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Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Saeco Rio Vapore...  
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Pnwskier
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Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 9:06am
Subject: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

I decided to resurrect a 20 year-old Saeco Rio Vapore that has been sitting unused for 10+ years.  For the first few days, all was well.  Steam came out the steam wand, and it pulled a few shots okay.  However, after a couple days, it began to take longer and longer for water to come through the portafilter.  Now, nothing comes through.  The steam wand still works, but when I hit the brew button, the machine just makes noise and no water comes through.  I removed the sheet metal cover and can see that water is just not moving through the system when the brew button is on.

I tried descaling, but it had no effect.  I suspect the grouphead is plugged (while awaiting delivery of a good grinder, I was grinding beans at the store on the finest setting).  I removed the big screw that holds the screen and am now faced with the slotted screw underneath, which appears to be seized tight.  I just bent a quarter trying to turn it.  I thought about trying a little WD-40 before trying again, but thought it might be a bad idea to spray oil in that area.

Am I on the right track to be trying to clean the grouphead, and am I going about it the right way (i.e. to try to clear it from below)?  If so, what is the best way for me to try to get that screw to budge?  I'd appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks.
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wsikes
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wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 10:18am
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

I would try the largest screwdriver that will fit the screw before I resorted to any lubricant spray.  If you don't have the proper screwdriver, it would worth your trouble to pick one up.  Taking the drip tray out and tilting the machine allow you to use a long screwdriver and you may even have to use a set of pliars on the screwdriver handle. Patience, Grasshopper...

 
Bill
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Pnwskier
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Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

Thanks for the reply.  I saw that somebody else used a chisel and I tried that but could see that it was beginning to damage the screw, so I stopped.  I'll head to the hardware store and try to find a wide screwdriver.  It's really frozen in there, however, so I'm losing hope...
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

If a chisel didn't work, you may have to resort to penetrating oil and then rubbing alcohol to get rid of the oil residue.  It looks like you may be needing another screw too after this operation.  Good luck...

 
Bill
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hotwasabipeas
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hotwasabipeas
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 180
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: KitchenAid ProLine
Drip: Keurig Vue, B70,Tassimo T65,...
Roaster: Wear Ever Popcorn Pumper...
Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 12:54pm
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

Why not try taking out the boiler...it's really easy actually and I have done that with a few Starbucks Barista machines.  You can then give the boiler a really good cleaning inside...you would be surprised how much gunk that can accumulate.   Here's the guide I used: Click Here (www.ifixit.com)

 
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Pnwskier
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll give that a try, because even with a big screwdriver I can't budge that screw.  Can I more or less skip most of the early steps in the structions and go right to step 7 or 8?  It looks like I mainly need to unplug some connectors and loosen that small 2mm screw to disconnect the steam wand knob.  I don't have an 8mm big driver, so it looks like another trip to the hardware store will be necessary.

Failing all this, can anyone recommend a good espresso repair company in Portland, OR?  This machine is worth salvaging.
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Pnwskier
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Saeco Rio Vapore Grouphead Cleaning
 

Okay, I figured out how to get the boiler out and took it apart.  There was almost no buildup of crud on the inside of the boiler.  This machine is pristine.

I'm looking at the bottom half of the boiler, the piece with the long stem that sticks up, and the slotted screw on the underside.  I'm not sure what to do next.  That screw on the underside is still frozen tight, but it looks like the stem can be unscrewed.  Have I actually gotten nowhere if I'm unable to remove that slotted "valve holder screw for boiler Jacobs inox" (as I see it is called on the partsguru.com exploded diagram?  Or can this be approached from the inside, where the stem is.  I'm tempted to use some penetrating oil and try the big screwdriver approach again.  Again, thanks for any help.
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