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Isomac needs some help!
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Isomac needs...  
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EN
Senior Member
EN
Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 236
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Bodum Columbia (press)
Drip: Ya, i hear it too, where is...
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 3:05am
Subject: Isomac needs some help!
 

Hello Ladies and Gents!

My Isomac Millenium has been treating me very well over the years, but this morning, after a descaling (using a proper descaling liquid) shes not her good ol self!!

When at first i turn it on, everything seems normal, but rather quickly it becomes obvious that the heating element isnt being as aggressive as normal.  You hear it at first, but it just never winds up into its normal rumble of "serious business is happening here".

The green light wouldnt come on, obviously, because she builds NO pressure... zero.  So i started wondering about the pressure stat.  Not knowing which direction was which i just gave it a few turns (it was rather sticky) and checked all the contacts (pulled on and off a few times, looked pretty good).  No difference.  So i cranked the pressure state well to one direction, and this time when i turned the machine on, the green light came on.  Im assuming that this means i had turned the stat down, and that its actually working just fine... but what the heck do i know!!?!  lol.  Since i dont really know what where i was in its adjustment i just put it "kinda back to maybe where it was", and now im just back to square one again.

The group gets fairly warm, and i was able to pull a highly mediocre shot, which, sadly is better than any coffee shop near me serves.

Today will be a rough one!

Thanks in advance for any help, thoughts or suggestions!

Erik
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Wed Aug 8, 2012, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Isomac needs some help!
 

by way of the fact that when you fussed with the Pstat, it started working again, it sounds like it is time for a new one. You are at a crossroads, I have long maintained that a PDI on a HX machine is worthless in the way of adding anything to stability of the shot but now that your Pstat is bad, you might consider changing to a PID in stead of replacing the Pstat. The cost may or may not be about the same and if you can find a way into the boiler for the temp probe, that would be the ideal situation. If you have to attach to the outside of the boiler, you won't gain much if anything in the way of better stability but the life of SS parts tend to be better than mechanical ones.

The easiest way though if you are not mechanically handy, is just to replace the Pstat with the same one that you have installed now.

You just might have dislodged some scale and it may have found it's way into the Pstat tube too, in which case, clean out the tube and all may be well again.

 
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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EN
Senior Member
EN
Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 236
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Bodum Columbia (press)
Drip: Ya, i hear it too, where is...
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Isomac needs some help!
 

Hey, thanks for your reply!  You think its the pstat?  I sure can pull it right out and clean it tonight, but i kinda thought that it seemed like it was working ok.  I guess ill try that anyway...

As an update:

I took the body off, removed the pressurestat, vacuum breaker and boiler water level sensor, filled the boiler up to the top of the pstat hole with some mild descaler while i cleaned the other parts (and body etc...), after a few hours soaking i put it all back together, and it actually built about .2 bar.  I drained the tank as much as i could, the pump came on and re-filled the boiler, BUT thats when i noticed that all 3 of the front lights were on.  Google cant seem to tell me what the heck that means!

If anyone knows what all 3 front lights lit at the same time means, id love to know!  Im guessing its some kind of fault indicator, like a trouble code type of thing!?
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EN
Senior Member
EN
Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 236
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Bodum Columbia (press)
Drip: Ya, i hear it too, where is...
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri Aug 10, 2012, 3:51pm
Subject: Re: Isomac needs some help!
 

Ok, so i replaced the element, it wasnt testing great, and when i got the old one out it looked like it has exploded!  pretty crazy!  but still nothing.  so i replaced the pressurestat, still nothing.  I tested the water level sensor and it was fine, but for the cost i replaced (then re-tested) anyways.  still no change.  

It fills the boiler, and runs the group fine.  Its just that the element is doing nothing!  nada.  its not warming, its not kicking on... nothing.

oh, and i replaced the thermo fuse as well... just for fun.  

any tips, thoughts, tests, recommendations?
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EN
Senior Member
EN
Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 236
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Bodum Columbia (press)
Drip: Ya, i hear it too, where is...
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 8:04am
Subject: Re: Isomac needs some help!
 

oh, and by the way, the element is getting just under 30v when the machine is plugged in but turned off, and when turned on its getting the full 115v.  but not heating.  its a brand new element which tests good on resistance across both terminals, from one terminal to the body its got infinite resistance but from the other terminal to the body there is a measurable resistance
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