benpiff Senior Member Joined: 5 Feb 2010 Posts: 376 Location: Portland, OR Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Vetrano2b,VetranoHX, Grinder: K10Fresh,LSM FK,T80Doserless Vac Pot: VFA Expres One Group E61 Drip: Grimac Mini Roaster: Sonofresco ADR
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 1:41pm Subject: Astra Pro low pump pressure, terrible luck with fluid-o-tech vib pumps?
Hey guys, I had my dad pick this machine up for me recently. I think it had been in storage for 3-6 months. He turned it on and ran some water through it before buying, said the pump was very quiet. When I drove up to see him and get it, I realized the flow rate was way slow, almost exactly like the last machine I wish I hadn't bought, a Grimac Mini with the same fluid-o-tech vib pump. Both machines are older, about 10 years and had been stored for 3-6 months before I bought them, but I have machines with much older Ulka pumps that work great. What's the deal here? Could the time in between use be a large factor in both, do Fluid-o-techs benefit from being opened up and cleaned? The overpressure valve doesn't seem to make any difference, it takes 15-20 seconds to fill a shot glass with water so I'm not even going to bother trying to pull shots.
I'm hoping some other Astra Pro owners can chime in here, because these pumps are pricey. I also wonder why the output line on the pump is so small? The previous owner said he had to replace it in the past because it developed a leak and Astra had said it's a wear part. I took the case off just now and noticed a little water accumulation at the ends of the line, where this tiny hose goes into the push fittings. Could this hose be limiting pressure to the group?
How hard is it to swap in an Ulka pump? I love how easy it is to disconnect and reconnect those simple pumps, but the Fluid-o-tech has a different connection with a thick bundled black wire coming out of it.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,215 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Apr 29, 2013, 3:10pm Subject: Re: Astra Pro low pump pressure, terrible luck with fluid-o-tech vib pumps?
If you can make it fit into the space and get the hoses to fit, I don't see any problem, its not like they use a lot of power or anything. A lot of parts can interchange woth other brands with a little playing around. While I see no reason it should not fit, if someone has a specific reason why you can't make the swap, I'm sure they will say so.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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