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When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > When do I throw...  
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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Sun Oct 20, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

Ok, so my wife picked up a used Oscar for me, which I was thankful. She got it through ebay but it ended up being someone she knew through the kids school. The machine came to me and there was some water inside the machine, I assumed it was due to the leaky water tank I discovered. I requested a new tank from the seller - they said it was a 1 owner (light commercial) machine that was used for a year then the business was shut down. They said it was recently descaled as well.

I took it apart waiting for a new tank to clean the dirty insides and rust and this is what I discovered:

- boiler insulation gone - replaced with fiberglass and some heat tape (strange for a 1 year-old commercial machine...)
- rusted frame, I sanded and painted the frame and bottom tray
- the 1/4" fitting off the hydraulic pump intermittently leaks
- I repaired the tank temporarily to run a descaling exercise so I'm ready to go when the new tank comes in
- descaling produced nasty green/grime solution
- I'm finding small particles of what looks like copper in the flush

Do I dump this thing back on the seller as it seems to have been misrepresented or see if I can get some financial restitution and keep fighting the little issues with it?

Thanks for any advice you have
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Sun Oct 20, 2013, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

The only thing that's wrong with this machine is the pump leak. Green grime is copper oxide and is normal for post-descale. Do fresh water flushes until it disappears. The boiler insulation from Simonelli turns to burnt toast inside of the first three months; its a known design flaw. The new insulation is almost certainly superior.

How much did you pay for it? If $500 or less you got a decent deal.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Oct 20, 2013, 4:39pm
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

yes, anything under 500 with only a pump issue will be a good machine.  It was neglected and fixed up you can get good espresso out of 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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Sun Oct 20, 2013, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

The vast majority of machines don't come with ANY boiler insulation. The descale sounds pretty normal just flush until it is clean. A leaking fitting isn'tmuch to quibble over, and as eeveryone has said, if the price was right, you did alright.

Most importantly, you will need a GOOD espresso grinder for that machine as well as FRESH beans, less than two weeks FROMTHEVDAY THEY WWERE ROASTED, not a best by date or NO date,

The rusted frame likely came from the leaky fitting.

 
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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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Mon Oct 21, 2013, 6:50am
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

$650 including shipping (it included an industrial-type knockbox and a cheapo aluminum tamper that resembles the plastic one and a frothing pitcher)...which is why I questioned
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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Mon Oct 21, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

Thanks Wayne - I grabbed a Vario from another CG member, so I should be set in the grinder dept
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

It is not the best deal but I would probably keep it and fix it up.

 
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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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

Thanks for all your input. The pstat and relief valve just failed and I opted for sending the machine back to the seller. I purchased it with the information that it was used for 1-2 years and this machine was 7+ years old - I couldn't get portafilter handle caps anymore. I was faced with $100 in parts now and who knows how much later based on the age. Assuming there aren't any return issues I'll be picking up a refurbished Salvatore machine and not dealing with the headaches of this one...
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 7:58am
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

I am sure the hand made machine is a whole 'nother beast.  The Oscar would have probably been fine but you did pay too much considering how old it was and what was wrong with it.  If you got it around 400 I would have fixed it up for sure.  600 it is less of a bargain when you add in the parts.

 
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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cinci_trader
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Sep 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Midwest
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore Semi Auto
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bonavita and Melitta Pour...
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 8:06am
Subject: Re: When do I throw in the towel on an Oscar?
 

I don't mind a little more repair work, but as you said I was disappointed to learn it was marketed as a 1-2 year old machine but in reality it was 7+ years...More stuff would likely break in the near-term and what I paid would not justify those repairs. Hopefully Wendy and Salvatore will treat me to a trouble-free machine :)
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