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Is this normal for an Oscar?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is this normal...  
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tinytot2
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 6:06pm
Subject: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

Hi!  

My new-to-me Oscar arrived on Tuesday!  It's my first HX machine, upgrading me from an old Starbucks Barista.  I'll be doing a few mods such as adding a vacuum breaker, installing the Sirai pressurestat, and hopefully exchanging the steam knob with a lever.

My husband and I put in a little time to get Oscar working (it's an older model and I knew it didn't heat when I bought it), but that's fixed now.  We descaled, tested the resistance of the heating element (worked fine), and then realized the boiler safety thermostat tripped.  Resetting it fixed the heating problem.

Last night my husband noticed the machine will start to steam through the grates at the top of the housing, and then there is a loud release of pressure.  It happened twice last night and then once about an hour ago, so it isn't consistent.  Is this normal?  I've been keeping the machine on 24/7.  I did open the steam valve to release the false pressure about 10 minutes after I first powered it up.

I also noticed an 8-10 second gap between turning on the pump and first drip.  The espresso will slowly leak out (seems like the machine will choke). but then it gushes out after that.  I'm getting 2 oz of espresso within 30 seconds of pressing the brew button, but that 8-10 second gap seems long. I'm going to play around with the grind and tamp to see if that helps.  I am using fresh beans (Redbird, 10 days post-roast).

Thanks for helping a newbie out!
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plindy
Senior Member
plindy
Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Posts: 66
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: SJ Pharos Lido HG-One
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 2:28am
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

not normal
pstat is sticking , keeping the heating element on , over pressuring the boiler , and venting out of the pressure safety valve , =1.8 bar , 26 psi
When it does this again , try this : turn machine off , remove top , open steam valve for 5 , 10 seconds then close , take a screwdriver handle and give the pstat a short sharp shock , turn machine on and observe a cycle of the pstat. If it cycles  on and off you should be good for a week or two at 24/7 , if it start to hiss and steam , repeat S S S , with handle of screwdriver.

normal-ish
delay from 4 to 12 seconds dependent on basket , grind , dose.
NS baskets  run small 14/16 grams

elektros
general tips here might be helpful

check thread
maybe/maybe not

HTH
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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 Sat May 11, 2013, 7:36am
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

You might need a new pstat, what type is it?

 
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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tinytot2
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

I think it's a Mater.  Here's a picture of it.

click here

Oscar hasn't done the pressure release since I posted yesterday.  Sounds like I should replace with the Sirai sooner than later.
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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 Sat May 11, 2013, 10:21am
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

Yes it is a mater, I would replace it sooner rather than later.   For peace of mind as much as anything else.

 
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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plindy
Senior Member
plindy
Joined: 27 Nov 2002
Posts: 66
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: SJ Pharos Lido HG-One
Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 2:43am
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

seen this?
kits
t/t
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tinytot2
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: Is this normal for an Oscar?
 

Quick update:

I whacked the Mater and the machine still exploded steam, so I adjusted it to lower the pressure.  There haven't been any explosions since.

I'm going to be honest and say the shots coming from Oscar are not pretty.  The motor on my Vario went on the fritz, so I'm back to using the Breville Smart Grinder until it's fixed.  I know it isn't a great grinder, but it should be adequate (clearly not excellent) in make halfway decent shots.  

I took a video, but don't think I'll post it yet.  The "fresh" beans I bought from a local roaster don't seem to be as fresh as they claimed.  The shot was all water, no crema.  I just placed an order for some Redbird so I'll post a video a few days after those arrive.

I'm going to makeshift some gauges to check the boiler & brew pressure.  I know Oscar can make good shots.  He will get there.  He will get there.
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