New to me S1 Vivaldi power on problems

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New to me S1 Vivaldi power on problems

Post by Paul » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:27 pm

Firstly I'd like to say thanks for a great and friendly forum packed with great information. I have been reading for a while and have taken the plunge on buying a S1 Vivaldi that is in need of some TLC. I purchased it described as needing a heating element but on investigation I'm not sure that's the case as yet.

When I plug in the S1 it immediately trips our RCD (GFDI in the U.S. I believe). Thanks to other comments on the forum I disconnected the main circuits (motor, group and steam heaters) none of which seemed to fix it. It was only when I spotted another small circuit board behind the steam boiler that things changed. I haven't seen this circuit board referenced in any other posts and will try and attach a photo. It's got 3 terminals : live, neutral and earth with 3 components; 1 blue capacitor I believe and 2 white components with no markings as reference. The terminals where fairly oxidised so I cleaned them as best I can. When I disconnect the earth lead from this board the RCD no longer trips, I can measure 120v ac between ground and this earth tab (we're running on 230vac mains here in Ireland).

With this earth lead disconnected from this small PCB the green light on the front of the S1 flashes, but no buttons appear to respond, therefore no current is getting to the motor or the heaters.
Mystery circuit board
image.jpg (294.81 KiB) Viewed 797 times
I'm wondering if anyone had any ideas on next steps please, and if others have this PCB also? I've tried connecting the motor directly to the live feed and that does seem to run, I'm hesitant to try the same with the boilers until I can get water into them

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.


I've continued investigation this evening with the earth lead off of the unknown PCB. The buttons seemed unresponsive so I tried checking continuity between pins 1 and 6 on the ribbon cable that I found from another thread regarding timer hacks for the S1 where related to the power switch. These didn't appear to close when pressing the power button. So as recommended from another thread with similar unresponsive buttons I removed the front panel. Sure enough there was a ton of muck between the pads and the front panel circuit. Cleaning this off and reassembling now let's me turn on the S1 for the first time.

The pump kicks in and the brew boiler starts to heat up, then the after a while the RCD trips again. I've put this down to the original thought of a brew boiler heating element (removing the terminals from the brew boiler allows it to continue running without tripping the RCD) So further investigation another day, as I'm yet to prove the steam boiler functions. I can see this will be a journey but I'm looking forward to learning more about the S1.

Any ideas about that small PCB behind the boiler would be great though. It seems to run in parallel to the Phase that runs to the main controller. I'm wondering if this is some sort of current smoother of sorts?

Regards, Paul

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Re: New to me S1 Vivaldi power on problems

Post by chas » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:50 am

1) I have no idea what that board is. As far as I know it's never appeared on an 115V models. Others in 230V countries will need to respond as to whether they have it.
2) It makes sense that the problem is caused by one of the two boiler heating elements. This is the cause of tripping GFCI/RFD almost 100% of the time. Eventually in older machines, some moisture finds its way inside the heating elements and causes a small amount of current to flow between the electrified element and the outer shield. This causes a slight difference in current flowing to neutral vs earth ground. This is what the GFCI/RFD is designed to detect and it gets tripped.

The only solution is to buy a new heater element. When you order it, don't forget to order the appropriate gasket for that boiler. It is impossible to reuse the gaskets and they are no fun to remove either. It takes a lot of patient scraping to get them off. On the plus side, removing the group boiler gasket is much easier than removing the steam boiler gasket.
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Re: New to me S1 Vivaldi power on problems

Post by Paul » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:12 pm

Thanks for the reply Chas.

I thought it was one of the heating elements causing the RCD to trip last night, with the steam boiler disabled on startup it wouldn't trip. Then I got it to heat up the steam boiler which would periodically trip the RCD towards the end of the heating cycle.

Tonight I've plugged it into a local RCD to avoid knocking out the whole circuit, and it's powered on and heated up correctly. No RCD has tripped tonight. I've unplugged and reconnected every lead during my investigation so I'm not sure if this could have had an effect?

I pulled my first espresso tonight and it was...rancid. The previous owners had brewing temp at 110 C so it was brewing far too hot, with a tiny amount of water. I've adjusted the temp to 95 and increased the volume of water and things are getting better. Currently I think I may need to reduce the brew pressure as 1.5 ounce shot comes through in 16 seconds from first drop with little to no crema. Currently I haven't got a grinder so I can't adjust the grind, I brought supplies ground in the shop.

Thanks again for all the great info on the forum. I wouldn't have been able to work on this machine without reading through all the reference material here.

Looking forward to experimenting with the new purchase and hopefully being able to pull a shot I'll be happy to serve to someone else.

If the RCD trips again I'll certainly investigate the heating elements further. Until anyone tells me otherwise also I'm leaving the earth lead off of that mystery PCB. I'm meeting an electrician friend at the weekend so hopefully I may get an explanation from him what it could be for.

Thanks again,

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