jonnybignote Senior Member Joined: 18 Apr 2012 Posts: 23 Location: Culver City Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:28am Subject: Starbucks Barista dying?
Hello to any fello Starbucks Barista owners or anyone else reading,
After having a good year out of a used Barista that has served me well, I'm encountering a problem. Not having changed the grind setting on my Preciso, I'm suddenly faced with the problem of a delay and then slow release of espresso from portafilter, followed by water leaking from the top of the brewhead. The pump sounds somewhat laboured also.
I'm obviously leaning toward the idea that the pump is dying, but I wondered if anyone else had any theories. I took it apart and tightened the bolts on the boiler as well as on the four that hold the brewhead to the machine.
I made one for my wife with her 'decaf' beans and that was fine. I guess the other possibility is that my source for fresh roasted espresso beans have changed their blend or selection slightly, so that I need to make setting changes to my grind.
Pump with open wand sounds same as usual (it is loud - not a quiet machine, but I don't think any of them are particularly quiet right?) and the flow is good, as it is from the brewhead.
I've attached an image. The water doesn't leak from the portafilter. It comes down the side of the outer ring (where the red arrow etc is) I believe it may also come down from the hole the wand comes from.
I haven't descaled in 5 months or so - probably a little late - but could that alone really be the cause of this??
With the top off of the machine, find the leak(s). Keep your hands out :) Based on the picture, it is leaking inside the machine and running down, the evaporated residue on the mand and group head. You may be getting a short, setting off the GFI instead of the element failing. In addition if the GFI goes off many times it will fail.
Right - that makes sense to me. The gfi tripping always happens after the leak starts, so that maybe a short resulting from the water.
It's that, or there is too much backpressure maybe?
The only thing I'm still not sure of - it still seems like the pump is slightly labored sounding prior to the shot pouring (dripping) so I'm hoping it's not something else causing some kind of resistance, which is in turn creating all the other problems as secondary issues - ie too much back pressure for the boiler and other components etc.
Pressure builds over a few seconds and the pump changes sound. Same on my Gaggia. Your leak is indirect, it leaks in the machine before you see it. It probably leaks as the pump builds pressure and then runs out. "Back Pressure" is no more that a blind PF, full pump pressure. If all gaskets are intact, then you should not leak from full pressure/back pressure.
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