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Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
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bobpaule
Senior Member
bobpaule
Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 167
Location: Isolation, OH
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Venus, Enrico...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky...
Drip: I'd rather seize!
Roaster: Galloping G/Stir Crazy, FR8...
Posted Thu Aug 12, 2004, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

Amen Brothers:

My Venus started shooting down the PF release valve for past 1-2 days at the beginning of shots. Needless to say it was at factory settings  and the pump gauge shot up to 16 bar every day.

I found this thread and it saved me a lot. Now the pump is chugging at 9.5 bar and i am a happy camper again.

Thank you Jim Schulmann, you are a true genius. If you ever had blood drawn for labs i am sure it would be brown, cause i think that you have espresso flowing through your veins. You and your posts have been a great source of inspiration. I love your thouroughly scientific approach. We amateurs bow in front of your genius :)))
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nmayweather
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 994
Location: nyc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: expobar office, isomac venus
Grinder: mini mazzer
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: mr coffee sp3
Roaster: toastmaster popper
Posted Fri Aug 13, 2004, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

after 2 weeks of deteriorating shots followed by 2 weeks of rancid crap coming out of my venus, i tried this.

wow.  not just drinkable, but good.

i am not regretting my venus for now, and she's safe from ebay for a while longer.
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zephyrus
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zephyrus
Joined: 5 Nov 2003
Posts: 261
Location: Flint, Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Rituale
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky- Doser
Drip: Bodum F.P. w/ Swissgold
Roaster: WB Poppery (1500w)
Posted Sat Aug 14, 2004, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

Perfect timing for this thread, as I just replaced the pump in my Venus.  Interestingly, the replacement pump (through Aabree) appears to be American made rather than Italian, and is of higher quality that the original.  Nevertheless, the machine still chugs along at about 14 bar.  

Jeff

 
"If it wasn't for coffee, I'd have no discernible personality at all."

-David Letterman
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nmayweather
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 994
Location: nyc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: expobar office, isomac venus
Grinder: mini mazzer
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: mr coffee sp3
Roaster: toastmaster popper
Posted Sat Aug 14, 2004, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

Ok -- need some help here:

I noticed some water dripping from behind the machine as i pull shots after modifying the pressure

I opened the machine back up, and discovered something I should have realized yesterday -- the pressure release nut/valve is  considerably smaller than the pipe it is threaded into.  its probably been dripping  some water forever -- and I've just noticed it now, because i'm more aware.  but whether i loosen or tighten the fitting, it 'wobbles' slightly in the pipe, and some water comes out through the  threadings (not a leak where it meets the silicon tube, but where it threads into the metal)

I'll be calling the vendor on monday first thing, and am scared to turn the machine on until then, as some wires are right below this.  

Can anyone confirm on their machine though, if their pressure release is slightly 'wobbly' and smaller than the pipe it is fit into?


btw,  i found it easiest to turn the nut by unsnaking the exhaust tube, and just turning that
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bobpaule
Senior Member
bobpaule
Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 167
Location: Isolation, OH
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Venus, Enrico...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky...
Drip: I'd rather seize!
Roaster: Galloping G/Stir Crazy, FR8...
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2004, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

Same problem here:)

After i released the valve it started dripping. Not much just a few drops mostly after shots. I opened it again and removed some some wiring from the direct path of the water, which BTW luckily wants to drop directly into drip tray around the small opening for steam wand.

Not much of a nuisance but enough to worry about. My next step would some teflon tape around the nut.

Input on this one appreciated greatly. What an informative thread BTW. Just like the poster earlier said "it restored my confidence in Venus".

Bob
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bobpaule
Senior Member
bobpaule
Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 167
Location: Isolation, OH
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Venus, Enrico...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky...
Drip: I'd rather seize!
Roaster: Galloping G/Stir Crazy, FR8...
Posted Sat Sep 4, 2004, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

OK latest twist on dripping valve:)

I noticed the dripping continued and furthermore the pressure inched up again to 11 bar.

While adjusting the valve i noticed that the valve is at the limit of its thread, ie it will blow out (nasty thing boyz and gals dont have your hand in the way) if i try to set it at 9 bar.

So i did some soul searching and i realized i needed to decrease the spring pressure. Two methods i came out with:

  1. Cut the spring. Ugly, potentially trouble for the future, as the original end is smoothly tapered.

  2. Drill the valve screw!!!! Eureka, there i went. Put the valve screw (Jim will tell us the true part name) in the vise and drill pressed it to DEEPEN THE INTERNAL OPENING that holds the spring.

Now i have the screw in more than half way and  pressure gauge shows 10 bar (EEEH HAAAH!). No more leaks whatsoever as the little gasket now engages fully.

Disclaimer: The above should not be interpreted as instruction or encouragement to perform the poster's modification. Serious injury or death could result from it. It will automatically void your warranty.
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nmayweather
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 994
Location: nyc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: expobar office, isomac venus
Grinder: mini mazzer
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: mr coffee sp3
Roaster: toastmaster popper
Posted Sun Sep 19, 2004, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

there are 3 metal shops on my block ( i live in an industrial neighborhood ) -- i went around asking them all to vice and drill press it for me, and they all were too busy and said to try back in a few days, and they'd be happy to help

well, that didn't work for me

i realized that my Venus should never have been shipped as-is

let me illustrate how the assembly works, with bad diagrams

the pressure release looks like this

{------------////////   ((((( +|

{ is the exhaust hose

is a rubber gasket fit into a score

--- is plain pipe

/// are threads

the //// threaded area has a wide internal opening, into which a spring (((((  with a teflon padded nut +| fits into

very simply, the tighter one  screws the assembly into the brass fittings, the more pressure is necessary to compress the spring further and allow water to escape through to the hose

with the spring calibrated to 10bars, the rubber gasket is outside of the assembly, causing internal dripping.

worse yet, this happens until the spring is calibrated to over 12 bars, meaning my espresso tastes like ass.

by my calculations, i needed either a spring 1/8 inch shorter, or a well 1/8 inch deeper MINIMUM to achive 9bars-- and that the wells on the unit should be 1/4 inch deeper

the machine shops were all busy with contract work, no local hardware shops (or machine shops) had springs or fittings i could use,  and a recent trip to Gimme Coffee left me hungering for espresso

so i had a crazy idea that worked.

i placed my spring in a monkey wrench, and compressed it fully tightening the  wrench locking the spring in place

then i took a chef's torch, and heated the spring until glowing red.  i dunked it in ice water and voila -- a shorter spring.

unfortunately, that ended up shrinking the spring to that size (who knew?!) -- i figured it would only marginally shorten it.

i then had to pull it apart with 2 pliers to the right length, and torched till red again.

works like a charm

my venus is again making acceptable espresso -- it would be  a bit better if i can get it to caramelize sugars more though.  i might have to play with the boiler next.

Disclaimer: The above should be interpreted as instruction or encouragement to perform a modification similar to the psoter. The poster, however, assumes no liability for any actions.  Any decistion to perform a modification is entirely at the discretion of readers. Serious injury or death could result from any modifications. Modifications may void your warranty -- but its just a spring, and you could easily locate a replacement spring if necessary.  Hell, I doubt any repair technician would notice that the spring is altered.
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bobpaule
Senior Member
bobpaule
Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 167
Location: Isolation, OH
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Venus, Enrico...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky...
Drip: I'd rather seize!
Roaster: Galloping G/Stir Crazy, FR8...
Posted Mon Sep 27, 2004, 11:24am
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

Hey if push comes to shove take an appropriate size drill bit and lock into some kind of a grip (say the rubber from a mouse pad will hold it nicely). Brass is easy to cut and a sharp new drill bit will do it. Never try to drill into it with a handheld drill,  the results could be disastruous as i learned trying to fix an RV water pump a few years ago (you cant control the cutting depth and once the cutting surface engages it can go pretty deep).

I like your illustration of the problem. ISOMAC WAKE UP AND START MAKING DECENT PRESSURE REGULATORS!

Sad how a tiny part can ruin a machine. Once fixed it is a Silvia beater:)

Bob
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nmayweather
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 994
Location: nyc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: expobar office, isomac venus
Grinder: mini mazzer
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: mr coffee sp3
Roaster: toastmaster popper
Posted Mon Sep 27, 2004, 11:56am
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

well, you could do that

but setting the spring is so much easier

my next venus projects include:
  new dispersion plate + shower screen
  PID mounted internally
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bobpaule
Senior Member
bobpaule
Joined: 31 May 2002
Posts: 167
Location: Isolation, OH
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Venus, Enrico...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Rancilio Rocky...
Drip: I'd rather seize!
Roaster: Galloping G/Stir Crazy, FR8...
Posted Mon Sep 27, 2004, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: Can the pump pressure on the Isomac Venus be adjusted?
 

I am with you on the PID. For a relatively small machine the Venus seems to have quite a bit of spare room.

I would love to learn how to PID it.

Bob
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