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gUsed Oscar Issues
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > gUsed Oscar...  
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jabone
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:44pm
Subject: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Hello,

I apologize for another one of these threads.

Basically, i bought a used oscar on craigs list for $300. It seemed to work well. It steamed really well but it seemed like the water coming out of the group head was just a drip. Strangely sometimes it would work a little better and sometimes no water would come out at all. The other issues is that the water coming out of the machine smells dusty i guess would be a good word.

I tried doing a backflush using ceran wrap (when the machine was cold) to maybe fix the water odour problem, but the backflush didn't really seem to do anything. No water was going into the drip tray through the hose on the right or left.

So far i took apart the 3 way valve and it didn't look too gummed up so that doesn't seem to be the problem.

I reinstalled the 3 way valve but now when i press the espresso button no water comes out at all. I can hear the pump initializing.

Any advice on how to trouble shoot this?
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 1:34am
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

I would advise against saran wrap. Backflush discs are cheap, though I can understand if you haven't had a chance to get one yet.

The Oscar has a fairly complex hydraulic assembly that likes to fail. My retaining valve was literally disintegrated. A good place to start if you're going to fix up the Oscar is to check out the video we made here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK_z80DrqdI

Helen, Simonelli's Law strikes again!

Simonelli's Law: Every used Oscar is defective and requires service.

However, for $300 you got a great deal, even if it does need work. They're hardy machines with a lot of power.
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jabone
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Thanks for the video. I started watching and it seems really good.

I am going to order some spare parts/cleaners. Does anyone have any advice on any specialized tools or other parts that i need to get my hands on

I am looking at ordering

Backflush Blank
Spare group screen
spare group gasket
joeglo backflush cleaner
food grade lube (dow something)



Are there any other items i should pick up or any special tools (i have wrenchs, screwdrivers, allen keys, rubber mallet, soldering iron etc). Maybe i should pick up an ohm meter? Any cheap items i should toss in to just have on hand?

Thanks,

Jordan
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 1:54pm
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Hi Jordan,
Pick up the sealant shown in the video, it's much better than pipe tape. Get a priming bulb for priming vibration pumps. Also pick up an air pressure regulator with a gauge so you can check or adjust your boiler safety valve's opening pressure. They have to be replaced once every two years anyway, so if you buy a valve with certified calibration, you won't need the tool. Don't buy an ohmmeter, get a digital multimeter with a half-decent sampling rate so you can do electrical tests of all kinds. Good luck
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jabone
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:09pm
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Hmm, can't seem to find that sealant online, do you know if there is a loctite equivalent or something i can get at home depot?

Also, are you recommending installing a tee and adding the regulator and pressure gauge at the same location as the boiler safety valve?

I think at this point i will just do a full teardown and use citric acid to clean the boiler so hopefully that will take care of the smell. At this point i really have no idea whats wrong with the machine. So far I have done the following:

-very poor flow coming out of the group head and sometimes nothing at all
-I removed the 3 way valve but it didn't appear to be clogged up. I think i put the solenoid on backwards but fixed this. I did turn the machine on and pump water through (i thought this was the instruction on the electros guide.
-Now i turn on the machine and can hear the pump filling the boiler. When i hit the brew button, i hear the pump fire for one second and then stop. I do seem to be getting good steam although it may be a little wet (i don't really have a point of reference on this one)
-After this i pushed the level indicator in but this seemed to have no effect
-I just checked the retention valve since this seems to be a common issue. Wow, was it difficult to get the fittings apart. I don't have a vice and only had one wrench that worked so i resorted to a wrench and a hammer and finally got it apart. i think it may be broken. i can see a  white piece and an o-ring inside the metal fitting. A white plastic piece, a spring and a green cap fell out. The green cap has a hairline crack although i am not sure if this is an issue or not. A white ring of plastic is still lodged in the brass fitting.

Hopefully this solves the problem but i am not really convinced this small piece would cause no water to exit the machine.
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plindy
Senior Member
plindy
Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Posts: 73
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: SJ Pharos Lido HG-One
Posted Tue Nov 19, 2013, 3:52am
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Loxeal
solenoid
and everything

my thought on the elektros 3way was with the 3way off and brew button on water out proves the pump  lines hx are working
the plunger in the 3way has spring loaded seals in both directions , ensure both move freely

pics and arrows

remove shower screen and breaker plate
confirm 2.8 mm opening above the dead valve

more tools

gluck
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jabone
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 9:42am
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

So now that i have a new palstic check valve, it turns out the one in the machine was definately broken. Not sure why they didn't choose something more robust.

I guess i will have a busy weekend dissasembling and acid bathing the boiler, installing the check, vacuum breaker and gigleurs.

I still need to track down some acetic acitd (no luck at any grocery stores so far) and an 8mm tap. Hopefully all goes smoothly. I definately feel more confident about my machine now.
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

Acetic acid is an ingredient found in vinegar. If someone asked you to use this, they probably meant vinegar.
Table vinegar is 5% acetic acid.
Pickling vinegar is 7% acetic acid.
Double Strength Cleaning vinegar is 10% acetic acid and the most bang for buck.
Horticultural vinegar is available in 20 to 40% acetic acid but costs over double pound for pound and usually requires a license, though some less careful garden centres will sell it without carding you.
Vinegar is only one of several types of acid I use for descaling parts, depending on the makeup of the scale present in every boiler some types of acid are more effective than others. Vinegar and Citric acid are the ones least likely to get you as a consumer in trouble but may take longer than some formulations the pros use. Do not underestimate the power of acid to eat flesh and make sure your PPE is on at all times and in good condition.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,032
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 22, 2013, 7:54am
Subject: Re: gUsed Oscar Issues
 

You can get acetic acid at bulk food stores, brewing shops and health food stores. You can also use koolaid, the unsweetened kind.   Vinegar is an acid also and is food safe so I am sure it would work.   You probably want to dilute it to the recommended acid content for soaking.  If you are scrubbing it off with the acid then I think it is less important.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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dyno
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore The Club/Oscar
Grinder: K6 Pro/Super Mini E
Posted Fri Nov 22, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Used Oscar Issues
 

Espressotec in Richmond has most of those supplies plus other Oscar parts. Not sure about the sealant.

I've had wet steam too and cleaning the water level sensor at the top of the boiler fixed it.  Good luck with getting it working again.
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