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Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Baratza Vario:...  
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 10:27am
Subject: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

Hey everyone,

My Vario (1 1/2 years old, bought via Buyer's Remorse through Chris Coffee) sort of died this morning.  Noticed a couple of days ago that the sound was different...softer...but it was still working, so I thought maybe something inside was just vibrating less.

This morning, as I was grinding for the first shot, it made this weird, ~1 second frequency fluctuating sound that went from sounding essentially normal to being very soft.  Then it just stopped grinding.

Turned on, the motor is still going, for sure, because I can hear it and I can still feel vibrations.  The burrs are just not moving.  Called Chris Coffee, who told me to call Baratza directly.  Told them the serial number, and they said it definitely uses a metal pulley (said if it was an earlier model the pulley could have been plastic and might have been the issue), so it was likely a belt issue.

Although the grinder is out of 1 year warranty, they're doing what they can to help out.  Took a 10 second video at their request so they could hear the sound it was making.  If they determine it is in fact the belt, they'll likely send a replacement part for free and walk me through fixing it.  Have had other minor issues with the grinder in the past, and Baratza has always been great with support.

In any case, just curious if anyone else has experienced a similar issue.  Now excuse me while I go to my work's superautomatic (bleh), because I NEED CAFFEINE.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

FYI, they think a set screw came loose on the die-cast pulley.  Gave me some simple instructions in PDF to open the grinder and fix it.  Hopefully it works.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 1:15pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

I'm sure they will make it right. They have online step by step instructions on how to remove the cover, etc.
No worries.
Let us know what you find.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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wsfarrell
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Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: Sacramento
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 1:59pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

If it is a set screw, you might want to put some (non-permanent) loctite on it before replacing.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 10:19am
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

Alright, so I followed the instructions, which were easy.  Opened the grinder up, and the little pulley was up above the belt.  Set screw was in it, and I could NOT force it to even budge.  Looked inside the pulley, and I couldn't see the other side of the screw, so my guess is that that end got stripped from the motor.  It had no grip for the motor to turn it and move the belt.

Baratza, as usual, was quick to respond, and they're sending me a new belt and pulley...likely only need the pulley, but it'll be nice to replace the belt at the same time.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 6:05pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

Parts came today!!!  Baratza rocks!!!

Followed instructions, pulled motor out, replaced the belt, put on the new pulley, used superglue on the set screw (didn't have any Loctite), and put it all back together.  My calibration was almost exactly the same, but the machine is significantly quieter when not grinding, compared to before.  Wonder if I did it correctly, or if there was something before that was causing louder vibratory noises.  Either way, grind seems consistent, so I guess I did it right.

Anyway, hats off to Baratza for their quick and friendly support.  Just hope this is the last issue I have with my grinder for another couple of years (at least)!
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 683
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014, 12:32pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

branmuffin17 Said:

... replaced the belt, put on the new pulley, used superglue on the set screw (didn't have any Loctite),

Posted April 26, 2014 link

What confidence!!
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014, 11:17pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Vario:  Pulley or Belt Issue?
 

I'm assuming you mean the superglue?  Yeah, now that I think about it, probably should have used nail polish or something...hope this part and the accompanying belt stay strong for a while!
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