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So my lelit is dead
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > So my lelit is...  
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acasabia
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acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
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Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Aug 19, 2012, 2:41pm
Subject: So my lelit is dead
 

Regardless of semi-regular descaling and care, I began to hear some steam and see water dripping from inside the machine this past week. Opening up the hood revealed that the boiler has been leaking tinged water from its seal on all sides. Attempting to probe further resulted in the boiler screws snapping off with almost zero pressure, being completely rotted through.

Obviously Im incredibly angry right now, the machine was a gift several years ago and has served me very well though I am unsure its at a practical point for repair (I am quite sure it wouldnt be very cost effective).

I am now looking for a new machine, though I am on a tight budget. I am debating another lelit but also the ascaso steel duo...

Does anybody have any recommendations, or experience to share?


Thanks!

A.C.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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cappuccinoboy
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Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

acasabia Said:

Regardless of semi-regular descaling and care, I began to hear some steam and see water dripping from inside the machine this past week. Opening up the hood revealed that the boiler has been leaking tinged water from its seal on all sides. Attempting to probe further resulted in the boiler screws snapping off with almost zero pressure, being completely rotted through.
...............
I am now looking for a new machine, though I am on a tight budget. I am debating another lelit but also the ascaso steel duo...

Does anybody have any recommendations, or experience to share?


Thanks!

A.C.

Posted August 19, 2012 link

It looks to me that replacing  the 4 screws and the OR boiler seal should do the trick of giving you back your machine fully functional, and that cannot cost you more than a few dollars...
Ciao, Pietro
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 9:58am
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

If the leaking is that bad it sounds like he needs a new boiler to me.  But it might not be as costly as you think.  I have not worked on your machine, but I feel sure I could replace my own boiler and I am not all that handy.

 
Coffeenoobie

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cappuccinoboy
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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

If the leaking is that bad it sounds like he needs a new boiler to me.  But it might not be as costly as you think.  I have not worked on your machine, but I feel sure I could replace my own boiler and I am not all that handy.

Posted August 20, 2012 link

OP speaks of "rotted" component : it cannot be the brass boiler, ergo is one of the four zink coated screws (how much better if they were stainless steel...)
Just beeing positive, still even replacing the complete boiler would not break the bank, and prove a lot cheaper than changing machine
Ciao, Pietro
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1stline
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Location: Freehold, NJ USA
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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

acasabia Said:

Regardless of semi-regular descaling and care, I began to hear some steam and see water dripping from inside the machine this past week. Opening up the hood revealed that the boiler has been leaking tinged water from its seal on all sides. Attempting to probe further resulted in the boiler screws snapping off with almost zero pressure, being completely rotted through.

I am now looking for a new machine, though I am on a tight budget. I am debating another lelit but also the ascaso steel duo...

Does anybody have any recommendations, or experience to share?


Thanks!

A.C.

Posted August 19, 2012 link

A.C.,

We are sorry to hear about this. Please email me some internal photos to the sales email address on our web site. Please pinpoint the affected parts.

Typically, a seal can go bad for the following reasons:

a) limescale, b) overheating, c) descaler that is too strong, d) freezing temps that warp the boiler, or e) heavy usage.

I will not be able to determine which was the cause, but hopefully we can get you back on the right track.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

Look at that great offer of help!  Good customer service!

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
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acasabia
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acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012, 9:11pm
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

1stline Said:

A.C.,

We are sorry to hear about this. Please email me some internal photos to the sales email address on our web site. Please pinpoint the affected parts.

Typically, a seal can go bad for the following reasons:

a) limescale, b) overheating, c) descaler that is too strong, d) freezing temps that warp the boiler, or e) heavy usage.

I will not be able to determine which was the cause, but hopefully we can get you back on the right track.

Posted August 20, 2012 link

The machine didnt come from 1stline, though I am looking to you guys for parts. Im pretty sure its a combination overheating/scale build up. If thats the case my guess is a new heating element, boiler seal, and new screws. Im not too sure how Im going to get the old screws out though...

the machine was used for about 2-3 shots a day for the past, descaled using urnex every ~3months.

My fear now is that there may be some electrical implications as well, we will see I guess :(

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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cappuccinoboy
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 9:37am
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

acasabia Said:

The machine didnt come from 1stline, though I am looking to you guys for parts. Im pretty sure its a combination overheating/scale build up. If thats the case my guess is a new heating element, boiler seal, and new screws. Im not too sure how Im going to get the old screws out though...

the machine was used for about 2-3 shots a day for the past, descaled using urnex every ~3months.

My fear now is that there may be some electrical implications as well, we will see I guess :(

Posted August 20, 2012 link

Anthony, I would not ignore 1stLine offer, after all they are official distributors and it is their duty to assist you, even if machine was purchased beforehand.
Do not breack your neck with overheating and limescale build up, the machine has two thermostats, one 95-98 centigrade and the safety 145 (I guess), so even if primary thermostat was broken at 145 you cannot call it overheating, machine was heating regular so heating element is OK (and so are thermostats) , although closer to its working life : they do not last for ever. OR seals can be degraded by aggressive descalers, like say vinegar, still they also do not last forever.
so your damage is minimum, since most probably all you need is one seal and 4 screws, and you need not change machine, although that would be a good excuse, if it did not damage too much your finances...
Ciao, Pietro
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:35am
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

cappuccinoboy Said:

...although that would be a good excuse, if it did not damage too much your finances...
Ciao, Pietro

Posted August 21, 2012 link

Well, yes. I think that perhaps I would like to upgrade anyway and I am using this as an excuse to do so. I also do feel a bit shameful about wanting to upgrade because I honestly do love this machine.

That said, I took a few minutes to open the machine back up and look at it, for the ~$12 they cost I would probably replace all of the thermostats, the boiler seal, and the screws. In the case of the screws I would be inclined to head to a hardware store and get some steel ones that match the length though I'm sure I couldn't get the same thread count (I'm not sure if the inside of the boiler mount is threaded though).

A few options Im also considering
  • Fixing this machine with a new boiler seal, screws, thermostats, etc.
  • Fixing this machine with an added PID (Suggestions? please submit here)
  • Buying an Ascaso Steel duo prof, or a Steel Uno w/PID or Crosslands CC1
  • Looking into used dual boilers that would cost more to repair but be much cooler to own.

For now Im going on a yama bender, so life isn't a total drag.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 11:45am
Subject: Re: So my lelit is dead
 

I see that the boiler bolts are available from 1st-Line.  I would find out if they have stainless replacements, and if not, get the size and thread.  Most good hardware stores and fastener stores have a large assortment, including metric.  A match should be fairly easy with a few calls.

The coffee tstat looks "screw in."  If the correct size, you could use one of the RTD threaded sensors from Auber.  I have that on Gaggia and works fine and is easy to install.  

I will post on your PID thread.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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