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Need advice, novice is rebuilding LSM 85-16m
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Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Durham, CT
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 2:44am
Subject: Need advice, novice is rebuilding LSM 85-16m


Iíve recently come into 2 La San Marco 85-16ms, one is a two group and the other is a three group - I paid $100 for the pair. The three group mostly works, with some minor leaks, except that one of the groups doesnít work at all. The two group machine is a parts machine, as far as I know, but it may have potential. Anyways I've searched through lots of posts, and I haven't been able to find the answer to my predicament.

The first thing that I did was to get the machine wired and plumbed so I could evaluate it. And like I said, it all works except one group. Since the machine mostly works,  Iíve started disassembling it. But, Iím stuck on a descaling strategy. Iím trying different methods on scrap parts from the extra machine. Iíve tried an ultrasound with soap Ė not much progress at all. Iíve tried a diluted CLR solution, which just seemed to galvanize some copper onto the (chrome/nickel?) parts. Iím considering trying separate HCL baths for the copper and non-copper bits. Iím kind of lost here and hoping someone might point me in the right direction to a sensible descaling strategy. I should point out, it is FILLED with scale. It must have been on well water or something....

Thanks in advance for any tips/criticisms
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Need advice, novice is rebuilding LSM 85-16m

Nice pickup. Citric Acid is the pretty much norm for non industrial descaling. Industry has their own heavy duty baths and one can not dispute the effectiveness of them but for the average home owner or handyman (which is what we fall into) those chemicals are a little beyond us.
Citric Acid works well and is safe. Make a solution and soak your parts in it, rinse and reassemble.

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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,091
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Need advice, novice is rebuilding LSM 85-16m

I had the same issues when I bought my old VFA.  I found that 50/50 CLR & Water or the same with vinegar worked wonders.  I dunked all of the copper and groupheads separately and left them to soak overnight.  I then used a nylon brush to remove what was left in the groups and reassembled.  My groups were chrome plated brass and nothing happened to them.  As for the boiler if you need to clean it out I'd recommend getting it professionally acid dipped.  

Citric Acid I found only works to get rid of coffee grum.  I would bet that the reason the one group doesnít work is due to calcium buildup.  Cafiza won't budge it.

When you reassemble if you want to really make it shine take some emery cloth to the outside of the pipes and a brass rotary brush after to the copper pipe.
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