2 year old Lucca- troubleshooting questions

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Yerma
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2 year old Lucca- troubleshooting questions

Post by Yerma » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:52 am

Moving to a rental house for a year while we build precipitated a search for a good used tank machine. I've been a happy Reneka Techno V2 owner for 12 years and will plan to re-plumb it in our new house. I though of going the FloJet/tank routine but didn't want to fool with it with the move.
So...I found a 2 year old Clive's Mini Lucca with all the goodies, walnut sides, porta-filter handle, etc. listed on CL. After talking to the owners- a young couple who wanted to try home espresso- I discovered that they had only used the machine a few dozen times. Then never drained the boilers and between the rare use it sat on their countertop.When I saw the machine it certainly looked new. While I was testing it the water flow to the group head was diminished and then quit entirely a few cycles later. We agreed to a lower price and now it's on my bench and I'm troubleshooting. No evidence of scale or other contaminants, I took off the brew head solenoid and everything is fine. Checked the spring plunger for tank connection- fine. Took apart the pump, tested and water flows fine from the pump output. Getting ready to take out the flow meter to inspect. I thought I'd put this out to members for any other ideas. Thanks in advance!

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chas
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Re: 2 year old Lucca- troubleshooting questions

Post by chas » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:20 am

Leaving an espresso machine unused for long periods of time w/o draining the boilers and water lines doesn't constitute disuse so much as misuse. I also had a lightly used Dream that was stored for a while with boilers drained but water left in all the lines. It did not work when "de-mothballed" either. Turned out that output port of the flow meter was blocked by a small particle of something. It was jammed so tight I actually had to take a very small bit and drill it out.

Since the water line from the output of the flowmeter goes directly to the coffee boiler, you can disconnect the line from the coffee boiler, stick the end of that line into a small bucket or pan, and try to pull a shot. If water doesn't come shooting out of that line, then the problem must be in the flowmeter since you've already confirmed the operation of the tank and pump. Otherwise, the only thing left is the 3-way solenoid valve which you also indicated that you checked.

I assume since you didn't mention it that the Hot Water works OK? If so, then the tank and pump operation was already proved without checking them further.
Chas
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Yerma
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Re: 2 year old Lucca- troubleshooting questions

Post by Yerma » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:35 am

Thanks Chas, your suggestion on the flowmeter was going to be my approach. Yes, only the group head has the problem. I wanted to check the pump to see if there was any scale or deposits on the mushroom plunger. I figured while I have the panels off I'd go through everything. There's evidence of a leak from the PRV on the boiler so I plan to disassemble and give it a citric soak. Other than that everything looks new under the hood. The cosmetics with the Walnut make my Reneka look plane Jane!

Yerma
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Re: 2 year old Lucca- troubleshooting questions

Post by Yerma » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:01 am

Flowmeter was the culprit. Cleaned inflow orifice and all is good. Now I have to transition from the plumbed, pre-infused, 58mm porta-filter of the Reneka! I better buy some extra beans :-P

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