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Oscar low water light
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Oscar low water...  
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jeebsy
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Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013, 9:48pm
Subject: Oscar low water light
 

I got a second hand Oscar recently.

The guy I bought it from installed a trick switch to make the machine think the water was low and prevent the heating element kicking while pulling a shot. This means that when the the machine is idling the low water light is on and it heats up, but to use the pump you flick the switch, the heating element goes off and you pull your shot.

I couldn't see the point in this, however on the PID Classic thread HB indicated it might be useful:

s we discovered during the research phase of the Buyer's Guide to the Quick Mill Alexia, intentionally disabling the heating element when the pump runs can improve shot-to-shot consistency.

The guy said it would be easy to remove the switch - just disconnect the switch and reconnect the two connectors to the bottom of the water tank. However when I do this the low water light stays on constantly. I've seen this can be caused issues with the seating of the water tank so have tried taking it out/putting it in several times to remove any air bubbles, starting the machine with the pump switch engaged etc but can't get it to function as normal. I connected the two wires directly using a bit of a male connecter but still got the low water light, however using the installed switch I can get the pump working.

I want to try the machine as normal for a period as the way it is presently you can't steam and brew at the same time (runs out of gas pretty quickly). Do you have any suggestions as to why I can't get the machine to recognise the water tank? It doesn't matter which connector goes on which side of the tank, does it? I tried both ways and it didn't seem to make a difference.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,950
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 18, 2013, 5:18am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

Sometimes people make mods that do not apply to a machine because it works on an entirely different design.
As a former Oscar owner, I can see NO benefit from this "mod"
If the water tank is properly installed, and the wiring is connected as it used to be from the factory, I suspect that you may be using RO water, it is too pure, the sensing system depends on conduction of current to sense water, if RO water is used, current will not flow and even if the tank is full to the top, it will not see that there is any water in the tank.

 
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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jeebsy
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 5:34am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

I live in quite a hard water area and so use a jug filter. That shouldn't filter so much the machine doesn't recognise it?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,950
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 18, 2013, 10:29am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

I would not expect a filter like you have to remove too much minerals. RO is Reverse Osmosis, this is a pressurized filter system that passes a lot more water through it than you get back filtered. RO water is so pure that it is used  to wash high tension water lines throughout cities. If you have ever seen a truck from your power company washing the poles and lines, they are using RO water and it is perfectly safe as it will not conduct current.


As I remember, the wires are not sensitive to position.
I really wonder exactly what the person did.
I suppose you could run straight tap water through it, one tank wont hurt anything, to see what happens.

From memory, when the low water light comes on, the pump is stopped, thus spoiling the shot, I don't remember that the heater ever had anything to do with it.

Hellen (Coffeenewbe) has been through her machine pretty extensively and is much more current on the Oscar, I had mine several years ago so things are a little fuzzy.

I'm sure she will be able to help you more than myslef just because she is so much more current than I am.

 
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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jeebsy
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Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 1:36pm
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

]]]Click Here (farm8.staticflickr.com)
2013-09-18 17.06.10 by wjheenan, on Flickr

Click Here (farm6.staticflickr.com)
2013-09-18 17.06.20 by wjheenan, on Flickr

Click Here (farm6.staticflickr.com)
2013-09-18 17.06.44 by wjheenan, on Flickr

jeebsy: 2013-09-18 17.06.44.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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jpboyt
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Joined: 28 May 2010
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Location: Washington, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

I think that you just proved that the low level sensor in the reservoir doesn't work.
jpboyt
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jeebsy
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:27pm
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

jpboyt Said:

I think that you just proved that the low level sensor in the reservoir doesn't work.
jpboyt

Posted September 18, 2013 link

Thanks - would this explain why the pump doesn't work even with the two wires connected? What is the part i'm looking to replace then?

I love the Oscar but having to use the switch is taking the shine off the whole experience a bit!
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jeebsy
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 1:46am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

The guy I got the machine off has suggested following the two wires that go to the tank sensor back to the control box and try reversing them over in case one of them is getting an earth signal when it should be the other. Sound reasonable?
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 5:13am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

I'm traveling so I can't be as thorough as I would like to be. I agree it sounds like a low water sensor doesn't work, it seems like I read somewhere there were some grounding issues on older Oscars. plindy has converted Oscars to be plumbed in so he would know more about that wiring than I would. I  have not tinkered around in there very much.  He might see this before I get home.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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jeebsy
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Location: London
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Oscar low water light
 

Just tried switching the white and green/yellow on the gicar, reconnecting the other end to the bottom of the tank but no luck - low water light stayed on. Engaged the brew switch and powered the machine on and off a few times but no response.
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