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Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
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coffeeaddict78
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Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: nuova simonelli appia single...
Grinder: rancilio
Roaster: poppery 2
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 1:11pm
Subject: Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
 

Hello everyone , I've had the 1 group appia for a little while now and recently decided to switch the autosteam wand to a traditional one to produce better microfoam . With the autosteam wand I could steam all day continuously without the pressure needle ever moving , however with the regular steam wand the pressure starts dropping as soon as I start steaming ! I don't loose steam  , but the pressure would drop from 1 to .25 within a minute and takes about the same time for it to recover  !
Traditionally on these machines , people that switch from autosteam to a  traditional steam wand  do so by changing a lot of the internals to basically turn the machine into the basic model where the water spigot is on the left and steam wand on the right controlled by the lever . I however went the cheaper route and just disconnected the temp probe and put a traditional 4 hole steam wand on and operate it using the same push button previously used for the autosteam wand .
I've checked and there's  no leak anywhere  , so what do you guys think might be causing this ?
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fnacer
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 473
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore E61, Vivaldi Mini...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Gaggia MDF,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 8:33pm
Subject: Re: Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
 

I know nothing about the machine except what I just read on a couple of posts because I was curious about the autosteam function. But it appears that you have a 3-way solenoid valve controlling the steam. Could it be that the valve is dumping the steam that's in the steam line as soon as you push the button? Then, when it closes, steam builds up again in the line and the gauge shows the normal reading. Typically, there probably isn't enough steam in the line to cause that much fluctuation. But the steam line must connect on the right side of the machine. So moving the steam to the left of the machine involved installing a much longer line to reach the connection in the boiler. And the steam pressure gauge is probably somewhere along the way on a T connector.

This is just a guess. But see if you can detect an intermittent release of steam where there shouldn't be one.
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ddubick
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Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 150
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Appia 1Gr
Grinder: OE Pharos, Macap M5, Nuova...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 9, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
 

I'll have to do a test on my machine to see how fast I lose pressure with an open steam wand but I'm going to guess pretty fast.  Doesn't take a minute to steam a pitcher of milk.

Some thoughts.  

- If your pressure is 1bar fully warmed up that might be a little low.  I think most machines sit at around 1.2bar (depending on machine and personal preference).
- Your pressurestat might have developed a large deadband and there is a delay in the heating element kicking back in when the pressure drops.
- These are relatively low power machines in the commercial world (110V 1500W), I don't know if the element can keep up with constant steaming.
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ddubick
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Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 150
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Appia 1Gr
Grinder: OE Pharos, Macap M5, Nuova...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 10, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
 

I put my steam on full blast this morning and started counting.  Starting from 1.2bar I was at .5bar by the minute mark.  So what you're seeing seems pretty normal.

The Appia is a commercial machine but doesn't have a huge boiler or element like the 2 or 3 group beasts.

I would suggest that you might want to turn up your pressurestat a bit to around 1.2bar.
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coffeeaddict78
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Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Florida
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: nuova simonelli appia single...
Grinder: rancilio
Roaster: poppery 2
Posted Thu Oct 10, 2013, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: Nuova simonelli appia loosing pressure when steaming !!
 

That's interesting , it just doesn't make sense , I would assume the auto steam wand would make the pressure drop faster because of the large opening vs the tiny holes on the tip of the traditional wand  . As you can see in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OTWmqIOalI&feature=youtube_gdata_player the pressure doesn't drop at all and that's how it used to be when I had the auto steam wand on .
Regarding increasing the pressure , does It have to be done when the machine is on and fully heated or unplugged ? I'm asking because I tried increasing a while ago while the machine was on and turned the screw clockwise about a 1/4 turn and it didn't have any effect on the pressure !  
Thanks guys .
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