Quivering manometer needle?

Did your new Mini 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.
Post Reply
C8H10N4O2

Quivering manometer needle?

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:51 am

It seems to me that the group pressure indicator needle used to steadily rise to aroung 10 bar when I was pulling a shot. I just noticed today while backflushing the group that it is quivering <u>a lot</u> - even when it reaches maximum pressure. When I stop the pour, the needle stops quivering but stays at about 10 bar. It doesn't go back down to 1 bar until I remove the portafilter.

I also noticed, beginning a few days ago, that the pump is not "primed" when I pull my first shot - i.e., the pump will run for several seconds before any water comes out of the group. The second/subsequent shots are normal.

Of course, none of this would necessarily alarm me much if I weren't also getting consistently crappy pours - lots of channeling. Since I've just recently switched to a "real" tamper instead of the plastic one that came with the machine, I was writing this off to poor tamping technique with the new tamper, but now I'm not so sure. :?

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:12 am

Do you have a way of posting a video to show us?
The quivering needle part makes me worry but the unprimed pump part worries me even more. It sounds like the pump failing but before anyone jumps to conclusions, it would help to post a link to a video showing the machine pulling a blank shot with a camera view showing what the manometer is reading during the whole sequence.

C8H10N4O2

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:57 am

Niko wrote:Do you have a way of posting a video to show us?
The quivering needle part makes me worry but the unprimed pump part worries me even more. It sounds like the pump failing but before anyone jumps to conclusions, it would help to post a link to a video showing the machine pulling a blank shot with a camera view showing what the manometer is reading during the whole sequence.
Thanks for the offer of help. I'll try to take some video tomorrow and post it. A failing pump had occurred to me as well, but that would really blow on a machine that's not even 2 weeks old yet. :(

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Post by chas » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:05 pm

Mr. Caffeine: You mentioned that this happened when backflushing, so I assume you only see this staying at 10Bar behavior when you have a blind basket inserted. That's the only time this would make sense IF the 3-way valve isn't turning on. When pulling a shot the pressure is going slowly exit out the spout when the shot ends even if the 3-way isn't working. Depending on how long you wait after pulling a shot before you remove the PF you might not even notice this behavior.

If there really are 10 bar of pressure still in the PF I assume it's almost impossible to remove and that when you do hot water squirts all over the place???

I'm uncertain about the wavering pressure. I'm used to the rotary version. I'm not sure if the vibe pump might cause some of that or not. I'm also not sure how the pressure is adjusted on the Mini. If easy, you should consider dropping it to 9bar.

Unless you figure something out today, I'd suggest a chat with Jason at Chris Coffee first thing tomorrow.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

C8H10N4O2

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:19 am

chas wrote:Mr. Caffeine: You mentioned that this happened when backflushing, so I assume you only see this staying at 10Bar behavior when you have a blind basket inserted. That's the only time this would make sense IF the 3-way valve isn't turning on. When pulling a shot the pressure is going slowly exit out the spout when the shot ends even if the 3-way isn't working. Depending on how long you wait after pulling a shot before you remove the PF you might not even notice this behavior.

If there really are 10 bar of pressure still in the PF I assume it's almost impossible to remove and that when you do hot water squirts all over the place???

I'm uncertain about the wavering pressure. I'm used to the rotary version. I'm not sure if the vibe pump might cause some of that or not. I'm also not sure how the pressure is adjusted on the Mini. If easy, you should consider dropping it to 9bar.

Unless you figure something out today, I'd suggest a chat with Jason at Chris Coffee first thing tomorrow.
The 3-way valve is working. I can hear it release when I stop the pour. So perhaps it's a problem with the manometer.

I wasn't able to take video of any of this today (dead battery in the camcorder) but I'll try again tomorrow. I'll also be calling Chris' Coffee in the hope that they can shed some light on the problem.

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:56 pm

Any news?

C8H10N4O2

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 pm

Niko wrote:Any news?
Just spoke to Roger at Chris' Coffee and gave him the symptoms. He's going to relay them to Tim and Tim is supposed to call me back.

The "losing prime" problem seems to have gotten a bit worse. When I tried to flush the group this morning, no water came out at all. When I hit the button a second time, it was a normal flush.

Of course, I had my camera out and pointed at the machine so I could document this, but I forgot to press "record" :oops:

That kind of thing happens a lot when I try to function w/o caffeine.

I was able to take a video of the shakey needle during a pour. Let's see how this works...
http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b111/ ... eyPour.flv

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Post by chas » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:34 pm

Holy Sh!tsky, I've NEVER seen anything like that!

Also, I hope your steam boiler was off in these photos since the boiler pressure is zero.

:scratch:
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

C8H10N4O2

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:49 pm

chas wrote:Holy Sh!tsky, I've NEVER seen anything like that!

Also, I hope your steam boiler was off in these photos since the boiler pressure is zero.

:scratch:
Steam boiler was off. The group boiler stays on all day but I only turn the steam boiler on when it's time to do cappas or lattes.

jasonmolinari

Post by jasonmolinari » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:14 pm

A number of people, including me, have reported this problem with our Isomacs. The problem was that water got into the capillary tube that connects the pressure gauge to the lines.
I had to remove the gauge and the capillary tube attached, and with a blowtorch heat it up. It sputtered and sprayed water droplets from the open end. Made sure all the water was out, put it back in, and it worked perfectly.

ebprod
Ristretto
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: St Paul MN

Post by ebprod » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:37 pm

My Isomac Relax did the same thing. I even replaced the gauge, but eventually it came back. The Isomac gauges have a very short tube, with very few curls, so I don't think there was much to dampen the readings. As mentioned, the main cause is water making its way into the tube.

I don't know if it is the cause with the Mini, but the symptom's look the same.

-Joe
jasonmolinari wrote:A number of people, including me, have reported this problem with our Isomacs. The problem was that water got into the capillary tube that connects the pressure gauge to the lines.
I had to remove the gauge and the capillary tube attached, and with a blowtorch heat it up. It sputtered and sprayed water droplets from the open end. Made sure all the water was out, put it back in, and it worked perfectly.

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:50 pm

Holy Shite that ain't right...
Got more than I bargained for on that video!
Glad you posted it, now I know what a Mini VII vibe pump sounds like - just like a vibe pump :wink:
I've never seen that before and what the other members are saying makes sense.

C8H10N4O2

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:27 am

Niko wrote:Holy Shite that ain't right...
Got more than I bargained for on that video!
Glad you posted it, now I know what a Mini VII vibe pump sounds like - just like a vibe pump :wink:
I've never seen that before and what the other members are saying makes sense.
I'll definitely be mentioning these ideas tomorrow when I talk to Tim at Chris' Coffee. When I spoke to him today, he mentioned that he thinks the two problems (quivering needle, pump losing prime) are related.

I just hope I can find a fix without shipping this beast somewhere :(

C8H10N4O2

Update on my Mini-VII Issues

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:41 pm

Dry pour issue: As it turns out, this only happens when I leave the group boiler on but turn the steam boiler off. I don't quite understand Tim's explanation, but since both boilers draw water from the same reservoir through a T connection, leaving only the group boiler on will cause water to siphon back into the tube. This, apparently, has something to do with the group heating cycle causing the water to expand, then contract.

I don't pretend to understand the explanation, but Tim predicted that, if this is what is happening, the problem would disappear if I left the steam boiler on, and it did, so I guess he knows what he's talking about. :?

Quivering Manometer: I got conflicting advice on the fix for this. Posters on this board suggested it was water in the capillary tube because the tube is supposed to contain only air. Tim at Chris' coffee said it was probably due to air in the capillary tube because the tube is supposed to contain only water.

However, Tim's suggested fix was to replace the capillary tube, which does not require bleeding air out of the tube. The only way this makes sense is if the tube is supposed to contain only air. Otherwise, you'd have to bleed it like a brake line when you installed it.

So I removed the capillary tube and blew it out. Some water came out, but not a lot. Now the needle still quivers a little, but not nearlyas much as it did before. I'm sure if I had worked harder at getting all of the moisture out (e.g., by heating the tube as one poster suggested) the quiver would have disappeared entirely.

Chris' Coffee is sending me a replacement capillary tube and I'll install it as soon as I'm in the mood to take the machine apart again (the back panel is a major PITA to r&r).

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Re: Update on my Mini-VII Issues

Post by chas » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:03 pm

C8H10N4O2 wrote:[ (the back panel is a major PITA to r&r).
Actually the problem I have is getting the side panels realigned and screwed back down but this does require getting the edges of both the front and the back panels aligned with the sides so that it all goes back together.

I have found that if you leave the top screws loose on both the front and back panels while you put the side panels on makes it easier (but still not painless). With those top screws loosened you get more wiggle in the front and back panels which allows easier alignment to get the side panels locked into place. Then you tighten the four top screws and everything is good.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:48 pm
Location: Maryland

Post by admin » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:31 pm

I'm moving this thread to the MIni-VII In-warranty issue section. I think it warrants being in that location,
S1 Cafe Admin
http://www.s1cafe.com

C8H10N4O2

Update on the quivering manometer

Post by C8H10N4O2 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:17 pm

Finally got the replacement capillary tube and swapped it out.

Manometer is still quivering :cry:

Back to the drawing board...

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Re: Update on the quivering manometer

Post by chas » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:27 pm

C8H10N4O2 wrote:Finally got the replacement capillary tube and swapped it out.

Manometer is still quivering :cry:

Back to the drawing board...
Not sure if you want to spend the money on it, but it would be good to get a PF pressure gauge on there to see whether the pressure is really jumping around in the system or whether you have a bad built-in manometer.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

charlesaf3
Macchiatto
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 am
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by charlesaf3 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:54 pm

oh, heck, I think I have the same problem. Anything more on it?
Vivaldi Mini II, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Rocky, Livia

mgwolf
Latte
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Post by mgwolf » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:15 pm

I had the same problem with a slight quiver to the needle (a few mm total). Talked to Tim who suggested unscrewing the capillary tube connection on the back of the guage. I didn't see anything drip out, but when I screwed it back on, the guage needle was steady. It was pretty easy to get to after I took off the front panel (2 screws only). Michael

charlesaf3
Macchiatto
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 am
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by charlesaf3 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:19 pm

I decided my quiver was within bounds, though may mes with it since my cover is off already to adjust the pressure.
Vivaldi Mini II, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Rocky, Livia

Aracel
Cappuccino
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:56 pm
Location: NJ, USA

Post by Aracel » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:33 pm

Finally got the replacement capillary tube and swapped it out.

Manometer is still quivering
I have the same problem. My Mini is only 2 weeks old. I had not contacted ChrisCoffee about this yet but had it in mind and kept forgetting until I saw this thread. Is the problem solved yet? Thanks in advance for your replies.

lessthanjoey
Latte
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:13 pm

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by lessthanjoey » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:05 pm

There's been nothing on this in awhile but I'll post my experience which seems at least related.

My new Mini V2 always quivered a little bit (maybe +/- 0.5 bar) right from the start which I assumed was OK and simply a result of the vibe pump. Recently however it's started quivering over the entire green range (7.5-10 bar) during the early part of a shot (but post the pre-infusion ramp-up). It (usually) finally settles back into the original quiver (and the pump sound changes!) but this seems very strange. Any ideas? It seems to be more of a pump issue due to the sound.

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by chas » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:49 pm

Am I reading correctly between the lines that you have the passive preinfusion device on your Mini?
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

lessthanjoey
Latte
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:13 pm

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by lessthanjoey » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:49 pm

Chas:

My apologies - yes, I do have the passive preinfusion device.

I think this is related to how much resistance (coffee weight and grind) the machine sees. I think something goes wrong if I try to pull a shot that would finish slightly early, but this doesn't seem to show up on a shot that would pull slightly long...

User avatar
chas
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2689
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:52 pm
Location: Central Maryland
Contact:

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by chas » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:52 pm

Did you see the video that Cliff made which is posted at: http://www.vimeo.com/1213290?

Check out the quiver and see if it matches what you see.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

lessthanjoey
Latte
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:13 pm

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by lessthanjoey » Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:44 am

chas wrote:Did you see the video that Cliff made which is posted at: http://www.vimeo.com/1213290?

Check out the quiver and see if it matches what you see.
The more solid portions of that video are what I see when everything goes well. I also never see the dipping in pressure that that video shows toward the end.

My bad version of quiver is a very high rate quiver basically through the entire green zone.

User avatar
oton
Barista
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:11 am

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by oton » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:55 am

Great. Exactly Same problem here. :-(

High rate quiver - Through the green zone & ultra fast, not like the normal vive pump quiver. Exactly the same as the video posted: http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b111/ ... eyPour.flv

what's up with that?
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II ♦ Izzo Alex Duetto III
Compak K10 Fresh ♦ Mahlkönig K30 Vario ♦ Mahlkönig Vario
Quest M3

User avatar
Endo
S1 9th Degree Black Belt
Posts: 2072
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:18 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by Endo » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:08 am

I expect what you're seeing is pressure fluctuations caused by the rapidly opening and closing pressure regulating valve, and not the vibe pump. I also believe this pressure excites the flow meter which prevents the "no flow" fault from coming on during backflushing of the Mini (but that's another story).

The LaSpaziale engineers didn't originally equip the Mini with a dual manometer (this is a Chris Coffee requested mod). Mine has only a single gauge. I just use a "no vibe" liquid filled gauge on my spare PF to measure the shot pressure for the few times I actually need to check it.
Endo

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

"It's the coffee, stupid."

GideanYates

Re: Quivering manometer needle?

Post by GideanYates » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:57 pm

I had, and have again, the exact issue the OP has.

I tried to blow out the capillary tube and it immediately worked, the needle was rock solid while the shot was pulling. But after a handful of shots the vibration has returned. So not sure whether I should just live with it or see if I should replace the cap tube....but it might be the moisture is coming across from the water line as there is a bit of a junction where the cap tube screens (I'm not mechanically inclined so not sure I know how this system works)

Oh, I should mention incase it has any relevancy some of the observation for my problem....

1) Needle vibrates over the green range when pulling shots.
2) Needle does not vibrate when backflushing (I use the provided rubber disk)
3) Based on information from the sevice dept @ Chris Coffee....I blew out the capillary tube and it solved the problem for a few shots then returned.

Post Reply

Return to “Mini In Warranty Issues”