4 years on- Vivialdi SII rebels

If something breaks post warranty, let us know about it. Tell us how you fixed it. Let us know how much the parts cost.
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dregsCup
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4 years on- Vivialdi SII rebels

Post by dregsCup » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:57 pm

We bought our Vivaldi SII back in 2010, and it has been great until last month. A bad GFI switch has caused things to go sideways for us. The initial problem- the machine got very hot and made a popping sound, which I later figured out was the volumetric flow sensor. I disassembled the sensor and found that the impeller had melted. In addition, water appears to have flown backwards out of the inline filter on the intake side of this sensor. (I have pics of both but am new to the forum and only see links to pictures as an option.)

My first question is- does anyone know what could cause this sensor to overheat and for water to flow backwards?

I have since replaced the volumetric sensor with a new on from Chris Coffee, now I am getting the error documented on page 15 of the manual: 5.2 Coffee Group Temperature Detection System Failure. And sure enough, the machine is not heating up. I used to hear the sound of the machine heating, now I do not. Machine is a on a dedicated 20 amp circuit and new 20 amp GFI BTW.

My second question is- does the sensor initiate the heating and is that the likely culprit at this point? I am thinking that it is, and that I need to order a new one like this: http://www.chriscoffee.com/Vivaldi-Temp ... p/7540.htm

When all this started to happen I was already playing with the idea of a true E61 group head machine, a good friend has one and espresso on his setup is always better than mine. That's with me as barista or him, or my wife, etc. We have used same beans, same grinder to be sure, only difference is machine brand and E61 vs my 53mm vivaldi. So that got me thinking I should just buy a GS3 and fix then sell the SII

My last question is- for folks who have own both the Vivaldi SII and the GS3 is there a material difference in espresso quality (mostly interested in flavor)

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chas
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Re: 4 years on- Vivialdi SII rebels

Post by chas » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:52 am

A few users have seen the melted impeller issue but no one has figured out what causes it to happen. (At least I've never heard of it happening to someone twice!) Your issue could be the group boiler temp sensor or something else. If the sensor has failed shorted then the machine thinks the temperature is greater than 140C and won't turn on. That's the first item to check. If you have an ohmmeter you can disconnect the leads and then ohm across the sensor leads.

If the sensor is good then it is most likely the triac board. Since both triac boards are identical, you can always swap the leads between the two boards. If it is the board, with the leads swapped, the group boiler will now work fine but the steam boiler won't heat.

I am curious why, if you are so enamored with E61 machines, that you are considering the GS/3 since it's not?
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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dregsCup
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Re: 4 years on- Vivialdi SII rebels

Post by dregsCup » Sun May 03, 2015 12:05 pm

Thanks for your reply Chas. I replaced the sensor in the boiler at CCS recommendation and next have been recommended to replace the heating element

Great suggestion on switching the leads on the triac board, will likely make a test of that before I disassemble everything for the heating element

On e61- just as your first job is not your last job, and you first girl is not always your wife I have learned about espresso over the years and where my learning has taken me is that this first 53mm setup is likely the main difference in espresso quality for me so maybe time to move up and on

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chas
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Re: 4 years on- Vivialdi SII rebels

Post by chas » Sun May 03, 2015 12:26 pm

If you have an AC voltmeter you should turn on your machine and then check the voltage across the two heater element terminals on the back of the group boiler. You should see 110-120VAC there. If you do and the machine is not heating then it is surely the heater element. If there is no voltage there then it is more likely the triac board which you can verify using my suggestion in the earlier post.

If you don't have an AC voltmeter it might be worth your while to pick up a cheap one for 10 bucks at your local HW store to be sure you don't order the wrong part.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B

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