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how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
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terrone
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terrone
Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 10
Location: london
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 9:07am
Subject: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Hi there,
anyone can help with this:

I'm trying to run a La marzocco GB5 2 groups (20amp)  on a 13amp standard UK socket.
Do I need to disconnect 1 heating element (I don't mind if will be slower in heating the boilers) ?

If anyone could share their experience or post a photo of the inside of the machine

Thanks a lot!
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ryecarr01
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Joined: 2 Nov 2011
Posts: 44
Location: north east
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

hi terrone

it may be easier for you to share a photo then it would be easier to show you what to do to downrate your machine.

i am not 100% familiar with your machine but from experience I would imagine your element will have 3 loops. so basically what you see sticing out of your boiler will be the head of the element with 6 connections (3 live and 3 neutral connections)

i would hazard a guess that the neutral side are linked together with little brass plates as well as blue neutral wiring to two of the 3 neutral contacts, and on the other side there will be a brown live wire going to each contact. so all teh neutrals are linked in and all the lives are independantly powered.

to drop a link, simply remove one of the live wires, terminate into a connector block and tape up (or remoe from the pressure stat if you feel comfortable going that far) do the same on the neutral side but also remove the link and wiring so that they are still linked together.

seems abit higgily piggily the way ive typed it, will be easier to explain with a quick picture, you can message me if you like for my mob number (im based in leeds)

please please please make sure all electric is COMPLETELY isolated to your machine before removing any panels, and all wiring is safely and sufficiently terminated once removed)
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billc
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Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, Washington
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: CC1 - GS - GS3 - GB5
Grinder: Baratza - Mazzer-Marzocco
Drip: My own Creation
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 1:53am
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Terrone,
Each of the heating elements has only one loop.  Steam Boiler is 3000 watts and brew boiler is 1400 watts = 4400 watts.  The elements are rated at 220 so at 220 it will consume about 20 amps.  If your voltage is greater then the current will be greater than 20 amps.  The steam boiler alone uses about 13+ amps.  Coffee boiler is about 6+ amps.

Don't think you should do this with only 13 amps available.


BillC
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__________
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Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 4:31am
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Hello, Terrone

Based on Billc's explanation of the heater arrangement, it doesn't sound very promising unfortunately.

I suppose it might be possible to have a replacement element manufactured (unless La Marzocco can supply a lower rated one), but you're then into doing some surgery on the boiler to change it over, and if it's a bespoke element, it could be pricey and also make the machine non-standard, which I guess could negate its CE approval certificate.  

Some machines - like the one I have - automatically ensure that both boilers can't be on at the same time, and it's conceivable a good technician could install that sort of arrangement, but again, it's a modification to the manufacturer's design, and probably ill-advised.

I'm assuming you'd like to run this from a standard ring main ? Check with a sparkie, but I'm fairly sure you aren't allowed any single load >13 amps, even if it's a fixed fused connection rather than plug-in, so that isn't a solution either.

I'm sure you've will already have been down this road, but I think the only good solution is to have a separate circuit installed, with a fixed fused connection to the machine. In the long run it would probably work out cheaper, and definitely has the advantage of keeping everything nicely within current wiring regs. requires no machine mods. and the manufacturer  CE certification will still be valid.

Sorry to be negative - I realise I've answered your question about "How" to do it, with advice "Not" to do it  ;o(
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terrone
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terrone
Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 10
Location: london
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Tue Nov 27, 2012, 2:24am
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Hi,
thanks a lot guys.
I found out that the premises will have definitely a 16amp and possibly a 32 amp socket (will check tomorrow) already available.
So my understanding is that if it's 16amp, I will still need to downgrade the machine disconnecting a heating element (and pray it won't trip when the other boiler kicks in).
If it's a 32amp instead I should be fine with the machine as it is, and I'll have space for a few bulbs as well?

The machine is still in storage but I will try to post a pic of the inside boilers connections when I can get close to it.
thanks!
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__________
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Posted Tue Nov 27, 2012, 3:46am
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Hello, again, Terrone

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you have a 32 amp radial type supply.  Ring circuits also have a 32 amp contact breaker, but if it is that type rather than a radial circuit, you are still not allowed to draw >13amps from a single point on the circuit.  Just looking at the contact breaker won't necessarily tell you, unless everything is nicely labelled (as it should be ;o)

Based on Billc's explanation of the heater setup in this machine (and he owns one, so I'm sure he is right) there isn't a heater loop you can disconnect, as there is only a single one in each boiler.

If you find the supply is rated at only 16 amp (what you would normally have for something like an immersion heater, or storage heater) you may well find the circuit is already capable of taking a 32 amp load (it would probably be 2.5mm T+E). In that case all that would be needed is to uprate the MCB or RCBO to 32 amp - whichever is fitted (RCBO for preference).

However, it is essential that you take advice from a qualified sparkie, as the wiring regs. also have rules about circuit length, cable routing, maximum allowable earth impedance etc. as well as cable size. You need a professional who knows his/her stuff and has the right test equipment.

Best of luck !   Keep us posted.

PS - re your observation on hoping it won't trip - if anyone tries to run a device with a higher power draw than the breaker/fuse, I earnestly hope that it will trip - that's what it is supposed to do for safety.  Those devices are carefully designed and spec'd to  allow a little bit of headroom for a short time, but that shouldn't be abused......but don't ask me about the train I was stuck on last thursday night when the 25kv overhead power lines tripped out......my view on this was then slightly different  ;o(
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terrone
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terrone
Joined: 23 Nov 2012
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Location: london
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Good news, it's 32AMP 220/250V single fase !!
:-)
The socket is 40mt away so I've got a 50m long cable (4mm) with steel wire armour. Hopefully there shouldn't be much voltage drop (I used 4mm over 2.5mm to be safer).

Now I have the 32amp socket near the machine.
Said that ... how do I hook the machine up in order to have it on at least 20amp and the remaining amps available for grinder, flojet, a couple of small led lights?
I was looking at something like this:
Click Here (www.criticalpowersupplies.co.uk)
But my doubt is that then it would be like having two simple 16amp cables (1 for the machine and 1 for the other appliances).
I should find a way to use the 32amps so that the machines gets what it needs to run properly.

Maybe this solution, the 4th from the top (ST Distribution 4 x 16A, 2 x 13A)  (much more expensive) can do?:
Click Here (essentialsupplies.co.uk)

All suggestions are welcomed.  :-)

PS:
I know my words might make no sense at all, apologise for that.
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__________
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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

The 32amp supply is very good news.

To be honest, the "off the peg" solutions you link to look a bit expensive.  Most any competent sparkie could set you up with something bespoke and better.  In place of your single 32 amp outlet, I'd install something like a standard consumer unit with an isolator, and a single 20 amp and a couple of 6 amp breakers.  Then either sockets (suitably identified as to their maximum current) or fixed connection boxes running from it. Much neater. Less prone to damage. Don't know what the reg's are concerning the premises you are using, but it's definitely the way I'd do it.  If you're a "competent person" within the regs. Part P defintion, you could even do it yourself ;o)

Your LED's and flojet draw next to no current (are you sure you can't plumb it in ?), and the grinder isn't likely to be much more than 1-1/2amps  (might be higher when starting, but contact breakers are spec'd to allow for that sort of headroom anyway).  

Could all be on the wall and look nice and neat.
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terrone
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terrone
Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 10
Location: london
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 3:04pm
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Thanks,
yeah , you are absolutely right.

I'm gonna see if I can get someone to do it. It looks like it's a relatively small job that none wants to get it on :-(
Reason why I was looking into a ready made one...

They won't charge less than 100/200 so probably that box (if it's what I need but I don't think it is at this point because hasn't got a 20a but only 16a breakers and no isolator)  was a good value (despite the high price)...

Thanks a lot for the advice tho, i will ring people tomorrow and ask for that sort of distribution board :-)
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__________
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Location: .
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
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Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: how to: La marzocco GB5 2 groups on a 13amp standard UK socket
 

Hi, again

Assuming you are electrically competent (we all have to cover our a***s these days, but you've already installed a 4mm cable)) I'd go down to somewhere like Wickes and get ;-

1 X Consumer unit (probably 3 gang) with an RCD type isolator already fitted - ~30-32

1 x 20amp MCB Type breaker - ~ 5.00

2 X 6 AMP MCB Type breakers - ~ 2 x 5.00

1 x DP switch, to connect between the switched side of the 20amp breaker and the  La Marzocco (so permanently wired in).

2 x standard switched sockets to connect to switched side of the 6 amp breakers.  Ideally mark them as 6 amp max, but it is protected safe, so  if anyone overdoes it, the breaker will trip anyway. Use for whatever you want up to 6 amps per outlet.

Your 32 amp circuit provides the input to this unnit, and is switched via the RCD Isolator. This way the overall 32 amp max of the circuit cannot be overloaded, and you have residual current/earth leakage protection on everything that is connected to it.  You also have a ready way to isolate anything that misbehaves, without affecting anything else on the circuit.

45-50 quids plus the right bits of cable (you only need 2.5mm for anything connected to this).

Simples ;o) and very neat.

In ANY doubt about your own competence to evaluate this recommendation or carry out this work, please get a sparkie,

PLUS as in all things, my advice is worth what you pay for it of course ;o)  However, it is definitely what I'd do in your situation.  

Best.
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