HELP! A re-furb thread revisited. Ex-Gicar!

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HELP! A re-furb thread revisited. Ex-Gicar!

Postby z3t4 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:55 pm

Hi all.
I thought, having lurked for far too long, I should make an inaugural post (well, not counting a couple of comments earlier).
The Europiccola is indeed a venerable, delicate thing, and after only 15 or so years and some help from here I can now get a reasonable morning espresso. My favourite is Morrison's Italian, reground in the MC2. It really is very nice. Mock only after you've tried it.

But then ebay knocked on the door. "That search you set up, the coffee one, well you should have a look. Something's come in". Ah.

I present the Bezzera BZ02s. Four years in a pub, worked hard, switch is broken, steam valve is broken*.
But 'recently de-scaled'. Must be OK then:

Image

Clearly I'm looking for a bit of help, and I hope that this is the right place to ask. I've ordered most of the parts (mainly gaskets and o-rings). However, some live in Germany and I'm no polyglot, so it may be that, in two weeks, I take delivery of seventy-one Jaffa cakes and a bushel of otter. We shall see.

So does anybody know where you can get wire? I don't mean the tri-rated stuff, but the proper, 200°C safe variety (like in the Pavoni) or even 155°C (like the Varpren-F in the Bezzera). No-one here in the Republic** has it. RS/Farnell/Rapid/CPC/CEF only sell reels of ~100 metres. I'd really like to rewire it. I need 1.0mm² and 1.5mm², possibly a bit of 2mm².

Also I need a bit of advice about re-fitting the brassware, both into the boiler and into the valves, solenoids, etc. It appears that in some cases assembly was bare, others used PTFE tape, others pipe-sealing compound and in 1 case Loctite.


Sorry to ramble. There are more pix if any body wants a WIP thread.

Thanks for any advice, especially re the cable.


Kind regards,

John.





* They'd kindly included a replacement, which is hydraulically consistent but doesn't fit the handles. I do have a Molegrip idea. Failing that, will have to make one.

** of Mancunia.
Last edited by z3t4 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby lsjms » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:53 pm

Nice project.

It might not be quite the same thing but I've been using fire alarm cable, stripped of it's outer. The conductors are silicone insulated and good to 180c.

Reground?
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Re: RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby z3t4 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:54 pm

lsjms wrote:Nice project.
It might not be quite the same thing but I've been using fire alarm cable, stripped of it's outer. The conductors are silicone insulated and good to 180c.

Thanks, lsjms. Have you got a link? The fire cable I have found so far (eg 'NoBurn' at TLC) has an operating spec up to 70°C :(. Odd, given its silicone insulation:
Image

lsjms wrote:Reground?

Indeed. It comes from Morrisons as 'ground'. For the Europiccola, though, if it's anything coarser than vvv fine, then the result is horrible. Learned that after 5 years. :)

John
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RE: Re: RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby lsjms » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:40 pm

It's a bit off menu so I don't think you will get a spec but all the silicone insulated stuff I can find is 180c. I am only using the silicone insulated bit in your picture as single strand - note it is marked as fire resistant, where the outer sheath is not. I think that and possibly voltage drop are the reasons for the low overall temperature rating.

Point is I would find any silicone insulated cable of the right diameter and use that, although that can be a pain as you found and expensive if you want a couple of colours. You should be able to get this stuff by the metre. I have a reel of 1.5 hence my choice, if you have any bother and it's suitable I'll send you a few metres to try.

I'm going to have to take your word for it on the coffee, I just couldn't do it. Just see a comical picture of a hopper full of ground coffee! But seriously now, you have tried the roasters recommended round here, I assume?
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RE: Re: RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby xmastree » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:21 pm

The stuff you need is known as 'FP'

Some here:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0517580683
but that's probably more than you really need.

Know any local building sites? There are probably off-cuts to be had.
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RE: Re: RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby z3t4 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:04 pm

Thanks chaps. I've found silicone-insulated cable specced to 180°C available by the metre, in all the sizes I need (1.0, 1.5, a bit of 2.5mm²) from Conrad UK. They also do nice 'retail-size' kits of mixed cable markers, eg 200 for <£10. I've managed to find all the spare coffee-specific bits also.

I could still use a bit of advice about how to make the joints between copper fittings and into the boiler. I have the EDPM and Cu gaskests where these are indicated on the Bezzera partslist and I have some 0.5mm PTFE sheet on order, but is it good practice also to use PTFE tape and / or jointing compound, (or are these deprecated)? If so, where? How much?

I can guess but I'd rather have an experienced opinion before I start the reconstruction.
Pix later.

Regards,

John
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RE: Re: RE: A re-furb thread **NEWB ALERT**

Postby z3t4 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:15 pm

Here's more scaling, this time on the stainless water-level electrode:
Image
So after splitting the boiler and mechanically cleaning the scale deposits I soaked the boiler, still with the HX in situ, in citric acid solution at 2 tbsp per litre and room temp:
Image
After a few hours it was looking a bit better:
Image
But still not good enough, so protected the threads with hotmelt and gave it a bit of ultrasound and more citric:Image

As you can see the HX is elsewhere!

More later.
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Postby z3t4 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:40 pm

It lives!

Four months is a lot longer than I thought it would take! Some of the delay has been due to supplier hassle (paid up front, delivery took >six weeks), some due to difficulty in sourcing the right bits (relays, stainless polishing wheels, PTFE sheet, brass rod). Also Bezzeras don't seem to have much of a following here, however coffeesnobs and coffeegeek both have useful postings and there's some stuff on the Yahoo! Livia group.

I'll post later with some pix and notes. For now we're just enjoying very nice coffee :D

Anybody want a tired but venerable Europiccola?
Regards,

John
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Postby nickr » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:06 am

I de scaled my machine yesterday. Whilst doing it I was wondering whether the wear and tear involved was actually doing more harm than it was worth. Seeing your pictures I am re assured that de scaling is worthwhile. Thank-you.
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Postby z3t4 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:15 pm

nickr wrote:I de scaled my machine yesterday. Whilst doing it I was wondering whether the wear and tear involved was actually doing more harm than it was worth. Seeing your pictures I am re assured that de scaling is worthwhile. Thank-you.

Hi Nickr, you're welcome!

When it arrived from the 'bay initial signs were very good, despite its home water supply having a Clarke hardness of 22.1 (it's 1.400 here). The vendor had descaled with a commercial product, the residual in water in the boiler had that nice blue Cu2+ tinge - so evidence of recent descaling- and there was a 'water purifier' in the water tank (it's a hand-fill machine). This water purifier looks a bit like a 35mm film canister filled with some species of ion-exchange resin. My guess is that, in a hard-water area, it would have been effective for all of 10 minutes. It's now getting its water from the reverse osmosis tap, so I hope it won't get as gunged up.
So well-done on the descaling. It's well worth the effort.
Regards,

John
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Postby z3t4 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:56 pm

Well, we had more than a year out of it. But then ...

This morning the only thing that works is the illuminated power switch :( .
It doesn't light up its warning-indicator if the reservoir is empty; also the heater light isn't illuminated. These facts together with the horribly-presented circuit diagram suggest that the Gicar is buggered. Any suggestions where I might find one? Will I have to email Bezzera in my best Google-Italian?

HELP!!!
Regards,

John
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Postby Sarion » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:12 pm

Hi John,

Just ordered a new Gicar myself. They are bloody expensive! Not sure this is the model you need, but this was the cheapest I could find (in the US!! but don`t worry, it`s 220V): $62, shipping included, should be around 38 pounds.

http://www.orphanespresso.com/Gicar-Wat ... _3856.html

Might run into customs but I figured it`d still be cheaper than shelling out double the money to buy it here in Holland. They shipped mine almost immediately, expecting it this week. Fingers crossed...

Best regards,

Sarion
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you're a fine one to decide

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Postby z3t4 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:30 pm

Thanks, Sarion.
Expensive indeed. I found the Gicar at espressoxxl.de (they seem to have everything) at £138 :o
For now I've ordered from RS the 2 relays which commonly fail in the Gicar and I'll replace them and see. One of the relays is not available as far as I could see so I've had to find a replacement that's mechanically and electrically identical. If all else fails I'll email Bezzera but may have to learn Italian first :lol:
Regards,

John
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