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help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > help with NS...  
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sartug
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Location: ankara - turkey
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011, 3:40am
Subject: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

hello to all

I ve been a follower of cofffeegeek forums for more than 2 years now, but did not find anything to write about so although this is my first post, i am not really new to here :)

anyway jumping to the point; my oscar apperantly have a problem, but i dont want to hand it over to the so called official service station. Oscar -or prosumer machines in general- are very rare in the area i live and i am afraid even the service company fixes the problem, they wont be able to dial the machine to original settings and i will end up with a machine that "works" but produces nothing drinkable. So i am trying to understand if i can fix the machine myself. I have reasonable variety of handtools available and ready to order any spare part that may be necessary.

I am pretty sure the problem is pump related, but here is a little background for you guys to comment and maybe help me diagnose the exact problem;

returning back from a rather long holiday, i decided to empty the tank and boiler thinking that the water inside is already stale sitting there at least for a month. I turned on the machine, waited for warm up, check the steam (pressure was ok) after that i started taking flushs until the boiler is emtpy. I paid attention that i did not turn on the pump more than 30 seconds at a time, and put at least 5 minute intervals between each flush, in order not to heat up the pump. (eventhough i know that pump has automatic shot down function for self-protection). The first 3-4 flushes were ok, nothing unusual. however in the last couple of flush i notice that the machine is working much more vibrant and thus with a different noise. But water was still coming out with more or less same flow, so i did not suspect anything at the first place. By the time i was done with flushing it was already late night and i decided it to leave it like that and check the next day. Next day i filled the tank, turn the machine on, after warm up i checked the steam (it was still ok). But when i tried to take a shot i see that there is a problem. the pump started with the same vibrant and different sound, for 5-10 seconds i waited for the pressure build up sound, but nothing happened. I moved to a coarser ground and tried again, this time only a little coffee came out but again no pressure build up. Also when i turned off the pump, i did not hear the gasp that normally comes from the 3-way, releasing the pressure.

I will be dismantling the body and start looking around this weekend, but before that, if any of you had similar experiences/problems please comment so i have a better idea to where to look for the problem.

any reply will be highly appreciated!

thanks
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
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 Wed Aug 3, 2011, 5:55am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

If you are handy with tools and have a good mechanical head on your shoulders, yes you can fix it yourself. Good old trouble shooting is what you need to do. One step at a time.

Next time though, if you feel the need to drain the boiler, just use the drain plug. It can be a little hard to get to but if you replace the plug with a valve, the next time it would be easy to do and there is no danger to the rest of the machine.

I doubt the need for draining the boiler at all, sitting for only a month but if you felt you need it, thats fine.

 
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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mthedude
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 313
Location: VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011, 7:08am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

I've got a lot of experience with fixing the Oscar. My initial problem sounds identical to yours. What I perceived to be a pump problem was my 3 way solenoid being stuck closed. After more and more time no water would come out of the group head/shower screen. My pump sounded normal while it was filling the boiler, but when I wanted to pump water through the HX it sounded like it was already under full pressure...so it was quieter even with nothing in the portafilter.

For me, I just took off the 3 way...unplug the machine, you remove the hose on the end of the 3 way, remove the wires from the solenoid, take pics with your phone to remember where they go, then unscrew the nut on the right side of the solenoid (if looking at it from a position where the portafilter is locked in is at 6 ocklock)...the solenoid will slide off. From here you can remove the valve with a phillips screwdriver. The valve will come apart by using 2 wrenches to unscrew the top portion from the bottom and you can inspect it to see if it's damaged, gummed up or is at all the likely culprit. If there's no signs that the valve internals are the suspect, it's most likely the solenoid. You can order a new one from Espressoparts.com or Chris's coffee service. Price should be around $40. I don't think you can test the 3 way's function since it needs to be energized. Testing for continuity won't really matter. You can buy a complete valve with solenoid in the $70 range.

Just a word of caution...this fix is quite easy. But in repairing my Oscar, every time I added a new part something else broke which may or may not be inter-related. My pump input shaft (plastic) shredded shortly after I fixed the 3 way, replaced with a new one ($50), now my Gicar auto fill circuit is screwed up...that's $150....hopefully you don't go down the same path, but if you do, message me and I'll let you know it sounds like my machine.
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 683
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Faema D92/A1 Smart
Grinder: B VARIO, Krups Conic
Drip: Manual Pour-Over, Bodum...
Roaster: Redbird, Metropolis
Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011, 11:44am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

sartug Said:

after that i started taking flushs until the boiler is emtpy.

Posted August 3, 2011 link

The only way to actually flush the (steam) boiler of the oscar is by disassembly.

There is no hot water tap or valve to open to flush out or drain the boiler.

Sounds like it is your 3 way valve partially stuck or a bad coil.


-James

 
Load and Lock.
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Chang94598
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 213
Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011, 9:25pm
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

There could be several things that need replacement.

Here is the parts diagram.

Click Here (nuovasimonelliusa.com)

On page 4, part 98120001/73012002 is the over pressure valve. Sometimes the spring inside can be loose, or broken, and water will be diverted to the drip tray. This part is proprietary from NS.

Also on page 4, part 4100037/4100038 is the 3-way solenoid. It is to the right of the brew head.  If the pump is not broken, disconnect the water prior to the solenoid, you should have water.

On page 6, 4800007/4800006 is the vibratory pump. This pump is a universal part. I forgot the mechanism of action of this part, but if it is broken, generally the pressure coming out of the group head will fluctuate. If you make a portafilter pressure gauge, you can see the pressure fluctuate.

All the parts are relatively easy to replace yourself.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
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 Thu Aug 4, 2011, 6:06am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

There is a drain plug in the Oscar. When I owned one, I had toyed with the idea of replacing the plug with a valve. There is room in the case to do this but it is a owner mod, not a factory one. From memory, the drain plug (looking from the working side of the machine) is in the back on the left side at the bottom of the boiler.

 
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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sartug
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Location: ankara - turkey
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 4, 2011, 6:40am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

great feedback people, much appreciated. I am now more confident that i can handle it myself. will let know how it goes (especially if it goes bad !)
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,150
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Thu Aug 4, 2011, 6:52am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

I never have opened up the drain for the boiler, if looking to drain it this way it will be necessary to cut a hole for a drain hose or else the water will just drain inside the case. I drain my boiler by removing the steam tip off the wand and tip the machine over the sink. I use a tea towel to limit the sliding and tip it on the front left leg.
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mthedude
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 313
Location: VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Thu Aug 4, 2011, 8:55am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

yes, the drain is on the left rear of the boiler if you're looking at the machine facing the front...it looks like it's just hanging off into space with a brass nipple on the end. Loosen the nut and the plug will come off with the nut. It doesn't drain very quickly and you'll have to tip it over to get all the water out. I generally loosen my steam valve fitting on top of the boiler to it drains faster.

One word of warning. If you don't tip it while you're draining, you'll essentially be draining your boiler onto the Gicar auto refill unit...$150 part that is all electronic and very sensitive to moisture...no idea why they placed the drain directly over this.

Good luck
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mthedude
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 313
Location: VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Thu Aug 4, 2011, 9:05am
Subject: Re: help with NS Oscar - can i fix it myself?
 

Actually the Gicar protected under plastic, but water always finds a way to the expensive electronic parts...at least in my house.
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