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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Elekta Nivola...  
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timmeh
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 4:42am
Subject: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Dear fellow coffee enthousiasts,

As a starting espresso maker but long term coffee lover I bought myself a second hand Elektra Nivola.
I hoped my first post on the forum would be something about 'how to make the perfect espresso' but unfortunatly not.
The machine seemed to work fine for the last two weeks up until yesterday evening.

I made my girlfriend a cup of espresso and was just preparing the piston for my own cup.
During this the machine showed the red 'warming up' light and steam was getting out of the place the piston needs to be placed.
I wasn't really paying attention as the machine made some steam like this often during his warming up period (not sure if this is normal).

However this time the amount of steam kept getting more and more and eventually the machine started to sound like a 'steam train'.
Eventually I heard a loud sound (like a steam train which releases steam) and I'd shut down the machine.
I thought I'll let it cool down and better luck the next day..

Today I wanted to give the machine a second chance and switched it on, immidiatly the power in the kitchen was gone.
The circuit breaker in the fuse box of the house switched to off.
Now everytime I switch on the machine the main circuit breaker switches off the power in the house..

Not really sure what this could be, faulty thermostat perhaps? That would make sense why it kept making more and more steam?!
Maybe someone can tell whats wrong from the attached picture, I do see a green connector to the boiler which has black stuff (melted plastic perhaps) around it..

Thanks in advance!

timmeh: elektra nivola 2.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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timmeh
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 4:43am
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Photo of the green connector

timmeh: elektra nivola 1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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timmeh
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Would it be safe to disconnect the thermostat and turn on the device to see if the fuse still pops,
or do I risk damaging the machine even more? (Would offcourse only turn it on for several seconds or so)
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zircote
Senior Member
zircote
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Valley Forge, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Fiorenzato Bricoletta
Grinder: Pro M
Roaster: Behmoor
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013, 5:29pm
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

timmeh
It sounds like the heating element has gone bad.
Try unplugging the machine from the outlet first and then removing the two leads to the heating element.
Plug the machine back in and turn it on. Of course be ready to quickly turn it off.
But if the house breaker stays on then it is probably the element.
It may have just succumbed to old age and melted a little.
That would expose the current to the water in the boiler.
A bad thermostat would usually not cause this problem.
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timmeh
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2013, 9:26am
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Thank you for your reply Zircote,

Yesterday I wanted try what you described.

I thought before disconnecting the wire I will (just to make sure that it still pops) test it once more with the cable attached (after not using the machine for 5 days).

As strange as it is, I was perfectly able to make myself an espresso?!

Is this typically an issue that will show up occasionally?

I mean even thought it seems to be working atm (tried making just one cup since),
the issue with the amount of steam and such doesn't seem normal to me..
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zircote
Senior Member
zircote
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Valley Forge, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Fiorenzato Bricoletta
Grinder: Pro M
Roaster: Behmoor
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:47am
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Since you can still get the machine to operate too a degree
I would say it is not the heating element at all.
It now sounds to me like the temp controller has gone bad.
I had this happen on another machine.
However, I am not familiar with Nivola control scheme.
Does it use a separate controller and thermistor?
Or does it use a thermostat, one for hot water and one for steam, ala the Sylvia?
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timmeh
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 1:56am
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

I'm not really sure. However when I look here:

Click Here (espressocare.com)

They sell both:

- Nivola Temperature Sensor
- Elektra Safety Thermostat

Is this what you are mean with controller and thermistor?

Thx in advance.
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zircote
Senior Member
zircote
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Valley Forge, PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Fiorenzato Bricoletta
Grinder: Pro M
Roaster: Behmoor
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

It would be the Temperature Sensor.
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coffeehabibi
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra...
Grinder: Elektra Nino, compak A8,
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

Hi, I have an 8yr old Elektra Nivola which this morning decided to do something similar to the one in this post (I think but not certain). After the normal heating up of the unit, I proceeded to make an espresso as usual and the extraction was very poor.. looked dark and crema was dark and sparse. I tried again, certain this would be ok, but no crema this time and only dark stuff. The extraction time was ok as was the flow. When I removed the portafiller and ran the machine as if to extract an espresso, it came out steamy and splattered a lot. This told me the brew temp of the water is too high, which explained the poor extraction. I primed the machine, and extracted a nice espresso after that. Then tried to steam some milk, but the temperature seemed to build up within the brew head and very hot water was escaping from the portafiller. I turned the control knob back to 12oclock then back to steam and this seemed to work. I tried again a while later to make a latte, and the extraction was poor again due to overheated water in the brew head. This time, I could no longer get the machine to steam no matter what I tried. Any suggestions would be most welcome. I have previously had overheating problems with this machine and had to replace the temperature probe about 2 yrs ago. Is this perhaps a perishable part in the Nivola?
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coffeehabibi
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra...
Grinder: Elektra Nino, compak A8,
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 5:32am
Subject: Re: Elekta Nivola Problem
 

I have since removed the temperature probe and given It a scrub. It would seem my descaling was not as effective as I thought. I pulled some good shots and thought the problem was solved but the next day, the same problem occurred. This time however, when pulling shots, the temp was way too high and water drips from the brew head without activation of the pump. When the knob is turned to make steam, almost 100ml of water runs into the cup and the machine makes a howl like wind through an open door..( or something like that). The steam power is awesome but obviously the machine is overheating. I will descale overnight and see what happens tomorrow...:(
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