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Brewtus III-R small mystery leak, lack of pressure regulator, or something else?
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benpiff
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benpiff
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Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 11:10pm
Subject: Brewtus III-R small mystery leak, lack of pressure regulator, or something else?
 

Hey guys, I looked under my Brewtus shortly after getting it setup and noticed this small accumulation. I also snapped some pictures inside, but I can't find the source (it's not happening fast enough for me to see any drips). I don't have a pressure regulator installed in the system yet, and WLL said not having one could cause the machine to leak from places (they said this without me mentioning my situation). I don't know what the water pressure is in my building, but I believe the machine doesn't drip if I turn it on with the water pressure shut off. I'd say the water may be concentrated near the solenoid in the center of the machine. Any other recommendations apart from getting a pressure regulator?

The shots are AWESOME by the way.

Pics:
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click here
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SStones
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 4:09am
Subject: Re: Brewtus III-R small mystery leak, lack of pressure regulator
 

You're going to have to towel all the water up and spend some time just watching for the initial drop to find its source. You could either start with that, OR...  Shut off the water, disconnect the supply and run the machine for a while with the hose in a pitcher, drawing water at a negative pressure to prove that the leak is not happening when the inlet isn't over-pressurized.
And then sit with it watching for that tell-tale first drop.
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benpiff
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benpiff
Joined: 5 Feb 2010
Posts: 325
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: RocketR58,GrimacMini,Vetrano
Grinder: K10Fresh,LSM FK
Vac Pot: Vario,Pharos
Drip: Livia 90, NS Elli
Roaster: Sonofresco ADR
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 11:20pm
Subject: Brewtus III-R small mystery leak, disassembly
 

Good idea! I've since been running water out of a container, but the leak remains slow yet persistent so tonight I finally got into the machine. Since experimenting with no line pressure, I've talked to WLL again who recommended I remove the T shaped connection with solenoid (see pic) for descaling and teflon taping. But while I'm at it, I'd like to be thorough and see what other people would do at this point.

What does the look of this scaled up boiler support/plug indicate? It almost looks like there's a burn mark on the fitting above it. Was planning to simply descale this and possibly teflon tape it.
see pic

It only shows scale on one side, but it's pretty heavy.
see pic
see pic

Also there's quite a lot of scale around the top of the boiler see pic, and the boiler insulation itself seems like most of the material has condensed or dissolved.

Boilers are now drained, so I'm figuring I'll do a full machine descale when all goes back together, but first descaling and teflon taping the connections over the leak. I was never able to see a first drip, I'd just notice water pooling around the bracket that holds the solenoid, and also around where the boiler support meets the frame. Here's how the scale buildup on the frame looks with one boiler out.
see pic

 
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benpiff
Senior Member
benpiff
Joined: 5 Feb 2010
Posts: 325
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: RocketR58,GrimacMini,Vetrano
Grinder: K10Fresh,LSM FK
Vac Pot: Vario,Pharos
Drip: Livia 90, NS Elli
Roaster: Sonofresco ADR
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013, 1:36pm
Subject: Brewtus III-R small mystery leak, lack of pressure regulator, or something else?
 

Just got this finally resolved and wanted to share an update in case anyone else ever runs into a hard to trace leak under the solenoid. WLL recommended the pressure regulator first, but after the above recommendation I tried drawing from a container with no line pressure, and still got the same slow leak. At that point, WLL recommended I remove the T connector and solenoid between the boilers, and clean/teflon tape everything. My suspicion was scale in the solenoid itself, which did turn out to be obviously present. Man, getting these parts out was a lot more complicated than I anticipated, because I had to remove the entire steam boiler and remove the brew boiler's plug/support from the base (because it looked like it might be leaking or drawing scale up from the base). It went back together a little harder than it came apart, and when I went to turn it on (heating elements disconnected due to empty boilers), it would flip the GFI. At first I thought I was getting poor ground due to dirty terminals or shorting somewhere in the wire, but what ended up solving my problem was compressing the connector a bit with a small flat head screwdriver, so it gripped the terminal more tightly.

Now the machine warms up as it should, and no leaks! But still not running a pressure regulator, as I've spent so much time and money on this machine that I feel like getting some return on that investment before messing with anything : ) From what I've read, lowering line pressure is most important for manual preinfusion. If there's any risk to pump seals, etc. Please let me know.

Thanks!
Ben

 
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