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Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Ill-behaved Wega...  
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 9:24pm
Subject: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

Remarkably, the bulletproof Wega seems to have suffered from pump failure. It has been noisy (exceptionally so, though not enough to go with DOM's EXOWEGA strategy) since I bought/restored it. It has had no trouble maintaining brew pressure/volume until last week, when it promptly refused to pull shots for a tasting i was hosting at the time. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any sort of pressure gauge, so i have no quantitative way of knowing that the pump is bad. The volume at the pumphead is below 100mL/min, and at the group is considerably lower.
As a result, I did a full descale of the brew path. I had already opened the boiler to evaluate the scale, and had found it surprisingly clean. I run distilled water in the machine, so I was fairly certain that there had not been a lot of scaling going on, but as we all know, scale can pop up unexpectedly. Nevertheless, other than stripping the plating off the showerscreen, descaling didn't give any improvement. The flow rate from the aquacalda tap is similarly decreased, further supporting the pump hypothesis. I pulled the top of the brew group to check the gicleur and sediment cage and found them squeaky coppery clean, but not clogged or covered in any way. I can't come up with any cause other than the pump itself.

As such, I figure I am going to have to order a new pump from EspressoParts, and have to make a decision on which one. The original one says "VibroPompecity s.r.I, TREZZANO E153823. 110 Hz60 07.94" I'd say 14 years on a cheap little vibe pump is pretty impressive. I'd rather replace it with a better one though. I don't think I want to go through the trouble of converting to rotary, but I do want to fix it, and to do it right. Does anyone have an opinion on which pumps are superior for this application? Ideally,  I won't have to replace all the fittings, but it may be unavoidable.

Attached are a few images from the teardown. Interesting to see the differences between this and the other Wegas. This one was rebadged as a LaNova. If I knew what glue they used, i'd pry these gaudy emblems off it and replace them with the original wega ones. Who knows, i might even upgrade from the flimsy and Cafiza sensitive ABS to a real metal body..... At least the back shell is SS.

proximityzero: pump1.jpg
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

another view

proximityzero: DSC07293.jpg
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 9:27pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

The front (unaviodably dirty from disassembly).
Note the hideous driptray. Also: solenoid controlled steam wand. Yes, it is, in fact, a momentary switch, thus making it near impossible to brew and steam at the same time...

proximityzero: front.jpg
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008, 9:28pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

and a view of the suspect:

proximityzero: pump.jpg
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

Wow, crickets in here today. Hard to believe with so many page views, nobody has an opinion. Isn't that what CG is all about? ; )

I'm trying to decide between the Fluid-O-Tech, which is what espressoparts.com's interchange suggests, or another model. This one is more similar to the Saeco contract Cosmec vibe pump. I'm somewhat partial to one with a metal body and square sides, as I intend on mounting heat sinks and possibly a fan to cool the pump. The Fluid-O-Tech appears to be mostly plastic construction, and is built a little differently than the one in the photos. Unfortunately, I don't know of a domestic carrier for Vibropompecity. I have to say, based on the age of this pump, i'm not sure i have anything negative to say about them, except that they are slow to self prime. It did have a tendency to get pretty hot if you were running it a lot, but never had a problem until it failed outright. It still runs, but output is less than 100mL/min, so I think it has pumped its last shot. Too bad you can't just replace the diaphram, as i am fairly certain this is all it needs.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,264
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

Hi Brad,

Well no crickets now, lol! Why not replace it with a Ulka Vibratory Pump model EAX5 52 Watt, with brass fittings?

http://www.ulka.it/eng/EMOD.htm

CraigA: Ulka_52Watt.jpg

 
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 8:37pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

I had actually all but written off the Ulka pumps because of the plastic inlet fittings on all the ones I found. While replacing the pump should be fairly straightforward, I don't relish the idea of doing it twice. I believe that model would also fit the bill for installing a heat sink...

I'm not sure I've ever seen the 52W Ulka in use. How do they stack up compared to the ubiquitous 41W that ships in the Silvia (and a great many others)? I think I may have to modify the fittings for the supply line in any case, as they are unusual, and clearly not OEM CMA fittings. As such, it may be "anything goes" as long as I can order the fittings.
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,264
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

Dunno, but I should of added the info., & Chris from Chris Coffee recommends them. Link coming up.

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/home/isomacparts/vibpump

Quote: "Ulka Vibratory Replacement Pump EAX5 52 Watt. Ulka is the most trusted name in vibratory pumps in the industry. The EAX5 52 Watt has brass ends, not plastic. Brass makes a much more secure connections than models with plastic ends. Pumps with plastic fittings tend to develop leaks over time.This pump will also replace the 41 Watt models found in Silvia's as well as other espresso machines."

CraigA: ULKA5_21.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,264
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 8:48pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

For visual purposes, Gaggia OPV & Equalizer mated to a Ulka model E  Type EX5 41 watt vibratory pump.

CraigA: Gaggia OPV & Equalizer.jpg
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http://twitter.com/CoffeegeekCraig
http://www.facebook.com/craig.andrews.169
http://plus.google.com/u/0/100690035958728038289/posts/p/pub

Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
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proximityzero
Senior Member
proximityzero
Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Location: Dallas/Denton TX
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Wega Mini Nova
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: vac pots are for pretentious...
Drip: Capresso ST600
Roaster: Behmor 1600, homebuilt fluid...
Posted Mon Jun 23, 2008, 9:15pm
Subject: Re: Ill-behaved Wega with probable pump failure
 

Unless I'm mistaken, that capacity curve looks pretty similar to the EX5. I guess it is the same internals with a slightly different casing and brass fittings? Rated for higher wattage though, so perhaps the coil is different.

link to data table direct from Ulka here
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