Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Mods and Restorations
Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Question about...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
tedtwong
Senior Member


Joined: 3 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: laguna beach, ca
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 12:31am
Subject: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

Glad to have found this forum.  I recently picked up a Rancilio S26 at a garage sale.  I've always wanted a small commercial espresso maker but I don't have much experience with one.  Right now I use a super-automatic Saeco.  

The S26 had sat unused for a number of years but after cleaning it up and plumbing it in, it heats up and the pump seems to work in filling the boiler.  The hardest part was ordering british pipe thread fittings to get the plumbing connected.  I thought I had conquered it, but then another issue came up. When I turn on the brew switch, it would send a quick flow of water but then slow down the flow, after 3-5 secs it will only slowly trickle like the pump isn't getting any pressure to the brew group.  This happens when the portafilter is filled with coffee and when it's empty.  

I don't think this is normal.  I'd appreciate any advice or ideas or things to check.  I'm already thinking about getting a pressure gauge portafilter attachment and a blindfilter so I can backflush it.  Is there some valve I should try to clean out, etc.?  Thanks.

-Teddy
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,020
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

If it was me...not knowing much about the machine's history, and given the fact that it's been laying around unused for some years (presumably for some reason - maybe they had the same issue), I'd probably take everything apart and inspect every piece for wear and, where appropriate, scale buildup.  I'd also replace all the o-rings and gaskets.  You'll probably need a bucket of some sort to soak tubing in descaler solution. Have some Dow 111 or similar lube around to place where appropriate as well.  Take waaaaaay more pictures than you think you'll need from as many different angles as you can, in stages (maybe every time you remove something) to make re-assembly less of a nightmare.

I don't know a lot about the electronics, but in your shoes, I'd read a lot and try to find as detailed specs as I could.  I'd also have my voltmeter/ohmeter out and test every electronic part before disassembling, so that I could have replacements on order while I do the thorough cleanup.  Plus...why waste your time on parts you need to replace anyways?

Good luck!  Sounds like a fun project...one you'll be very proud of after completing.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
tedtwong
Senior Member


Joined: 3 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: laguna beach, ca
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

Thanks for those tips.  I've ordered some cleaners and will proceed with taking it apart if I can't get it to pull nicely.  The machine was sitting unused because the person who bought it didn't know it was supposed to be plumbed in.  They bought it second hand from a culinary school that saw little use.  It was very clean inside even though the outside was a mess.  One thing I noticed upon opening it up is that the steel braided lines that I've seen in pictures of similar machines (Rancilio s20 series) has been replaced by polyethylene lines used for refrigerator water supplies, like those used with 1/4" John Guest fittings.

Anyway, I think the problem isn't exactly related to a clog in the system unless it is having to do with a valve.  There's initial pressure at the group head but it goes away way too quickly.  Any ideas?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
tedtwong
Senior Member


Joined: 3 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: laguna beach, ca
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 10:21pm
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

I've opened up the S26 again.  I have good flow from the pump into the area where the two-way valve is.  But at the top of that path, the water just drips out when the pump is running.  That doesn't seem right to me.  I've tried to attach a photo but it's too large so I'm putting the link to the picture below.  Can I ask the coffee gurus here what parts (A), (B), (C), and (D) do, and what I need to fix?  

I'll also need to replace the water hoses into and out of the pump.  It's 1/4" polyethylene right now and all the machines I've seen use braided stainless steel lines.

Thanks.

Rancilio S26 annotated picture
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
tedtwong
Senior Member


Joined: 3 May 2013
Posts: 4
Location: laguna beach, ca
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 12:29am
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

I'm going to answer my own question just in case someone runs into a similar problem.  The water flow problem was caused by the one-way valve (item B in the annotated picture).   Rancilio S26 annotated picture

It had some debris clogging the valve.  Once that was cleaned, the machine was flowing water well.  I bought some replacement copper washers from Espresso Parts and used teflon tape to reseal the connections.  Everything is working again.

(A) and (B) are sealed together with thread sealant but the sealant wasn't an adhesive so came apart relatively painlessly.  When putting back together I used a lot of teflon tape because orientation is important and you don't necessarily screw it all the way down to get the orientation right with (C) connected and tight.

(D) is a over pressure (pressure release) valve.

All parts screw together as you would expect.  I found that using a pipe wrench when it's not a flat surface and a monkey wrench could tackle most jobs.  A vise with rubber pads would've probably made things easier.  Be careful when taking apart the connections/valves as there are small parts that may fall out.  Make sure they are put back in the same order.  

I'm happy with this garage sale pick-up.  Hope to make some good espresso once I get a good grinder to pair with it.  Here's a video of the first try with coffee after the fix:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBtFsTXJW5M
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,020
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 6:20am
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

I'm surprised nobody else has participated in this thread.  There are people here who are far more knowledgeable than me in machine repairs (some of them do it for a living)...heck, I've only tinkered a little bit on a Silvia and my Duetto.

Anyhow,  I can't watch the YouTube stuff while here at work, but I did look at your photo.  I agree, the machine looks to be in great shape inside.  Is that compression fitting still leaking? If so, either the nut needs tightening or, most likely, the flange is bent, in which case I would replace the entire tube with an OEM part (assuming I could find one).  Maybe though, there is someone here who knows how to reshape the flange on the tube, so that the compression fits perfectly?  IIRC, compression fittings shouldn't require any teflon tape to get them to seal properly.

Glad to see you're up and running!  What grinder(s) are you thinking about?

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 Tue May 14, 2013, 6:29am
Subject: Re: Question about Rancilio S26 abrupt flow
 

Are you sure that the lines are Poly? Teflon lines are often used in machines and my commercial machine uses them extensively inside the machine. They are also white so they could be mistaken for Poly but they are heat resistant and work well inside the machine.

YMMV!

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Question about...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.205051898956)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+