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Leaky Vacuum Breaker
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Leaky Vacuum...  
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 6:14pm
Subject: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

Hey everyone,

So I went on an extended trip where I was gone for nearly two weeks. I made sure my machine was backflushed and very clean before shutting it down and leaving on my trip. Normally it's on a timer where it sits idle 10 hours out of every 24 (Midnight-10AM). I came back from my trip, turned it on and had no issues for two days, pulling perfect shots on the first try with some defrosted coffee. I then left town for another four days, again shutting the machine down. After coming back, the machine works fine, but now my vacuum breaker hisses and sizzles softly, but constantly. Normally it only does this when the machine is coming up to temperature, but now it does it nearly constantly. The autofill also seems to be kicking in a lot more often too, for what that's worth.

My theories are:

-Dried scale on the valve, preventing it from forming a decent seal

-Dried scale on the fill probe, preventing it from accurately signaling the autofill to stop

-PSTAT has gone out of adjustment

I have the Oscar, but thanks to Plindy, it's more Musica now than anything else. Does anyone have an idea of where I should start? Everything has been completely descaled less than four months ago.

Thanks!
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,326
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

The autofill is kicking on more often, because the vacuum breaker is leaking steam (gaseous water), that as is generated from the water in the boiler, so if your constantly using is, of course the autofill will come on more often.

The is a way to clean the vac breaker, if it is the pin type. Remove the top,  get the machine up to temperature, with the end of a long wooden spoon, press fully down on the pin at the top of the vac breaker for about 3 second, release await and repeat. This may well steam clean the seat and cure the problem.

However, it may not be the vacuum breaker, so visually confirm that it is indeed the vacuum breaker leaking and not the safety valve.
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 118
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 8:57pm
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

Vacuum breakers are $12 worst case, you'll be fine. Cheers
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
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 Mon May 20, 2013, 4:03am
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

Easy fix and inexpensive to replace if needed.

I have a commercial machine that I bought for a parts price because of the same thing. Pop it a few times under pressure as above and give it a twist if needed but use plyers as steam is quite hot!

That is all the commercial machine required and it has been fine for 3 years now
YMMV

 
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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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,326
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 7:12am
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

I always think it's nice if a poster posts back about how they resolved the problem.....
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
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 Mon May 20, 2013, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

Dave,
Yep, I typed before I looked at the thread date! I usually look at the date but I got lazy, a reply would have been nice!

 
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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physicsdude
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 41
Location: British Columbia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Sun Jun 2, 2013, 5:13pm
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

I found this thread when my vacuum breaker started acting up the other day (Expobar Lever HX machine). Cleaning didn't help (made it worse) so I have ordered a new one. In the interim, I did a nice fix on mine though. I took apart the breaker again and removed the white nylon plug. I cut a short piece of surgical rubber tubing to replace it (about the same diameter, thick-walled type), and reinserted the brass stem with the small o-ring and put it back together. It works great- so I am able to use the machine while waiting for the real replacement. It does allow the pressure to bleed down after turning off the machine, as well as hold the pressure while it is on.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 5:45am
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

His breaker is new, but I guess faulty.  I had to tighten up some stuff after the tear down and I just started hearing a new hiss.  I guess I need to find it.  It is very hard to see and track them down.  Anyway, he is a student and probably busy this time of year.

 
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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CoffeeLoversMag
Senior Member
CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 5:58am
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

Good for you physicsdude! Well done.

At least we have someone here who posted here and shared how he resolved it.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 118
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Thu Nov 7, 2013, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Leaky Vacuum Breaker
 

As I remember after watching the video, LOXEAL was used throughout during the modifications, but this same fault can happen if using teflon tape on a new vacuum breaker. Sometimes tape can get extruded out of the threads ahead of the fitting and blow back up through the valve, causing it to get trapped between the o-ring and its seat. This will cause even a brand new valve to hiss. I use LOXEAL or a copper crush washer on the vacuum breaker to prevent this issue.
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