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Fixing a thermoprobe & Erratic PID behavior
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acasabia
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acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 1:25pm
Subject: Fixing a thermoprobe & Erratic PID behavior
 

Hi all,  so I've had some trouble with my expobar brewtus iv.  The gicar PID has been bouncing from some pretty high temps,  and it's resulted in the reset thermostat turning the boiler off.  I've switched it back on but I'm still having issues.  Mainly the group is spitting out steam and the brew boiler is over heating the water.  I think its The thermoprobe,  does anyone know how I can fix this? I've reset the PID I've checked all the connections.  I can't figure it out. It almost seems that the brew boiler isn't filling with water,  and what is In there is over heating.

 
Anthony C

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Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

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DavecUK
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Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 2:20pm
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

I would recommend initially buying a new thermoprobe...and then fitting this to see if it still happens. I am assuming this won't be too expensive. You then have a spare and can at least eliminate the probe from your investigations.

I have not seen a Brewtus since the version 2. So if your machine has a PID control of the steam boiler as well as the brew boiler, you could swap the thermal probes around and see if you still get a problem on the brew boiler. This would be a cheap way of eliminating the probe.

The other possibility of course is that the brew boiler is loosing water and the probe housing is not in the brew water. This could happen if you have a leak in the brew path....of course with that amount of water leaking, the group would go cold as the thermosyphon would stall.

Dave
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

I removed the thermoprobe and found it was covered in what appeared to be scale. I cleaned and replaced it, but I am now just getting an A1 error. The probe was just a metal rod inside of the nut. Should this be coated in silicone or something? I read that it not supposed to be in direct contact with the water.

 
Anthony C

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Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
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Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 8:10pm
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

acasabia Said:

I removed the thermoprobe and found it was covered in what appeared to be scale. I cleaned and replaced it, but I am now just getting an A1 error. The probe was just a metal rod inside of the nut. Should this be coated in silicone or something? I read that it not supposed to be in direct contact with the water.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

A1 error is a bad connection, the probe sits inside a thermowell (the metal rod is hollow). I assumed you used boiler safe water, if you are using hard water it could well be the problem. Hard water causes more than 95% of coffee machine faults that are not due to wear and tear.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

DavecUK Said:

A1 error is a bad connection, the probe sits inside a thermowell (the metal rod is hollow). I assumed you used boiler safe water, if you are using hard water it could well be the problem. Hard water causes more than 95% of coffee machine faults that are not due to wear and tear.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

I was careful about this from the day I got the machine, bottled water (with low hardness) and a water softener.

Anybody know how I would remove the probe from the nut during replacement?

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 10:25am
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

Here is an image of the thermoprobe in its nut, as you can see I had some difficulty getting it out and I did clean off any scale that I could. Would anyone like to give me an anatomy lesson? If I am getting a bad connection A1 error, what can I do here to test it?

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Erratic PID behaviour
 

That looks like a sensor pushed into a sealed probe.  The sensor could be a thermistor, doubtful, or more like RTD (resistance temperature detector) or a thermpcoule, 2 dissimilar metal wires that generate a small voltage variable by temperature.  Tests are different for each.

I made a thermofilter and pushed a sensor into a copper tube to keep it dry and the tube in flow.  Yours is a bit more sophisticated version of the probe part of this.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/588424

I could not readily find what sensor was in your probe.  About the only thing that I can think of that would be an easy fix is a broken wire, and that not on a thermocouple.  The wire on a RTD and thermistor is solderable.  If the sensor pulled out with the grey cap, then perhaps it is replaceable if you can identify.  Likely just buy a new unit.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013, 9:50am
Subject: Thermoprobe Replacement & Erratic PID behaviour
 

New temp probe is in the mail.

On a side note, I understand the basics behind what the P.I.D. is doing, but Im curious to how everyone has their devices configured.

Anybody have any tips? My PID was always pretty stable up until this most recent event, and I am just curious what could have caused it.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 3:13pm
Subject: Re: Thermoprobe Replacement & Erratic PID behaviour
 

So, after a week of waiting, Im still stuck. I guess there are no managers at WLL who can sign off on a warrantee replacement?

Any ideas on how I can fix an old probe? perhaps making something temporary until I can get the new one. How would I identify this part if I wanted to order it elsewhere?

I don't wan't to bash WLL, they have always been very helpful in the past. But the fact that I have called three times now and am still waiting for even a tracking number is a bit aggravating.


EDITS

WLL contacted me today to let me know it has shipped... finally. Im surprised to find that the probe would typically cost $75, is this typical?

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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