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typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > typical Sirai...  
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puma996
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puma996
Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 172
Location: Oregon City, OR
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Espresso: La Valentina, Expobar Office...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Super Jolly,...
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 3:29pm
Subject: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

The Sirai pressurestat on my 8+ year old La Valentina failed a couple days ago. One of the contacts was heavily pitted and worn, and the other was moderately worn. I cleaned up the connections and put some dielectric grease on the contact points, but that didn't work.  To get it working again, I moved the wiring from the really bad contact to the unused one, which has fixed my machine for now, however the other contact looks pretty worn. I have a new pressurestat on the way but will wait to install it until the original one dies again....or should I just install it now? I know parts wear out eventually, so is 8+ years acceptable for this part? For all I know, I'll get another few years out of it when the worn contact finally bites the dust.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: PNW
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Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

Stefano says he replaces it every time they come in for an over haul because the diaphragm gets stiff over time.  I would replace it now and not wait.

 
Coffeenoobie

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puma996
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puma996
Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 172
Location: Oregon City, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Valentina, Expobar Office...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Super Jolly,...
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 7:13pm
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Stefano says he replaces it every time they come in for an over haul because the diaphragm gets stiff over time.  I would replace it now and not wait.

Posted September 27, 2012 link

Fair enough. It'll probably be here tomorrow, so I can swap it out this weekend. Thanks for the input.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Sep 28, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

Helen beat me to it. There is more than just the contacts that wear out and causes the pstat to operate at less than optimal.

My Sirai is still working but it is nearly 10 years old and it is not as responsive as it should be so replacement is due in the near future.

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Location: Philadelphia
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Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
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Posted Fri Sep 28, 2012, 6:30am
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

My Sirai PS on my Oscar failed all 3 connections in 2 years, the first connection failed at around 1 year, this is not normal. When mine failed the first time it stayed closed which allowed the machine to super heat until the pressure valve opened and a connection lead burned through, when the other two connections failed they would stick open so I was always walking up to a cold machine. The replacement has been trouble free for over 1 year and I suspect my original Sirai was defective from the get go. I would just replace it for the peace of mind.
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puma996
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puma996
Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 172
Location: Oregon City, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Valentina, Expobar Office...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Super Jolly,...
Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:31am
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

Well, I put it off until my weekend because it seemed to be working. I was thinking about doing it yesterday and again put it off. Out of the blue, I hear a super loud noise from the kitchen and see steam shooting out of the top of my machine. It appears the pressurestat kept heating until the boiler reached max pressure, and it vented from one of the relief valves atop the boiler. Dang, it was loud!

I swapped the pressurestat once the machine was off and cooled enough, and after making sure the relief valve was fully closed, it now works perfectly. When "those in the know" advise to get the work done, LISTEN! ;)
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:50am
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

I don't "know", I was just passing on Stefano's wisdom gleaned when I was thinking there was something wrong with mine.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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tedegreene
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tedegreene
Joined: 4 Oct 2005
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Location: JACKSONVILLE

Espresso: Bezzera BZ40
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: typical Sirai pressurestat lifespan?
 

To protect the contact points on mine I isolated the heating element circuit with a 20 amp relay, pretty simple to do. Prior to the mod a very hot spark arced across the contact point's gap every time the p-stat cycled, burning the points a little each time. After the mod only the very small amount of power used to throw the relay switch runs through the 20 amp rated contacts of the p-stat. Any pitting due to burns occur on the inexpensive and easily replaced relay switch rather than the p-stat.

The short version of the mod: Run leads from the machines main power inputs to the switch terminals of the relay and then to the heating element terminals and attach the leads from the p-stat to the trigger terminals. Now the power surge created when the heating element cycles is isolated from all the other circuits of the machine.  This may also increase the life of your electronic control module depending on how your machine is wired.  

Here's a link to an inexpensive relay: click here

This is not the relay I used (I didn't find it when I did the original mod and purchased one that was more expensive) so I can't vouch for it but it actually looks sturdier than the one in my machine.

More about contactors vs relays and arc suppression can be found here for those intrested.  
click here

If the diaphragm becomes stiff it can be replaced with a kit:  click here.
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