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Help! I replaced the pump, but...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Help! I replaced...  
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charliebrown
Senior Member
charliebrown
Joined: 9 Feb 2003
Posts: 73
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 8:36am
Subject: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

So a few weeks ago I ruined my pump by leaving the machine on a timer and it ran dry. I replaced the pump but now all I get is steam coming out of the group head. The pressure indicator doesn't seem to move and there is no water in the feeding tube in the water reservoir. When I hit the steam button and turn the knob nothing happens. When I hit the hot water switch the pump goes on but nothing comes out. Is there a thermostat broken or did I break the boiler as well? How come there is no pressure? I am pretty sure I connected it exactly the way the old one was. What can I do?
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rbh1515
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,282
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

I did this with my Millenium. While the machine was off, I was cleaning it. I raised the brew lever to clean the ss underneath. Unfortunately I did not put the lever back down I my time turned on the machine at about 5am--did not wake me up.  This should not have happened though--my machine has a low water shut-off. Problem was--it was adjusted wrong.  After replacing the pump I adjusted the mechanism correctly. Is your machine supposed to have a low water shut-off?   Not sure what your problem is after the pump replacement.  Rob
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charliebrown
Senior Member
charliebrown
Joined: 9 Feb 2003
Posts: 73
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

Yeah I'm clueless to what the problem might be. I guess I'll have to send it in for repair. Is there any places that repair Isomacs in the Portland/Seattle area? I don't think it has a low water shut off because the Venus doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the Millenium has. I'd love to upgrade but I can't justify the cost since the quality of shots from the Venus was excellent. Although a little better steaming power would be nice...

Its wierd that there's steam coming out instead of water from the group head. the pressure indicator doesn't move although the pump is pumping. No hot water coming out of the steam wand either. Does that mean the boiler or perhaps a thermostat connected to it is broken? Suggestions...anyone?
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 6:00pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

charliebrown Said:

Its wierd that there's steam coming out instead of water from the group head. the pressure indicator doesn't move although the pump is pumping. No hot water coming out of the steam wand either. Does that mean the boiler or perhaps a thermostat connected to it is broken? Suggestions...anyone?

Posted December 19, 2003 link

There are some pros that follow this board and of course there is your vendor (right?).  They might be able to diagnose it over the phone.  In the meantime, care for some speculation?  The Venus should be as simple as Silvia, which is dirt simple.  On Silvia, there is no solenoid between the pump and the grouphead (or the steam wand, for that matter).  So if water goes in, it has to go out by there or the OPV return.  For this reason I'm skeptical that water is passing by the pump, either because its intake is blocked or its non-functional (stuck).  Whether you want to try to fix it yourself is your choice.  I like to tinker, so I'd have at it in a heartbeat.  If you go this route, remember some basic rules:

  • Unplug it first.
  • Take lots of pictures with a digital camera in case you forget how things go back together ("Uhhh-h, does the black or white wire go here?").
  • Start from the pump and move forward.

You only need basic tools (screwdriver, pliers, channel lock / adjustable / vice grip wrench, etc.) and some teflon tape.  Add some patience, curiosity, a few drawings of what-goes-where, and you're good to go.  All that said, where would I start?  I'd remove the tubing from the outlet side of the pump, put a small pan underneath it to catch water, and see if something really comes out (I assume it is at least making noise).  Of course, be careful!  Water and electricity make a good shock hazard if you don't pay attention.  When you rethread the coupling to the tubing onto the end of the pump, pay special attention if it is made out of plastic.  It is easy to crossthread, especially because you'll have to add a couple turns of teflon tape to get it sealed.  If the outlet is brass (shown below), it's easier to thread and get a good seal.

Again, this is only if you feel up to it.  If you have any doubts, better to send it off for repairs.  Corrections to the above from the pros welcome!

-- Dan

PS: I don't suppose you took pictures before you removed the old pump?  It would be nice if you were certain it is correctly wired.  I'd have to check, but I vaguely recall that one of the terminals of the pump is marked with a triangle (i.e., ground).  I'm about to leave for the evening but could double-check tomorrow with a voltmeter if you really want to know (and no pro offers up a suggestion).

HB: vibePump.jpg

 
www.home-barista.com
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charliebrown
Senior Member
charliebrown
Joined: 9 Feb 2003
Posts: 73
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino
Posted Sat Dec 20, 2003, 2:58pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

Thanks Dan for your helpful suggestions! I have a few more questions though. I have heard that Silvia and Venus are very similar, although the Venus has a 3-way solenoid valve on top of the boiler (unlike Silvia) according to the manufacturer. Does that change anything as far as your suggestions go? Also the Venus has an Expansion relief-valve that allows excess pump pressure to be redirected to the water reservoir, according to the description on the website. Is this the same as the Solenoid valve? Venus also has three  thermostats - coffee, steam, and safety. What does these do? What does the safety one do? Also, the pump I had was attached to a plastic wand, while the one I purchased new was attached to a brass wand (like the one in your picture). They are the same model # but the type on the new one is: EAX5  and the old one was: EAP5. Do you think this could cause a problem? Unfortunately I didn't take a picture when I replaced it, but you said that triangle is ground so the blue wire should go there. right? (blue for cold, as in ground?) I have included a picture below of the internals of Venus (sorry for the small size). I will follow your suggestions and attempt to see first of all if the pump is pumping water. If it does it means something else is broken, either the solenoid valve or a thermostat perhaps. The boiler is still working I think, because I can hear it when I turn on the machine.

Thanks Dan!

To be continued...

charliebrown: Venusinside.jpg
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charliebrown
Senior Member
charliebrown
Joined: 9 Feb 2003
Posts: 73
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino
Posted Sat Dec 20, 2003, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

...and continued it is.

I solved the problem! You'd never guess what it was. Before I tell you I'd like to post a disclaimer that I am a complete idiot, and not a very mechanically savvy one at that. I took it apart again to check and see if the pump was indeed pumping water. It wasn't and when I removed the water hose connector I noticed that there was a tiny little transparent cap sitting on the end of the pump. While installing I had removed the larger cap on the other side but failed to notice the small one and that was the reason it wasn't pumping! So I connected it again and now it works beautifully. I cleaned the group head thoroughly and now I am waiting for it to warm up before I make myself some long awaited, dearly beloved shots of espresso.

Thanks Dan, everybody...

Merry Christmas!
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sat Dec 20, 2003, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

Nothing you've mentioned changes my initial thoughts: Venus appears to be pretty much the same animal as Silvia.

  • Three-way solenoid releases pressure from the grouphead.  That is, when the solenoid has power, it closes.  Otherwise it opens (solenoids used for water taps, like on my machine, work just the opposite: Power on = open, power off = closed).  It's location isn't relevant to your problem.  If it was stuck open or closed, you'd know (i.e., either no pressure or no release).
  • Expansion relief valve / over-pressure valve.  Based on your "eye test" photo, it looks similar to Silvia's.  See the annotated picture below that I borrowed from Murph's Silvia PID Page.  The expansion relief valve (OPV) is basically a spring-loaded valve.  Enough pressure and it opens, that's all.  It serves two purposes: Vent excess pressure from the pump (since you want 9-10 bar and vibe pumps can put out 15 bar) and allow boiler pressure due to water expansion to escape during warmup.
  • Pump models EAX5 versus EAP5.  The P = plastic, X = brass.  See Ulka's vibe pump specs for details.
  • Blue wire for cold?  That would be convenient, but not reliable.  I can't say if polarity makes a difference with vibe pumps and frankly I'd be surprised if it did (A/C motors generally don't care; DC motors will reverse direction with polarity changes).  You can always test with a voltmeter or even one of those el-cheapo combination power-continuity-ground testers the size of a pen.  You can get one at any Home Depot or hardware store for $5-7.  It's handy to have around the house in any case, if only to verify that the wall switch you think is disconnected is really disconnected.  :-o
  • Three thermostats, same as Silvia.  The brew one clicks off at 100C, steam at 130C, and the safety somewhere above the two temps if the boiler runs dry (usually resettable).  As you see in the picture below, they are blue button types.

As I mentioned before, nothing you've described suggests anything but the pump is at fault.  Until we've established that it is drawing water, no further diagnosis is possible.  If it isn't drawing water, it would be imprudent to run your machine for long since the boiler will go dry.  BTW, I keep wondering: Why don't you call your vendor, or at least who sold you the pump, and ask them to puzzle it out?  I'm enjoying the little mystery but don't want to stand between you and a good espresso.  :-)

-- Dan

PS: Ignore some of the extra blue wires in the photo below, it is part of the instructions for PID'ing Silvia.

HB: silvia-interior.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
www.home-barista.com
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sat Dec 20, 2003, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

charliebrown Said:

I solved the problem! You'd never guess what it was. Before I tell you I'd like to post a disclaimer that I am a complete idiot, and not a very mechanically savvy one at that.

Posted December 20, 2003 link

Wow, I didn't know that it was possible to install with those endcaps in place (they prevent dirt contamination prior to installation).  Glad to hear that your problem is solved!  I'll leave my prior post in place, if only as a footnote should someone else have a similar problem.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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charliebrown
Senior Member
charliebrown
Joined: 9 Feb 2003
Posts: 73
Location: Portland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran Macinino
Posted Sun Dec 21, 2003, 8:58am
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

I did speak to the vendor but all he said was: "bummer, send it if for repairs". Chris at Chris' Coffee who sold me the pump said that he knew nothing of Isomacs. Thanks to you though I managed to solved it on my own. That little protection cap was so transparent and small that it actually fit in between the pump nozzle and the hose connector without force. If they'd made it solid white (or even better, red) amateurs like me would have noticed it right away and taken it off. I have learned quite a bit through this little ordeal. Thanks Dan for all your help and all the valuable information! It works more beautifully now and perhaps a little more quiet than ever before!

: )
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velomane
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2002
Posts: 27
Location: Winnipeg
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Vac Pot: Gros Bodum/ Petit Bodum
Roaster: WB PopperyII/ HWP
Posted Thu Apr 15, 2004, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Help! I replaced the pump, but...
 

Further to this thread... now it's my turn to ask for help/ advice.

Like charliebrown, I, too, just toasted the pump in my Silvia. I installed a new one this afternoon, removed any end caps, attached the hoses and dunked them in the reservoir. The problem is that the pump doesn't want to draw any water. I disconnected the output and ran the pump, again no draw. I raised the intake hose, and, with the pump running, tried pouring water into it, again no draw. Finally, I disconnected all the hoses and ran the pump, putting my finger on the intake side to check for any suction...nothing.

Any suggestions folks? Faulty pump perhaps? Shouldn't there be some suction in the intake hole? I'd like to exhaust all possibilities before I make the trip across town to exchange this pump.

Thanks,
Mike
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