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Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Nuova Simonelli...  
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saxobob
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 9:57am
Subject: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

I have a 15 year old Oscar which has sat unused for a few years since it lost its power to make a good coffee - there was steam pressure but espresso water was not hot enough.  I (as an ignoramus I now realise) opened up and adjusted the Pstat.  Yep I know that doesn't really do anything useful here.  It probably needs a descale  doesn't it?  Scale around the water pipe that runs through the boiler?  So I phoned around (I'min the UK).  Only one company was prepared to service it though they didn't know the machine, and they said about 250 which is over $400.  

Can I get a decent machine for that price that might not be *as* good, but will be new, have a good shelf life, able to make a couple of (nice hot) cappuccino at a time.  Or will it be *way way* less than a well serviced HX machine?  (assuming my 250 does but get a competent service).


Baby Gaggia / Gaggia Classic?

Cheers
Rob
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:08am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

If I were you I would descale it yourself,  it is not that hard. Find some citrus acid and I will find some links for you when I get home. Bulk stores and home brew shops carry it.

 
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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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,167
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:12am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

saxobob Said:

I have a 15 year old Oscar which has sat unused for a few years since it lost its power to make a good coffee - there was steam pressure but espresso water was not hot enough.  I (as an ignoramus I now realise) opened up and adjusted the Pstat.  Yep I know that doesn't really do anything useful here.  It probably needs a descale  doesn't it?  Scale around the water pipe that runs through the boiler?  So I phoned around (I'min the UK).  Only one company was prepared to service it though they didn't know the machine, and they said about 250 which is over $400.  

Can I get a decent machine for that price that might not be *as* good, but will be new, have a good shelf life, able to make a couple of (nice hot) cappuccino at a time.  Or will it be *way way* less than a well serviced HX machine?  (assuming my 250 does but get a competent service).


Baby Gaggia / Gaggia Classic?

Cheers
Rob

Posted February 12, 2014 link

I don't think you'll come remotely close to a properly functioning Oscar's quality for that price.  Why don't you consider doing the work yourself?  For one, what have you got to lose? You'll still have your $400 at the end of it all. You say the machine has been sitting unused for several years now.  Second, there is a long thread on here done by a small team of very enthusiastic Oscar owners detailing how to repair one, and they even included some improvements.  I thnk it's called something like "trick out Oscar party"  It's at least worth looking at before you decide whether or not to pay someone else...and you'll have the potential to be even happier with the machine than you originally were.

Ah, speak of the devil!  There's Helen...listen to her...it was her party I mentioned.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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saxobob
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

Thanks.  I had a simpler machine in the past which was easy to descale, but thought there are difficulties descaling a HX machine as the scale builds around the copper pipe which wends its way through the the steam boiler.  Perhaps I got this wrong though.  Thanks for the offer of some tips.

Rob
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saxobob
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

Thanks.  I *might* be persuadable but I always get a bit intimidated looking at these forums as everyone seems to mechanically minded & I'm a mathematician meaning I'm only really confident of stuff I can do in my head!  Or with a pencil at a real push...

I'll have a look for what you said.  In fact I did find this earlier today before posting (http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231) ... but that looks sooooo complicated.  Like 100 things to go wrong.  Anyhow I'll try to stop being negative.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
Rob
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 4:48pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

I am suggesting a part descale, you have very little risk and should at least try. That link  is a full descale you don't have to do that to fix your problem based on what you said. You need to do Hx only descale not that hard. Unplug the boiler fill and run acid in the tank out the group head.

 
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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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 386
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

Descaling isn't too bad.  You should be able to handle it, even if you do have troubles there's very little to loose and much to gain.  (Oscars aren't free, and they are decent machines.  $400/UK250 is a big chunk of money, for something that you can likely handle yourself.  Just my opinion.)

From the description I would guess that there is scale buildup in the HX portion of the boiler, specifically the thermosyphon might not be heating the group properly?  Might have scale buildup in there.  Just a guess.

The HX descale recommended should help if this is the issue.  You may need more than a single descale if the problem persists or you get blue-green water as mine had.
Also note that the pump on these things I believe is set to run a maximum of 90 seconds before it auto shuts off.  Give it 1 minute of cool down time and then run another 90 seconds, repeat as necessary.  (Pump is likely rated for 2 minutes on, 1 minute off.)  So if the pump stops by itself you didn't necessarily break anything.

FYI: Nuova Simonelli Oscar docs
http://nuovasimonelliusa.com/oscar.html

There's a hydraulic diagram there that will show you the water path.  It's got numbers too, but no equations!  ;)
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 7:47am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

Yes there is a bit more to it but it is not much more complicated than just putting Citric acid in the water tank, flushing it through until it fills the boiler via the steam wand and flushing it through the brew system with the brew switch. Letting it sit for a while and doing the same thing again with clear water until all the soultion is removed.

 
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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saxobob
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

Thanks everyone.  Helen suggested

"You need to do Hx only descale not that hard. Unplug the boiler fill and run acid in the tank out the group head."  

Oh I feel such a newb.  Sorry is there something called a "boiler fill" I have to unplug, or does that word fill mean "fill and run acid in the tank..."  

(so if I'm just unplugging the boiler - will it be obvious how do do this? Is there just one electrical connection to the boiler?  Won't there be several?  I looked on the docs suggested and can see lots of parts on Click Here (nuovasimonelliusa.com)  and a fluid path I don't really understand on  http://nuovasimonelliusa.com/images/Technical_Information/Hydraulic/Nuova%20Simonelli/Oscar%20-%20Hydraulic%20Diagram.pdf.)

Then I just run the pump?  Don't I need to leave the acid in the machine for 30 mins or so?  

Sorry for so many Qs but are there any walk throughs on coffeegeek for "part descale" - I didn't have much success, though I also didn't find much for "Oscar" either strangely!?  How much citric acid?  How much water?  

Then Wayne was kind enough to offer some assistance too.  " not much more complicated than just putting Citric acid in the water tank, flushing it through until it fills the boiler via the steam wand and flushing it through the brew system with the brew switch. Letting it sit for a while and doing the same thing again with clear water until all the soultion is removed."

The bit I don't get is " until it fills the boiler via the steam wand".  I don't really understand what is happening here?  Is this the initial warm up where you have to flush a short espresso's worth of water freom the steam wand before it will make steam?  Does Wayne's method require me to "unplug the boiler fill" too?

I'd be happy to read some info or a previous post if that is easier!

Sorry!  And thanks!
Rob
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Oscar replacement
 

sorry, I am busy and not had time to find the links. part of your confusion is we're talking about two different methods.  I  am suggesting you put a couple of tea spoons in the tank and run that through the group head and not let it get in the boiler.  You can make sure the boiler filled by steaming and then wait till the boiler fills and add the acid then  just risk it like I did. Or unplug the sensor on the fill probe that is safer. I need to find you the links. I would just run the group head till you can taste the acid and the let it sit for 10 minutes or so. then drain some out  a few oz then let sit again till you have emptied the tank or it runs clear. It will be blue green while cleaning.

 
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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