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Isomac Tea Pressure Problem
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HiKuP
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 8:08pm
Subject: Isomac Tea Pressure Problem
 

I have an Isomac Tea from about 2005 (so it's not a Tea II) that seems to be having pressure problems during the pull.  I have replaced the expansion valve seat as well as the pump itself.  I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I have not ever descaled it, though I use softened water that is also filtered through the house R.O. system.  I took the mushroom out to get a feel for how bad my scaling problem was and I was very surprised at how clean it was -- basically there were a few blotches of scale on the mushroom, but they had very little "three dimensional" build up and were no where near some of the pictures I've seen on this site.  So in short, I don't know if descaling is a candidate solution or not.  The Chris Coffee website indicates that it's not necessary if you're using softened water (at least I think I read that there).  
The problem that I'm seeing is erratic pressure during the draw.  About 50% of the time it gets up to about 8-9 bars, but I'm bothered by the fact that even then, it takes a long time to build up that high -- like 5 or 6 seconds after pre-infusion.  At other times it won't even reach 6 bars at all.  With a blind filter, it will build to 11-12, but again, it doesn't pop up there quickly like it used to.  It builds over about 10 seconds after the pre-infusion.
I try to do everything right in terms of preparing for the pull such as ensuring a proper grind, fresh beans, a good even dispersion, a level tamp to about 30 pounds, etc.  Someone suggested that it might be the gauge that is inaccurate, but that just doesn't seem to be the case.  At one point in time I could clearly hear a drop in the sound of the pump.  It would sound like it was working well, and then it would just almost go silent.  It was at that point that I changed the pump.  But the new one did it too.  I haven't heard that problem in about two months, so it may have cleared up.
Does it sound like there is a blockage somewhere?  Any ideas on where I should look?  I've been fairly religious about backflushing with Cafiza every two weeks.  I can't say I've historically been as religious with my daily backflushes though.  In fact, I've only recently started doing those.  I thought the detergent flush was the important one.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.  FWIW, I'm a very light user in that I usually only draw one shot per day.
Thanks in advance,
Howard
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Mon Jun 9, 2014, 5:38am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea Pressure Problem
 

mode note: moved from espresso machines.

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Mon Jun 9, 2014, 5:44am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea Pressure Problem
 

Likely it will need a good cleaning but that is aside from the point.

I suspect that in a machine that old, it sounds like a pump or the valves in the pump starting to have issues.

 
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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HiKuP
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 9, 2014, 6:52am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea Pressure Problem
 

I forgot to mention the timeframe that I replaced the pump.  It was within the last six months, and the problem existed before then. So my gut tells me it's not the pump itself, but are there other valves outside the pump that might be needing a look?  It would be easier if the problem were absolutely consistent.  But naturally, it worked pretty near perfectly today!
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