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Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
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Steve777
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Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 9:19pm
Subject: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

I was given a Cuisanart 200  espresso machine a few months ago which wasn't working. I have dug into it and largely fixed all of its existing problems (overheating, bad electrical connections, some cold solder joints on the PC) and for the most part the unit works. However it has one remaining problem, the temp sensor (I think) has an intermittent open in its leads.  The reason I think this is the problem is that when I jiggle these leads I can make the problem come and go.

I have been using it for several months in this condition, just jiggling the leads on this sensor when problems arise. However it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the unit working, so a replacement sensor is in order. The problem I have is finding the right replacement part.

Cuisanart does not sell replacement parts to any of their appliances, or give out part or design info (at least that is what I have been told). However from what I have seen inside this unit, it looks very similar to other small, "consumer" espresso machines.  I have seen the pressure pump and other components on the net and seem to be generally available. I was hoping that with some descriptions, someone here might be able to identify the parts I am looking at, and where to source replacements.

So here is what I have seen (please feel free to correct my terminology, I have no clue as to the proper names for these parts):

The main "boiler" sits above the grounds basket. It appears to be an aluminum casting, has two high current AC leads into it, water inlet from the HP pump, and outlets lines to the steamer.  In the middle of the back, between the two AC leads is a 6mm brass/bronze nut with two thin white wires coming out of it, and a dab of sealer over the wires. I believe this is a thermocouple or other temp sensor which measures the temps in the boiler. Moving these leads a small fraction of an inch will fix/cause the error condition I run into. I believe this is a temp sensor because some of the other symptoms are water getting too hot or too cold when brewing.

The break in the wire(s) seems to be right at their entry to the nut, under the sealer, and may be in the brass casting. So it is iffy as to whether I can solder the wire back together to fix this connection problem. I would like to get a replacement sensor, but am not sure of the details of what to order, or where to find it.

A net search has turned up a similar looking part, a replacement temperature sensor for Rancilio and Gaggia Espresso machines, which is similarly mounted in a brass threaded screw, although I am not sure if the threads and resistance range are a good match for the part Cuisanart used.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  Does my diagnosis sound right?  Are there some common "boilers" that the consumer espresso machines use? How does one tell them apart, and where can one source replacement parts for them?

TIA
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:19pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

You know Steve, I really wish I could help you out here, but in all honesty and in my own personal opinion, I think that continuing to fix this machine is like beating a dead horse with a stick.

Brand new, these machines sell for a bit less than $200. Unless your time isn't worth anything, I don't honestly see the point to keeping this machine running.

I think that it's fantastic that you managed to get a few more months worth of use out of a machine which would have been destined for the trash, but I honestly believe this machine doesn't owe you anything.

Assuming that you can find a temperature sensor which will work with this machine, why spend money on a machine which was designed to be disposable to begin with? (That's why there isn't any info out there.)

Perhaps you should use this as an opportunity to consider upgrading to a better machine?

Perhaps you should consider upgrading to a Gaggia Classic or to a Rancilio Silvia? You could probably find one of these machines used on the Buy & Sell forum here. It sounds to me that
you'd be able to pick up one of these machines used and keep it running for a decade or more. There is a huge wealth of knowledge on this board regarding both of those machines.

I wish you the best of luck!

 
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
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Location: USA
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Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
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Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:27pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

Steve, welcome to CG.

I cannot find a parts diagram for your machine, in fact not many parts.  If you look at the Gaggia diagram linked, are you talking about part 17 or 12?  Those are bimetal thermostats and screw into a well. Could it be the wires or connections?

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

The thread on Gaggia is M4X0.7 as here

Click Here (www.auberins.com)

If not a bimetal stat but a thermocouple, where is the reader/controller?  Many of the thermocouples or sensors are in conjunction with PID or Computer board.

Do you have a site that shows parts diagram?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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D4F
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Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:30pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

You could take out the part that you are concerned about and post a picture and/or you could take it to a supply place and match the threads.  As noted, the machine is not worth much to invest in, but hobby, experience, education are priceless :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Steve777
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Joined: 14 Oct 2013
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Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013, 8:44pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

qualin, I'd agree. I sort of knew posting about this machine here would be a bit like posting about how to fix your Yugo on a Ferrari board ;)  But I'd like to try and make this machine live a bit longer if it is possible, as a personal challenge if nothing else. It seems so close if I could just source the part. I would agree though that it is probably not worth putting any seriously expensive parts into this machine.

DF4, agreed hard to find parts info on all Cuisinart products. They seem to have taken a leaf from Apple's book and will not sell parts or even give repair info to individuals. Send it to an authorized repair shop is their reply. And actually if it wasn't for the terrible reports of their repair places I could do that as this machine is technically still under warantee. However at this point it has only one problem, who knows what the repaired unit I get back will have wrong with it.

The sensor is likely a thermocouple. Two wires that go from the sensor to a PC board. When I get a chance I will pull it and check the thread size and its base resistance level.

What I expect Cuisinart did was hire out the design and manufacturing of their espresso machines to a third party, with a list of features they wanted. The unit seems to use standard parts, a ULKA piston water pump, flow meter and the like. I was hoping that the "boiler" which attaches to the  portafilter is a standard part (I doubt Cuisinart made a custom part here, they used an off the shelf unit). If I could identify the brand/model of this boiler (or whatever it is called) I thought that finding a new temp sensor would be easy. perhaps not.

Is anyone here familiar with the brands/models of boilers that smaller consumer espresso machines use?  If I posted a pic of the inside would it help?
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 10:02am
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

I think he did. It is a rebranded gaggia if I recall correctly.

 
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,878
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

Please post a picture or two of the internals.  Does it have a boiler or is it a thermoblock?  I could not find a boiler size listed.

Some specs

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Cuisinart/cuisinartem200.cfm

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Steve777
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Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 11:12am
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

A bit more info...

I measured the resistance of the sensor. At 20C it is ~15k and at 100C it is 3.5K.  From those numbers it is likely a thermistor not a thermocouple. At least from what I can find, there are thermistors that more or less match those resistances. Have not measured the thread size yet, but looks like a metric M4 bolt head on it. And I have found some M4 thermistors out there however I need to see if it is the right resistance range.


Here's a pic of the internals.  What I have been calling the "boiler" is the silver metal casting at the top. It has the heating element leads in red coming out, between them in the center is the temp sensor, small brass hex bolt with white wires.  It is obviously not a boiler in the classical sense in that the portafilter connects to the bottom of it, however it serves that purpose.

If anyone recognizes this boiler/thermoblock/whatever please let me know...

s1153.photobucket.com/user/steve333333/media/c200.jpg.html
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,878
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

The picture appears to be the machine from behind, back off.  The "boiler" is likely a thermoblock/coil from what I see, no boiler tank, just a folded of U shape tube with element.  That gives short warm up times, little mass for consistency.  

Most M4 is 0.7 thread.

I looked at a few tables of resistance at RTD sensors and they did not seem close to your measured values.  Assuming that the values are good, then why are you looking at the sensor and not the board?

The machine reminds me of a Gaggia Baby Twin in features and functions.  Prone to leaks, and thermoblock and board failures.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Steve777
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Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 9:34pm
Subject: Re: Fixing a Cuisanart 200 Espresso machine
 

The reason I strongly believe it is the sensor is this: Sometimes the unit goes into an error mode, with all lights flashing. When that occurs, I can end the condition when I wiggle/push on one of the wires to the sensor. I have isolated it to just this wire, and to right where this wire enters the sensor.  Also, when measuring resistance of the sensor I would occasionally get an infinite resistance reading, which could be fixed by wiggling this same wire. And starting the unit up with this sensor unplugged from the PCB creates this same error condition.

So there could well be a problem with the PCB, but most of the problems I am seeing appear to be tied to the intermittent open in this one wire on the sensor.

Yes, I noticed, unfortunately, that the resistances for this sensor (when it is working) are not at all close to the Ti sensor for the Rancilio and Gaggia Espresso machines I had sourced. Not the same sensor technology.

Took a look at the Gaggia Baby Twin. The features and design seems similar however the thermoblock is of a very different design. Electrical connections enter on different faces, the Baby's is taller and the Cuisinart one is flatter and wider. And unfortunately the temp sensors are of a different type as well.  Thanks D4F, a good try but not quite the right one on the inside...

Any other similar machines out there that might have this style thermoblock?
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