I was going to suggest that the flashing was an error code of sorts, and ask if this was an overheating issue. I suppose a lack of water flow might be more correct and in a way could lead to the same thing.
(I wonder if the baby Twin is smart enough to flash in such a way as to call out an exact error code? Like a computer motherboard BIOS can do w/ long and short beeps. That would be kind of cool...)
I made a wooden test stand so things were not so fumbly.
I disconnected the pump from bracket (#60), then I disconnected the electrical connection from the pump. I then removed the hoses at the pump (item #64, part number NV99.099). I looked at the pump everything looked clean (wow the inlet is really tiny as compared to the output). All the other hoses in the system seemed to be in place. There was some condensation on the inside, but this could be contributed to the damp thermoboiler protector (Item #69). I removed the protector and threw it in the toaster oven at 250F for a couple of hours to dry out.
I reconnected the pump into the system. With my fancy test setup powered up and let the system warm up for a half hour.
I redid the Hot water measuring test and I was able to get an average of 9oz of water in 30s. This time I used a stop watch and did the test 3 times. My prior results listed back on my Jan 3rd posting was 7.5oz in 30s.
All I did was disconnect / reconnect the pump and now the problem disappeared....so far. I ran the system, switching between different functions (hot water, group head, steam) several times. There was no leaks, and the steam was flowing well at a constant current draw of 7.3A for as long as needed (no more shutting off after 15s ). When the steam is on only the Steam Icon was blinking, the heater element icon was solid...as expected.
I will beat on the machine and crack her open in a couple of days to ensure that everything is dry ( no condensation on the interior) I am amazed that disassembling the pump hoses and reconnecting fixed the problem.
I have some questions regarding the pump: 1) can you take a very small diameter orifice bit to insert it into the hole (intake side) to clean it out? 2) can water flow both ways through the pump. ie could you flush it going from "intake to output" as well as "output to intake" or will this damage whatever mechanism is inside?
well I am amazed that the system is that sensitive to the flow rate and I wish I would have done better testing back on Jan 3rd... as my results could imply ( that this was the root cause of the problem ) either that or there was another leak that was sealed up, at least for the moment.
The nozzle size vs flow is very specific, so I would not risk messing with the orifice. They also note a fail/return rate of "practically 0." You might want to correspond with Todd. I do not know if he normally reads the forum or email is best. That said, keep posting, very interesting information and problem and it will help for the next person. What happened to EV the OP.
Great news Qu1nn! I'll take mine all apart clean, it and put it back together again. If it works again, we'll know that it indeed has something to do with the flow loop. I'll have to wait till the weekend, though. I also get some condensation in the bottom (where the pump/flowmeter/thermoblock is housed) and was always a bit concerned, but since I couldn't find a leak either I figured it was just and atmospheric phenomenon due to the thermo block's heat. I guess we'll know if in time the same thing occurs, but the logic of some kind of flow restriction seems quite plausible.
qu1nn Senior Member Joined: 3 Jan 2013 Posts: 14 Location: Buffalo, NY Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 3:27pm Subject: Re: Gaggia Baby Twin troubles
A couple pieces of information:
1) you can take apart the flow meter #64 (turbina digmesa fhksc 1,2 Arnite oc)... I did end up getting a response back from someone from technical support. "With a pin which is smaller than the nozzle, can be carefully controlled if the nozzle is free. In the attachment is a simple drawing for open de FHKSC." the picture is attached
2) As an FYI the nice folks at Atlantic Components gave me samples of the G5A01240C as they donít stock the version that is in the Gaggia is the 229C version (G5A0229C). Very nice of them to send out the part, although it was not needed....at least yet.
3) I will crack open the machine again this weekend to see if there is any condensation.
4) I fear that I may have a new problem... I didnt hear the normal backfluck "click" nor do I see any fluid going into the botom tray upon stopping flow to a shot (ie the pressure relief). I took care to ensure that the exhaust nut from the solenoid valve (#24) was connected to the tube in the base (#29, Ass Central Shell St. Steel).
EDIT: there was moisture in the base, AND there was a kink in the hose. I dried it out... will open next weekend too look for moisture again.... When I put things back together, ensuring that the exhaust nut hose was not kinked, and fully seated...tested and sounded/behaved as expected.... Egads!
Did you ever get your BBtwin figured out? I did the same stuff as you; cleaned out the flowmeter and ran it on a stand (opened up) so I could check for leaks. Didn't see any and I eneded up with the same problem; flashing lights during brewing and steaming - although I'm not seeing a noticeable difference in flow rate out of either the steam wand or the brew head.
I suppose it could be the CPU; that is apparently a weak point on these (among other parts). I'm just not sure I'm going to start buying stuff to try and eliminate the variables. I'm considering cutting my losses and saving up for a Silvia. Know anyone who might want a used, not working correctly BBtwin?
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