First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

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CoffeeFirst
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First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by CoffeeFirst »

Hello all,

I need a little help figuring out what's wrong with my LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi II machine. I'll walk you through my process.

Starting with this guide from Clive: https://clivecoffee.zendesk.com/hc/en-u ... g-the-GFCI

1. The GFCI still tripped after removing the lead off the temperature probe. I took my multimeter and put it across the disconnected probe leads and didn't get a reading. I read a post on here that indicates I should be getting some type of ohm reading across the leads assuming it's submerged in water. Since the short still remains in the system, I moved on.

2. Next I removed the appropriate lead off the safety switch and viola! The machine stays powered on, but the heating element never seemed to kick on. My main question right now and the purpose of this post, can the brew heating element heat up with the safety switch disconnected?

3. Following the logic of the Clive guide, I assumed that the Safety Switch was the culprit. I really just drink americanos, so I figure "hey lets just move the safety switch from the steam boiler over to the brew boiler, so I can get back to drinking coffee. Then I can swap out the faulty switch that's now on the steam boiler". So that's what I do, but before I did this, I checked for any resistance across both of the switches. None. They both give me zero's I believe. Weird. I swap them around, attach both leads, boiler is set to off, power up and tick! GFCI tripped.

4. Next I check the wire from the triac board to the safety switch for any damaged spots, nothing.

5. Finally I disconnect the brew boiler heating element with everything else hooked up and it powers on. I ran the multimeter across the heating element and got like a 17 resistance, someone on this forum said it should be around 10. No idea if that's a big enough difference.

What should I do next? Vibratory pump works fine. I'm tempted to buy a new temp probe, heating element and safety switch for the brew boiler just to refresh everything. Of course, looking to make the repair as simple as possible.

Thanks in advance for any help!
KP
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chas
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Re: First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by chas »

What Clive is calling a Safety Switch, LaSpaziale calls a Safety Thermostat. It's actually a heat thermostat. If the boiler gets too hot it trips and removes the voltage from the boiler heater element. There is one on each boiler. So, "No", the boiler won't work when you disconnect this wire since the thermostat is wired in series with the group boiler heater element wires, and just because the GFCI doesn't trip when you remove the wire does NOT mean that the thermostat is at fault. In every case where I've seen this happen, it's actually the boiler heater element that's at fault.

Eventually condensation forms inside the heater element and cause a small leakage current between the electrified part and the boiler body. This small current trips the GFCI. The only fix is to replace the heater element.

In a Mini, the group boiler heater element is replaceable, but the steam boiler element is permanently attached and requires purchase and replacement of the entire boiler. So you are fortunate that your issue is with the group boiler.

You'll need to buy a new 800W heater element and a new gasket for the lid. Search this site. There are many posts from folks that have had to perform this procedure. If your machine is less that two years old you should be able to get the parts for free.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
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CoffeeFirst
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Re: First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by CoffeeFirst »

Chas,

Thank you so much for confirming this and your thoughtful reply! That was my inclination as well, all seemed well with the temperature switch. The instructions from Clive made it seem as if the order of operations, indicated the fault in the system. I will order the heating element and take on replacing it once the parts arrive. If we’re correct on the heating element, then 17ohms of resistance is enough of a delta from 10ohms to indicate an issue

It looks like I’m a few months past the 2-year mark. Not the end of the world, as you state I’m happy that I only need to replace the element and not the entire boiler.

Much appreciated!
KP
Last edited by CoffeeFirst on Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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chas
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Re: First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by chas »

17 Ohms is correct for that heater element since R = V2 / P = 1172/ 800 = 17 Ohms.

Also, since it only takes 5uA of leakage current to trip a GFCI you won't see any change in resistance when using an ohmmeter with the cord unplugged.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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chas
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Re: First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by chas »

Oh well it looks like the superscript function doesn't work worth a crap on this forum. Those should be 2's that are chopped off on top; i.e. squared.
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
Mazzer Kony E, Customized Rocky
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CoffeeFirst
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Re: First Repair- GFCI Trips on Startup

Post by CoffeeFirst »

Hi All,

Sorry to drag this on but I'm still having issues. I found a local repair person who is able to come repair the machine for a reasonable cost but figured I'd try here one more time.

I recently moved so this repair was delayed. I replaced my brew boiler heating element and used the machine for about 2-weeks on a non-GFCI outlet; everything seemed fine. Last weekend we moved into our new apartment and the machine tripped every 20a GFCI outlet that I had available to try in the kitchen. Previously the machine would only trip the GFCI when I pressed the ON button, now it's tripping the switch when the outlet is plugged into the wall.

At the new apartment, I swapped out one of the GFCI outlets with a 20a outlet just to get the machine running again. To my ~shock~ I twice felt an electrical current in this area of the kitchen. At first we thought it might have been the dishwasher that I was operating at the time, but I felt it again the next day while cleaning up water at the floor. Pretty sure the machine is causing something here so it's been disconnected since.
Last edited by CoffeeFirst on Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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