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Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
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aytchkay
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Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 6:26pm
Subject: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

I was just given a Version 1 Faema Family (brass boiler, round knob for steam). It seems that these machines have had some difficulties with priming - that is, drawing water from the tank.
My first time trying it was frustrating; It heated up fine and I was able to get water and steam from the wand. But I could not get water to flow thru the grouphead! When I press the 'coffee' button I hear the overpressure solenoid click (I believe that's what I hear) but then nothing.  I'm worried about breaking the pump so I don't leave it on for long.
I searched the forum for this problem and I did find one that said to blow and suck water to the supply hose by mouth and I did get water to flow once. Not again.
Does any one have any ideas of where to start to trouble shoot?  I'm thinking one check is the coffee temp stat which may have overheated due to turning on the coffee switch too many times. Am I thinking correctly?  What else should I check?

I'm capable of taking it apart as I restored an original Silvia last year which needed a lot of work - but there is a lot of info on the Silvia, not much on the Faema Family.

I look forward to some help..  thanks......

aytchkay: IMG_0195.jpg
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Howard - chicago and accord, NY
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 7:13pm
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

Maybe it needs to be cleaned and descaled.

 
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coffee_no_sugar
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Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 8:40pm
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Maybe it needs to be cleaned and descaled.

Posted November 23, 2012 link


Check out the coffeesnobs.com.au because they have active users of the Faema Family on their boards.

I don't have a Faema Family but I have machines that are troublesome to prime. My technique is to take the intake water tubing out of the water tank and hold it vertically.  I use a plastic measuring cup with a nice spout to fill the intake tube.  I pulse the water pump until the pump starts pumping.  I fill the tube again and place the end into the water tank.

According to tests on coffeesnobs, a Faema Family with a pid can be made into a very temperature stable machine.
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aytchkay
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Location: Chicago, IL/Accord, NY
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Espresso: Rancilio Ms Silvia & Faema...
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

In order to descale, doesn't the pump have to push the descaling water thru the grouphead?

 
Howard - chicago and accord, NY
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Keurig
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 8:13am
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

^Yeah it does.
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aytchkay
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Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 37
Location: Chicago, IL/Accord, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Ms Silvia & Faema...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless &...
Roaster: I Roast 2
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

That's my problem...the pump won't pump! thru the grouphead...

Anyone have a troubleshooting list of tests to determine the problem?  I guess I'll be taking this baby apart!

There's bound to be a list of steps to determine the culprit which would be for any single boiler espresso machine...I'll try another search thru this forum.

any comments out there?  Also, does anyone have a source for parts for this machine? I found a site in Australia that does, but electrical parts are for 220v.....

 
Howard - chicago and accord, NY
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SStones
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

If you're hearing the brew solenoid click but not hearing the vibration pump running with the 4th button pressed, then either your pump is dead or not getting any power.  If you push the third button)Water button) you should also hear the pump, but not the clicking of the brew solenoid.
Partswise, any vibration pump in the 50-60 watt range with the same threading on the outlet will work. They are common to thousands of machines of this sort. If you buy the pump from Faema in Toronto Canada, they'll charge you $120 or something.  But any espresso parts place can give you an equal pump and probably for less.
Troubleshootingwise, apart for listening to the pump with the 4th and then the 3rd buttons pressed, Don't leave it turned on for very long while checking things. If the pump has been dead for a while and the boiler is dry, the element will burn out if overheated without water.
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SStones
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Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
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Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

Oh! Also, that machine is built with a diode in the pump wiring to halfstroke the pump speed. Therefore if the pump that is in it also has a diode to halfstroke itself, the pump won't run at all if the wores are connected backward. If you test it with a voltmeter and see that it does have power but still doesn't vibrate, try reversing the wires to the pump before replacing the pump.  But if it is recieving 120 volts and not running with the wires connected in either direction, then the pump needs to be replaced.
Replacing the pump is very simple.
Remove 2 small allen screws(3mm) under the top lip of the water-reservoir, Remove 2 large allen screws(6mm) from the bottom of the machine at the back. Leave the bottom screws closer to the front in place so the machine will still stand up.
Now the back will pull up and away from the machine.  You'll see the pump hanging at the bottom of the steel plate that everything mounts to, but for ease, you'll want to unbolt that plate, too...  First loosen the two flat-head screws that are holding your powercord to the base of the machine so that the whole works can be removed once the plate is unbolted.
Now remove the 4 allen bolts(4mm) closest to each corner of the steel mounting plate. Only those 4, others are holding parts in place.
Lastly, remove the steam-knob, then the silver allenhead bolt holding the chrome crescent behind your brew group.
The plate with everything mounted to it will pull away from the machine, be careful getting the steam wand up through the opening, you'll want it pointed forward-ish.
There you have access to the whole works.  Remove the wires from the pump. Pull the inlet hose off of the pump. Unscrew the pump outlet from the relief valve.(I believe the relief valve is like a T-fitting screwed right into the tip of the pump, but I might be confusing different machines.)
Now just go in reverse, putting the new pump back in and reassembling the machine. Good luck.
You will soon find that group gaskets are nearly impossible to get ahold of for those discontinued machines. If you're into working on your machine, you might want to practice shaving the 8mm commercial gaskets down to 6mm for the Family.
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aytchkay
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 37
Location: Chicago, IL/Accord, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Ms Silvia & Faema...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless &...
Roaster: I Roast 2
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Trying to get a Faema Family to make a cuppa
 

Thanks so much SStones....Your post is very detailed...I can accomplish the tasks...
I'm looking forward to solving the Family issues...

 
Howard - chicago and accord, NY
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