S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

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bricestu
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S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:26 pm

Hello all,

First post here, thanks for letting me jump into this great forum. I have read just about every thread related to my issue and have had the entire machine apart twice now and am striking out.

Here's the scenario.

I picked up this used S1 Vivaldi II on ebay. It took a while to ship, right in the midst of our polar vortex... temps -20 to +10 F during transit.
I set the machine up with my flojet bottle system and fire it up. A little flow through the group head but nothing of substance. Steam system works great. Then as I continue to fire group head flow stops stops completely. Pump continues to run and solenoid clicks.

I start at water inlet and work my way towards group head to try and find a block.

Flow meter has some crud, I clean out that small screen and spring situation. Water getting through there no problem. Moving on up, water is filling the brew boiler. Went over to the group and worked backward, screen, diffusion plate off, still no water.

Took apart the 3 way solenoid, all good there, channels open and solenoid firing no problem.

Lastly, took the boiler apart right down the middle. Little bit of scale, but again, all channels open and clear.

As for operation:
Steam system all good - heating, automatically refilling
Espresso - solenoids do their job upon pressing button, pump kicks in but no water through group. Boiler pressure sits at 11 when idle, up to 15 upon firing.

I am new to La Spazaile - what am I missing?

Is there a pump problem? Boilers fill on line pressure, so pump might be running but not providing pressure for group head to run?

Thinking this all has to relate back to issue with something freezing during transport. The machine was tested by an espresso tech who I talked to on the phone and said machine was working properly days before shipment.

Any thoughts certainly appreciated!

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chas
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by chas » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:46 am

Even in this weather when you have drained the boilers, most folks don't drain the water out of the water lines so it is possible that there was some freeze damage. Not draining water out of the lines is also an issue on espresso machines for long term storage.

This is probably not the issue based on the source of your machine, but it's worth checking. I assume your machine did NOT come with the optional timer. If that's the case, be sure that the timer switch is set to Off on the top of the Control box. You can see the state of this switch by removing the warming tray and looking down on the right side of the machine. (As I recall the symptom caused by this issue is that the pump doesn't even come on, which is not your case, but it's still worth a quick check to rule out.)

Next assuming you didn't already do this and neglected to mention it, is to remove the two shower screens and the diffuser disk and then pull some shots and see if anything different happens.

You mentioned that the group pressure gauge goes up to 15. Is that when the pump comes on to fill the steam boiler or when the pump comes on from pushing either the one-cup or two cup buttons? In either case, this pressure should not go over 12.5bar unless the expansion valve is improperly adjusted. However, I'd wait until you resolve the main problem before readjusting the expansion valve and the pump pressure.

More ideas after you check these items.
Chas
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:06 pm

Chas,

Really appreciate the prompt response!

Lines are all clear, no leaks whatsoever.

It does in fact have the timer, made sure that it certainly is turned off at the control box.

Diffuser and screen are off - still nothing. I really did trace the entire path of water and can't find a single blockage or bad solenoid.

And yes, boiler pressure goes to 15 when I press a one or two cup shot button. Not a drip coming out of the bypass either.

What else ya thinking?

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by chas » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:43 pm

If you have one of the newer models where the water line is plastic between the output of the flowmeter and the input of the group boiler, unscrew the water line - with the flojet off - where it attaches to the group boiler and stick the end in a bucket. Be sure that water line is held or fastened down in some way so the pressure doesn't make it fly out!

Then plug the flojet back in. At that point water should be flowing out of the line into the bucket under flojet pressure. If that is OK, they hit the one or two-cup button briefly to ensure that you are now getting full pump pressure coming out of the water line. If there isn't much difference, then the problem is somewhere between the flowmeter and the output of the pump.

If you have an older machine that uses copper rather than plastic for this water line, is there still some way you can get it pointed into a bucket? If not I may have to go back to the drawing board for your machine

I may have mislead you about the timer since I assumed you didn't have one. Since you do have one the timer switch on the controller box needs to be On.

I don't know how much pressure your flojet puts out. If the flojet is putting out a pretty high pressure, it's still possible that something has failed with the pump. 9 bar = 130psi. The pump is actually a pressure booster on top on the incoming line pressure. Assuming the previous owner had the pump adjusted correctly for his water line pressure, then it may wrong for your flojet pressure. If it is a typical flojet used in espresso setups it should only be around 40 psi which is perfect. What does your group pressure gauge read before you press the one or two-cup buttons; i.e. just sitting idle?
Chas
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by slo » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:46 pm

If the group boiler fills (as stated), regardless of the pump working or not, when the group solenoid 3-way valve opens (when pushing the 1 or 2 cup button) there should be flow coming out the group under the flojet pressure. Yet there is no flow. I would think that either the 3-way valve is not opening or the obstruction is between the group boiler and the group.
Are we sure that the group boiler is filling up?

Something seems wrong in the original post? The group pressure remains at 11 bar when the pump is not active? Either this is a typo or this Flojet pump is stronger than the one usually used.

Also since the pressure goes up to 15 Bar indicate that the pump is indeed working although at a wrong pressure adjustment. This is assuming of course that the pressure gauge is correct.
Is the pressure gauge showing zero when the machine is depressurized?
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:03 am

Chas and Slo,

Thanks again!

Slo-
OK, so to work through your thoughts:
Boiler fills - no flow at all even under line pressure. I completely disassembled the group and 3 way valve. I took the group head over to the sink and dropped a some water into the channels the 3 way is connected to and water did drip out... so no block. The solenoid it's self is fine, I put a screwdriver in the switch when I disassembled and hit the brew button the the switch magnet pulled the screwdriver to the side, so that's working.

Pretty sure the brew boiler is filling. I popped off the inlet to it and got water spurting out as it heated up.

As for the gaugue... just realized now that with machine off and not under line pressure, gauge is sitting at 10-11, it will sit there as it is under pressure then jump to 15 when one/two cup is pressed. So something is off there.

-

Chas -
It's copper and I have done exactly this procedure early on. Water flowing no problem. I will check to see if I can make this happen to check the pressure.

I will get that timer switched back on.

As for the flojet - I originally had it going straight in, but then added an accumulator per Clive coffee's recommendation. I'll take that our and play around at the flow meter.

So to kind of focus in here.... I should be getting at least line pressure flow through the group even if the pump was out, so somewhere there has to be a block...? It almost has to be the 3 way?

Sorry for such a difficult post, would love to continue getting your help. Really want to get this thing rolling this week!

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by chas » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:24 am

1) Don't remove the acccumulator. My suggestion was actually to add one if you didn't already have one, so you are good to go.
2) If your group pressure gauge reads 11 with no pressure rather than zero, then it needs to be replaced.
3) When you removed the 3-way solenoid and valve, how far did you go? There are actually three things you can disassemble.
a) Removing the copper tube and the solenoid.
b) Removing the valve itself from the side of the grouphead
c) Taking the valve apart to check out the spring loaded plunger and seal inside

Did you do all those things?

The last time I had an issue with mine it was the opposite of yours. My group head leaked even when the 3 way solenoid was deenergized. I must have disassembled mine for cleaning and to inspect for damage or misalignment 3 times with no luck. I eventually bought a new valve and that fixed it.

Since your solenoid works you can just buy the valve. This is the one I got: https://www.espressoparts.com/parker-th ... alve-guide
I paid $55.42 including shipping.

A new pressure gauge is $70 with free shipping: https://www.chriscoffee.com/La-Spaziale ... p/1481.htm
Chas
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:37 am

1) Sounds good
2) The steam pressure seems to be working fine? Still in need of replacing?
3)I think I got as far as a&b, will see if i can get further.

I'll order a new solenoid now and start there.

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:55 am

One other question / thought.

If it is in fact the solenoid valve, if I were to remove that whole valve from the side of the grouphead, would water come out under line pressure?

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by chas » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:22 am

Yes, it should.

BTW: The failure mechanism for pressure gauges is usually that a hard knock or drop will change the zero point. That said, I've never known one to fail with 11 as the new zero but there's a first time for everything. Normally, until replacement you could just subtract the 11 from the pressure reading to get the real reading. However, since you are seeing 15 bar and that's the top of the scale, the needle is probably pegged so that neither reading has any meaning at this point.
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by slo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:25 am

bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:03 am
Pretty sure the brew boiler is filling. I popped off the inlet to it and got water spurting out as it heated up.
This means that the boiler is full but it does not mean that it fills with line pressure. When you had the water inlet off there should have been a flow out of the tube from the line (flojet) pressure. Did you try to see with the Flojet active? This would ensure that there is flow up to that point.
bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:03 am
I completely disassembled the group and 3 way valve. I took the group head over to the sink and dropped a some water into the channels the 3 way is connected to and water did drip out... so no block. The solenoid it's self is fine, I put a screwdriver in the switch when I disassembled and hit the brew button the the switch magnet pulled the screwdriver to the side, so that's working.
As already aluded to by Chas ,there is a movable part in the valve that will be pulled by the solenoid. This piece may be the one that is stuck. I thinkl that the flow through the valve you were seeing is from the channel being ported to the drain side. You may want to make sure the valve is actually activating and porting correctly if you want to save the expense of a new one. But saving the valve could be a hassle depending on what the problem is. It is possible that the magnet is no longer strong enough to pull the valve poppet.
bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:03 am
As for the gaugue... just realized now that with machine off and not under line pressure, gauge is sitting at 10-11, it will sit there as it is under pressure then jump to 15 when one/two cup is pressed. So something is off there.
The sentence is a bit confusing since you say that the pressure gauge indicate 10-11 bar without pressure and with line pressure? This would mean that it is not even reacting to the line pressure? You definitely need to change that gauge.
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Backup grinders: MXKR, Major.
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by slo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:31 am

bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:55 am

If it is in fact the solenoid valve, if I were to remove that whole valve from the side of the grouphead, would water come out under line pressure?
This would be the same test or better than removing the boiler inlet tube as I suggested.

Sorry guys if I seem to be phased out from your discussion. I started writing than went to make coffee for my wife and I type horribly slowly!
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and Robur
Backup grinders: MXKR, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

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

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:15 pm

Thanks all, going to get a new solenoid valve ordered up.
slo wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:31 am
bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:55 am

If it is in fact the solenoid valve, if I were to remove that whole valve from the side of the grouphead, would water come out under line pressure?
This would be the same test or better than removing the boiler inlet tube as I suggested.

I did this test as well and got mostly steam with a little bit of water, does that sound right?

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by slo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:31 pm

bricestu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:15 pm
I did this test as well and got mostly steam with a little bit of water, does that sound right?
You removed the whole valve from the group head and only got a bit of water while the line pressure is ON (Flojet active)?

With your Flojet ON, you should get continuous flow from the group head port.
If the Flojet is OFF, a bit of water and steam sound right.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and Robur
Backup grinders: MXKR, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

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

bricestu
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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by bricestu » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:39 pm

SOLVED!

Well, it wasn't the solenoid valve. After I put the new one in and it didn't work I retraced my steps...

Went back to the flow meter, had water with flojet on and increased with pump activation. I then checked for the same thing at the boiler inlet and was only getting just a little water with line pressure and barely any more with pump activated.... so knew there was something with the line connecting the boiler and flowjet. Took it off and found this little piece up in the line completely clogged with scale. When I cleaned the spring and screen, some scale must have come off and went up into this little orfice that I didn't realize was there.

All good now!

However, I did just shear the bolt that holds the grouphead screen and diffusion plate from overtightening..... next project.

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Re: S1 Vivaldi II - no water through grouphead, have tried everything!

Post by chas » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:24 pm

Did that fix change the group pressure readings or do you still need a new gauge?
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