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Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
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macbeath
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Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Belgium
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 6:17am
Subject: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

My new Microcasa a leva worked great for about one month. Now, suddenly, the steam wand gives out only a fraction of the pressure, making it essentially useless.

I assume it is blocked internally. But with only steam coming out, you would think it would eventually unblock if you let it blow off some steam. No luck. I also tried clearing the 3 small holes, using a pin. There does not seem to be any obstruction. Yet the same behaviour continues: hardly any pressure from the wand.

I assume the problem is not global, because the rest of the system seems to operate the same.

I continue to enjoy espresso shots, but I want to get the cappuccinos going again asap.

Cheers!
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johnboddie
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Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 205
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
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Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

Have you tried unscrewing the wand from the valve to see if the obstruction is in the wand itself?

JB
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macbeath
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Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Belgium
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 8, 2013, 7:35am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

Great minds think alike - indeed, I did try exactly that. I removed it, and blew in the one end to see what kind of back-pressure there might be. It seemed to be unobstructed. Of course, I have no point of comparison, so maybe I would have noticed a difference in the back-pressure when comparing with a normal unit. All I can say is, I poked the pin into the 3 small holes and verified that they are not obstructed. And unless I am missing something, there is not much that can obviously go wrong in the rest of the sequence, starting from the main boiler. (The only one possible point of failure is inside the ball-bearing in the tap. It is hard to imagine that becoming obstructed. Also, I was unable to remove that portion of the unit for testing; I can't see how to do it. I tried unscrewing it at the bolt to the left of it, but that didn't work.)
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macbeath
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Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Belgium
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 3:48am
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

Problem solved!

JB, indeed, the obstruction was in the wand. It was hard to determine that, and hard to find. But I unscrewed the wand again, immersed the business end in a glass of water, and sucked through it like sucking through a straw. Eventually, up came a speck the size of a small splinter, which I assume was the offending obstruction.

I celebrated with an epic cappuccino. Cheers!
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johnboddie
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 205
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

Glad you found it.

One of the great things about the MCAL is that when work is required, you can do most of it yourself.

JB
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pstam
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pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2013, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Elektra Microcasa a leva: steam wand pressure gone
 

macbeath Said:

Problem solved!

JB, indeed, the obstruction was in the wand. It was hard to determine that, and hard to find. But I unscrewed the wand again, immersed the business end in a glass of water, and sucked through it like sucking through a straw. Eventually, up came a speck the size of a small splinter, which I assume was the offending obstruction.

I celebrated with an epic cappuccino. Cheers!

Posted January 9, 2013 link

You may remember to get some steam out every time before and after you use the steam wand.  That can keep you away from the obstruction.

 
Peter in Beijing
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http://www.kaffa.cn/
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I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
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