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Alex Duetto II pressure problem
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Jaap_98
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Luxembourg
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 8:08am
Subject: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

I have recently noticed my espresso was getting worse and notice a pressure drop.

I decided to open the machine and adjusted the screw on the side of the rotary pump to reach about 9. (could not get it higher, which I find odd).

The results were immediately much improved, but after only 2 weeks I am back to very low pressures (about 4-5) using a blind filter to test).
I also noticed that it does not immediately go to max pressure but takes some time to get there.

I again tried to adjust but am now not able to increase the pressure at all.

There was a problem with the machine about a week ago after I decided to use the hot water wand to fill/pre-heat a cup (which I rarely do).
Subsequently the pump kept running and did not stop until it started beeping away. (with water container FULL).

Only way to stop this was to switch off the machine and let it cool down. (and I let off pressure from the steam wand for good measure.)
This issue can be reproduced every time I use  the hot water wand.

Does not bother me too much, but perhaps it is related to the pressure problem.

I am at a loss what to do. Would anyone be able to help me? (if it helps I could upload a video to youtube)edit: posting to: http://youtu.be/sqSmuMzRGa8 blind filter
and http://youtu.be/201vlND696U with espresso






many thanks for any tips,

thanks, Jaap

Jaap_98: DSCN2124w.gif
(Click for larger image)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

sounds like you're pump is having an intake problem or an obstruction to it's outflow.  As you've now seen, hot water to the wand is a very direct path, so can't affect the group.  Only common thread is the pump side of the coin.  I'm not the best repair guy around here. I'm not even average...though I can fix things once someone elese tells me what to do.  If you can get your hands on a large syringe (maybe even a turkey baster will do it), try pushing water through the pump intake.  It's probably going to take some disconnecting and testing of the various pump connections.

btw, when was your last descale?  Is your water hard?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Jaap_98
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Luxembourg
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

thanks for the tip. My problem has just got worse as I broke a small plastic piece in the adjuster screw.(which houses a spring and plastic valve)
I do not descale (I have had the machine 2 years) but I use a brand of bottled water very low on calcium.

I will follow your tip and dismantle the pump and see where that gets me.

I have just sent a mail to Fluid-o-tech to see if it possible to replace the piece. If not I will have to get  a whole new pump :(
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Jaap_98
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Luxembourg
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

Just a quick update: I have been in touch with Fluid-o-tech who make the pumps and they already got back to me-amazing-very promising!
They can sell me the pump (for USD 89) and any part (the bit I broke costs 1.45), but still need to find out about postage.

Although I am not sure if my pressure issue is definitely related to the pump, I am quite tempted to by one to keep as a potential spare.

Rest of the pump looks clean to me, does any one have any idea whether any other part may be the culprit. (I am suspecting the bypass in the pump itself, but it will take some time before I get the parts and find out.) I would like to minimise the caffeine free period as much as possible!

thanks for any help, I keep you posted and am grateful for any advice in the meantime.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,022
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

Even with low calcium water, you need to descale regularly.  Perhaps you can get by with annually?  I don't really know the right answer to that off the top of my head.  I use water that's treated into optimum total and carbonate hardness range for coffee and descale biannually.  I'd recommend reading Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ paste that in google and you'll find it quickly.  Sorry I don't know more about trouble shooting pressure problems.  Be patient, as there are several members here who can give you great advice on what steps to take (it's just a matter of them seeing your post and having a few moments to type a reply).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,404
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 7:17pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto II pressure problem
 

Your expansion valve goes back to the internal tank in your model I believe?

If so, do this check. Pull a shot against a blind filter and check and flow into the tank from the tube from the expansion valve.

Post back what you find as this is the first check you should do.

The clue is in your post about hot water, the pump ran and ran, because steam boiler wasn't filling, but the tank was full....probably because the water was coming straight out of expansion valve and back to tank. In your vid there is pressure on the gauge, so the pump is pumping and no sound of cavitation, so flow to pump is probably OK.

This could be for a few reasons e.g. clogged autofill solenoid or obstruction in it, or fault with expansion valve...do the check see what happens.
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