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Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot going up and down VIDEO
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ekidhardt
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 29
Location: San Diego
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 3:51pm
Subject: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot going up and down VIDEO
 

Hi there coffee geniuses!

Ok, so I have a brewtus expobar III, it's used, I won it at a work raffle :) (nice right?)

Anyway, it's having some pressure problems I think.  When pulling a shot, it's supposed to maintain 9bar during that shot. And what I'm seeing, is that it when pulling a shot---the pump goes on and off and on and off repetitively, adjusting the pressure while pulling the shot to between 6-8bar.

In this video, I've tamped a little too hard and so while it's slow, it still exhibits the same problems. The odd part, is that when tamped normally, the shot comes out at the right speed. (or is that not accurate?).

I've included a video to illustrate the issue...

Is this a pump issue you think? or do I need to adjust the pressure on the machine?

http://youtu.be/5mwrF5XpndM

Thanks!

-e
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 748
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 4:33pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

That is NOT normal.The pump should stay on continuously through the shot. The pressure is adjusted by means of the over pressure valve (opv). If you're lucky it could just be a loose wire/connection from being moved. Time to pull the cover and have a look around.

Congrats on the win- do you have a grinder to do that machine justice?
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ekidhardt
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 29
Location: San Diego
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

Hi there!

Thanks for the feedback. I didn't think it was normal.

I also got the Mazzer Luigi Mini-Timer as a grinder, which seems to do great as far as I can tell. My work site was closing and everything portable was raffled off to employees, except the espresso machine and grinder. No one knew what to do with it--so, ..well, I ended up with it by default. I don't think anyone knew its value :)

Meanwhile, In a few moments I'm going to test to see if it is just a loose wire--if not, I'm going to buy a new pump for it.

I was working with a huge group of scientists--and when one of them found out you can clean the system with Citric Acid---well, he went into the lab, sneaked out, and decided to descale it---but I think it descaled for quite a long time. The pump was a lot louder after that--so I'm thinking it did some damage to just about everything in there. (I think it was descaling with too-highly concentrated citric acid) for 24+ hours.

I don't think I'll adjust the OPV quite yet until I've secured all the wires :)

-e
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ekidhardt
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 29
Location: San Diego
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

good news!

ok so I re-seated and wiggled every wire I could--and presto! There were some changes. Must have been a loose wire?

First, was that the pump didn't go up and down and up and down--it stayed on at a constant pressure.

So that's the good news.

The bad news, was that the constant pressure was 5bar instead of 9. Soo..now I'm off to adjust that thing somehow...

-e
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ekidhardt
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 29
Location: San Diego
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

okay..update...


So I adjusted the OPV valve--and lo-and-behold...nothing happened.

Right? nothing at all. I could screw it in, nada. Uncrew, nada. Maintained perfec 4bar all the time.

That's when it occured to me that maybe the valve is stuck.

So I've never done this before, and course that didn't stop me, and I managed to remove the OPV valve along with the pump.

and I unscrewed the OPV valve..and guess what? it was just completely full of calcified white minerals. Far from a bright shiny anything--it was completely gunked up.

Sooo..I have some CLR--and I've submerged everything into it..and this white stuff is just fizzing into nada! Soon as that looks good, Imma take my dremel tool and see about polishing it up.


Should I put some in the pump? (clr?)--we'll see!


UPDATE..

Ok so after clearing everything out that I could---reassembled, the pressure valve now successfully adjusts the pressure! Dramatically even.

though, after seeing what that looked like...I'm wondering what the rest of the internals may look like .I know the pump was replaced about a year ago, but...hmm..

I can't quite set it right yet, and it's back to intermittantly doing the up and down with the pressure (rather than holding steady).
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 748
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 1:21am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

Sounds like you're making progress.

I wouldn't use the CLR, I don't know for sure but I don't think it's good to use for something like this. I would get some citric acid or another descaler made for espresso machines- just my two cents- if it were me I would do a full descale of the machine. Its possible that something came loose and jammed up your freshly cleaned OPV.

Anyways you would fill the reservoir with descaler and circulate it through the systems and let it sit. You can get more specific details doing a search on descaling here or on HB if needed. Once you've descaled the whole machine, and maybe popped the OPV apart one more time, try it out and see what happens. I would expect you may need a new OPV and from what you've said a new pump may be a good idea as well. Doesn't hurt to cover the bases first though.

You said the pressures going up and down again- is the pump turning on and off again? If so the electrical connection might need cleaned up beyond just "snugging it up". If not it would most likely be the OPV doing that now.

In the end I think it will be well worth your efforts, you'll have a good machine that should last you a very long time.

Good luck and keep us posted.

PS- if you shorten your title we won't have to edit it to post

Edit- just noticed you said the pump was replaced, was that before or after it was descaled and the pump got louder? If after you're probably good with the pump.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 475
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 4:35am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

Your pump was never going on and off, you could hear it staying on, just stalling and getting quieter when the pressure exceeded about 6 bar.  Your pump is stalling at far too low a pressure. Cleaning it might help it last a little bit longer but it's dying. It is time to replace the pump.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
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 Apr 8, 2014, 5:31am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

I am with Stephen on this one, the pump ran the whole time but it has issues. A vibe pump is not expensive and I am sure the machine could use a good descale.

Avoid CLR, yes I know they advertise it as good for coffee equipment but stay with a known safe product such as Citric acid or a commercial coffee equipment descaler.

Nice price on the machine :D, that is one that is hard to beat!

BTW, it is not a Mazzer Luigi Mini, it is a Mazzer mini, luigi is kind of like a middle name, no one uses it.

The pressure was low in your video and you have a good grinder but you should have had a better looking shot. Tamping is the LEAST important part of the process, you adjust the shot with the grind, keep the tamp the same at all times. The sole reason for the tamp is to remove the air space in the grounds to present a consistent resistance to water flow through the puck, it is not to try to adjust the pull, you can not come near the pressure the water puts on the puck at 9 bar per square inch. You really need to look at fresh properly roasted beans, it was a sick looking shot. I know there was a few things against it but really, fresh beans are mandatory as well as being properly ground.

Consider installing new burrs in the grinder, most likely, they are shot if it was used commercially, they are never changed often enough.

 
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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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 748
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

I could have sworn it turned off but then my ears aren't what they used to be :/ Glad to see some more experienced help on this :)
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Rideoften
Senior Member


Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 70
Location: Orlando Fl.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Brewtus Expobar III pressure gauge while pulling a shot
 

Now for the good news....when you get that machine back up to par you'll find it's an excellent tool for the job and a pleasure to use. I've been using mine for about 3 years and really enjoy it.

MB
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