L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve issues

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Postby dr.chris » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:19 pm

We have the eternal problem of me just drinking espresso and the wife just caps. Finding something that fits both bills isnt easy.

Because of an enforced 2 week spell in Manchester (doing my civic duty, apparently) I am getting a chance to explore. Went to a little place called Grindsmiths (they call it a pod, i'd call it a shack, but a very very nice one) and had an excellent espresso. I believe they use nude espresso beans. I think I enjoyed it more than North Tea Power, but they don't do food as such.

There is another one, called PKB which is within reach but I am unlikely to get to, and yet another called TAKK which is too far away from where I start. The coffee scene in Manchester is much much healthier than I expected.
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Postby CakeBoy » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:12 pm

Sounds great! There do seem to be more decent places popping up all over the place these days.
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby double_shot » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:59 am

Hi Folks,

Haven't posted for a while but I have been keeping an eye on the goings on. Good to see the hard core team are all still active and a few old members have popped back in.

Not too sure if this is the best place to add this? As I added the original link to the L'Anna Maintenance pdf earlier in this thread
it seems like a good place to add the updated v004. The file contains Cakeboy's descaling guide and my guide for dealing with one of the possible causes of poor or no flow issues. I know it wasn't relevant to the final out come of this thread but it maybe of help to someone suffering from a Gicleur blockage.

I just had to clear the Gicleur in my L'Anna again so I took a few pictures this time. :shock: I'm no David Bailey so they're not perfect but hopefully they are useful enough.

V004 Changes:
Fix a spelling mistake...but I'm sure there are plenty more for the spelling police to chuckle at. :oops:
Added the snazzy new TMC logo to the TMC threads section.
Added some supporting images to accompany the "Reduced flow rate problems" section (0.6mm hole (Gicleur)).
Added a couple of images showing the internal components.
Added a couple of additional notes for clarity.
Added new group head diagram with parts ^current details (^2015/16).
Dropped the version number in the file name on the server to prevent *breaking links if there is a new version in the future.
*Edited file link in original post to reference the new generic file name.
Fixed Link to Iberital L'anna NEW web page.

I think that should cover everything.

Download: L'anna Maintenance Notes pdf.

TTFN

P.S. If you notice any errors or incorrect terminology etc. please let me know so I can fix it. I can also add new content if anyone has anything they would like to contribute.

Who is the current Iberital UK distributor?
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby CakeBoy » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:54 am

Excellent job DS, thanks for updating. I think various sources exist in the UK, Scott certainly still has Iberital machines available :)
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby dr.chris » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:05 pm

CakeBoy wrote:Excellent job DS, thanks for updating. I think various sources exist in the UK, Scott certainly still has Iberital machines available :)


On his website he only pushes spares now. They do seem a little more widespread (if not common) though
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby double_shot » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:39 pm

Thanks CB, hopefully it will be of some use to someone. I only thought of creating the first version after I had finish the descale and hole clearance routine. Seeing a couple of pictures can really help sometimes if things seem a little fuzzy. Your info on descaling has served me well over the years as I'm sure it has many others, and while you're in there it's worth checking the pesky little hole.

I checked Scots site to see what he was up to at Happy Donkey and like Chris says he doesn't have machines listed. Maybe Iberital has changed their distribution model, because it did seem a bit random when I looked for info to update the links in the PDF. The Iberital website seems much better these days and finding the L'Anna manual is much easier now.

My old L'Anna is sill chugging along nicely although the pump is a little noisier these days and the relay could probably do with replacing. As neither are broke it's probably best left alone plus I couldn't find relays on the HD website? The only things I have had to replace so far have been the element, group gasket and screen. I hope saying that doesn't become a jinks! :shock:
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby dr.chris » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:47 pm

double_shot wrote:Thanks CB, hopefully it will be of some use to someone. I only thought of creating the first version after I had finish the descale and hole clearance routine. Seeing a couple of pictures can really help sometimes if things seem a little fuzzy. Your info on descaling has served me well over the years as I'm sure it has many others, and while you're in there it's worth checking the pesky little hole.

I checked Scots site to see what he was up to at Happy Donkey and like Chris says he doesn't have machines listed. Maybe Iberital has changed their distribution model, because it did seem a bit random when I looked for info to update the links in the PDF. The Iberital website seems much better these days and finding the L'Anna manual is much easier now.

My old L'Anna is sill chugging along nicely although the pump is a little noisier these days and the relay could probably do with replacing. As neither are broke it's probably best left alone plus I couldn't find relays on the HD website? The only things I have had to replace so far have been the element, group gasket and screen. I hope saying that doesn't become a jinks! :shock:



Well its good to hear from you and we do get a few questions about l'Anna coming through this website. The thing is with HD is that you can always email them about parts you want that they don't list, as Scott can probably source them. I don't think the relay is a part particular to l'Anna.

In the (now) 6.5 years we have had Anna shes had 2 new controllers (at way too much money each) a new relay and a new pump. The new relay means shes now completely quiet heating up which was quite a revelation... At some point she'll need a new steam valve and she often does not measure flow properly but all that means is keeping an eye on how much water she has pumped rather than relying on the buttons. And touch wood the element is doing fine.

Any other problems is down to the user. For me I use a naked triple portafilter with 24g of beans and when it works its great but also tends to coat surround areas of worktop and floor in a fine spray of espresso... There is a compromise going on in that the wife has gone for dark beans for her caps while I like more of a medium roast for my espresso. Both beans go through the same grinder and to be honest its too much hassle trying to change the grind between beans.

Such a great solid machine. Stronger kitchen too so the worktop isn't sagging under the weight like it was in our last house :shock:
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby double_shot » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi Chris, it's been a while glad to hear your L'Anna is ticking a long nicely...not surprising given the tlc she seems to get.

It's a pain in the butt using different beans through the same grinder for Espresso. Fortunately I only have to adjust when a batch runs out or the weather goes crazy - which seems to be happening a lot the past few months. :?

I will probably give Scot a call soon, but I want to consider the pump options and once I get round to that I will get the pump and relay at the same time hopefully. As you say the relay isn't specialist/unique part so getting a replacement wont be a challenge.

All the chrome has come off my one of these [25] as seen in the pictures...

Image

which is probably the cause of the hole blocking so regularly? I think a replacement maybe overdue, although it functions OK once attended to. I tend to tolerate reduced flow for a short time rather than promptly clearing it out as soon as I notice. :oops: Checking it has now become a standard part of my descale routine so it's less of an hassle now. Part 22 in my unit seems to be steel rather than brass shown in the image above which is from the current Iberital manual. Mine could just be discoloured? I need to get a tool that can fit down the cylinder to find out for sure. Scratching at the part doesn't give me the impression it's brass.

I'm rather fond of my L'Anna as well. :)

Edit: I just realised I have had her for seven or eight years. :shock: She is ageing far better than I am!
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby dr.chris » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:47 pm

Anna is due a descale but the local water seems to be fairly soft.

Changing the pump was pretty straightforward.

When I do anything I get a workbench up into the kitchen and lift Anna on to that so I can access all sides. She's a big lump (but then so am I..)

I have looked at the gicleur in my Anna but all I seem to remember is that everything looked fine :) I can't remember materials.

I'd be interested to know how losing the chrome on (25) could lead to more problems with the gicleur. There might be an argument for saying that the rougher surface in the absence of the chrome coating helps to initiate precipitation of scale in that area but that is purely conjecture.
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Re: L'anna water height sensor and possible vacuum valve iss

Postby double_shot » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:35 pm

Hi Chris,

I do the same...stick a workmate in the kitchen for 360 degree access.

I'm in a seriously hard water area which is a real pita.

The hole doesn't seem to be getting blocked by scale it's more like fine compressed rust it's hard to say for sure because the hole is so small and there is never any real trace of what has been removed. The little head of the bolt also seems like a steel part which wont be helping the situation. Water also sits idle in that area which can only aggravating the situation. I have never noticed any build up of scale in or around that part, but I tend to descale regularly so it shouldn't get a foothold. If the hole is really blocked descaling doesn't clear it it needs to be physically cleared with thin wire. The first time I had to do it descaler seemed to have a effect but now I'm not so sure that's the solution (no pun intended).

It's such an easy thing to deal with while the machine is open...I just clean the hole as a matter of course now, so there shouldn't be any reduction in flow between each descale in future.

Edit:
Forgot to add this: Part 25 on my machine has a fine uniform rust layer all over it (apart from the external chrome nut section) and that includes the area where #22 is buried/surrounded by a rusty tube. The hole is somewhere between 0.7 and 0.5 mm it doesn't take much material to cause an issue. I should also add that if I remove the part on it's own when the machine has sat unused for a few days or so rust residue is present on my fingers from touch the part. That doesn't seem so obvious when the machine has been running or still hot from a decale.
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