Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

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zirtbow
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Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by zirtbow » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:21 pm

Got a used Vivaldi S1. Where some wires were melted, gasket gone, and basically a mess all over. I've since taken it apart, made some new wires, and cleaned it up to put it back together. I've gotten it running reasonably well. I started it up and the first time on a bunch of water poured out the Anti-dpression Valve (Part: 11649 - I think it's referred to as the vacuum breaker?) . I thought this was an issue but the subsequent heatings less and less water came out of that. Now when I heat it up a little water spittles out of it and it the center pops out then it's good to go.

I went through and used a portafilter pressure gauge to set the expansion valve to 12.5 bar. I thought I was set to go but now these past couple days I turn it on in the morning. The Vivaldi pressure gauge comes up to it's normal green area but as I let it sit it keeps going until it hits the red area. The last two times I heard some air being released by the safety valve. I thought it was normal until today where it blew so much out and so loudly it practically woke up everyone in the house.

Browsing the forum I tried to find possible solutions. I've seen where a member called chas has referred to this maybe being a heating triac problem but if I plug the machine in the boiler doesn't start heating at all until I turn the machine on. Is there any way to track down if this is a problem with the triac, the temp probe, the safety valve or the vacuum breaker? I'm suspicious it might be the temp probe but blindly replacing parts might get costly. Also could the contact thermostat be related to this at all since that's what I had to make a new wire for?

Here are some pics of the top of the boiler if it would help any.
top1.jpg
top2.jpg
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chas
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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by chas » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:15 am

1) It's just a fluke that the steam boiler problem happened right after you adjusted the expansion valve since the expansion valve is an adjustment for the group boiler. There is no interaction between the two.

2) What you referred to as the contact thermostat LaSpaziale calls the thermal breaker. I've also seen them referred to as a "High Limit". It trips in case the top of the boiler gets too hot whereas the pressure relief valve trips when the pressure is too great ~ 3-4bar. I have never heard of the thermal breaker tripping before the pressure relief valve popped off. If it did trip, the pressure relief valve would not pop off and you'd have to reset the thermal breaker by pushing down on the red button before the steam boiler would heat up again.

Since you have checked for proper operation of the triac board it sounds pretty certain that the temperature sensor is at fault. They have a new style used on newer machines which still fits your machine. I'd recommend getting one of those if possible. They look like this:
2018-10-30_9-10-44.gif
2018-10-30_9-10-44.gif (2.74 KiB) Viewed 382 times
Chas
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zirtbow
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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by zirtbow » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:15 pm

chas wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:15 am
1) It's just a fluke that the steam boiler problem happened right after you adjusted the expansion valve since the expansion valve is an adjustment for the group boiler. There is no interaction between the two.

2) What you referred to as the contact thermostat LaSpaziale calls the thermal breaker. I've also seen them referred to as a "High Limit". It trips in case the top of the boiler gets too hot whereas the pressure relief valve trips when the pressure is too great ~ 3-4bar. I have never heard of the thermal breaker tripping before the pressure relief valve popped off. If it did trip, the pressure relief valve would not pop off and you'd have to reset the thermal breaker by pushing down on the red button before the steam boiler would heat up again.

Since you have checked for proper operation of the triac board it sounds pretty certain that the temperature sensor is at fault. They have a new style used on newer machines which still fits your machine. I'd recommend getting one of those if possible. They look like this:
2018-10-30_9-10-44.gif
I'm really leaning towards it being the problem. I noticed the temp probe on the group boiler was the same as the one on the steam boiler. I swapped them and started it up. Let it sit for a while and the pressure on the steam boiler stayed fine. Nothing blowing out of the safety valve. I only tried this test once with the old steam valve temp probe plugged in and inserted into the group boiler. Would you think it's safe to try it again or would I run the risk of damaging something with the group boiler in the event that temperature probe is bad/going bad?

Also a side note is that I have my machine running in 15A mode because that's all I have access to right now. Would the triac test of plugging the machine in but not turning it on still be a valid way to test it in 15A mode? Or does the mode not matter when the triac is bad?

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chas
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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by chas » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:34 pm

Give it a try. You may find that both boilers work fine with the temp sensors swapped. If the swapped one fails in the group boiler the effect will be that the expansion valve repeatedly opens up and dumps hot water into your drip tray, but it won't damage the boiler.

Of course, should that happen, you should immediately swap the sensors back to their original locations and turn off the Steam Boiler while waiting for a replacement sensor to arrive.

Whether you're running in 15A or 20A mode doesn't make any difference.
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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by zirtbow » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:59 pm

chas wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:34 pm
Give it a try. You may find that both boilers work fine with the temp sensors swapped. If the swapped one fails in the group boiler the effect will be that the expansion valve repeatedly opens up and dumps hot water into your drip tray, but it won't damage the boiler.

Of course, should that happen, you should immediately swap the sensors back to their original locations and turn off the Steam Boiler while waiting for a replacement sensor to arrive.

Whether you're running in 15A or 20A mode doesn't make any difference.
I guess this brings me to my next question. When I turn the machine on and it's warming up I notice the expansion valve drips out maybe a half to maybe 1 oz or so of water. At first I thought the expansion valve was adjusted wrong but it does that as the group boiler is heating up and then stops dripping after it's full/warm. After it was warmed up and not dripping I put the portafilter pressure gauge on and hit the double shot button. Watched it start off at the 8-9 bar then slowly climbed up up to 12.5 bar max after 30 seconds or so.

Still when I turn it on I notice on the fill/warming cycle the expansion valve still drips out water until everything is set. Did I mess up the calibration process or is water coming out during the fill/warm cycle normal?

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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by chas » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:42 pm

After you raised the pump pressure to set the expansion valve did you set it back down to 9 bar?
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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by zirtbow » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:55 pm

chas wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:42 pm
After you raised the pump pressure to set the expansion valve did you set it back down to 9 bar?
No, I just thought the 9 bar was for the initial amount of pressure. I actually didn't change the pump pressure at all and left it at whatever the last person had it setup to. So now I'm re-reading this page:

s1v2/VII_Expansion.php

So when I hit the double shot espresso button the PF pressure gauge shouldn't read above 9 bar at any point? The person before me wasn't technical at all so I can't imagine they ever changed the pressure setting (figure A and B) of the pump. I think I got confused by the instructions on the page and how my machine works. Here's what I did for my process...

1. Attach portafilter pressure gauge.
2. Hit double shot espresso.
3. After a second or two pressure climbs straight to 8-9 bar (probably closer to 9).
4. Pressure sits steady at 9 bar for about 10-20 seconds.
5. Pressure then slowly climbs to 12.5 bar
6. Water starts dripping out of the expansion valve.
7. Usually holds steady at 12.5 for about a minute or so until I press the double shot button again and the pressure is relieved out of the the valve that comes off the group head and dumps into the tray near the expansion valve.

I'm guessing my whole process there is wrong but I wanted to go over what I did for some insight on how to do it properly. I thought since it initially got to 9 bar and didn't go above that until later that it would generally stay around 9 bar when there was coffee there for it to pass through. Was there some other way to "turn on" the pump as the instructions on the page note? I remember when I was trying to do this I couldn't much about setting the expansion valve on these forums.

- Is there some other way to "turn on" the pump as the instructions note other than using one of the pre-set cup buttons?
- Is the expansion valve set wrong because I never opened up the pressure settings on the pump?

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Re: Rebuild... Vivaldi S1. Safety valve blowing off.

Post by chas » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:10 am

The pump doesn't provide the entire set pressure. It actually provides the boost needed to get from incoming line pressure up to the set pressure. So if you have the pressure set to 9bar and your house pressure is 5 bar, then the pump actually produces 4 bar on top of the 5 bar to get you up to 9 bar. Due to this, the pressure needs to be readjusted any time the machine is moved to a new location. It sounds like your house pressure is quite a bit stronger than wherever it was located last. If you house pressure is high, it is recommended to get a cheap pressure regulator to bring it down to 2-3 bar into the machine. This provides less stress on all the parts. Plus it prevents changes in your house pressure from causing fluctuations in your group pressure.

Here's a simple, cheap one. ChrisCoffee has much nicer ones that are also adjustable for twice the price.
Espresso Parts Pressure Regulator
Chris Coffee Regulators

It sounds like your expansion valve is set OK, but now you need to drop the pump pressure down so that you don't exceed 9 bar at the group.

BTW: It is normal for the expansion valve on an S1 to drip each time the group boiler is heating up.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
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