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HELP:  my HX machine is alternating between steam and water out of the brew head
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > HELP:  my HX...  
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caeffe
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 271
Location: socal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar & Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Major / PeDe Moka
Vac Pot: eSantos / Yama tabletop
Drip: Krups Moka Brew / Bodum Kona
Roaster: I-Roast 1
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 3:41pm
Subject: HELP:  my HX machine is alternating between steam and water out of the brew head
 

I posted this in a thread about my new NS Oscar but I thought i'd start a separate thread on this as it may be generic to more than just Oscar's.

I adjusted my Simonelli Oscar's Sirai P-stat last night after adjusting the brew head pressure.  measures approx 18-19 psi so lets say 1.2 bar.  turned off the machine

This morning i made 2 shots to check it - i thought the shot was still kinda sour but the bitter edge is gone ..... turned off the machine
This evening turned it on again, let it warm up, opened up steam wand.  measured 18-19 psi.

Prepared to make a shot and started flushing routine - i was getting major water dance out the brew head, eventually it was just steam then it would be a smooth stream of water, then steam, then gurgling water, then steam etc.....

What's going on?  is the boiler temp adjusted too high?  is my vibe pump shot?  the pump is making a different noise - not as loud as before.  It seems that the water is not coming out as much - so I checked with my DIY brew press gauge and it still reads >130 psi eventually.
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mitchellb
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 635
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Drip: Hario Pourover
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: HELP:
 

sounds like the vibe pump to me.. no reason steam would come out unless there was so little water that the water woudl flash heat to steam in the HX tube (if you can get what i mean by that).. Make sure your pump is not leaking anywhere.. also turn your machine on from cold and see if you can pump out water..

other than that i will have to defer to the big guns
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,254
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Help:
 

caeffe Said:

I posted this in a thread about my new NS Oscar but I thought i'd start a separate thread on this as it may be generic to more than just Oscar's.

Prepared to make a shot and started flushing routine - i was getting major water dance out the brew head, eventually it was just steam then it would be a smooth stream of water, then steam, then gurgling water, then steam etc.....

Posted November 6, 2007 link

Sounds like air bubbles or pockets in the HX lines.

What's going on?  is the boiler temp adjusted too high?  is my vibe pump shot?  the pump is making a different noise - not as loud as before.  It seems that the water is not coming out as much - so I checked with my DIY brew press gauge and it still reads >130 psi eventually.

That's 8.84 bar, a little low I'd think as a static/stagnation (no flow) pressure should be 10 bar., & the resultant dynamic or running pressure would be approx 1 bar lower, or 9 bar.

 
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caeffe
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 271
Location: socal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar & Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Major / PeDe Moka
Vac Pot: eSantos / Yama tabletop
Drip: Krups Moka Brew / Bodum Kona
Roaster: I-Roast 1
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: HELP:
 

mitchellb Said:

sounds like the vibe pump to me.. no reason steam would come out unless there was so little water that the water woudl flash heat to steam in the HX tube (if you can get what i mean by that)..

Posted November 6, 2007 link

which is why i thought that maybe i had adusted the temp/pressure too high.  but i don't think that's the case since the pressure out of the steam wand was less than 20 psig.  although... i was using a 0-160 psig tire gauge so maybe at that low pressures the gauge is inaccurate

Make sure your pump is not leaking anywhere..

i don't see any leaks, at least not on the counter

also turn your machine on from cold and see if you can pump out water..

did that also, let the machine cool off and turned it on before it reheated.   hardly any water came out - i was getting water, then hissing w/o water, then water, etc....

i was thinking i had to 'reprime' so i went ahead and turned off the machine, let it cool down, turned it back on, open the steam wand (obviously no steam at this point) and hit the brew button.  same thing:  water, hissing, water, hissing, etc...

CraigA Said:

Sounds like air bubbles or pockets in the HX lines.

Posted November 6, 2007 link

so how do i get rid of these bubbles / air pockets?  or rather, how did i get them?


CraigA Said:

That's 8.84 bar, a little low I'd think as a static/stagnation (no flow) pressure should be 10 bar., & the resultant dynamic or running pressure would be approx 1 bar lower, or 9 bar.

Posted November 6, 2007 link

understood, i know i'll have to check it with flow but i bought wrong size fittings to make the gauge with a needle valve.  i'll readjust to 10 bar (~145)
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,254
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: HELP:
 

caeffe Said:

so how do i get rid of these bubbles / air pockets?  or rather, how did i get them?

Posted November 6, 2007 link

Sounds like an air leak somewhere maybe around the vibe pump IP/OP line/s. In the same vein as a car/truck intake manifold air leak..

understood, i know i'll have to check it with flow but i bought wrong size fittings to make the gauge with a needle valve.  i'll readjust to 10 bar (~145)

Close enough & I don't want to split hairs or anything, but 1 bar is 14.7psi @ sea level., rounded off to 15psi.., so your pressure would be 147 - 150psi. {;-)

 
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caeffe
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 271
Location: socal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar & Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Major / PeDe Moka
Vac Pot: eSantos / Yama tabletop
Drip: Krups Moka Brew / Bodum Kona
Roaster: I-Roast 1
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: HELP:
 

CraigA Said:

Sounds like an air leak somewhere maybe around the vibe pump IP/OP line/s. In the same vein as a car/truck intake manifold air leak..

Posted November 6, 2007 link

I'll have to check again.  I'd expect to see a puddle under the machine if this was the case - and I do recall having to wipe the counter down a bit after all the adjusting I did.  I attributed it to a leak on the OPV valve after I adjusted it (see my post:   leak after OPV adjustment ) maybe one of the lines worked loose.

on the NS Oscar where is the vibe pump?  I can't seem to locate it after pulling the top.

i'm already getting caffeine espresso withdrawal just thinking that i can't make any espresso shots .....

;-(
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caeffe
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 271
Location: socal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar & Pavoni...
Grinder: Mazzer Major / PeDe Moka
Vac Pot: eSantos / Yama tabletop
Drip: Krups Moka Brew / Bodum Kona
Roaster: I-Roast 1
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: HELP:
 

well, i tried it again this afternoon

thought i'd measure the pressure again.  it looks like the pump only puts out 20-30 psig now ....
i get water coming out when its started from cold but its very low volume

once the machine warms up i get the steam, water

also, the pump is not as loud anymore, almost sounds like its just the autofill pump only

also no leaks .... there is no water under the machine
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
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Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
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Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Help:
 

CraigA Said:

That's 8.84 bar, a little low I'd think as a static/stagnation (no flow) pressure should be 10 bar., & the resultant dynamic or running pressure would be approx 1 bar lower, or 9 bar.

Posted November 6, 2007 link

I think this is really a matter of personal preference.  On my Anita I run with a stagnate pressure of 7.75 bar on my dial.  The espresso is damn good.  Adjust the pressure until the espresso tastes good, I wouldn't put too much stock in dials and numbers.

 
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mitchellb
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 635
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Drip: Hario Pourover
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 11:30pm
Subject: Re: HELP:  my HX machine is alternating between steam and water out of the brew
 

open the machine up.. when i was using a pressure gauge without a needle valve i sprung a leak in the pump that was dripping on to my boiler and flash evaporating.

You might just need a new pump, not the worst thing you could do to your machine. It just puts a lot of back pressure ony nour pump when you are running it for 7-8 seconds with no outflow but teh opv
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,254
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Help:
 

TimEggers Said:

I think this is really a matter of personal preference.

Posted November 6, 2007 link

Quite true.

On my Anita I run with a stagnate pressure of 7.75 bar on my dial. The espresso is damn good.

Ok, that'd be approx 6.75 bar/99psi then. Conventional wisdom says brew pressure should be 9 bar/132psi, but hey., if it work for you that's great!

Adjust the pressure until the espresso tastes good, I wouldn't put too much stock in dials and numbers.

Hmmm.., well the manufacturer does put them there for a good reason.. & it's good to adjust & have control of the variables when using different espresso blends.
I can think of 2 different blends I use with completely different brewing parameters!

 
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