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Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Izzo Alex Duetto...  
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 646
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon Nov 5, 2012, 7:32pm
Subject: Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
 

Hello everyone. So, as you may or may not know, I've got my hands on a used Izzo Alex Duetto I, which is of a 2008 vintage. (I have no idea where to find the serial number.)

When I bought this machine, it didn't come with an instruction manual, so I'm winging it.

I'm experiencing something which I think is strange, so I don't know if this is normal operation.  

When the machine is cold, If I flip on the main switch, but leave the steam boiler turned off, the PID stays blank and the machine doesn't heat up at all. The grouphead remains cool to the touch.
I've left it that way for an hour, nothing happens. Power cycling it does result in a noticeable "Click", so it is getting power.

If I turn on the steam boiler, A red light comes on, I hear a faint but noticeable buzzing sound and once the steam pressure gets up to roughly 0.5-1 bar, the PID comes on and starts heating up
the coffee boiler. After that, the machine operates normally.

If I shut off the steam boiler after the machine has warmed up, the green light stays on for a minute, then turns off. It continues to behave normally and still brews decent coffee, of course
sans steam or hot water. (Understandable.)  I've left it like that for a few hours and it is still able to brew at the right temperature.

Is this normal operation for this particular machine? (This is a 2008 model with the burn-me steam wand and the "Stop light" steam boiler indicator.)

As well, what sort of hoses/fittings do I need to plumb it in?

Thanks everyone.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,325
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 5, 2012, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
 

No it's not normal.....sounds like the PID has a minor fault on the PCB and the heat from the steam boiler is allowing it to work. Could be a dry joint on the PCB or a faulty Hahn transformer.

My advice would be to remove the PID and check the circuit board visually. Check the Hahn transformers for bulges/deformation (they are a weak point as not correctly temperature rated). If there is a bulge get down to radio shack, and by an appropriate transformer for a few dollars (the type that don't sit on a circuit board), outboard it near the Gicar with 2 wires feeding power to the contact points of the old Hahn transformer you have previously de-soldered from the board). Oh depending on the transformer you get you might have to use a 50 ohm resistor or whatever you calculate to bring the voltage down, I run the ones I repair a little below the rating of the Hahn transformer. This could fix your problem, but if it doesn't re-flow any suspect joints, if that doesn't help check any other components that look suspect.

Don't worry about out-boarding the transformer that's what Izzo did later anyway, trouble is they put it in the same hot area above the steam boiler, hence the advice to relocate the "transformer" near the Gicar where it's nice and cool, you can cable tie it to an existing hole in the plate separating the water tank from the rest of the machine.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 646
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:09pm
Subject: Re: Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
 

Thanks for the advice.. Yeah, the PID is now fried. I can definitely smell burning electronics when it is powered up and there isn't any display no matter how long the machine is left on.

The machine will be going back to the person I bought it from. Damn, this is what I get for buying a used machine...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,325
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 9, 2012, 5:47am
Subject: Re: Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
 

It's probably only the transformer on the PID, its a 20 minute repair and will only cost you a few dollars. Try and neg the price of the entire PID from the Vendor so you can replace it if necessary, then attempt the cheap repair. I already have a spare transformer to fix mine on my 4.5 year old machine, when/if it eventually goes. I added extra cooling around the area and insulated the steam boiler in the first week or so, so mine runs cooler in that area than most. Izzo later added extra insulation.

The reason 98% of the early PIDs fail is that little on board Hahn transformer which is only rated to 65C (I think it's 65)...I have seen so many failed boards just for that one part.

P.S. Serial number is under the drip tray, on a metal plate to the left as you face the machine.
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floydo
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Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Pid Silvia, La Pavoni, Alex...
Grinder: Macap M4
Posted Fri Nov 9, 2012, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Izzo Alex Duetto I: PID Issue? (And plumb-in question)
 

qualin Said:

Thanks for the advice.. Yeah, the PID is now fried. I can definitely smell burning electronics when it is powered up and there isn't any display no matter how long the machine is left on.

The machine will be going back to the person I bought it from. Damn, this is what I get for buying a used machine...

Posted November 8, 2012 link

That machine is a great performer if you can get thru the fix.  Chris Coffee can sell you a new PID, however Daves advice is spot on if you can confirm the condition of the transformer.  Also check the wiring for any signs of heat at crimp contacts.  The first machines had mechanical relays (which are easily replaced with solid state) and the wire crimps weren't always the best.  Don't be afraid to dig into it.  From personal experience, this burn steam wand performs better than the no burn, and the machine, given the age should be well "burned in".  Search on old posts JeepinGeo or me and you should run into a lot of internal tech discussion.  

Plumb in requires a water line flex hose  to the connector under the tray and flip the valve/switch near the hose connector.  Easy.

If that is not for you, just move on and someone else will enjoy the machine :)
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