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Author Topic: Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply  (Read 4093 times)

Bean Flying

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Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply
« on: 20/11/2011, 06:56 PM »
This doesn't have a particular point or a focus on any specific Lever machine. It also should be read knowing that the requirements for HX based levers are different to dipper tube levers in their requirements.

Based on some chat over the new Bezzera Strega (including some ill informed speculation elsewhere) and some practical hands on first hand knowledge of running Lever machines on Tanked supplies that were designed for mains and vice versa and with a 15 year background in pumps here is a place to chat about getting water into your lever machine. Also to dispel one of the principal reasons NOT to buy the tanked Strega and convert it to plumbed in (obvious warranty issue aside).

Levers can be run successfully on tanked or plumbed in supplies.

1: Water supply pressure requirements are just over boiler pressure so say circa 2-3 bar is heaps.

2: Volume requirements vary from machine usage but even at 5-6 double shots a minute with steam on my 3 group that is under 1 l/min.

So from these basic specs any of the 240V Vibe or Rotary Vane pumps will generally used in coffee machines will nail it for the pressure requirements and unless you are running a multigroup hard then even a vibe pump will keep up with a lever.

The biggest pet hate of mine is that sort of pump won't suck water from a tank. PUMPS DON'T SUCK !!! Without getting into detailed discussions on NPSH or fluid calculations consider pumps when primed being capable of drawing water from tanks under a counter with Vane Pumps being better at this job than vibe pumps. Vertically the metre or so shouldn't be an issue if you fit a non return (check) valve at the tank outlet and fill the pump and line with water. A better plumbing arrangement is like a lot of tanked machines to have the tank above the machine and if that means mounting the pump under the counter then that is fine too.

insert pics here tomorrow



Bean Flying

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Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply
« Reply #1 on: 20/11/2011, 07:18 PM »
How to switch you pump on or off?

If your machine is designed to be run off mains such as my Fioranzato was. It will in the case of an Auto Fill boiler have a solenoid fitted to control the boiler level by means of some additional circuitry. In this case it has a GICAR unit fitted (as circled in the picture below) which controls the solenoid (upper left) fitted before anything else on the water supply side of the boiler. This operation is controlled by means of a level probe in the boiler.

Some of the older machines have manual fill valves as there only source of getting water into the boiler or even modern machines will have this as an alternate if the autofill goes up in smoke. (seperate post later of my Izzo which has both).

With some simple checking of the components of the GICAR (please make sure it is UNPLUGGED !!!) it revealed the output relay to the solenoid is rated at 10A which is more than enough to run the 350W (under 1.5A) load of the Procon pump. So with some careful rewiring (if you don't know get a professional to do it !!!) the wires to the solenoid can be piggybacked to also run the pump as pictured that is shoehorned into the unit.

What this all does as with before the GICAR opens the solenoid and now simultaneously starts the pump as the boiler level probe is set to operate at. If you have water and a primed pump then your off and running.

Bean Flying

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Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply
« Reply #2 on: 20/11/2011, 07:19 PM »
Place saver for manual fill photos and circuits.

Bean Flying

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Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply
« Reply #3 on: 20/11/2011, 07:20 PM »
HX levers and special requirements for pumped operation.

Bean Flying

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Lever Machines running from mains or tanks supply
« Reply #4 on: 20/11/2011, 07:21 PM »
Place saver for anything I forgot and maybe deconstruction of a pumped machine back to mains water supply.

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