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Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
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stewjacks
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: MTL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 5:10pm
Subject: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

Hi everyone

I have an ECM Raffaello I picked up a couple months ago fairly cheap (500 CAD) from a closing deli. It's 15 years old but I don't think they used it too much because it's in pretty great shape. Anyway I fully descaled it and replaced shot o-rings and gaskets and now I use it everyday. The last thing about it that has me a little worried is that the rotary vane pump or motor is making a racket. It dawned on me today while I was getting a coffee that rotary vanes are supposed to be pretty silent, but mine sounds about the same as a vibe. I hit 9 bar without any problems.

I've tried using a stick to poke around and see if I could silence it temporarily, but it didn't do anything. I posted a video here but it's a little hard to tell until I get the camera inside the machine at the end. I'm hoping it's just that the vibration-reducting rubber pump mounts have perished, but it's hard to tell. If anyone has an ear for this sort of thing, let me know what you hear! Thanks!
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SamTonin
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SamTonin
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Sydney, Australia
Expertise: Professional
Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 5:40pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

It could be the rubber feet, that's the first thing I would check. Also see if the pump is touching the sides of the machine panels.

Then check that the expansion valve is adjusted correctly (if installed), is there water leaking from the valve while the brew cycle is running? There shouldn't be.

Then I would check that the pump head is aligned properly with the pump body.

Following that, check that the pump head bearings haven't become rusted and are sticking, take off the pump head and check that you can spin the insert, which sits in the pump body when fixed together, easily with your hand. Then check that something isn't lodged in the pump head and that the one way valve in the pump head is the right way around.

Another possibility is that during the descale process, a bit of scale had lodged itself somewhere, check that by ensuring proper water flow through the system by taking off one pipe at a time and running the brew cycle, starting at the outlet pipe after the pump.

 
My micro-roastery is up and running, be sure to check it out! www.beanofatree.com.au
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stewjacks
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: MTL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 23, 2014, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

It could be the rubber feet, that's the first thing I would check. Also see if the pump is touching the sides of the machine panels.

Yeah this is definitely the first thing I'll replace. The cup warmer isn't screwed down, so I did that and it reduced some rattle as well. The pump definitely isn't touching anything.

Then check that the expansion valve is adjusted correctly (if installed), is there water leaking from the valve while the brew cycle is running? There shouldn't be.

You're talking about the OPV? No, there's no water from the group while running. I put in a blind filter and it's dry. I do have some water from the block to the drain when refilling though.

Then I would check that the pump head is aligned properly with the pump body.

What does this involve?

Following that, check that the pump head bearings haven't become rusted and are sticking, take off the pump head and check that you can spin the insert, which sits in the pump body when fixed together, easily with your hand. Then check that something isn't lodged in the pump head and that the one way valve in the pump head is the right way around.

I think I'll do this next weekend if all else fails. I soaked the disassembled parts in citric acid before reassembly so I don't think there's a chunk of lime in the thing, but it might be worth a look.
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SamTonin
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SamTonin
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Sydney, Australia
Expertise: Professional
Posted Sun Feb 23, 2014, 4:57pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

You say that there is water coming from the block to the drain while filling, this sounds unusual, does any water leak into the drain (not to be confused with the drip tray) while the brew cycle is on and the blind filter is inserted?


Could you tell me which part number is the block, using the schematics on coffeeparts.com or similar? Eg: Click Here (www.coffeeparts.com.au)

 
My micro-roastery is up and running, be sure to check it out! www.beanofatree.com.au
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stewjacks
Senior Member


Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: MTL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 23, 2014, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

I attached a photo of the block and marked where I get some water during filling. This is connected to a hose which goes directly to the drain (not the drip tray). The drain is plumbed in. I assumed this was just part of the heat exchanger, but because there's no reservoir on this machine the extra water is just run to the drain. It's not a lot of water at all - probably a few ml. The tube usually just has some water in it

Backflush behaviour is typical, i.e. no water until I release the pressure by turning off the pump. Pump is normal at about 9-9.5 bar. It does swing to 10 bar for a moment when the blind portafilter is in, but otherwise stays constant. I wish I'd owned this machine new because it's hard to tell what's normal and what isn't!

stewjacks: Image 2-23-2014 at 9.51 PM.png
(Click for larger image)
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SamTonin
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SamTonin
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Sydney, Australia
Expertise: Professional
Posted Sun Feb 23, 2014, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

Sounds like the OPV is adjusted correctly.

But just to make sure, adjust that valve tighter so that less water comes through, it is possible that it may be a little loose, which makes the pump work harder and so louder (happened to me 2 weeks ago).

If that doesn't solve it, check out the pump head next. It's attached by a clamp to the pump body. Unscrew the clamp, it should come off fairly easily. Once you've taken off the pump head, feel if the bearings are smooth by turning the pump head, the way the pump body would normally turn it, just with your fingers.

It should be very smooth and easy to turn.

If it is ok and smooth, when putting it back onto the pump body, ensure that it's aligned correctly and not diagonal.

Before you put the pump head back on, turn the machine on and turn the brew cycle on, this will activate the pump body and give a good idea if it could be the pump body which may be old and worn and need replacing.

After all that, check for limescale flakes or foreign matter in the flowmeter. Take off the solenoid and keep it dry, do not get the solenoid wet, then take off the inlet and outlet pipes attached to the flowmeter. Unscrew the housing and see if the tiny inlet and outlet holes are partially blocked.

If after all this, it's still the same, you could try back flushing really well using coffee cleaning back flush powder and letting it soak for 20mins. Also soak the shower screen and screw.

If its not solved after this, I think it's safe to say that your pump is naturally loud.

Unless someone has any ideas we haven't thought of?

It's normal for the pressure to raise while back flushing, but the standard, 7 seconds on, 7 seconds off rule still applies.

 
My micro-roastery is up and running, be sure to check it out! www.beanofatree.com.au
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stewjacks
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: MTL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 24, 2014, 9:14pm
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

Thanks SamTonin - I'm going to tear it down this week when I get the change and see if anything helps.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,949
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 Tue Feb 25, 2014, 5:48am
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

Some machines are just noisy. That is life. My ECM is a rotary pump but is every bit as loud as a vibe pump, it always has been and it is a common complaint with the machine. Some have turned down the noise a little by placing rubber padding under the motor but there is not much room to work with.

Scale in the flowmeter will NOT cause any noise, if it has an issue, it will not deliver the correct volume of water consistently but it will not be noisy.

Seriously, before tearing apart a machine that is operating properly, it just may be a more noisy than "normal" design, this is not a big deal, if it is working properly otherwise, you may get a little noise reduction by putting a rubber pad under the pump but just because it is louder than you expected that does not mean that anything is wrong with the machine.

 
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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stewjacks
Senior Member


Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 21
Location: MTL
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 7:47am
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

Hey calblacksmith, that's what I was looking for. I wanted to know if the ECM was just noisy, or if it was unhealthy. I don't care about the noise if it's just noise, but if it's a health issue then I'd rather try and solve it instead of wearing out my motor/pump.

Seriously, before tearing apart a machine that is operating properly, it just may be a more noisy than "normal" design, this is not a big deal, if it is working properly otherwise...

Well, sure, but that's half the fun!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,949
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 Wed Feb 26, 2014, 9:00am
Subject: Re: Rotary pump diagnosis: noisy = failing motor?
 

I would not say that ALL their machines are noisy but I know that with MY model it is true. It seems that yours is the same. It is not unhealthy, there is nothing that will hurt you. Unpleasant yes but harmful, no.

There are lots of things to fuss with in espresso so don't feel too bad that for the moment, tearing the machine apart is not one of them :D

 
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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