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GVDub
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Posted Sun Sep 2, 2012, 7:42am
Subject: Boiler problems
 

How possible is it to repair a boiler? Specifically an Ellimatic boiler? Apparently, when the person who rebuilt the Ellimatic I bought put it back together, he didn't use all the parts, thinking that it didn't matter. He also didn't torque down bolts in places that were a little difficult to reach. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out and realize that the mystery chrome bar that hadn't been reinstalled was the reinforcer from the boiler to the frame that is, once you examine the design, the part that exists precisely to keep the area where the group head is brazed to the boiler from flexing when you lock the portafilter in and out. Unfortunately, the couple of weeks it took me to figure out was enough time for a small fracture to occur at the brazing joint.

I'm pretty sure it's possible to have the boiler rebrazed, but I'm unsure how to go about finding someone to do it. Sourcing a new boiler is not horribily likely, and finding a broken Elli or Ellimatic with an intact boiler will likely take some time. So, I'm a little peeved this morning, both with myself for not braining it out sooner and at the mindset that if you've got parts left over when you're reassembling something, they probably aren't needed so don't bother with them.

And, I'm without espresso, since the home Caravel is waiting on a replacement heating element to arrive from Hungary.

Grump.
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Sun Sep 2, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

If you can't find someone who does boiler repair professionally, brazing is fairly easy (in terms of that sort of thing) so any good welding shop should be able to handle it. if not, check custom bicycle frame builders, sculptors, or custom motorcycle or metal fabrication shops.

 
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Sep 2, 2012, 3:09pm
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

Yup, that's a crack in the boiler, alright.

GVDub: Boiler Crack.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Sep 3, 2012, 8:39pm
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

So, not having had the reinforcing piece reinstalled has caused sufficient flex in the group head where it's brazed to the boiler to open small cracks on both sides of the braze. I'm thinking that the only solution is to run a new braze all the way around the group head andhor point. Either that or try and source a new Ellimatic boiler.

Here's the object lesson - if you've got parts left over after you finsih reassembling something, figure out where the "surplus" parts are supposed to go, then dissassemble to whatever point is necessary to properly install the parts you didn't get in the first time. And, for Ghu's sake, don't sell your incorrectly assembled device to somebody as "fully functional", because it may not stay that way for long if that "extra" part was a critical sub-assembly you didn't understand when you took it apart.

If it's brazeable, that's not a biggie. Since my wife works at a trade school with an excellent welding department, I may be able to get an instructor to use it as part of a lesson. If I can't get it done there, I can hit one of the local shops and have it done there. If I have to source a boiler, on the other hand, I'm looking at unknown price and time.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

That's all I've got to say.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

I was going to offer to give it a go but if your wife has access to a weld shop, that would be a much easier way to go.
I see no reason to think it should not be able to be brazed, it is a straight forward process.

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 8:24am
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

calblacksmith Said:

I was going to offer to give it a go but if your wife has access to a weld shop, that would be a much easier way to go.
I see no reason to think it should not be able to be brazed, it is a straight forward process.

Posted September 4, 2012 link

Thanks, Wayne, and I may yet take you up on that if nobody at Trade Tech is interested. I need an excuse to come out and check out your shop, anyway.

You coming in for the Roasting Charrette this Sunday?
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calblacksmith
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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 Wed Sep 5, 2012, 6:15am
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

I am afraid not, I am still trying to recover from the property rebuild and the mess that comes along with having most of your things packed into boxes and put in storage for 4 months.

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Sep 6, 2012, 7:01pm
Subject: Re: Boiler problems
 

Understand perfectly. We're looking to find a new apartment in the near future, so I'm getting ready to live out of boxes for the time it takes to get settled and get stuff out of storage.

On the boiler front, one of the senior welding instructors at LATTC is going to take a look at it tomorrow. If she decides it's a simple enough repair, I may even have it back tomorrow night (fingers crossed) for reassembly and testing over the weekend.
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