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Gaggia xd gicar fault? (previously: boiler wont stop filling!)
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Gaggia xd gicar...  
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pinkpotato
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Manchester
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia TE Gaggia XD
Grinder: Iberital MC5/Cunill brasil
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 5:56am
Subject: Gaggia xd gicar fault? (previously: boiler wont stop filling!)
 

So as per my usual routine I got up this morning and switched on the machine to warm up for an after brekkie latte. I went to the machine about 10 minutes later expecting all to be well as usual only to find my boiler pressure up to 1.5 bar water pouring out the opv and the pump running filling the boiler...

I have previously removed the water level probe and its spotless. I gave it a quick check as I had time before work today as well and its still clean from scale and impurities. I'm currently at work at the moment however very grouchy due to my lack of latte and im thinking about what to check next so could you guys give me some pointers?

I plan on doing a continuity check between the probe and the gicar box first to make sure its not a dodgy wire or connecton first. But as a said what are the other obvious things to check.

I also dont know why this has suddenly started, the machine is kept in the garage which is a bit on the chilly side as the temperature has dropped the last couple of days but that surely shouldn't affect it. The garage is always around 5 deg or above and the machine gets covered with a thick blanket after every use to retain a little heat and stop it getting dusty.

Please help I want my double espresso before the gym later!

 
Gaggia TE 1 Grp Gaggia XD 1 grp Gaggia TE 2 Grp (Restoring) Iberital MC5
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Nov 5, 2013, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

I would start with grounding the probe wire. This should turn the pump off and will tell you if the controller works anyway.
Did you change water on the machine to RO or Distilled? that could cause the machine to not sense that the boiler is full.

It may be the control box gone bad but I would not pin my hopes on a quick fix this morning. It MAY happen but I suspect that the machine will be out of action for a few days at least.

Storage of machines in unheated spaces where it gets cold at night is NOT a wise idea. There have been a LOT of machines that suffered damage that way.

If you MUST keep the machine in those conditions, you might consider covering it with a blanket and putting a light bulb (on) in a safe place to not catch fire with the machine under cover to keep it warm.  Just a thought.

 
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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pinkpotato
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Manchester
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia TE Gaggia XD
Grinder: Iberital MC5/Cunill brasil
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

I am using standard water from the mains. Turns out nothing is wrong with the fill mechanism.
I checked there was continuity back to the gicar and it was fine. Wiggled the connectors in the box and then the whole machine went dead pump wouldnt run or anything.
Gave all the connectors and wires in the back of it another wiggle left the machine off for about a minute then powered up and everything worked fine.

I did try to unplug one of the bigger connectors in the box which has the group control and 'level' pin but it seemed quite stiff and i didnt want to force it. Do these plugs just slide straigh back off or is there some sort of securing clip on them? I just want to check all the pins are making nice contact in the plugs.

Everything is fully operational for now though. The wiggling of the connectors may have just been coincidence and maybe the control unit glitched a little due to the cold?
Instead of using the blanket i was using to cover the machine i've found a box which fits over it and insulated the inside heavily with foam and polystyrene so i will see if it is better in the morning. The only other solution i though about is a heated underblanket to go in the box with it too, bit safer than a bulb. If i could be sure it wouldnt over fill and over pressure etc and i could have better piece of mind that its reliable i would plug it into a wall timer and make it turn on every 6 hours or so to heat up. We'll see hopefully it was a one off i will keep you posted if its okay tomorrow!

 
Gaggia TE 1 Grp Gaggia XD 1 grp Gaggia TE 2 Grp (Restoring) Iberital MC5
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Thu Nov 7, 2013, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

It is likely the connector pins on your control board have oxidized due to the uncontrolled humidity of your garage. You can correct this by treating your control board connections with DeOxIt or an equivalent product. The green connectors are notoriously heavy to uncouple; sometimes I use a dental pick to gently pry them apart. With power OFF!
My bigger concern is with the water entering your machine; you need a water softener or a filtration and softening cartridge system to properly treat your incoming water so your machine does not accumulate scale. You may want to consider leaving your machine on 24 hrs, as the expansion/contraction due to temperature changes will be greatly reduced. An insulated blanket placed over the machine during periods of nonuse will reduce ontime of the heating element to a point where you might not even notice a difference in your power bill. Good luck.
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pinkpotato
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Manchester
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia TE Gaggia XD
Grinder: Iberital MC5/Cunill brasil
Posted Mon Nov 11, 2013, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

Thanks for the reply, i bought the machine second hadn not too long ago and the whole thing looked like it had been sitting in damp conditons for a while. I have borascoped the boiler and checked for scale etc but there was virtually zero build up so i didnt descale this time round.

I thought it may be oxidising of the pins too but needed a second opinion also thanks for letting me know that the green plugs are stiff. As i said i have tried to disconnect them in a rush but couldnt do it and didnt want to force them off. I am a watchmaker so i've got plenty of little tools to pry them off slowly i've been away the last couple of weekends unfortunately so havent had a chance to tinker. I have considered a water softener but i have the tooling to look at scale build up and i am more than willing to take the boiler out and descale and change the gaskets when it needs it.

I have made a big insulated box to go over it after each use now and i means its still not cold to touch when i get up in the morning to use it and it has seemed to cure the problem, i have definately thought about keeping it on 24/7 but i still not 100% sure its a stable enough machine yet. When i can check the plugs etc and i have it running with no faults for a while i will then consider.

 
Gaggia TE 1 Grp Gaggia XD 1 grp Gaggia TE 2 Grp (Restoring) Iberital MC5
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pinkpotato
Senior Member


Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Manchester
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia TE Gaggia XD
Grinder: Iberital MC5/Cunill brasil
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

Well i am still having this problem, it is not the cold or the connections. I tested the machine in an insulated box and left it running for 24hours a day for a week to see if it helped. I also cleaned all the pins on the green connector and tried my best to clean inside the plug too. I can fire up the machine some days and it'll be fine, fill and work perfectly but every other day i'll turn it on and the auto fill wont kick in and the buttons on the front do nothing. All i simply do is re plug that green plug with power off or power on and the auto fill boots up fine and all the buttons on the front panel function. I dont know what wiring to check futher down the line as this fault is irritating although at least i get good coffee. :)

 
Gaggia TE 1 Grp Gaggia XD 1 grp Gaggia TE 2 Grp (Restoring) Iberital MC5
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Jan 8, 2014, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

If removing the plug and replacing it causes the machine to function correctly, I think you found the problem, likely a loose connection in the plug as you said you cleaned the contacts, the only thing left short of replacing the board, is a loose connection.

 
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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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,436
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Jan 8, 2014, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Gaggia xd boiler wont stop filling!
 

It is either the connector or the pins themselves, a failed solder connection on the board inside the box, a cracked trace on the board, etc.

 
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