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Heat Exchanger Leaking
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Ryebread119
Senior Member
Ryebread119
Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Maine
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Elektra Sixties
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 1:23pm
Subject: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

I have an Elektra Sixties HX machine. It's brand new, I just bought it in September. After coming home, I stumbled upon a HUGE puddle in my kitchen. I opened her up and saw a pretty consistant leak from the top (and maybe the bottom?) of my heat exchanger. I'm a total newbie when it comes to espresso machine repair. Any advice? I would also LOVE any recommendations for espresso machine repair in the state of Maine... if this needs something more than I can handle, I really don't want to have to ship her out on a pallet.

Thanks in advance, N

 
Listen to the steam, the sign of a good drink is in it's acoustics.
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fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 463
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore E61, Vivaldi Mini...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Gaggia MDF,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 4:15pm
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

It's most likely a fitting that loosened during shipping. Is this the machine?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,477
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 Tue Dec 31, 2013, 2:24am
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

Is it the heat exchanger (it is inside the boiler and only the tubes connect to the outside) or the boiler?  Where exactly is the water coming from? a PIC works wonders !

 
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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Ryebread119
Senior Member
Ryebread119
Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Maine
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Elektra Sixties
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Posted Tue Dec 31, 2013, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

fnacer, yes! That is the machine. I can't tell from the numbers here, but it's leaking on that cylindrical piece that sticks out of the boiler between the numbers 26 and 30. From the instruction manual I have, that cylinder caps the top (and the bottom on the under side) of the heat exchanger through the boiler. There is a small seam on the upper end of that cylinder cap, and it is leaking through the seam.

Calblacksmith, I've attached a picture. You can see pretty well where the leak is coming from since it's botching the metal and giving it a milky color.

Thank you for all of the help!

Ryebread119: photo3.JPG
(Click for larger image)

 
Listen to the steam, the sign of a good drink is in it's acoustics.
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stefano65
Senior Member
stefano65
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,385
Location: Eugene OR
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme,Elektra,
Grinder: Vario,Macap,
Vac Pot: not
Drip: not
Roaster: not
Posted Tue Dec 31, 2013, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

There is an o-ring under the "cup"
replace it and add some teflon tape to the thread
water and pressure needs to be shut off first.
if you can do it safely
first
shut water supply
leaving power on,
dispense some water out from the grouphead as if you are brewing (few seconds just to let some water out the Hex) pump will scream)
this will prevent the heating exchanger to pour out once open,
turn machine OFF
let steam out
let could down
open Hex with a 12mm Allen head driver

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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Ryebread119
Senior Member
Ryebread119
Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Maine
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Elektra Sixties
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Feb 24, 2014, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

I feel like I should finish this post with an update in case someone comes across it in the future.

After removing the heat exchanger cap, I noticed a defect in the green gasket. I cleaned up the threads (really, really well), fitted a new gasket and tightened her up. It worked.

As an aside, I figured since I had her apart anyway I would check the boiler for scale. I removed the boiler cap and heating element. Good news - no scale. Bad news - the seal on the boiler just crumbled in my hands. It took a few weeks to order a new seal, but once it arrived, I scrubbed all of the little pieces of gasket that had been stuck to both the boiler and the heating element - buffed it like new, and replaced the gasket.

One week now, and no leaks. Hoorah!

I'm hoping the brittle gasket was just a defect, and not caused by something else in the boiler. It'd be unusual to think that heat would have caused the gasket to "bake to a crisp" considering it's meant to seal water from exiting the boiler... only time will tell?

N

 
Listen to the steam, the sign of a good drink is in it's acoustics.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,477
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 Tue Feb 25, 2014, 6:56am
Subject: Re: Heat Exchanger Leaking
 

Congrats on getting it up and running again. Gaskets should be thought of as disposable items. They are used once and replaced if you need to open that part of the system. I try to order gaskets before I open things up if possible, if not, some food safe gasket material and a sharp hobby knife and a little patience will go a long way.

 
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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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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