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Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
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TheSentinel
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TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
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Posted Tue Aug 20, 2013, 2:58pm
Subject: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

Please help a thirsty Swede.
I recently bought a neglected Isomac Millennium as a renovation project. Im having some problems and is really in need of help (No service available here in Sweden).

The story so far:
Former owner had it stored a couple of years since it had started to leak underneath. Just before I got it (yesterday) he tock it out and started it up, it leaked and directly blew the fuse in the wall socket.

When I got there I quickly located a lose silicone hose that leaked right out on the electrics. Since it was still wet I didn't start up. We negotiated a price and I headed home. I pulled it apart and reattached the lose hose to the OPV. Dried everything up, including the inside of the Giemme Control Box and then filled up the tank, wile adding some citric acid thats been laying around.

1st start up: Both red indicators turns on. Takes in water, starts to heat and building up pressure. Pump keeps going, and at 0.5 bar it starts to push out hot water back to the tank. Nothing but drops comes out of the water outlet and no steam. Never got a green light or tried the coffee lever. At this point I called it a night and let it cool down.

2nd start up: Both red indicators turns on. Takes in water, starts to heat and again at 0.5 bar starts to push out hot water back to the water tank. Seems like the pump stays on all the time. A little water can be extracted from the water outlet, no steam. Didn't pull the coffee lever, no green light. Turned it of pretty quick, trying to avoid overheating. Letting it cool down for an hour.

3rd start up: Both red indicators turns on. Doesn't take in water and now doesn't heat ether.
Nothing from the water outlet, no steam. Pulled the coffee lever and the pump starts, slowly pouring out some water thru the groups head. Nu real flushing, but slow like pulling a hard pressed shot. Still no green light.

If I remove the cable from the water level sensor, it starts to fill up. Measuring the thermofuse, got a 0 reading, guess thats ok. Measuring the heating element, got a OL reading (Oh no, Did I kill it?).  


What to do now?

Edit: Now it's up n' running. Conclusion: New OPV rubber valve (first fault) and new heating element (second fault, that could have been avoided).
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

Water damaged electronics... I hope you have a door that needs to be held open or a boat that you need to keep from drifting away (door stop or boat anchor)

Wow, If you got it for a low enough price, you may be OK.

You are going to have to test each component on it's own to see what works and what does not. Just from the sound of things, it sounds like the brain box has been shorted out and is bad.

Electronics and water do not get along well and if the water leak was bad enough to trip the circuit breaker in the house, you had a serious incident take place.

I would not have added the citric acid until I knew the machine was working properly, now you have a boiler full of citric acid and no good way to get it out.

You can not by hand dry out an electronic circuit, even the smallest bit of water will cause damage, you should have waited a few days AFTER you thought it was dry before turning it back on. Heat from a hair dryer can help to speed things up but still....... you should wait.

OL on the heater may just mean that you are beyond the range of the meter. Any time you measure an electronic or electric component, you need to remove it from the circuit or you will get false readings.

Test each part, the heater, the pump, switches etc each on their own, but I strongly suspect you will be buying a new control box.

 
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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TheSentinel
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TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sweden
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, Jura ENA...
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino, La...
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

calblacksmith Said:

You are going to have to test each component on it's own to see what works and what does not. Just from the sound of things, it sounds like the brain box has been shorted out and is bad. I would not have added the citric acid until I knew the machine was working properly, now you have a boiler full of citric acid and no good way to get it out. You can not by hand dry out an electronic circuit, even the smallest bit of water will cause damage, you should have waited a few days AFTER you thought it was dry before turning it back on. Heat from a hair dryer can help to speed things up but still....... you should wait. OL on the heater may just mean that you are beyond the range of the meter. Any time you measure an electronic or electric component, you need to remove it from the circuit or you will get false readings.
Test each part, the heater, the pump, switches etc each on their own, but I strongly suspect you will be buying a new control box.

Posted August 21, 2013 link

Thanx for the reply. I luckily don't like boats and this is after all a restoration project -it was reasonable cheap to buy, but not to scrap. It looks almost new inside and out. Since the machine had never been descaled by the previous owner and then been stored a couple of years, I decided to ad the citric acid directly so any ceased moving parts would get a easier start. The type of liquid citric acid I use is very effective and doesn't have bad repercussions for the machine or the environment. I have since drained the tank of acid and checked the solenoid valve, and the inside does look really good now. It's not the typical "home descale" -acid, this is for professional use since I used to work with fully automatic machines of another Italian brand. I have never worked on a Isomac before. Many hours between the buy and my first start up. To dry out the electronics I used compressed air, heat from a hairdryer could damage the relays and it could leave dry water residues. There was no visible indication of damage in the Giemme box. The water could very well had hit the inlet power first, burning the power outlet fuse. So I don't see anything wrong with my actions, except I should have opened the coffee lever from the start. The heater was of course measured while taken out of the machine. If the water level sensor is disconnected, the machine starts to fill up, so the pump seams ok.

I've ordered a heater element today, hopefully it's a step in the right direction. The solenoid valve looks ok after the cleaning. According to the parts dealer, a stuck solenoid staying open, can give the same symptoms - water pressured back to the tank and finally dry-heating and damaging the element (can anyone confirm this?). Im also changing the original 184 degree heat fuse to a 167 degree, hopefully this will save the heater element if this happens again. Does anyone know how to or have a guide for measuring or renovate the components of the 230V Giemme box? Please keep posting tips, I need more ideas if i this doesn't work. :)
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Ian
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Ian
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Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

I bought a new Giemme box for an Isomac a good few years ago now. I can't remember what it cost but it wasn't prohibitivly expensive compared with the value of the machine.  You might not be needing one yet anyway.

Cheers

Ian

 
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TheSentinel
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TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sweden
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, Jura ENA...
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino, La...
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 9:33am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

Ian Said:

I bought a new Giemme box for an Isomac a good few years ago now. I can't remember what it cost but it wasn't prohibitivly expensive compared with the value of the machine.  You might not be needing one yet anyway.

Cheers

Ian

Posted August 21, 2013 link

Thanx Ian for keeping my hopes up.
Iv'e seen the Giemme for something like $150, not that much considering the Millenniums $1900 starting price. Got the heating element for about $100 (expensive, but at walking distance).
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TheSentinel
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TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sweden
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, Jura ENA...
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino, La...
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 11:57pm
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

Guess what, I think I found the main problem! As I disassembled the OPV, the rubber pad had totally deteriorated and split in three pieces.
The easiest part to check - I found it last of all, well thats life I guess  :D
Now hoping I can get a hold of a new OPV at the same time I pick up my heater element in a couple of hours.

Edit: Now it's up n' running. Conclusion: New OPV rubber valve (first fault) and new heating element (second fault, that could have been avoided).
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 Thu Aug 22, 2013, 7:09am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

Great result to what could have been a bad situation, congrats on finding it.
As a side note,I did not intend to be "talking down" to you, perhaps you might have mentioned that you work on these for a living. We get a LOT of people who visit one or two times, are just starting in the hobby (trade) and list themselves as PROFESSIONAL then say a whole lot of things that anyone who has been in the hobby (for most of us, it is not a profession) for any length of time knows to be false.

Air, then heat works for me, relays are pretty tough, care must be used around chips to not over heat them and air must be used with caution to not blow water to some place it was not in before. Residue from water? Well, I can see a point for that but most water is not that laden with minerals.

The worst thing for electronics as you know is to power them up while wet. They can survive a lot of abuse until they short out then even stout components can have issues.

Glad you found the problem and nothing worse happened with all that water! Enjoy!

 
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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TheSentinel
Senior Member
TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sweden
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, Jura ENA...
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino, La...
Posted Thu Aug 22, 2013, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

calblacksmith Said:

Great result to what could have been a bad situation, congrats on finding it.
As a side note,I did not intend to be "talking down" to you, perhaps you might have mentioned that you work on these for a living. We get a LOT of people who visit one or two times, are just starting in the hobby (trade) and list themselves as PROFESSIONAL then say a whole lot of things that anyone who has been in the hobby (for most of us, it is not a profession) for any length of time knows to be false. Air, then heat works for me, relays are pretty tough, care must be used around chips to not over heat them and air must be used with caution to not blow water to some place it was not in before. Residue from water? Well, I can see a point for that but most water is not that laden with minerals. The worst thing for electronics as you know is to power them up while wet. They can survive a lot of abuse until they short out then even stout components can have issues.

Glad you found the problem and nothing worse happened with all that water! Enjoy!

Posted August 22, 2013 link

Thanks! And no no, I wasn't offended and I do appreciate any advice. I mean, how could you know what I hadn't written. And as we all know, there is always more than one way to solve a problem. Sorry if it came out wrong, maybe it's a language barrier (I'm Swedish). I used to work with coffee, mostly as a service technician and mainly on fresh brew and fully automatic espresso-machines, for about 10 years. I guess that's qualifies me as sort of a "retired" professional in the coffee business. But since then I have moved on to product design - just another way of problem solving. I've always loved coffee and still do. Where I used to live, in northern Sweden there is really soft and crystal clear water, perfect for espresso. But where I live now, in south Sweden the water is hard and lime scale is a big problem that tends to stick to everything and also affect the taste. I have had a lot of coffee machines at home, still do, but it's been 7 or 8 years since I had a semi-automatic. And that was a cheap one. So this is going to be really nice to try out. Just finished the adjustments to recommended specifications, 9 bar at the group, and 1.3 at the tank, but it's to late for coffee for me right now. Im so looking forward to waking up in the morning.

Cheers
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PeterWWbeagle
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Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 9:17pm
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

How did you focus on the OPV?  Process of elimination?   Curious as I am just staring a rebuild on a machine that has been sitting for at least five years.

and congrats for your success.
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TheSentinel
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TheSentinel
Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Sweden
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, Jura ENA...
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino, La...
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 3:07am
Subject: Re: Isomac Millennium - Restoration & problems
 

PeterWWbeagle Said:

How did you focus on the OPV?  Process of elimination?   Curious as I am just staring a rebuild on a machine that has been sitting for at least five years.

Posted September 5, 2013 link

Yes, that's exactly right. That was about the only thing I hadn't checked at the time. Should have done it first, if only I knew how easy it was to check. The OPV internals is a spring and a rubber "tip". The rubber part is made of some deteriorating material that just holds up a couple of years before it starts to crumble. So thats the first thing I would check if I would do it all over again, and it's a cheap fix click here to see the opv

You don't need to take it out of the machine, just remove the silicone hose from the nostle of the OPV and you can just screw it out. Watch out for the spring, so you don't loose it when it comes apart. When you put it all back together, you need to check and adjust the brew-pressure. Maybe you can borrow a handle with a meter somewhere or build one like I did. I bought a manometer (0-15 bar), some couplings and fitted it to a extra group handle. Worked out great. Since I allready had the handle it cost me around $15. Looks like this: click here to see a manometer build


Hope it works out,
Kind regars
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