. FWIW, the Vivaldi now seems to be pretty popular in Germany (the dealer said it was due to all the internet traffic about it). His shop had them stacked floor to ceiling and he still had more orders placed than machines to sell.

So given my problems, it seems like I made the right choice buying a 230VAC unit locally. First, I have no worries about whether a 110VAC machine runs the same off of a transformer and If I had gotten the machine from a dealer in the US w/ the same issues I'm sure it would be an even bigger headache to try and resolve. Instead, I have a helpful local dealer I can work with. Plus once I picked the box up in the store and realized how heavy it was I knew there would have been no way it would have survived the trip overseas. If a USPS worker having a bad day (like when your long awaited espresso machine shows up w/ a leak) had a box that heavy and marked fragile come across his loading dock ...I'm pretty sure I could guess how it would be treated.

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Endo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by Endo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:02 pm

As you say, could be the fitting itself in which case no tape will help.

The 4 way connection is pretty intimidating. You're best off returning it and letting them fix it. Nobody should be expected to put up with a brand new leaky machine!

I bought my machine local for the same reason. If anything broke, I'd simply drive it back and have them fix it. Luckily, nothing on my machine has needed to be fixed in 3 years since I bought it.

Good luck with your machine. If it makes you feel any better, getting to know the inside of your machine a little will make you more comfortable when the time comes to do a descaling or a small post warranty fix. It's not nearly as complicated as I had first imagined when I bought it (though the black box still scares me a bit). :lol:
Endo

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

"It's the coffee, stupid."

BeRad
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by BeRad » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:20 am

Bottom Line Up Front: Leaking issues have been resolved and everything seems to be working fine after taking it back to the dealer for repair.

With my pride hurting I took the machine back to the dealer on Friday and admitted I couldn't resolve the issue on my own. I was (sort of) hoping that it would be at least a little problematic for him to fix or require a tool or part that I didn't have but as it turned out this wasn't the case. You didn't need the skills of a surgeon just gorilla hands and a willingness to take a wrench to the machine w/ a vengence. Within minutes of having the covers off and using just a box wrench the leaks were gone. I always knew this was a five minute job but apparently just not for me.

In the end it was just a matter of really tightenting down all the connections to the 4-way (which I had done but not the the extent that he did) no teflon tape needed or anything.

I feel a bit humbled that he fixed it so quickly and I'm sure he had a good laugh at my expense once I left but I guess that's OK. In my defense he had a much better space to work on it compared to my kitchen counter and if I had happened to overtighten, cross-thread, strip or otherwise mangle the connections during my repair attempt then I would have a real mess on my hands whereas if he did any of that that I would have just put the demo machine from his shop in my car and told him to call me when it works.

Sorry this didn't turn out to add any new knowledge about the vivaldi to the forum but thanks for the help.

********
Now my wife tells me our dishwasher has broken (though I'm sure it's unrelated to this issue)! Oddly enough, it turns out that machine has it's own forum as well...

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Endo
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Re: Vivladi Leak(s)

Post by Endo » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:02 pm

You shouldn't feel embarrassed. Isn't it reasonable to expect your new machine not to leak? I'd rather have them hang off the wrench and possibly strip the threads rather than me.
Endo

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

"It's the coffee, stupid."

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