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? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
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JFitzpatrick
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Joined: 8 Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 8:00am
Subject: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

I've noticed something curious going on with my Expobar Office Lever Plus lately and I'd love a little feedback from people more experienced with the electro-mechanical side of things.

Lately I've noticed that my Expobar seems to "cycle" a lot. The pump will kick on for moment (2-4 seconds or so), some water will be purged into the drip tray (though the small tube just above the drip tray, not through the grouphead) and then it will kick back off.

I seem to recall this happening maybe once or twice a day when I first got the machine... but not it seems to happen every hour or so. I measured the volume of waste water in the drip tray after 12 hours... it had dumped 14 ounces in there! Since I don't have the machine plumbed, this just increases the frequency with which I have to refill the tank.

The only thing I can think of that is different from when I first got the machine and now is the ambient temperature. When I got the machine it was spring/summer and the room temperature was around 75-90F. Now it's much chillier out and the ambient temperature is 65F.

Any thoughts?
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GVDub
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Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 8:08am
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

Could the pressostat maybe be running a little high? What is the pressure gauge reading when it's doing this?
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JFitzpatrick
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Joined: 8 Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 10:09am
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

GVDub Said:

Could the pressostat maybe be running a little high? What is the pressure gauge reading when it's doing this?

Posted November 2, 2012 link

It's funny you mention that. Just this morning I noticed that the pressure gauge reading looked higher than I ever recall it. Normally the reading is around 0.9 bar/12-13 PSI. This morning at breakfast I looked over and it was 1.25 bar/18 PSI.

I've tried to catch it in the act today, but so far the closet I've been able to come to actually watching the gauge while all this is happening is to catch it right after the pump noise and water purge. At that point the indicator needle is falling back to the 0.9 bar/12 PSI range from some higher value.
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 881
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 Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:08am
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

What's your maintenance schedule been like - descaling, etc.? I suppose the pressurestat adjustment could drift, or it could get sticky from scale build-up. Or a pressure release valve could be acting up. I don't have any hands-on working with E-61 machines, so I'm making semi-educated guesses here.
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JFitzpatrick
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Joined: 8 Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

GVDub Said:

What's your maintenance schedule been like - descaling, etc.? I suppose the pressurestat adjustment could drift, or it could get sticky from scale build-up. Or a pressure release valve could be acting up. I don't have any hands-on working with E-61 machines, so I'm making semi-educated guesses here.

Posted November 2, 2012 link

I've never descaled the machine (I put softened water in it and the tank itself has a built-in water softener). I back flush it once a week or so with Cafiza. Other than that I don't do anything but wipe down the machine and clean the brewhead as part of the weekly backflush/cleaning process.
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 881
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 Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:24am
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

How long have you had the machine? Even with softened water, you should probably be doing a preventative descale once or twice a year. Consider that, if you're not flushing out the whole steam boiler regularly, either by making Americanos and drawing hot water for other things or by just draining and refilling, the mineral content in the boiler is going to be concentrating as you pull off steam. Eventually, that's going to lead so some scale accumulation. Think of your boiler as the Dead Sea - once the minerals find their way in, there's no way out for them, except dissolved in a mildly acidic solution or by draining.
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SStones
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SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
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Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

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Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: ? about waste water/pump cycling on a Expobar Office Lever Plus
 

Open the machine and check for slight leakage around the safetyvalve on top of the boiler...  With the boiler running hotter than usual, it might be at a high enough pressure to boil over the safetyvalve just slightly, maybe not even enough to hiss.  Hold a cold knife next to the safetyvalve on all sides and see if water condenses on the cold metal...  Check at other potential leakage points around the boiler, too...  If the boiler is constantly losing a little steam, the pump is cycling on from time to time to top up the water level being boiled away. Lower the pressostat pressure back down to 1.2 bar and see if the safetyvalve stops releasing.
I'm sure you know this, but someone has to say it.  Don't touch any wires with the cold knife.
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