Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

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AlephNull
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Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:51 pm

I recently shipped my older mini Vivaldi ii (I think its the 260577 model??) across the country. It worked like a charm before but now It won't dose anything from the grouphead.

I can still use the steam and hot water from the steam boiler, and I know the grouphead boiler is getting hot because the grouphead is getting hot.

What happens when I hit either the single or double group buttons is: The flowmeter alarm immediately goes off, no water is dosed, and there is no click of the solenoid.

Last night I took it all apart, and looked in the solenoid like This guide from Clive said. There was nothing in the solenoid at all. When I put it all back together the same problem persists.

Do I need a new solenoid? It doesn't really make sense that shipping it would make the solenoid crap out... Any ideas would be more than appreciated, I just want my espresso back :(

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:18 pm

There was another person on the forum that had a similar problem with their group solenoid. I gave him instructions on removing the power connector from the solenoid and checking for 110V AC on the connector leads while it was removed and one of the coffee buttons pressed. However, as soon as he removed the connector he noticed that one of the leads wasn't seated properly in the connector. All he had to do was fix that and plug it back in. Problem solved. Before we delve deeper you might want to check that.

The connector does screw in. It's possible that this connector and its screw vibrated loose in transit. You might also want to check the other end of the lead where it plugs into the controller board to be sure it hasn't popped loose.
Chas
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AlephNull
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:27 pm

I took removed the connecter and re-seated it in order to remove the solenoid last night.. I'll try to trace the wire back to see if that's the problem. I'll report back

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:43 pm

Here are the next two things I did when I had solenoid problems.

1) Disconnect solenoid cable. Press the one-cup or two-cup button. Check the solenoid cable contacts using an AC voltmeter. You should see 115VAC across the leads. If not either the cable to the controller board is bad or else a relay on the controller board may have failed.

2) If you do see 115VAC on the cable but the solenoid still doesn't energize - which was my case - I cut the end off a cheap 2 wire extension cord, then attached an insulated crimp connector onto the cut leads of the extension cord. Then with the solenoid cable disconnected I connected the crimp connectors to each solenoid lead. Plugging in the extension cord should energize the solenoid. If that doesn't make it click, you need a new solenoid.
Chas
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AlephNull
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:31 pm

I just checked the line to the solenoid, I cant get voltage no matter what I probe. So I think its a problem somewhere up the line. Where should I check? All the cables seem to be seated fine, I cant find a loose connector.

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:33 pm

Here's a layout of the control board. Next you should probably check to see if you get voltage on the contacts labelled "PUMP" and "EV.GR". Both of these should have voltage when you press either the one-cup or the two-cup button. You should place the ground lead of your AC voltmeter on either of the contacts labeled "Neutral" and the hot lead on one of the other two contacts. See that you have 115VAC on both leads.

Also, the connector labelled: "F" goes to the flowmeter. You should be sure that it is fully seated. Since this control board is inside a plastic box some disassembly is required. There is a Fuse on this board as you can see in the diagram below. However, it is in-line with the AC-voltage and all three solenoids aka Electro-Valves and the Pump. So if your steam boiler is staying filled and you have both hot water and steam, the problem can't be that fuse. Normally even if there is a water blockage, the group solenoid will engage and the Pump will turn on for several seconds before you get the Flowmeter error. So if you are getting the alarm immediately, that might indicate the cable is loose at connector "F". Perhaps there is some type of detection that knows the flowmeter is not connected which might prevent the solenoid and the pump from turning on???
VII Mini CB.jpg
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Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
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AlephNull
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:40 pm

Hi, Thank you for all your help so far.

I can't get anything from pump to neutral when I hit the one or two cup buttons. I don't have an EV.GR, the plug above phase on mine is EV 1 ( I have an older machine, I believe from ~2010). I know my AC meter is working because when I plug it into a socket I get 115vAC. I also tried the F connector with no dice. I'm loosing my mind trying to figure out the problem, especially when it was working perfectly before I shipped it.

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:29 am

I have a few more things for you to check.

1) When you unplug the machine,then plug it back in you should see either the yellow or the green LEDs blink once. Which is it? You should see Yellow. If neither happens that is also OK. That would mean that your controller board does support this feature.

2) When you press the One Cup or Two Cup buttons you say you immediately get a Flowmeter alarm from either button? Does anything else happen at all. If you have to press either button to see the Flowmeter alarm this would indicate that the buttons are working and that the Button Pressed signal is getting to the control board.

3) You haven't mentioned whether or not your machine includes the optional LaSpaziale On/Off Timer. There is a switch on top of the controller board that MUST be set properly to indicate which case you have on your machine. This switch connects to two pins on the controllerr board via a small 2 wire ribbon cable. It is always possible that even if the switch on top of the controller box is set right, the ribbon cable inside may have vibrated off.
If this is not set right, neither the group solenoid or the pump will operate though I have never heard of anyone also getting a flow meter alarm due to this. However, it is a very likely cause since I have NEVER heard of anyone that had to replace their controller board to fix an issue. This is a good thing since the controller board costs $400+.

A lot of bad group operation issues have been "fixed" due to the timer switch being set wrong. However, in most cases this occurs with new owners who purchased machines without the optional timer. They apparently test the machines with the timer installed then remove it before shipment to the customer forgetting to change the position of the switch. If this is your issue, it's hard to believe that shipment could have flipped the switch, but it could have loosened the ribbon cable.
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:11 pm

So, mixed success. Flipping the switch to off worked! Once. Now what happens is I hear a faint click from the control board and a few seconds later the flow meter alarm comes on.

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Does the pump come on now?

BTW: The faint click you hear from the control board should be the relays swithing on 115VAC power to the pump and the 3-way solenoid valve. If it's still not working I'd unplug the solenoid cable now and see if you are getting 115VAC there. You should. Also, the pump should be coming on.

If you see 115VAC at the solenoid connector and you are NOT getting a loud click from he 3-way solenoid, then either there is a bad connection there or the solenoid is shot. BTW, in the past I have gotten just the solenoid w/o the valve from Espresso Parts which is much cheaper than buying the whole thing if the solenoid is all you need.

If you are getting 115VAC at the solenoid but it is not engaging, the next thing I would do is unplug the machine, unplug the solenoid cable and ohm directly across the solenoid leads. I don't know what the correct value is but if it is open (Infinity) then the solenoid is definitely shot.
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AlephNull
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:14 pm

I can get 115v on the solenoid leads but not when it’s plugged in? Only if I take the wires out and probe them directly. I now have the cover of the wires off and I’m trying to probe while connected to the solenoid but no dice there either.


Also the pump is now not running. Even on the steam-boilers hot water dispenser

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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:21 pm

I looked into the control box, I think the fuse is now shot

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chas
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:00 pm

Sounds like you should pick up a few spares. I am not at all certain that your 3-way valve solenoid is OK. Have you tried checking it's resistance yet? Previously, I was concerned that it might have failed open but now I am wondering if it has failed shorted. You could blow another fuse or two trying to figure it out.
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:10 am

BTW: When you check the resistance of the 3-way solenoid it may be hard to tell if its off unless it's zero or infinity. The other two solenoids are identical. Pull the cable off one of the others and check it so you can compare.

It's definitely better if you need a new solenoid to see if you can just buy the solenoid. Solenoids are $33, Solenoid with new 3-Way valve attached are $157!

Hopefully, you can just replace the fuse and everything works and the fuse doesn't blow again. Sometimes that happens. However, I wouldn't count on it, which is why I previously recommended that you pick up a few spares.
Chas
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AlephNull
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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by AlephNull » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:30 am

I got it working! New fuse came in this morning and it works like a charm. I did test the resistance on the solenoid and it read okay (and, well now it works)

Thank you so much for all your help. I think the problem was the timer switch got flipped during shipping somehow and I didn't know it needed to be 'off'

if anyone is googling this in the future CHECK THE ON/OFF SWITCH FIRST if you dont have a timer it should be 'off' ( I wrongly assumed on was good, not so)

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Re: Flowmeter alarm and no solenoid click. HELP

Post by chas » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:40 am

Great news. I should have thought of that right off the bat, but it's only happened before to those with new machines, so I wrongly discounted it as an issue in your case.

BTW for future reference: IIRC: The S1 only reads the state of those switches once when it is first plugged in. So if you flip the switch while the machne is plugged in, nothing happens
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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