I ordered parts from Elektro and they were great to deal with. I wanted gauges that I knew would work with my Oscar when I'm ready to calibrate it and started getting tired of searching for parts. Sometimes it's just nice to order a kit with parts pre-selected and sometimes assembled.
Anyway, I'm not 100% sure what "predisposed" means. But I can tell you that that kit won't work for plumbed machines. The particular OPV they've selected along with the tubing connections is designed to be installed on the pump discharge line on a pour-over machine where the OPV discharge connects to the water line from the tank that feeds the pump. Hydraulically, this is basically the same as returning the OPV discharge to the water tank.
If you have a pour over machine (not plumbed or direct connect) then I say order the kit if you're interested in these mods. It can be time-consuming looking for parts and you'll avoid the cost of making parts mistakes. I like the espressoparts site but searching the site can be tedious. I guess I got spoiled by McMaster Carr which has a phenomenally well-organized site for parts and information.
Unfortunately I'm in the great socialist nanny-state of NY and nowhere near Portland....and I'm a relative newbie to espresso machine mechanics so you'll have to count me out on experience as well.
Hopefully my posts will help on some of your modification interests but there are a lot of good (better) posts on this forum and others. I can't help with the steam lever which is a mod I'm not interested in. The dial works fine since I only make occasional macchiatos and my wife doesn't drink milk. However, my kids love hot chocolate with steamed milk and use steam to heat tea for herbal tea at night. They absolutely refuse to heat water in the microwave and will only use the stove or steam wand to heat their water. And since my oldest daughter forgot about the pot on the stove one night, we prefer they use the steam wand. The dial works fine for these tasks.
marosmith Senior Member Joined: 15 Dec 2013 Posts: 87 Location: Lafayette, Oregon Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia V2 Grinder: NS MCF, Baratza Encore
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 7:50pm Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
Thanks for your help. I ordered the kit and their smaller 4 hole tip.
The kit seems to be the way to go for a mechanical moron like me. I understand how things work but when it comes to tools, and using them, things go south. With everything dialed in and instructions with it, I hope it will work without too much difficulty.
Someone advised me most of the models are not predisposed only the real new ones. So hopefully I ordered the right kit lol!
Yes, opening the steam wand briefly will give you all the function of the vacuum breaker in manual function. It works fine.
I've been running my Oscar for a year on a timer without a vacuum breaker just fine, but I keep the valve about 1 full turn from wide open and when the machine heats and cools you can hear a slight amount of air or steam pass through the wand. Once hot the valve seals at temp and no longer passes any steam. Works well for me, and machine is up to full temp 30-40 minutes after power on.
Still, if you are planning on using a timer the vacuum breaker is the best mod. You don't have to do it, but you might really like it.
(Same with OPV mod. If you want to control pressure properly you'll want that mod, but you can still make really good espresso without it too.)
thebaz Senior Member Joined: 27 Mar 2006 Posts: 80 Location: Victoria Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: NS Oscar LaCimbali Domus Grinder: Rancilio md50
Posted Thu May 15, 2014, 10:35pm Subject: Re: My Oscar Modifications
Just to clarify. My understanding is a "predisposed" Oscar has four ports on the top of the boiler so a vacuum breaker can be fitted in the spare hole. My Oscar didn't have this and I was able to fit a vacuum breaker with a modified fitting. There are many different ways of doing this so it is just a matter of what is easiest for the owner. My Oscar is also plumbed in and I got an OPV kit to suit, but had my doubts as to how well it would work to exhaust the bleed off pressure back to the supply side of the pump, so I never fitted it. The neplex valve is set at around 10bar on mine so it does a similar job anyway. I ran my Oscar box stock for around eight years and it still made great coffee. It is definitely a better machine though after the mods. I have the four hole tip from Elektros and it works well, but I like the standard four hole with two of the holes blocked off better. Gianni from Elektros has been fantastic and very helpful to deal with and I recommend Elektros highly for advice and parts.
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