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Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Oscar pumping...  
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joey
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 341
Location: madison, wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

the three way was clean and parts all moved freely.  not a bit of lime and just the smallest amount of coffee debris.  Regardless i soaked it in cafiza for over an hour and reassembled it and ensured there is no foreign material in it.  
tip sensor dry--i just filled.  and put it back in.  turned on the machine and it's silent --the pump isnt running.  i pressed the brew button and nothing out the 3-way.  the water came out the group!  i did a cold backflush a couple times and it seemed to work fine.  I let it come to temp and made a couple espressos and it tasted good.
apparently when the 3 way was stuck open it ran the boiler dry, but i do not understand why once the 3 way was clean it didnt operate properly until the boiler was filled to proper level.  fingers crossed that we're good from here on out.
Thank you very much plindy for sticking through this until the end and helping me get this fixed.  You're a model coffeegeek!
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plindy
Senior Member
plindy
Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Posts: 75
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: SJ Pharos Lido HG-One
Posted Fri May 17, 2013, 12:14am
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

Thanks for the Thanks

please confirm 2way is functional
tip machine up , rock or slide  side to side several times to engage pump
level probe momentarily , loses resistance of water in boiler ,  pump engages to  fill
If it does we are golden

Enjoy
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joey
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 341
Location: madison, wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

sorry for the late reply... all is well.
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joey
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 341
Location: madison, wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

ugh... this is frustrating.  for the last week it seems to have been working fine.  now today i made an espresso and it took a long time to pull.  i assumed i choked the machine by grinding too fine, but when i turned off the brew switch the pump kept running.  i looked to make sure there was water and there was, and the machine kept pumping.  i turned it off, emptied the drain tray, and turned the machine back on.  were back to square one with water pumping through the 3-way directly into the drain tray.
any idea what this could be?
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 4:57pm
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

I'd take out a multimeter and check continuity on all connections to both the 2-way and 3-way valves. If it behaves like my Ellimatic, the brew switch, in addition to turning on the pump, activates the solenoid on the 3-way that directs water through the brewhead, rather than out the valve to the drip tray. You might have a loose wire or corroded connector.
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joey
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 341
Location: madison, wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue May 28, 2013, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

I still need to check continuity of the valves--it looks like the wiring runs below the boiler?.  I called NS and they said it was 3 way valve.  he was pretty sure but i'm not convinced.  i have a multimeter.  shouldnt i be able to test between the posts and get a readout to know if it's broken or not?  what about getting voltage on the connectors when i press brew?  i'm no expert so what setting do i put on the multimeter and where do i test?
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 394
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 12:14am
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

I'm new to the Oscar, so I could be way off, but my Oscar's Gicar controller died and before that it was behaving badly and erratic at times.
My symptoms were very different from yours though:
  1. Always had heating element on at startup until the pstat cut out the power.
  2. Always complained about the reservoir being empty until the system heated up.
  3. Would run the heating element even if the boiler or reservoir were below level - and that's how I got a new heating element as well as a new controller.
    When either the boiler or reservoir are low the heating element isn't supposed to engage, but mine did with the old controller and it fried.  New controller and heating element installed today and all is working well.  When either boiler or reservoir is low the relays prevent the heater from kicking in.

So make double sure your controller is signaling properly.  I'd put a multimeter on the 3-way solenoid to know when it's electrically activated and when it might be physically stuck.  If it's the controller that's having problems then you should see the electrical activation of that solenoid anytime the 3-way 'leaks'.  You might also see the system shutdown if you remove the reservoir and let the sensor there go dry?  If it stops pumping does the solenoid also disengage electrically?

I bought a new Gicar from Espresso Parts for ~$155, and that was the cheapest I saw.  There's also someone who rebuilds them for about 1/2 that most of the time, and I'll probably have my busted one repaired for backup.  My broken one looks to have a fused relay for the heater.  I bought mine as a fixer upper, but wasn't ready for how much fixin' $$ it would need - should be in operation tomorrow though.

Best of luck!
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 6:40am
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

The fact that it worked after you disconnected and reconnected things before are what leads me to think that it's a connection issue, maybe. If the lead is broken or contact corroded, the solenoid will not get sufficient current to engage when you press the brew switch, and all the water will bypass the grouphead and go straight out the 3-way.

Of course, it may well be a bum solenoid in the 3-way, too. If the boiler's not filling properly, also check the continutity on the probe. It should be an open circuit if the water level is too low and close when the level comes up. Always good to check connections all the way back as long as you've got the meter out.

If you see problems in both places, DanoM may be right and it's a Gicar issue.
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joey
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 341
Location: madison, wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Oscar pumping water into drip tray--not 3-way?
 

new development--
i took off the fill sensor to the boiler and it was low.  i added about 8 oz of water so it was just touching the probe.   turned it on and it started heating up without water running through 3 way.  then i  tipped it up on its side, and front to back etc.  i could not get it to start pumping to fill the boiler.  if i remove the fill probe it starts pumping water--out the 3 way--and not filling the boiler...  
i called nuova and they said that i should take it in because its not too straight forward of an issue and they couldnt diagnose over the phone.  i'm off to work now--my next step is to check the gicar on the bottom.
is there a way to test the 2 way and 3 way relays to know if they're bad?
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