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Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
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yoopy
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Joined: 5 Nov 2012
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Location: Brights Grove
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 5, 2012, 9:50am
Subject: Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
 

I have replaced the heating element on my single group Gagia ELE a couple of times now.  Each time the element failed open with in a very short time.  I have checked the voltage (240V North American) and the water level is good (never run low).  I have been getting the elements from Ascaso.

What could be causing the elements to fail in such a short period of time? (less than 1 month of occasional use)
Is it possible that there was a bad batch of heating elements?

yoopy: gaggia.jpg
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cwatson01
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Joined: 20 Sep 2011
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Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
 

What do you mean by "element failed open"?
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yoopy
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Joined: 5 Nov 2012
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Location: Brights Grove
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
 

cwatson01 Said:

What do you mean by "element failed open"?

Posted November 6, 2012 link

The heating element has no continuity, typically each of the elements in the heating unit (three elements) are 80 ohms.  When I measured the failed heating elements the resistance was infinity.  

Current per element = Volts/Resistance  2.75 amps = 220 Volts/80 Ohms
Total Current = 3 x Current per element  8.25 amps = 3 x 2.75 amps
Watts = Volts x Current   1810 watts = 220 Volts X 8.25 amps
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cwatson01
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Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 71
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
 

Okay, so the legs are blown..

Did you clean all the junk out of your boiler from the previous busted element before installing the new one? And have you checked to see how charred up your pressure stat is? Sometimes when the terminals on the press stat get too charred the legs get stuck together and send voltage to your element continously.

Also, is your boiler grounded out?
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yoopy
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Brights Grove
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: Failing Heating Element - Gaggia ELE
 

cwatson01 Said:

Okay, so the legs are blown..

Did you clean all the junk out of your boiler from the previous busted element before installing the new one? And have you checked to see how charred up your pressure stat is? Sometimes when the terminals on the press stat get too charred the legs get stuck together and send voltage to your element continously.

Also, is your boiler grounded out?

Posted November 6, 2012 link

The boiler is clean, no scale, no debris.  The last two elements were intact when removed.  Both elements showed no obvious sign of damage.

The pressure stat is new and is working well.  The element is 220 V so it doesn't rely on chassis ground for any part of the electrical circuits.  The boiler is electrically bonded (grounded) to the chassis ground.

I have extensively tested the auto fill circuits and they are operating flawlessly.  In all cases the boiler was at the proper water level with the last failure occurred.

All I can figure is that the elements have a design or manufacturing defect.
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