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Need advice on Ellimatic restore
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GVDub
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Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 9:06pm
Subject: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

I'll let the attached picture explain why I'm restoring the Ellimatic. the top boiler half on the left is what the top boiler half and group head is supposed to look like. The one on the right is what the "free" welding job I got to fill in the small cracks caused by improper reassembly by a previous owner looks like. "Free", in this case, cost me the time and money of sourcing a replacement top boiler half.

The good thing about the new boiler half is that it is, literally, new - not salvaged from another unit, but New Old Stock that has never been used. it's even still got the original part number written on it. These things are not easy to find, so I have to go with what I can get.

The difficult thing is that, such parts being rare, this is actually a top from an Elli, which has a sight glass and manual fill instead of the Gicar autofill of the Ellimatic. so there's a pipe with compression fitting hanging off the side of it that would normally be open to the top side of the sight glass. This leaves me with at least one challenge, and possible two.

Since I don't have a sight glass, I need to get this sealed off, though I was thinking that I could maybe figure out a way to hang a vacuum breaker off of it. The big challenge, though, is that it also sticks out right where the Gicar box is and, without some bending or something, keeps the boiler from sitting properly to mount.

So I post the question to those with more knowledge and experience in rebuilding/restoring than I (which would be almost everyone): What's my best option here? Remove the tubing altogether and have somebody who's not going to destroy it braze over the hole? Figure out a way to bend the tube out of the way and cap it off somehow? Or use it to feed a vacuum breaker? I'm trying to restrain my normal tendency to bull ahead, since that lack of patience is what got the original boiler destroyed. The odds that I'm going to find another NOS boiler half are virtually non-existent (Joe Kittay at Good Coffee, who found me this one said, "You must be living right, or something," when he called to tell me he'd uncovered it), so I've pretty much got to make this one work.

Whaddya think, oh wiser heads than mine?

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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 Tue Oct 2, 2012, 9:08pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

The offending protuberance:

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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 Tue Oct 2, 2012, 9:35pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

And just for the heck of it, here's the shot of the part number:

GVDub: image.jpg
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
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 Oct 3, 2012, 5:52am
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

I suspect that if it was used to provide a level for a sight glass, that it would be located below the water level inside the boiler. Due to this location, I do not think you could use it for a vacuum breaker because until the vacuum breaker seals, you would be pushing water out of the boiler through the vacuum breaker, not air as in a normal location of a vacuum breaker.

As to sealing it off, there are options here. First, I understand being "gun shy" of torches but if you are NEVER going to use this tap, the easiest way would be to cut off the fitting on the end, pinch the tubing closed and then solder the end of the tube shut. Problem solved.

If however you MIGHT POSSIBLY someday use this fitting, you could buy the female end of the fitting that is attached and do a similar operation to the above to the female fitting tube and this way, the tap will be sealed but without damage to the tap. This removes the possibility of damaging your boiler, however small the chances are that the solder job would damage the boiler.

Congrats on finding a part, sometimes you just "luck out" !

 
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 Wed Oct 3, 2012, 6:07am
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Wayne, it's at least an inch above the water line, as it's right at the upper edge of the boiler and the level probe extends some way lower. It's definitely the upper end of the connection for the sight glass on the non-auto-fill version of the machine, at least according to the plumbing schematic that's in the manual.

Wouldn't one end of a sight glass have to be located above the water line? Otherwise, it seems to me, you wouldn't be able to float a little red ball, or have a min/max level line indicated. The glass would always be completely full when the water was up to level.

Would a propane torch and silver solder be sufficient to do the job, or would I need to go to a MAPP setup or actual oxy-acetylene? And if I were to go with scenario "B" (add a plugged female), what's the best method for bending the tube back so it'e not trying to be where the Gicar box is?
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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 Wed Oct 3, 2012, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Seems like, if I can get the tube with compression fitting properly bent, I could add one of these and either put a stand 1/4" BSPP plug in it, giving me the option to add a vacuum breaker valve at some point in the future. The trick is going to be getting the tube bent and making sure the weight of the elbow is supported.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
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 Oct 3, 2012, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Yes, you need to connect the sight glass both above and below the water line in the boiler. I could not tell if this line was above or below the water line. If it is above the water line like you said, it would be a perfect place to put a vacuum breaker into the system.

Yes a regular propane torch is more than enough and using a screw cap on a fitting that you can attach to the line is another way to skin that cat. Good thinking.

Careful finger work is enough for larger bends, if you need to make a bigger change, a tubing bender is a low cost tool to do the work.
http://www.sears.com/empire-tube-bender/p-00951291000P
or even this,
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM6449553307P

Another way would be to fill the tube with fine sand then bend the tube, the sand prevents the tube from collapsing on it's self, then just knock the sand out.

 
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 Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Looking at a couple of different tubing bender options and trying to figure out which one will work best in tight quarters, without putting too much strain on the spot where the tubing connects to the boiler.

Looking at these

these

or this, in addition to the ones you posted. Any strong reason to prefer one over another?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
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 Oct 3, 2012, 1:26pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Any of those will work depending on how much room you have to work with.

Do you need to bend the tube near the boiler or would you need to bend an extension tube?

I ask as the first you link to is more like a set of pliers that hold the tube and you bend it by hand on the handle side of the device. This would seem to be able to get closest in tight to the boiler, just thinking out loud as I have not used those and can not say if they are the correct size for your tube or how much room they need.

 
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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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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 Wed Oct 3, 2012, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on Ellimatic restore
 

Bending near the boiler is called for, to have sufficient clearance for the Gicar box, so the pliers it is. Although I may also pick up one of the two handled benders in case I ever need to fab some replacement tubes.
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