Clean or Replace Solenoid?

If something breaks post warranty, let us know about it. Tell us how you fixed it. Let us know how much the parts cost.
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eyemgh
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Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by eyemgh »

I have a well loved MV II that is going to be handed down to my son (after 13 years with the S1, we're getting a flow control machine). It's now doing something a little odd. It runs a shot just fine, but when I dispense hot water the pump runs far longer than the water I dispensed indicates it should. For example, if I do a one second hot water hit to clean the portafilter after a shot, the pump will run 10 seconds to refill that volume. It doesn't run inordinately long when I run a shot. Also, if I've filled a full cup and the pump is running 30 seconds or so, running a shot while that's happening will always shut the machine off.

It seems like a solenoid. After 13 years, the question is, is it wise to just replace it rather than monkey with cleaning it only to possibly find it is dead?

Also, if replace is the best option, any advantage of the version at Chris' vs. Espresso Parts (Clive is out)?

https://www.chriscoffee.com/collections ... ve-vivaldi

https://www.espressoparts.com/1-4-24v-two-way-solenoid

Thanks!
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chas
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by chas »

This issue has happened to many people and it is NOT the solenoid. You should be able to find this issue covered a number of times if you use the Search function at the upper right of every Forum page.

The bottom line, if you have trouble with the Search function, you have a partial mineral blockage in the cold water refill line either before the solenoid where there is a screen filter in newer machines, at the gicleur beneath the solenoid valve, or where the water line enters the boiler. If the machine runs longer than 60 seconds on my machine, but you indicated 30 seconds, without the boiler refilling, the machine will turn off.

With my original S1 machine I had a mineral chunk in the gicleur valve. Refill time eventually got up to about 62 seconds. The machine would shut off after 60 seconds. When I plugged it back in refill would continue for another 2 seconds then complete. In each of these three locations, the speed and or direction of the water flow abruptly changes which lends itself to forming mineral deposits.
Chas
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eyemgh
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by eyemgh »

Huh, the Clive tech was pretty convinced it was the solenoid. I'll refrain from buying one and pull it apart. Off to the search function!

Is there a good diagram somewhere that labels all these pieces. My knowledge of the machine, and plumbing and electronics in general is ok, but really superficial enough to get myself into trouble without having the skill set to navigate my way back out. I need some crutches. :lol:
Last edited by eyemgh on Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
eyemgh
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by eyemgh »

I just got off the phone with Chris' and the tech he was also convinced that it is the solenoid, the outflow from the solenoid, or the pump. Once we troubleshot the pump, and he knew I replaced it 18 months ago, he's certain it's the solenoid or the outflow from the solenoid. I'll start with an intensive descale and see what that breaks. :bom:
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chas
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by chas »

The first two spots mentioned in my post are before the solenoid output and the third is beyond at the point when the water flows into the boiler. Many folks have had this exact same problem and none of them has ever had to replace the solenoid in order to fix it.

However, if you do purchase a new solenoid DON'T purchase the one you linked from Espresso Parts. That is a 24VDC model and the LaSpaz takes a 115VAC version. You'll fry it and maybe burn down your house!

115VAC Solenoid
Chas
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chas
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by chas »

BTW: All the times I have descaled the LaSpaziale, I have poured descaling solution directly into each boiler which would not get the solution into the areas where these mineral deposits are located. How are you going to descale that will get the solution into the steam boiler fill tubing?
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
Hottop P/B
eyemgh
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Re: Clean or Replace Solenoid?

Post by eyemgh »

Chris' recommended 1/3 cup acetic acid into the water reservoir, run the brew group, hot water and steam wand sequentially until the effluent is cloudy, and then wait overnight. After that, he said run fresh until it's clear again. That's SO much simpler than the way I've done it previously, essentially the way you have.

I bought the proper solenoid from Chris'. I'm looking at the inflow and outflow at the solenoid, but figured I'd replace it just because it's 11 years old. It only hurts $70 worth. :grin:

Thanks!
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