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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Bezzera owners...  
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jferreir
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: New BZ10 growing pains
 

cingkrab Said:

Does the same behavior happen with a blind filter?  If it doesn't it's most likely not the pump.

Posted April 24, 2014 link

I should quickly state that the first shot I pulled with the machine was fine. It went to 12 bars quickly like in the first video. A few shots after that, it started fluctuating between 6-9 bars and has remained that way ever since.

When I use the blind filter, the bar pressure is reduced, but it's less pronounced. It will gradually climb to about 10 or 11 bars, but definitely not as quickly as in the first video. If I have any coffee grounds in the portafilter, then it doesn't get anywhere near that pressure and fluctuates between 6-9 bars as previously described. This occurs even with a low dose (10-12gr) and a very light tamp (10lb).

Thoughts?

P.S. I already tried using the machine on a different circuit, as well as unplugging most other appliances, but this didn't solve the problem.
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cingkrab
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 1:34pm
Subject: Re: New BZ10 growing pains
 

jferreir Said:

I should quickly state that the first shot I pulled with the machine was fine. It went to 12 bars quickly like in the first video. A few shots after that, it started fluctuating between 6-9 bars and has remained that way ever since.

When I use the blind filter, the bar pressure is reduced, but it's less pronounced. It will gradually climb to about 10 or 11 bars, but definitely not as quickly as in the first video. If I have any coffee grounds in the portafilter, then it doesn't get anywhere near that pressure and fluctuates between 6-9 bars as previously described. This occurs even with a low dose (10-12gr) and a very light tamp (10lb).

Thoughts?

P.S. I already tried using the machine on a different circuit, as well as unplugging most other appliances, but this didn't solve the problem.

Posted April 24, 2014 link

Can it hold 11 bars ish of pressure with the blind filter or does it fluctuate at the max pressure?
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jferreir
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 1:38pm
Subject: Re: New BZ10 growing pains
 

cingkrab Said:

Can it hold 11 bars ish of pressure with the blind filter or does it fluctuate at the max pressure?

Posted April 24, 2014 link

It holds at 11 bars, but it takes a while to get there. Also, the machine is supposed to max out at 12 bars, not 11. When I back flushed the machine initially, it went to 12 bars without issue. If the problem isn't the pump, then what else could be causing this? Is there anything I should try before I make the long trek back to the vendor?
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IB
Senior Member
IB
Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 59
Location: pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Kim Lever, Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: New BZ10 growing pains
 

jferreir Said:

It holds at 11 bars, but it takes a while to get there. Also, the machine is supposed to max out at 12 bars, not 11. When I back flushed the machine initially, it went to 12 bars without issue. If the problem isn't the pump, then what else could be causing this? Is there anything I should try before I make the long trek back to the vendor?

Posted April 24, 2014 link

Seems to me you could adjust the OPV - it's an easy thing to try, and you can always just dial it back to where it was if that doesn't help.   I would ask the vendor about that first of course (or hopefully their tech/repair pro)...sometimes they are pretty happy to talk you through the process of adjustments/repairs.  I have adjusted mine...if you do, its a good idea to mark the current position of the adjustment nut with  a sharpie, so you have a reference point.  

With any of these bench-made machines, I feel like getting under the hood sooner than later is a good thing - assuming you are the type who likes to do your own maintenance/adjustment/repair.  If you are that type, you'll be in there eventually anyway....I do feel your pain however....i'm sure you were not expecting to have to deal with any trouble so soon.
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jferreir
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Bezzera owners thread
 

So, I have an update, but now I'm even more confused...

I took the machine in for service yesterday afternoon, and I spoke with the on-site technician. He had a thick accent, and there was a bit of a language barrier, so I hope I understood him correctly. Anyhow, he said that the machine was supposed to be factory adjusted to 9 bars prior to shipping, but that this didn't happen on my unit. With the machine factory set at 11 bars, using finely ground coffee created too much pressure and caused the pump to prematurely malfunction/wear out. At least that's what I understood him to say. He reduced the pressure to 9 bars, which I assume he did with an OPV adjustment, and then he replaced the vibratory pump. Now the machine consistently reaches 9 bars of pressure during both extraction and back-flushing with no fluctuation. It doesn't reach the 'quiet state' after 9 bars like it did previously, but at least the pressure doesn't fluctuate during extraction.

As for the confusion, I found this video, where Luca Bezzera, the owner, explicitly claims that the machine should be factory set to 11 bars and not 9 bars. So, I'm getting conflicting answers from Bezzera and their authorized Canadian distributor. What gives?

My impression is that Bezzera uses poor quality pumps, and the technician likely adjusts the OPV to 9 bars because he receives less returns/repairs this way. What do others think? I'm debating whether or not to increase the OPV to 10 to see how that impacts things, but perhaps I should just leave it as-is.

Overall, I'm extremely dissatisfied with this whole experience. I certainly wouldn't recommend Bezzera to a friend.
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IB
Senior Member
IB
Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 59
Location: pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Kim Lever, Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 5:53pm
Subject: BZ10 opv and pump
 

jferreir Said:

It doesn't reach the 'quiet state' after 9 bars like it did previously, but at least the pressure doesn't fluctuate during extraction.

Posted April 29, 2014 link

this seems odd to me…i would think that adjusting the OPV down would help ensure that your machine would reach that quiet stage when the vib pump encounters back pressure from the puck. Does it get quiet when back flushing?

As for the confusion, I found this video, where Luca Bezzera, the owner, explicitly claims that the machine should be factory set to 11 bars and not 9 bars. So, I'm getting conflicting answers from Bezzera and their authorized Canadian distributor. What gives?

 

interesting vid…i don't exactly feel qualified to comment with much intelligence, but….what the heck i will anyhow! My OPV had to be adjusted down, which i realized because the machine ran very loud at the factory setting. Since i have a friend with the same machine, i noticed how quiet his was compared to mine, and that got me onto the problem.  HOwever, since my BZ07 doesn't have a brew pressure gauge, I don't think that much about a correct number - to that point - how are your shots now???  are things balancing out in terms of the sourness?  In the big picture that is what matters.

My impression is that Bezzera uses poor quality pumps, and the technician likely adjusts the OPV to 9 bars because he receives less returns/repairs this way. What do others think?

 I don't think that the pumps are much different from what is used on many prosumer grade machines.  Some of the bezerra parts are a bit more specialized, but the pump i think is a very common 'off-the-self' unit that is found in many brands.

Overall, I'm extremely dissatisfied with this whole experience. I certainly wouldn't recommend Bezzera to a friend.

 I had a run of issues early on with my machine - several different things needed to be addressed.  However, after all the dust settled  - and it did - I really like my machine and I can't say that I think much about other comparable brands.  The things that made me choose it, still seem like strong features over competitors.  Hopefully you may end up in the same space.  I think I mentioned before…my friend who owns the same machine as me has had like 4 yrs with no issues at all.  Sometimes i think these machines are a bit like cars, in the sense that you will always some new car buyers, of any brand, who have had some issues right away, while others have had trouble free performance.
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jowdawson
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 11
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Bezzera owners thread
 

jferreir Said:

So, I have an update, but now I'm even more confused...

I took the machine in for service yesterday afternoon, and I spoke with the on-site technician. He had a thick accent, and there was a bit of a language barrier, so I hope I understood him correctly. Anyhow, he said that the machine was supposed to be factory adjusted to 9 bars prior to shipping, but that this didn't happen on my unit. With the machine factory set at 11 bars, using finely ground coffee created too much pressure and caused the pump to prematurely malfunction/wear out. At least that's what I understood him to say. He reduced the pressure to 9 bars, which I assume he did with an OPV adjustment, and then he replaced the vibratory pump. Now the machine consistently reaches 9 bars of pressure during both extraction and back-flushing with no fluctuation. It doesn't reach the 'quiet state' after 9 bars like it did previously, but at least the pressure doesn't fluctuate during extraction.

As for the confusion, I found this video, where Luca Bezzera, the owner, explicitly claims that the machine should be factory set to 11 bars and not 9 bars. So, I'm getting conflicting answers from Bezzera and their authorized Canadian distributor. What gives?

My impression is that Bezzera uses poor quality pumps, and the technician likely adjusts the OPV to 9 bars because he receives less returns/repairs this way. What do others think? I'm debating whether or not to increase the OPV to 10 to see how that impacts things, but perhaps I should just leave it as-is.

Overall, I'm extremely dissatisfied with this whole experience. I certainly wouldn't recommend Bezzera to a friend.

Posted April 29, 2014 link

My brother bought the BZ13.

We studied the schematics as shown on the website, it's the same as BZ10.
The pumps are from ULKA and are pretty much the same used by other similar brand and machines.
His shots are pretty consistent and well done.

Off the box, it's set at 11-12 bars.

I guess the problem for you was the pump or an overload of power.
Sounds like the later.

Try using the machine at somewhere else.
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 236
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 1:35am
Subject: Re: Bezzera owners thread
 

Sorry to hear about the issues above.  Since getting my strega i have been more than impressed with it.  The build quality i find is very good compared to everything else that i have used.  The one thing that keeps impressing me though is the consistency and how good the shots are.
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jferreir
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jun 11, 2014, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Bezzera owners thread
 

jowdawson Said:

My brother bought the BZ13.

We studied the schematics as shown on the website, it's the same as BZ10.
The pumps are from ULKA and are pretty much the same used by other similar brand and machines.
His shots are pretty consistent and well done.

Off the box, it's set at 11-12 bars.

I guess the problem for you was the pump or an overload of power.
Sounds like the later.

Try using the machine at somewhere else.

Posted June 5, 2014 link

I'm aware that Bezzera uses UKLA pumps, which are quite common among prosumer espresso machines. I had similar reservations at first, and then relocated the machine to a different circuit in a different room. There was no change whatsoever. As reported, the technician identified the pump as faulty, and each subsequent replacement displayed the same issue. I can only assume this is a QC issue on Bezzera's part. Keep in mind that the machine did work correctly, however briefly, during the first week of ownership. The problem is easily replicated in other environments, so I'm confident it's not an electrical issue.

I'm still waiting for the replacement pumps to arrive, but I'll report back when I take delivery from the repair centre. I've read similar reports from other users who purchased this model from the same vendor, so again, I think this might be attributable to a bad batch of pumps leaving the Bezzera factory. But who knows? I'm just speculating at this point.
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Webstar238
Junior Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Rockville, MD
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 11, 2014, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Bezzera owners thread
 

I recently bought a Bezzera BZ10 as well (about 3 weeks ago) and the pressure was fine for the first week, now I am starting to have the same issue.  The pressure has been fluctuating between 6-8 bars and the pump sounds like it struggles as it revs up to 8 and relaxes to 6 and then back up to 8 and then down to 6, and so on, throughout the shot.  This happens if I dose at 12 grams, 14 grams, or even 15-16 grams -- whether I use my VST 18g basket, the 12g Bezzera stock basket -- my bottomless pf, or the stock pf -- whether I use my Pharos Grinder or my Vario.   I have been watching for channeling with my bottomless PF and it seems like a well distributed puck and even tamp.  When I backflush it does reach 9 Bar, and holds throughout, and the pump does still make some faint noise during this.  

Not sure where to go from here...  Should I be pushing the vendor for a pump replacement at this point?
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